Are you looking to save for the future but not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Check out our list of simple ways to start saving for tomorrow, NOW.
As Americans, we love instant gratification, so it can be challenging to save for the future. However, with a little bit of planning, some long-term goals and a bit of dedication, you can achieve a nice savings. It is not only smart to save for retirement, but it’s also important to save for the unexpected, such as illness, loss of income or unplanned household expenses. Check out the practical tips below for easy ways you can start saving for your future, today.
- Pay yourself first: Before paying bills, grocery shopping or purchasing anything, pay yourself using direct deposit, if your employer offers the option. Have a portion of your check automatically put into your savings account. This way, you won’t see the money readily available and you will be less likely to spend it. Begin a retirement savings account, such as a 401(k). If your employer offers to match your funds, be sure to maximize your investment, if possible. Saving for retirement is a form of paying yourself first.
- Spend wisely on food:
- Plan your meals. Create your grocery list for the week and stick to it at the store. Avoid prepackaged snacks and junk food to not only save money but also improve your health.
- Comparison shop. Check out store-brand products instead of name-brand items. They typically taste similar but often cost less.
- Eat meatless once a week. Vegetarian protein options like beans are much more cost-effective than meat options. Try our hearty vegetarian chili recipe that can be made ahead of time and enjoyed throughout the week.
- Pack lunches instead of dining out. Prepare lunches at the beginning of the week so you’re less likely to dine out when you’re running short on time.
- Avoid convenience stores. Stock up on food at larger grocery stores to avoid convenience stores where the prices tend to be higher.
- Brew coffee at home: Instead of visiting your favorite coffeehouse for a $4 (or more) specialty coffee, brew your own pot of coffee at home. One cup of coffee at home costs about 20 cents – if you replaced your daily $4 coffee with a home-brewed cup, you could save $1,400 a year! Save the specialty coffee for an occasional treat.
- Cancel unnecessary or underused luxuries:
- Still paying for cable you barely use? Cancel it and subscribe to a cheaper digital TV option like Netflix, Hulu or Sling.
- Have a gym membership that goes unused? If you can’t get to the gym regularly or don’t enjoy it, cancel your membership and focus on physical activities you enjoy. Check out the cardio workout we provide in this newsletter for a simple at-home cardio workout.
- Prevent impulse spending:
- Use cash. This may sound a little old-school, but visually seeing how much you’re spending on various items can help you reconsider optional purchases.
- Be aware of your online spending. Before purchasing something online, save it on a list and think it over for a few days. Revisit the item later and evaluate whether it’s truly a necessity.
- Save on utilities:
- Lower your thermostat a few degrees in the winter (or increase your thermostat in the summer).
- Use warm or cool water versus hot water to wash clothes.
- Check out energy.gov to complete a home energy audit.
- Shop around for insurance: Do this on an annual basis since rates tend to increase each year.
“8 Simple Ways to Save Money,” bankofamerica.com, accessed Jan. 9, 2019.
“The Secret to Saving Money,” daveramsey.com, accessed Jan. 9, 2019.