Pay Yourself First
Saving. It’s something we should all be doing, but often easier said than done. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with little to nothing set aside to cover unforeseen expenses. However, you can head off a lot of financial heartache by planning for the unexpected when you save regularly.
Pay yourself first.
Simply put, the key to successful saving is to pay yourself first. So, what does that mean? It means the first person who gets paid each month is you, by making sure you contribute to your savings diligently. Think of it in the same way you think of your rent, car payment or utilities. You wouldn’t skip one of those bills, so don’t skip on paying yourself.
Automate your savings.
The way to make savings easier is to automate it by sending it directly to your savings account. When you automate your savings, you make it a habit. This is one of the best things you can do to ensure success.
One easy option for automating your savings is payroll deduction. Your employer automatically deducts the amount of money you’ve chosen from your paycheck and deposits it into your savings account. Another alternative is to set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings each month.
Just start, even with a small amount.
When starting out, it’s easy to get hung up on the amount of money to save. Sometimes, people don’t start because they mistakenly believe the amount they can comfortably save just isn’t enough. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just start where you can, even if it’s minimal. Everyone starts somewhere. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can increase your contribution.
It may take time to see your savings build, but stick with it. Over time, regular saving will make a huge difference in your financial picture. Chances are you won’t even miss that minimal amount as it comes out, but, as you add to it and increase your contribution over time, you will feel much less strain when the unexpected pops up, and you’ll be less likely to take on new debt.
Finally, if you have struggled to successfully save in the past, it’s okay! You can always start again, even with a small amount. Be intentional, committed and consistent with your money. Remember, you are in control of your financial future.