You probably know that you should save more money. The desire can be intense, but following through may still be challenging. The truth is that saving money is all about changing habits. If you are struggling to achieve the goal of putting money aside, then you might want to consider eliminating some of the bad habits in your life.
Look at the Little Expenses
One way to increase savings is to curb spending. Little expenses are little savings thieves that cost you more money than you realize. A daily cup of coffee can cost you more than $30 dollars a month. A single meal at the fast food restaurant can cost more than two or three meals at home. Even though they don’t cost much at the moment, they add up to a serious expense that stands in the way of you saving money. The next time you are considering spending a few dollars on something, ask yourself how many times a month you make that purchase. Calculate how much money that little expense is really costing you a month, and you may quickly decide that you don’t need it after all.
Understand Wants and Needs to Avoid Impulse Buying
You need a roof over your head and gas in the car to get to work. You want to have those adorable new shoes or the hot new gadget. Impulse purchasing happens when you see something you want and decide that you need it. If it’s not necessary for daily survival, then you really don’t need it. Add it to a wish list, and create a plan to save the money to buy it. You will feel great when you finally make the purchase, and you will curb impulse spending.
Start an Emergency Fund to Avoid Payday Loans
If you are turning to payday loans in emergencies, then you are doing a great deal of harm to your finances. The high fees associated with payday loans make it impossible to save money or get ahead on your other debts. The more loans you take, the more damage you will cause to your financial position. Avoid payday loans by starting an emergency fund. Make a payment into this fund every month, so you won’t have to take a short-term loan to deal with car repairs, illnesses or other emergencies.
Automate the Payments
Most institutions offer free online bill pay programs, so it’s easy to automate paying the bills. This is a smart choice for several reasons. If you haven’t already made the switch to automated payments, here are the reasons you should do so.
- Eliminate late fees – When the payment is sent out automatically through the bank, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to drop a payment in the mail.
- Save money on stamps and supplies – There is no reason to buy stamps, envelopes and checks when the bank will automatically send the money at no charge to you.
- Save time every month – Going in and programming your payments may take an hour or so, depending on how many bills you have. You can set the amounts and the payment dates at one time, then forget about it for the month. It’s a lot faster than writing out checks, stuffing envelopes and making the trek to the mailbox.
It will take time to create new habits and eliminate the old ones. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you still cave to temptation once in a while. However, you shouldn’t give up on the ultimate goal. Get back on track as soon as possible, so you can ultimately achieve your goal of building a healthy savings account.
Guest author Donald Kyte is a personal finances guru and freelance blogger writing for paydayloan.org.uk.