Saving can be such a chore. Chances are, you are making it a lot harder on yourself than it needs to be. There are a few steps, tip and tricks that you can use to making saving money, whether it be taking advantage of available apps or simply talking to an advisor, there are probably a few things your not doing to make saving easier.
Track your monthly spending
Many checking and savings accounts have applications you can use for their services. The apps give you a “snapshot” of your monthly spending, what weeks you spend more, whether you’re spending most of your money on entertainment, food, bills. When you track your monthly spending, you can identify places where you can slim down (like eating out) and place the extra money into savings.
A flexible spending account may be a possible way to save as well. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) take advantage of money you set aside from your paychecks. With each pay period, a set amount of money comes out of your check (tax free). You can use a FSA for medications, co-pays, and you can even use the account for commuting costs to and from work. The best part about an FSA is that you are paying with pretax dollars rather than after-tax dollars and essentially getting a discount on things that you normally buy anyway.
Begin contributing to retirement
Saving is always better when you are saving for something specific, and what better thing to save for than your own retirement? Workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k), allow your retirement investment to grow without being taxed. You can set up a specific amount of money to come out of your check every week and it goes directly into the 401(k), untaxed. Some companies will even match a percentage of your 401(k) contribution.
If your company does not offer 401(k), you may want to check into an individual retirement account. If you have earned income, then you can contribute to an IRA (up to $5,500 a year if you are under the age of 50). You can choose different types of IRA accounts to invest in as well: commodities, individual stocks, certificate of deposit. You can even put money into each one of these to diversify your retirement portfolio.
Start your emergency savings account
Emergency savings is a must-have. Most people save for specific events, items or life-events (like weddings or retirement). However, people often forget that they may need to save for emergencies. Whether it be car trouble that needs to be repaired on the fly or a leak in the plumbing at your house, you should have a reserve fund available. Many bank accounts offer separate savings accounts (one for emergencies and one for regular savings). Have a reserve for things you don’t plan on happening is always a great way to save money.
Using apps, different types of savings accounts and keeping track of your spending are all amazing ways to save your money and cut down on spending. Whether you’re saving for retirement, expected or unexpected expenses, saving should always be on your mind, and there are ways you can be making it easier for yourself.