Money is always a sensitive topic, whether you think you have enough or too little. (By the way, few people think they have enough; it’s all relative.) Planning ahead can definitely curb stress and give you a sense of security. Whether you are building an emergency fund or saving so you can pay cash for Christmas gifts or that long-awaited vacation, by being disciplined and diligent you can become a saver!
Here are 10 ways to build up a savings account:
1. Take advantage of banks when they offer cash for opening an account. We need to remember that banks are simply selling products, and like other retailers they offer cash incentives. Some banks offer $150 or more for simply opening an account with them.
2. Here’s one I heard on the radio today…save your $5 bills. Any time you get change, set aside the $5 and put those in your account regularly.
3. Pack your lunch! I can easily say that the average cost of my choosing to eat out for lunch is $12. If I eat out several times a week that adds up fast! Try packing your lunch instead and put the savings in the bank.
4. Have a yard sale. My mom regularly helps organize yard sales for family and friends, and it isn’t at all unusual for her to see several hundred dollars raised from these sales. Maybe it’s time to sort through your garage and see what treasures can be sold.
5. Revisit your monthly bills. Is there something you could do without in order to beef up your savings? Maybe trade in cable for a streaming service or a good old-fashioned antennae. You can even negotiate with some service providers to get reduced rates, especially if you’ve been a loyal customer with a good payment record. (Read my full article on cutting monthly bills here.)
6. Keep your savings account separate from your checking account so there is less temptation to spend it. I would even go so far as to put it in another bank altogether.
7. This one is for the serious saver—get a side gig. Even if it’s only temporary, a part-time job can really help to build a savings account quickly.
8. Put “found money” in your savings account. This is money such as refunds, rebates, etc.
9. Cut the credit cards. How many people do you know who got a credit card “just for emergencies?” Chances are, that date night or new pair of boots was not an emergency… Instead of getting a high interest rate credit card, work hard to use cash.
10. Budget! Really consider where all of your money is going and then make a realistic budget. You likely have more discretionary funds that you think. Make savings a line item in your budget and put in as much as you can.
Bonus tip: give when you can. Don’t let building your savings account cause you to become self-centered. People who give often are rewarded in the most unexpected ways.
Saving money isn’t easy, especially when you’re already stretched thin. But even putting coins in a jar can add up over time. Avoid the temptation to think you can’t save anything. Encourage your spouse and children to get involved and save together. It really is worth that extra bit of effort knowing you have money in the bank!
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