Saving more money is often near the top of New Year’s resolution lists. Success however, requires a bit more motivation.
The first thing in changing any behavior requires a truly compelling reason for the change. Ask yourself, what’s your why? The answer to why you want to save more money will help identify what is driving this desire to change.
Once you understand what is behind the desire to save more money, it will be a bit easier to make and keep the commitment as obstacles present themselves.
With a compelling desire and commitment to save more money, the practical next step is creating a plan.
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Review monthly expenses
Are there services or product expenses scheduled regularly that seemed important before, but are no longer necessary? Cancelling or discontinuing items no longer needed could free up funds for your savings plan.
Review credit card interest payments
Using credit cards for all purchases has many benefits, especially if the card has airline miles, cash back or other rewards. However, if charges go beyond what you can pay-off each month, the interest charges often outweigh any rewards received. If you are unable to pay off your cards, schedule a debt repayment plan along with your savings plan. Then each month going forward, only charge the amount you can pay off before the credit card company charges interest on the amount. That deadline information is on statements or you can call to find out the exact date.
Negotiate a better rate
Whether it’s credit card interest, home loan or the cable bill, it’s often worth the call to find out if there are better rates available to you. Savings on monthly payments can drop straight into your savings plan.
401K Retirement Plan
If you work for a company that offers a 401K plan, this is the first place to start if you do not have a plan in place already. Typically, the savings deduction for a 401K is taken directly out of your paycheck before taxes. One of the great benefits of this type of savings is that you may not even notice much of a difference in the net amount of your check or direct deposit.
One of the drawbacks to a 401K is the penalty paid for withdrawing money before retirement. They are retirement plans after all. Most plans offer loans against the amount saved which avoids the penalty.
Discuss the options with your human resources manager.
The money in this account will grow faster than you think.
Bank Savings Account
Savings accounts are almost as flexible these days as checking accounts. The advantage of setting up a bank or credit union savings account is the money is set aside from regular expenses to avoid the temptation of spending it on impulse purchases.
It’s wise to have a few months of living expenses saved in the event of an emergency.
On top of the emergency fund, consider saving for big personal or family purchases in this type of account. Most companies offer payroll deduction to make saving easy.
Now that you understand your desire, made the commitment and have identified the ways you’ll save more money, set up at least a quarterly review to see how you’re doing. If you got off track, don’t throw in the towel. Review or renew your desire and commitment then get started again.
Celebrate your accomplishment or your new commitment.
Cheers to your success!
Champion for Good