If you’re like me, saving money has always been a challenge. I never knew the type of things I needed to be saving for, how to save, how much to save, when to use it, and more. In my mind, a savings account was just a bunch of accumulated money you never touched and only utilized in case of a huge emergency or disaster. I also never found myself making enough money to feel like I could save anything, basically, I was living from paycheck to paycheck. If I ever did try to save money, I almost always ended up needing to pull it out for something, bringing my savings back to zero. But after years of trying and failing to create a savings account, I finally found a few small tips that helped me jumpstart my savings.
1. Put a percentage of your income away the second you get it
The biggest way I started a savings account was committing to putting 20% of my income away. This saved up money WAY faster than I expected it to. Feel free to choose any percentage of your income to add to your savings account, no amount is too small, and something is better than nothing!
2. Set goals, and be okay with changing them if needed
If you don’t want to set a certain percentage of your income away, try making a goal to put a specific dollar amount away every week/month. Some banks even offer an automatic transfer so you can send a certain amount of money into a savings account each week or month. And don’t be afraid to adjust your goals as needed. If you find your savings goals are straining your checking account, adjust your goals to meet your financial needs.
3. Don’t wait for something to save for
This used to be a huge issue for me. If I didn’t have something specific I wanted to save up for, I didn’t see a point in saving. The problem with this is you usually need a rainy day fund when you least expect it. Save even when you don’t have something specific in mind. Saving this way helps prepare you for when emergencies or unexpected costs come up and can get you ahead on saving for something you may want to work towards in the future.
4. Start a change jar
This one is simple and small, start saving all your spare change in a jar and know you can’t touch it until the jar you choose fills up all the way! This is a low-stakes, most likely long term (depending on how large your jar is) way to save up money! The change adds up to more than you’d expect.
5. Put your needs above your wants
I myself am guilty of having bought something I wanted for myself before making sure I had the funds set aside for something I needed. Only you can differentiate your wants from your needs, and once you do that, make sure to keep track of when funds for your needs are due and take care of those first. Once you have taken care of your needs, you can begin searching your budget for money for your wants.
I hope these tips were helpful to you and assist you in starting, and or boosting, a savings account, good luck!