It seems no matter what you do, your savings account never seems to grow! Your advisor is telling you to save six months’ worth of your salary in an emergency fund. However, each time you take a step forward, you end up taking two steps back. Here are some easy ways to grow your savings.
1. Make Automatic Deposits: Set up a savings account and have a certain amount of your paycheck deposited into the account each pay period. You’ll need to calculate your expenses to figure out how much of each check you can save. Make sure you start at a reasonable amount and work your way up. Talk to your advisor to help come up with a cash flow plan. Once this account is established, limit yourself from looking at it too often.
2. Couponing! Use sites like http://thekrazycouponlady.com/. This site tells you how to stack coupons in ways you that can even MAKE money! You can search stores like Amazon, Kohl’s, CVS, Kroger, Target, and many others.
3. Save your spare change: Get a big jar and anytime you get change or even dollar bills, throw it in the jar. At the end of the year, cash the money in and put it in your savings account.
4. Ditch cable: There are many alternatives out there to replace your expensive cable provider. One alternative is Nvidia Shield TV. It lets you download apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, Sling TV, Kodi, HBO, Showtime, Starz, YouTube, Hulu and others. You can even search movies and TV shows. Other options include Amazon Fire TV, Roku Ultra and Google Chromecast 2, which are cheaper alternatives to cable.
5. Create another stream of income: Everyone is talented in their own way. Why not make some extra cash for it? Sell some items on Ebay, use your writing talents to write blogs for small businesses, make crafts and sell them at a local flea market. Save all the cash you earn in your savings account.
6. No skills? Want to learn something new? Youtube it! Whether it’s taking better photos, achieving the perfect DIY pedicure, or even how to snow ski; don’t spend money on taking classes. Youtube has hundreds of videos on step by step instructions on these topics, and many more. You’ll save money and be surprised by what you can learn!
7. Request new auto/home insurance quotes: If you’ve been with the same company or have had the same plan for several years, it’s time to shop around. See if there are better quotes for the same coverage.
8. Keep your credit cards at home: Switch to a cash envelope system. You can get started here. It’s important to pay off your credit cards each month. You should only keep a credit card on you for emergencies.
9. When shopping online, remember the 24-hour rule: Before you make an impulse buy, wait 24-hours. Instead, add the item(s) to the “wishlist” feature (if there is one available), instead of the cart. If you still want the item(s) the next day, you can buy them. If not, you saved yourself some money. This stops you from making unnecessary and spontaneous purchases.
10. Buy used! You can find clothing for the entire family through sites like Thredup.com and Swap.com. On these sites, you can buy and sell high quality clothing that is gently used. Sign up and they will send you a pre-paid large envelope. You fill it with your brand name clothing you no longer wear and they will give you cash or a credit you can use on their site.
- Written by Rana Kory, Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors