1 Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Matching Contributions
Take advantage of your employer’s match to your 401K. This is money that you can have without any additional work on your part. Most employers match up to about three percent, though several will go higher. To take advantage of the match, you need to sign up to contribute that percentage of your income to retirement each month.
2 Set Up an Automatic Transfer
If transferring the money to your savings account is the problem, then you should consider having it auto-drafted from your account each month. You can visit your bank to set up an automatic monthly transfer. Many banks allow you to do this online as well.
3 Take Advantage of Direct Deposit
You may consider having a portion your savings account direct deposited into your savings account, as well. If your employer allows you this option, take advantage of it. If you never see the money, you are less likely to miss it or to transfer out of your savings account. This is one of the easiest ways that you can save.
4 Use a Separate Online Savings Account
If you have trouble leaving the money in your savings account, consider using a savings account offered by an online bank such as ING. This will slow down the transfer rate, and help you to budget much more carefully. Additionally, the interest rate is usually higher. This is a great way to protect your savings so that you do not continue to dip into it.
5 “Keep the Change Program”
You may consider taking advantage of Bank of America’s Keep the Change program or something similar that your bank offers you. This should not be your only savings method since you will not be saving high dollar amounts, but it can add a little bit of savings. It is important to realize that every little bit counts. Look for other savings incentives that your bank may offer.
6 Scale Back Your Spending
You can also choose one luxury item to give up or cut back on and put that money in the bank. This item could be a small ticket item that adds up quickly-think daily coffee trips. Or it could be a more expensive luxury such as your weekly massage. If you cut back or quit altogether you will find the savings do add up. You may want to consider cutting out one of these budget busters to help increase the amount you save.
7 Cut Your Food Bill
Food is a necessity and many people assume they cannot save anymore on their groceries or food when they are looking to save money. There are steps you can take like menu planning, changing grocery stores, and cooking at home. The more that you can save, the more you will have to apply to your goals. Even just cooking a home more can help you find significant savings and make it easier to save money over time.