For some, savings can seem like a daunting task. Between bills, expense, holidays, and more, many people find that it’s harder to save money than ever before. Even those close to retiring are finding it harder to save money, especially retirement, with most having saved $163k between the ages of 56 and 61. So, how can you save more, without sacrificing comfort and your regular expenses?
1. Keep Track Of Your Accounts
One of the easiest ways to save is to know how much you have to work with as far as your finances. Budgeting is an important part of managing your finances properly, and keeping track of the money coming in and going out can be made easy using tools and resources such as Mint or YouNeedABudget.com.
Once you’ve got a handle on how much you have to work with, you can either stop spending money on unnecessary items, find ways to lower your bills and expenses, or even make plans to pay off debt (if you have it) so you have more money to add to your savings. However, no matter what your plans are, having a budget is the best way to start tracking your accounts and finding more money to save each year.
2. Know Your Credit Score
You most likely already know that having poor credit can affect you in many ways, including higher interest rates and paying more money towards deposits. The first step to knowing whether or not you need to be improving your credit is to check your credit. You can check your credit for free once a year, with all three bureaus.
If you know that you have to improve your credit score, there are many ways to do so. If you have errors on your credit score that are hindering you (and costing you more money in the long run), it’s important to get those errors removed.
3. Save On Insurance
Don’t let health insurance, high prescription costs-we like Blink Health, and taking care of your health keep you from saving. While health insurance premiums continue to grow, and deductibles seem extreme, there are still ways to save on taking care of yourself, and your family. First, don’t forget that you can always compare health and life insurance plans using tools like PolicyGenius. Need more than just health insurance? You can also check out VSP for vision plans that fit in your budget and needs.
Also, remember that you can save money in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, if your insurance qualifies. This is pre-taxed money that you save in an account that you can then withdraw for expenses such as deductibles, co-pays, and more. Because the money isn’t taxed, it can lower your overall cost of medical expenses, which means more money that you can add to savings instead.
4. Side Hustle / Work On Your Own Time
If you still find it hard to save more money, you may need to bring in more income. That doesn’t mean you have to get a second job, or even a part-time job. Side hustles are becoming popular, and for good reason. They are flexible and allow you to earn more money on your own time.
Some popular side hustles include Uber, list your home (or a room in your home) on Airbnb, and selling your old items through a site like Gazelle. Now, these side hustles won’t get you rich any time soon, but they will allow you to make more money, and save more money. A great rule of thumb is to live off of the money you make at your current job, and save the side hustle money. That way, you aren’t having to allocate your regular funds towards saving more money, but you also aren’t tempted to spend all of your side hustle earnings.
5. Start/Continue Investing
If you’re late on the investing train, now is the perfect time to start. Even if you don’t plan on retiring, or if you’re currently retired, investing is the ultimate way to save money, plan for the future, and keep more money in your pocket. Investing even allows you the opportunity to save money on your taxes.
Investing using tools like WealthFront and Betterment, and of course, taking advantage of maxing out your Roth IRA and 401(k) are all smart bets. Investing doesn’t have to be hard, or scary, and is better than just a typical savings account, as your money gets the opportunity to grow, which means more money for you when you’ll really need it.
6. Put It On Autopilot
It’s hard to miss money that you don’t even know was in your account. By setting up an automatic savings schedule, you can avoid mindlessly spending money or forgetting to save money that you could have.
No matter the route you choose, whether through saving per paycheck or saving each time you swipe your card putting your savings on autopilot is one of the easiest ways to save more money this year, without even realizing that you’re saving it.
Saving more money doesn’t have to difficult, and it’s easy to save money based on your lifestyle and what works best for you.