General Saving Tips
Use these saving tips to help you determine the best ways to save money in your day-to-day life.
- An emergency fund is a must. Chances are you’ve already been told that you need an emergency fund somewhere in the ballpark of three to six months of your income. That’s a lot! We suggest you ‘Start Small. Think Big.’ In keeping with that, we recommend starting with an emergency fund savings goal of just $500. Saving for this fund can start with small, regularly scheduled recurring transfers that build up over time. APCI eBanking users can easily setup regular transfers and even establish a savings goal and watch it grow online.
- Establish your budget. The best way to jumpstart establishing a budget is to realize your spending habits. On the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase throughout the month. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month, you will be able to clearly see where your money is going. Seeing what you spend in total on food, shopping, etc. can be humbling!
- Budget with cash and envelopes. If you have trouble with overspending, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone, it's gone.
- Don't just save money, save for your future. There IS a difference! As you begin to think like a saver, don’t simply spend less. Save with a purpose, such as college expenses, retirement, or for emergencies.
- Save automatically. Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. Automatic savings means you have a process in place to save at regular intervals, whether that’s monthly, weekly, or daily. Instruct your employer to direct a certain amount from your paycheck each pay period and transfer it to a retirement or savings account (or both). Traditionally, you can set this up using your employer’s direct deposit, ask your HR representative for more details and set this up today.
- ‘Start Small. Think Big,’ with a short- term goal. The truth is, people save more successfully when they set a short-term goal. For instance, committing to saving $20 a week or a month for 6 months is much more attainable that setting a goal to save $500 a month for a year. Once you reach the short-term goal, you’ll have created a habit of saving you can be proud of! You’ll be able to keep going strong with a new goal.
- Start saving for your retirement as early as possible. Few people get rich through their wages alone. It's the miracle of compound interest, or earning interest on your interest over many years, that builds wealth. Because time is on their side, the youngest workers are in the best position to save for retirement. Retirement savings is a top priority for many Savers. Saving now for retirement will ensure that you have enough money to enjoy a comfortable standard of living when you stop or reduce the amount of hours you work. APCI FCU offers Traditional and Roth IRAs with no annual maintenance fees to help you meet your retirement savings goals.
- Take full advantage of employer matches to your retirement plan. Often as an incentive, employers will match a certain amount of what you save in a retirement plan such as a 401(k). If you don't take full advantage of this match, you're leaving money on the table.
- Save your windfalls and tax refunds. Every time you receive a windfall, such a work bonus, inheritance, contest winnings, or tax refund, put a portion into your savings account.
- Make a savings plan. Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save successfully. One exercise you can do to support your new savings journey is to create a self-tracking tool. Put your savings goal somewhere visible, where you’ll see it often. Visually seeing your goals gives you constant triggers that help you not only stay on track and but to review your progress, as well.
- Save your coins. - Save the change you accumulate each day and watch it add up quickly. Putting aside just 50¢ a day over a year will get you almost halfway to an emergency fund.
- Use the 24-Hour Rule. Avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse with a self-imposed 24-hour rule. For any non-essential item, wait 24 hours before purchasing. It’s perfect for online shopping where your items can simply be added to your cart to purchase later.
- Treat yourself, but use it as an opportunity to save. Match the cost of your nonessential indulgences in savings. So, for example, if you splurge on a smoothie while out running errands, put the same amount into your savings account.
- Calculate purchases by hours worked instead of cost. Take the amount of the item you want to purchase and divide it by your hourly wage. For example, if you’re considering a $50 pair of shoes and you make $10 an hour, ask yourself if those shoes are worth working for five hours. Sometimes they are, sometimes they won’t be.
- Unsubscribe. Avoid temptation by unsubscribing from the emails and texts you receive from the stores where you spend the most money.
View all of our 2023 - A Year of Financial Wellbeing Blog Posts.
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