We’re almost nine months into 2019 and your savings goals are overflowing, right? How are all those other New Year’s resolutions looking? Yes, maybe you’ve probably started eating sugar again, and maybe you stopped exercising because, well, summer is hot.
Maybe you haven’t read as many books as you planned, and perhaps your healthy-cooking resolution has had a few pizza delivery nights thrown in. (Balance, right?)
Of all your resolutions for self-care and reinvention, one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself and your future is stick to your savings goals. It may be September, but it’s not too late to recommit to your bank account! Get started with these tips:
On Pay Day, Pay Yourself
Have you checked your 401K contribution recently? Your 401K contributions come out of your paycheck before you even know they’re gone, and they’ll pay dividends down the road. It’s worth it to check-in and makes sure that you’re meeting your employer’s match amount if you have one.
That match is essentially free money for your retirement, so take advantage. Even just raising your contribution 1% a year can make a significant impact.
Don’t have a 401K? Retirement savings are still important. Consider opening an IRA or another dedicated account to ensure you’ll have something to fall back on later in life.
When Spending, Pay with Cash
It’s easy to mindlessly spend when you’re handing over that magic piece of plastic, and much harder to part with your money when you’re counting out physical bills of cold, hard cash.
Suddenly, every dollar carries a lot more weight, and you might find that you’re more reluctant to empty your wallet than you would be to swipe your card.
If overspending is keeping you from contributing to your savings account, try switching to a cash budget for a month to curb mindless purchases.
Start Saving in Other Ways
You don’t need to stop spending entirely to bolster your savings account—but how about spending less and saving more? When you’re online shopping, don’t forget that online coupons work just as well as the snip-and-clip variety of your grandmother’s day.
Sites like Savings.com and similar have professional teams that do the legwork for you and find the best available deals and discounts for most of your online shopping needs.
As for that money that you save with your online coupons? Don’t just forget about it and congratulate yourself on a deal. Instead, make a note of it, and transfer those “savings” into your actual savings account.
It’s easy to spend odd amounts of money without realizing. $4.81 for your morning matcha latte, $6.97 on lunch, $32.19 on a quick grocery run. Do you know what else you won’t realize? Rounding up those dollar amounts to even numbers, and throwing the spare change into your savings account.
Even these tiny little increments add up over time, and you’ll be able to grow your savings account without hardly trying.
Automate Your Savings
Another easy trick for making sure you save money is to schedule an automated transfer into your savings account every month, just like paying any other bill.
It’s easy to look at your checking balance and give yourself permission to spend the money you have available. But you can’t spend what’s not there, and if it’s already in your savings account, you’re already on your way to meeting your savings resolution.
Open a Separate Savings Account
Are you doing a great job of saving, but can’t seem to actually leave the money in your savings account? It might be time to open an entirely separate savings account, at an entirely different bank from your checking.
Not only can you shop around for bonus APYs and other incentives, but it’ll make it that much harder for you to easily transfer a “buffer amount” out of your savings and into your checking.
Your money is your money, of course, but you’ll accomplish your savings goals a lot easier with some distance between your accounts.
Utilize a Cash-Back Credit Card
If you’re financially responsible, a cash-back credit card can be an incredibly easy way to earn rewards on your everyday purchases. These cash-back incentives can range from 1% to 5% depending on your card, and you can think of that as free money to put right into your savings.
However, if you can’t trust yourself with a credit card, this method may not be for you.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’ve accepted that financial stability is a marathon and not a sprint — but I can accomplish what I want.
Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I’ve learned that frugality doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy life. Quite the opposite, actually.
Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
I recently grew my own savings account considerably and paid off quite a bit of debt, which I never thought I’d be proud of but I am. I aspire to early retirement, but that’s far off yet.