We don’t need to tell you all the reasons why it’s a good idea to save money. You know that already. What you might not know is how to actually go about doing it. Don’t let not knowing where to begin come between you and your financial stability. Here are five easy ways to start commanding your cash.
- Just start. Even if it feels like it’s not the right time to start saving money, the truth is you need to start now. It can take a while to get in the habit — and even longer to get the hang of it — but the key to being a successful saver is to make it a priority. And the sooner, the better.
- Pay yourself first. Don’t wait to see what’s left over each month because we all know that never works (at least not consistently). Instead, pay yourself first. Just like the taxes you pay the government come right off the top of your paycheck, so should your savings. The difference is THIS money, you get to keep.
- Commit to a percentage. If you’re in your 20s, strive to save at least 10 to 15 percent of your monthly gross pay (the amount you make before taxes and other deductions). If 10 to percent is simply a wall too high to get over, commit to another percentage and continue to increase it as your pay goes up.
- Make it automatic. By far, the most foolproof way to save money is to make it automatic. Set up an allotment to take it from your pay before you ever see it or create an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to savings account.
- Keep it separate. Don’t be shy about having multiple savings accounts. The best way to save for a certain thing is to dedicate a separate account for it. For example, you could have an “Emergency Fund” account, a “Car Down Payment” account, a “Vacation” account, a “Whatever My Heart Desires” account. You can literally name it—and it will be yours if you commit to saving for it.
So there you have it. Try them out to see which one works best for you. For maximum results, do more than one. Better yet, do them all! Either way, just start!