For most of us, cutting corners and clarifying our budgeting plan is really all that’s necessary to have something to put aside for a rainy day. Or a Caribbean cruise. By taking a hard, honest look at your bank statements and determining what you’re spending funds on that just isn’t necessary, you’ll be surprised how much can be saved. However if your hard, honest look reveals that you are truly strapped, the next best option is taking on multiple forms of income. There are countless side jobs out there…and if you really want to pay off that medical debt or plan the wedding of your dreams, putting side job funds directly into a savings account is a great start.
2. Keep Savings Separate
Not only is it a good idea to keep a separate savings account for easy transfers into savings wherever you normally bank, some experts recommend creating new accounts for the sole purpose of savings at an entirely different bank than the one you regularly frequent. Credit unions are generally local and offer limited to no regulations or fees, making them a great option for this method. Whenever you find yourself with any extra income, or it’s time to deposit whatever money you had planned and prepared to save, make a special trip to this banking location. The more inconvenient you can make this process for yourself, the better, as it will help you avoid the temptation to dip into the account for impulse purchases.
3. Give Yourself “Fun Money”
While it may sound counterintuitive, budgeting funds for the sole purpose of entertainment is actually a great strategy for staying on track with your long-term savings goals. Life happens, and we’re all human…there will be times that you’ve had a hard week or stress has gotten to you and you’ll want to splurge. By allotting a set amount and sticking to it, you can have the movie date with your spouse, drinks with friends, or hair appointment without feeling like you’ve completely self-sabotaged your goals. Life is still happening right now, and you’re going to need to keep your model for saving sustainable in order to reach the big milestones you’re seeking. Long term saving is a marathon, not a sprint–stay happy in the meantime.