Read any personal finance blog and you’ll see the same money-saving advice on most of them.
“Make a budget.”
“Spend less than you earn.”
“Pay yourself first.”
“Clip coupons to save money.”
“Don’t buy books, go to the library.”
“Create an emergency fund.”
This is all great advice, but for some, it is still hard to save money. Why? Because you don’t save money by just reading about what to do to save money. You have to make a decision to save money and then become determined to save money.
Here are three steps to help you get started.
3 Steps to Help You Save Money
Set a savings goal.
Maybe you want to start an emergency fund for your family. Maybe you want to take Mom on a very nice vacation. Maybe you are going to need a newer car or car repairs. Maybe you want to pay all cash for Christmas presents. Figure out what it is that you want to save for and how much money you will need.
Make a plan how to reach the goal.
You’ve figured out how much you need to save. Now you need to figure out how long you have to save it and how much each month you will need to put into savings to attain the goal.
For example, in January you decide you want to save up $900 to pay cash for Christmas presents this year. You want to start shopping at the beginning of November. You have ten months to save the money. So to reach that goal, you will need to save $90 a month.
Stick to the plan.
Pay the savings account each month just like it is a bill. If your bank has automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account, set it up. Make sure the money is in the checking account each month on the transfer date. Before you know it, the time period for your savings goal will be over and you will have the money saved up.
A Savings Tip — It’s a big temptation to take money out to use for something other than the goal you have set for it. If it is too much of a temptation to do that, set up a savings account at a different financial institution than your regular bank. This way you are not seeing the balance every time you check your bank account.
Change your mind about saving money. Then become determined and dedicated. Break down your savings goal into smaller, more manageable amounts, which will help you stay motivated to reach your goal by sticking with the savings plan.
It does take some time to save money. Just think about how good you are going to feel when you accomplish your goal. There is another benefit of reaching your first savings goal. It will become a habit to save by the time you reach your goal and will be easier the next time!