Why do so many of us have such a hard time-saving money? Several factors can contribute to our inability to save, but one of the biggest is inconsistency.
That’s right—financial success often stems from developing a few simple habits and sticking with them. We all recognize what it takes to save money—the trick is to stay focused while keeping the procrastination beast at bay. These strategies will help you stay on track:
Look for opportunities to save—If saving money is at the top of your list, it’s time to look at your money flow a little differently. Every purchase is actually potential savings lost. We’re not talking about essential purchases—like groceries and gas for your car. We’re talking about extras. If you’re saving for a honeymoon, it may make sense to give up your gym membership through the warmer months. Watching your savings total increase each month may just make you fall in love with running or hiking outdoors!
These kinds of trade-offs may not be worthwhile for every expense, but it could pay off to take inventory of your purchases.
Revisit your savings plan and make adjustments frequently—There isn’t much in this life that we can truly set and forget. Life changes, needs change, and new opportunities arise. Just because you decided to pay for premium cable channels ten years ago doesn’t mean you need to keep paying for that decision for the rest of your life. If you no longer have time to watch television, or your needs are being met with a streaming service, get rid of those extra cable channels. Take the extra money and reroute it straight to your savings account!
Reduce, renegotiate or replace—It’s not always about eliminating an expense. Saving money can also come from finding better, more cost-effective alternatives for things like household supplies, car maintenance or creative hobbies.
Automate your savings—A big reason for falling short on your savings goals comes down to user error. You rely on yourself to manually move money to your savings account each month. Before you know it, the money is spent on something else. If you automate the transfer at the beginning of each paycheck, you’re less likely to use it on other things.
There’s an app for that—Need a little more help? There are several apps that can automatically send small amounts of money to your savings account. How do they work? Acorns rounds up all your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers those extra pennies to your savings account; whereas Digit analyzes your spending and income, and automatically sets aside small amounts in your savings. There are many apps to choose from. Do your research and choose the one that works best for you.
Remember, they say it takes 21 days to form a habit—that’s all that stands between you and achieving your savings goals!