Want to accelerate your savings in the New Year without going broke in the short-term? It’s easy to do with a bit of practice. All your need is a little organization and some willpower.
To get you on the road to savings stardom, here are nine ways to help you achieve your goals as you resolve to open a savings account and start contributing to it:
- Set A Goal: Make it specific and say it out loud, for example, “put aside $200 the first month.”, and make it known to someone else. This way, you’ll feel a greater sense of accountability and put yourself in a better position to reach the benchmark you’ve set.
- Track Expenses: Your goals should be based on what you can afford to save and spend each month, which will be based largely on your income. Note where you spend the most and where you can stand to make a few cutbacks, then adjust your budget accordingly. Even minor changes over the course of a few days or weeks will make a difference in the long-run.
- Pay Yourself First: This can be a very effective strategy when you have funds automatically transferred from your paycheck each month to a savings account. When you establish your budget, set up as many direct transfers as you feel necessary – once you get into the savings rhythm you probably won’t miss what you’re putting away.
- Get Frugal With Your Food: Make your own coffee or tea every morning, and bring leftovers for lunch so you’ll avoid takeout temptation. Take these two actions regularly and you’ll be amazed how much, and how quickly, you’ll save.
- Buy In Bulk: You can’t skimp on necessities, but you can stock up on non-perishables or take advantage of warehouse stores to save even more each month. Consider a membership card for stores you shop at regularly and place a renewed emphasis to buy on sale items. Most importantly, make a list before you shop, for groceries or other items, to help eliminate the potential for impulse purchases.
- Conserve Utilities: Utilities are an often-overlooked area that can be ripe for savings. Reduce your monthly bills by unplugging unused, or rarely used, appliances and electronics and turning down your thermostat at night or when you’re gone for the weekend. You might be surprised how much you end up saving, while helping out the environment at the same time.
- Reconsider Your Cable: Bundling phone, Internet and TV services can seem like a really great was to go, and at “a discount,” but first check out all the ways you can enjoy movies and TV without that expensive subscriptions every month.
- Take Public Transit: Subtle adjustments to your daily routine, like riding your bike to work once a week, or regularly taking the bus or train (instead of spending time in traffic and paying for gas and parking) can make a big difference over time.
- Free Fun: Take a spin through the local paper or search online for cheap events in your area. Better yet, have people over for dinner and a movie once a month. You’ll likely end up happy with how much you don’t spend and how little you miss out on.
Visit usbank.com for more short-term tips that lend themselves to long-term savings.