If you are struggling to put money in your savings account, you are not the only one.
Today, Americans are spending more than ever on basic expenses, such as transportation and housing.
Economic challenges, such as a recession, are also a worry for many people.
Still, even though it might be hard to save money each month, it is not impossible. You can implement several tips to build up your savings at a faster-than-average rate.
Save on Student Loan Debt
For many Americans, student loan debt is one of the highest monthly expenses, besides housing. If you are still paying the same loans you had while in school, consider a student loan refinance. Refinancing your debt by taking out a new loan can reduce monthly expenses and help you build savings quickly. If you are interested in this option, you can view your options online here to see what is right for you.
Check Your Smartphone
An area where you could cut expenses significantly might be your mobile service. There are more service providers today than ever, and the increase in competition means there might be lower prices to be found. Shop around for different plans to see what the monthly cost will be. Price comparison might mean you get a better deal than you currently have. Know that if you do not go out a lot, you might be able to get away with a smaller data plan since you will be on wi-fi anyway. You can use your mobile phone to help you build a budget, which allows you to plan savings and spending.
It helps you take a closer look at the amount of money you have coming in and going out each week. Adding a budgeting app can help make this aspect of financial management more automated. You can set alerts for things like investments and overspending so you meet your goals faster. If you have never budgeted before or have used a different system, you may need to categorize different monthly expenses.
House insurance and mortgage payments would go under the housing category, while car payments and maintenance would go under the transportation category. But once you have categorized these expenses it is much easier to review spending habits to see where you can save money.
Think About How You Spend Your Free Time
It’s easy to spend money on entertainment without thinking about it. You might pay for several streaming services and cable television. Consider cutting it down to one or two areas you use the most.
There are also plenty of local attractions in many areas and opting for one of these means you won’t be spending as much. You could get free admission to galleries and museums on specific days. Check your local library as well. Many libraries offer access to movies, television shows, and educational content.
If you have kids, consider getting each of them a library card so they can enjoy content geared toward each of their ages.
Even though the cost of food has gone up, you don’t have to pay top dollar for them. It is possible to shop and save smarter so you don’t have to get rid of as much expired, unused food. Many households throw away a large portion of food because it goes uneaten. Consider being intentional with your grocery list. Think about the things you threw away previously so you can avoid having this happen again. Perhaps you bought too much fresh produce that spoiled later. You might consider getting frozen vegetables next time, which tend to have a longer shelf life.
Look around your pantry and fridge as well. If you already have enough items to make a meal, you might not have to go to the store right away. Only add items to your list if you know you can incorporate them into your meal plans. When you are at the store, consider avoiding too many brand names. Brand-name foods tend to be much more expensive, and many times, there is not much difference between brand names and generic ones.
They also tend to be as nutritious as brand names. Shop around for generic household items as well, like paper towels or plastic bags. If you are not happy with the store brand, you can always go back to the brand name.
Look at Different Banking Options
If you currently pay fees for your bank accounts, take some time to research other options to reduce or eliminate these expenses. Online-only banks often have few to no fees because they don’t have to pay the overhead of brick-and-mortar establishments. Some institutions only charge fees if you do not maintain the minimum account balance.
Other times, you can unlock certain perks by having direct deposit of your paycheck set up there. Many times, online-only banks offer significantly higher interest rates on savings accounts, allowing you to put your money to work with you.
As your savings grow, you may want to look to certificates of deposit and money market accounts. Many online banks offer higher rates than the average brick-and-mortar establishment.
Reduce the Temptation to Spend Money
If you are still struggling with overspending and can’t seem to find a way out, you can take control of your money by freezing all extraneous spending for a certain amount of time. While this is not a sustainable solution long-term, doing it for a short period of time can give you an idea of how much you have been spending on unnecessary items.
You will have more money at the end of this time period, and you can put it toward your long-term savings goals. One way to reduce this temptation is to turn off notifications and unsubscribe from emails from retailers sending promotional offers.
These notifications and emails might tempt you to buy something you would not otherwise have noticed. Removing the temptation can help you stick to your spending freeze and cut out unnecessary spending in the future as well.