Trying to save money can be as intimidating, but with a few simple tweaks, you can begin to build savings at a rapid pace!
Tips for Saving Money
You have two main options if you want to save money — spend less or make more. Here are a few pointers to help you start stacking that extra cash.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
Give your savings account a boost by making a budget. For example, do you know how much you spent at restaurants last month? Look through your latest credit card or bank statement. Spend more than you thought? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us (especially during football season).
Instead of spending haphazardly, develop a budget that matches your income and stick as close to it as possible. Set monthly spending goals for necessities like food and clothes and pleasures like entertainment and travel. Apps like MoneyLion help you keep tabs on your spending and enable you to stay on top of your goals.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
You’ll need to make more money if spending less cash isn’t feasible for you. Even if it is, earning more can speed up the savings process. There are plenty of options out there for motivated people to earn extra cash. And it doesn’t need to be a gig economy job like driving for Uber or fixing furniture for TaskRabbit.
Are you a good writer? Upwork has plenty of jobs to fill. Do you have a golden voice? Fiverr has lots of voiceover and narration work for the right individuals. Everyone has a natural gift of some kind — why not use it to make money?
Automate, Automate, Automate
In “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” Ramit Sethi preaches the importance of automating your savings to create good habits. It’s critical to have specific goals here. Ask yourself:
- How much money do you want to save?
- What you can afford to put away each month?
Let’s say your goal is to put $50 per month into a savings or investing account. Next, set up your checking account to automatically deposit $50 into your savings or investment account at the end of each month. Automating the process means you won’t need reminders, nor will you accidentally spend the cash before you can save it! You likely won’t even notice you have $50 less each month than usual if you implement an automated system.
Remember to factor monthly savings into your budget. You can always change the amount later. Starting is the biggest step, and you’ll be happy with the results!
Use Cash Back Rewards Cards
Credit cards can torch your finances if used improperly. But today, many credit cards and even some debit cards will pay you to use them. For example, MoneyLion members can browse cashback offers at popular merchants in the app and earn cashback by using their MoneyLion Visa Debit Card.
MoneyLion membership also offers easy ways to earn $25 gift cards to spots like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. So when you’ve been saving for a while and deserve a little splurge, you can treat yourself on MoneyLion.
Cancel a Few Subscriptions
Cutting the cord from cable is a great way to lower your monthly bills, but you need to account for monthly entertainment platforms. Between Netflix, Hulu, HBO, SlingTV, and Disney+, you have more options than ever for news and entertainment. But how many of these streaming services or monthly subscriptions do you actually use?
Instead of paying a half dozen $20 fees each month, pick one or two subscription services that are important to you and cancel the rest. You can even use an app like TrueBill to weed through your spending and cancel hidden subscriptions you might not even be aware you’re paying for. Take a look at your gym membership and other subscriptions too to see where you can save.
Ask Your Boss for a Raise
Does the thought of asking your boss for a raise make you anxious? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. But you also need to understand that many companies won’t automatically hand out extra cash each year just because you perform your job functions adequately.
To get a raise, you need to ask for it. Prepare some examples that relate to why you deserve a raise. Approach your boss diplomatically and use specific numbers related to your job performance and explain to your boss why a bump in pay is warranted. You might be surprised by how willing your employer is to negotiate, especially if you’re a vital member of the team.
Money Smarts Take Practice
Developing great money habits doesn’t happen overnight. But getting started is a huge step. Try even just one or two of the tips above, and we think you’ll be amazed to see how little changes add up over time. Stick to your budget as much as possible, even if it requires sacrificing a fun weekend or a month of the Red Zone Channel. You might just find the extra zeros in your savings account to be more satisfying than a coffee milkshake or a lazy NFL Sunday.