Saving Money: 10 Clever Tips Your Financial Planner Won’t Tell You
Even if you’re young and pulling a solid paycheck, saving money is probably still a priority. We just lived through one of the worse economies in the past 50 years.
Most of us aren’t going out of our way to spend too much in case this kind of thing happens again. One step a lot of people have taken toward saving money is hiring a financial planner.
Plenty of Apps Exist to Help
You most likely own a smartphone which means that one of the best tools to assist you with your goal of saving money is with you at all times. There are countless apps that will help you save money on the market right now.
Digit, for example, will track your spending habits and removes a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it, allowing you to save based on your earnings and expenses. Over time, this amount can really add up even though you probably won’t miss the investment.
Saving Money Is Really Easy with the 52-Week Challenge
Saving money doesn’t have to be a herculean challenge. Instead, follow the 52-Week Challenge and you’ll end up with $1,378 at the end of the year. While you’re supposed to start during the first week of January, there’s no reason you can’t use the 52-Week Challenge whenever you feel like it.
Basically, on week one, you just save $1. Then, for week two, you up it to $2. Continue on until you’re putting aside $52 in the last week and you’ll have $1,378 to show for it.
Coupons and Loyalty Cards Can Really Add to Your Savings
While this may sound a bit old-fashioned, coupons can give you serious savings over time. When you consider how often you go to the grocery store—and how much you spend—it’s a no-brainer not to use coupons for saving money during every trip.
Loyalty Cards can also be great for this. Just be sure you aren’t buying things you wouldn’t otherwise spend money on solely because you have this card. Instead, get them to grocery stores, department stores and anywhere else you shop regularly.
Check Deal Sites Regularly for Big Discounts
You’ll need to practice some discipline, though. As we touched on above, you can’t allow yourself to be tempted by purchases you’d normally never make.
However, provided you resist, these sites can really help your budget.
Save Loan Payments After You’ve Paid It Off
A lot of us can’t wait to finally pay off our student loans, usually sometime during our early 30s. The same goes for car payments and mortgages.
Once you do, though, instead of putting that money into your budget to spend later, pretend you’re still making those payments. Just put them into your savings account instead.
You managed to make it this far without that extra money, so why not keep going?
Shop for a Better Bank
Few people actually change banks once they start with one. Fortunately, it’s really not that hard to do for most of us—especially if you’re in your 30s or younger—and the benefits can be enormous.
Shop around and see if you can find a bank that doesn’t charge you ATM fees, for example. You’ll be saving money every time you take cash out. Savings accounts with high-interest amounts, no overdraft fees, and other customer-friendly benefits can really help.
Sign Up for Direct Deposit…to Checking and Savings
Most people have direct deposit because it’s so convenient. However, another reason to get your paycheck this way is because it can help with saving money.
Speak to your HR department and arrange it so your check is split between your savings and checking. Pick whichever percentage of your check is doable and adjust it after a month or two if you find you can contribute more.
Ditch Your Unhealthy Habits
Whether it’s smoking, drinking more than you should or watching television for hours at a time, if you need another reason to give up these unhealthy choices, how about that it will make saving money a lot easier?
Go a month without a happy hour, your regular pack of cigarettes or cable TV and you may actually become embarrassed by how much you were once spending.
For a lot of us, regular trips to fast food restaurants or expensive coffee shops add up to a huge chunk of our budget. Eat healthier food and, if you must, drink your own coffee. You’ll feel better and have more money in the process.
Keep in mind, too, that being healthier costs less in terms of healthcare costs too. You may even find you can switch to a more affordable health insurance plan after bucking some bad habits.
Embrace a Minimalist Approach
Decide now that the next time you’re tempted to buy something you don’t absolutely need; you’ll get rid of something that you also don’t need. For example, if you want a new blouse, something has to go. It could be another blouse. It could be a gadget you no longer use.
Use an Accountability Partner Who Is Also Saving Money
All of this will be a lot easier if you partner with someone you know who is also trying to save money. You can do the 52-Week Challenge together or just check in on one another to ensure you’re both on the path to saving money more than spending it.
One source that has many money saving ideas is Crystal Paine, owner of the MoneySavingMom.com. She has a variety of saving tips as well as a ton of useful information on saving money.
A financial planner can be a lot of help, whether for saving money or investing it. However, it’s not as though there aren’t plenty of ways you could also save money on your own.