Day 5: GOBankingRates wants to help you live more richly. Throughout July, we’ll be sharing daily tips on how you can get there, with tips on budgeting, saving, investing, maximizing your career, and managing debt, as well as financial advice for every phase of your life. Check back every day during our 31 days of richer life to learn everything you need to know to prepare for financial success and live the richest life possible.
You might have big savings goals – maybe you’re aiming for six months of living expenses in an emergency fund, you want to boost your kids’ savings in college, or maybe you’re just saving up. for the vacation of your dreams. Whatever your goal, it’s easier to get there when you make a conscious effort to save a little bit each month rather than being overly ambitious and aiming to save a lot of money in a short period of time. After all, if you’re unrealistic about how you’ll save money, there’s a good chance you’re not sticking to your plan.
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Here are six ways to save a little bit each month – and while you don’t feel like you’re saving a lot, every little bit you save gets you closer and closer to your ultimate goal.
Reassess your subscriptions
“Unused memberships and subscriptions can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year,” said Brian Walsh, senior director of financial planning at SoFi. “Automatic renewals can make your life easier, but ultimately people forget that they have a $ 30 per month membership to a $ 15 per month gym or streaming service that they never use.”
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Take a look at all your monthly subscriptions and cancel the ones you don’t use. For each subscription you cancel, put those monthly fees directly into your savings. You were already used to spending this money every month, so you are sure to have it in your checking account.
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Reduce discretionary spending
Some of your monthly expenses are essential and fixed, but you may be spending more than you think on “goodies” – things like restaurant dinners, lattes, and new shoes. It’s okay to have fun with your money, but cutting back on those expenses can help you save money. For example, if you’re used to buying refined lattes five days a week, consider cutting back to twice a week and putting that extra money into your savings account.
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There are now many ways to access coupons in-store, so there is no excuse not to use them! Check all the old-fashioned paper flyers you receive, coupon apps and sites like Ibotta and Groupon, as well as any store apps to find coupons before you shop. The money you save can be redirected to your savings.
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Buy with cash back credit cards
Making purchases that you normally would with a cash back credit card automatically saves you money on every purchase – and that 1% or 2% can really add up over time. Pay attention to the categories where you can get extra cash back and be sure to put those extra funds into a savings account.
Automate your savings
Once you’ve determined how much money you can spend on savings each month, set up an automatic transfer from your check to your savings account. This way you are sure to stay on track without any effort.
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Find additional sources of income
One of the best ways to save more is to earn more – and that doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Pick up a casual odd job like carpooling or dog walking, or find extra income in your own home by decluttering and selling anything you don’t need.
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Nefer Beard contributed to the writing of this article.
Last updated: July 5, 2021
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How to save a little each month (it goes a long way)