General Savings Tips
Build an emergency fund. It can make all the difference. Even saving $500, which can be a struggle for most Americans is a good emergency fund to have.
Establish your budget. Want to realistically figure out what your actual budget is? Beginning on the first of the month, get a receipt every time you purchase something, stack them up throughout the month and see where your money is really going.
Budget with cash and envelopes. If you are looking for one of the original methods to helping people save, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone for that envelope, it is gone.
Don't just save money, save for your future. There’s a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account to plan for college expenses, retirement, or emergencies that can leave you financially better off.
Make a savings plan. Write down the amount you want to save. Then write the reason you want to save that amount. Actually writing it down with a goal in mind will help you actually achieve your savings goal.
Save automatically. Setting up auto transfers to save is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. Every pay period, have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a retirement or savings account. Or setup your own savings plan by automatically transferring a specified amount, even a few dollars a day or $10 a week into your savings account.
Aim for short-term savings goals. Make a goal such as setting aside $20 a week or month, rather than a longer term savings goal. You will have a better chance of succeeding with a smaller goal to begin with.
Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Few people get rich through their wages alone. It's the miracle of compound interest, or earning interest on your interest over many years, that builds wealth.
Take full advantage of employer matches to your retirement plan. Often as an incentive, employers will match a certain amount of what you save in a retirement plan such as a 401(k). If you don't take full advantage of this match, you're leaving money on the table.
Save your windfalls and tax refunds. Every time you receive a windfall, such a work bonus, inheritance, contest winnings, or tax refund, put a portion into your savings account.
Save your loose change. Change can make a big different. Take all of your loose change, pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters and put them in a jar. Or even setup an auto transfer starting at just a nickel per day.
Use the 24 hour rule. Think over each nonessential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online, because you can add items to your cart or wish list and come back to them a day later. This will also realistically help you to put thought into what you actually want to buy.
Treat yourself, but match that amount in your savings. Match the cost of your nonessential indulgences in savings. So, for example, if you splurge on a latter while out running errands, put the same amount into your savings account.
Unsubscribe. Avoid temptation by unsubscribing from marketing emails to the stores you spend the most money at. By law, each email is required to have an unsubscribe link, usually at the bottom of the email. Or keep subscribed to company's that you truly like to see a sale from and unsubscribe from all the rest.