It’s reasonable to believe that we all have good intentions when it comes to saving money. Then, why is it, that we just can’t seem do it? As far as our money goes, it’s not only important to learn how to make it, we should learn how to conserve money as well.
For me, many times my pattern has been to always tell myself, We’ll start saving once I reach a certain milestone. In my mind, that milestone could be when I hit a specific age or get a bonus or raise. The goal is always…right over there. But it needs to go from over there, to reachable.
Small changes make big differences
Most of the times, our goal to save money isn’t a big enough priority. How can you delay the purchase of the new smartphone, must-have accessory, kitchen appliance, or TV, if you don’t have a bigger-goal in mind? We end up spending our hard-earned dollars away by not giving proper value to the importance of saving our money.
Worst still, many go into debt to fuel their latest bout of want-itis. But before we know it, that debt then turns into monthly payments that control our paychecks and our lives. We can change this. And we can change it now.
Even small changes can mean big savings when it comes to your finances.
Save on subscriptions
To start, think about the amount of money we spend every month for subscriptions and memberships. According to Next Gen Personal Finance, the average American spends $237 per month on subscriptions. This amounts to some $2,844 annually. Imagine if that money stayed in your pocket. What would you do with an extra $2,000 dollars?
If you think about it, you’re probably paying for numerous subscriptions like Amazon Prime, Spotify, Hulu, Book of the Month, an online magazine, or even Netflix. Well, if you want to learn how to conserve money it may well be time to cancel any subscriptions you don’t use regularly. If you do keep some subscriptions, be sure to turn off “auto-renew” so that you can intentionally evaluate if you want to subscribe again.
He who buys what he does not need steals from himself. – Swedish Proverb
My oldest son has his own apartment but for some reason he logs into my Netflix account and enjoys something I am paying for. So once I became serious about my budget and intended to make this a win win for everyone, I made the following suggestion to my son.
I told him, we would take turns paying the monthly Netflix bill. On the months that I didn’t have to pay, I paid myself by putting money toward my savings account. According to Investopedia, a savings account bears modest interest for its holders and are held at banks or financial institutions. This is just one of many ways to make your money work for you.
When it comes to saving, no amount is too small.
Save with a purpose
Sometimes just the simple adjustment of being specific about what you are saving for makes the task easier. Whether it’s saving for a home, a car, for college, a family vacation, or for emergencies, when you attach a purpose it will help drive you to accomplish your goal. You can start, today, by writing down some of the financial goals you would like to save toward. Once your list is ready, contact Empowering the Possibilities, here, and we can show you how to conserve money and reach those goals.
How would you finish this sentence? “Every month, I will save $_____ to reduce debt, build wealth and increase my savings. At the end of 12 months, I will have $_____ saved toward this goal.” Take a moment to fill that in. There is tremendous power in being this specific when you save with a purpose. You can do it! And we want to remind you to encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Conserve money early
When it comes to saving money, time (once you use it wisely) is on your side. No, not time in the sense of you can do it some time later. But time in the sense of the earlier the better. One of the best ways to see your savings grow is through the power of compound interest. In a simple term, it is often seen as the interest earned on your interest over time.
That said, you should start thinking about retirement savings when you’re younger. You are in the best position to save money and build wealth when you leverage on the time and how your interest works for you over that time.
Save on credit card expenses
Just as interest works for you when saving, it works against you when you are in debt. Clearing your credit card debt is one of the best ways to save money and keep money in your pocket. Over time, the money paid on interest on these cards is costing more than the items purchased. You can learn how to reduce credit card debt in one of our recent blogs. There are excellent steps there to help you conserve your money this way.
Save on banking fees
Let’s face it, banking in America has become synonymous with bank fees. While paying bank fees has almost become unavoidable, there are ways to conserve money by eliminating some of these fees. These are some steps you can take to help.
• Sign up for email or text alerts from your bank. You can designate to receive an electronic alert when your account balance reaches a certain level. This way, you can avoid a low balance fee.
• Keep track of your account balances and spending. When you pay attention to where your money is going, little by little, it is much easier to avoid spending recklessly.
• Be aware of your bank’s minimum balance requirements. Once you’re mindful of the minimum balance on each account, you will avoid going below that balance and having accidental overdrafts. This helps to avoid monthly fees.
• Take advantage of free checking and savings accounts. As an incentive, many banks and institutions still make them available. You can view a list of Nerd Wallet’s, best free checking accounts in the U.S., based on rewards, interest rates, and other factors, as a start.
• Use only ATMs that belong to your bank. The fees that add up from using non-affiliated bank machines can add up. Multiply that by continued usage and you will see how much of an impact this can have on your finances. If you must use ATMs outside of your bank network, consider reducing the need to do so multiple times.
Save on bill payments
Did you know that when you automate banking processes there are often reduced fees? If you pay your bills on auto-payment schedules it often helps to avoid late charges. Additionally, this ensures your bills are paid on time and can be a key step in building your credit. Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, so it makes sense to manage payments automatically, when possible. You can learn how your credit is affected by reading our blog on the different types of credit.
Whether you save on bill payments, banking fees, or subscriptions, these steps will help you gain more control of your finances and conserve your money with intention. Each of these steps are simple and actionable, and you can start today.
We would love to hear how these steps inspired you to conserve your money and improve your financial position. For more insights on all the financial possibilities available to you, feel free to contact us or reach out to Empowering the Possibilities on Facebook and, of course, don’t forget to share this information with others.