Like starting any huge task from scratch, building your savings up from zero is a daunting project. Whether you want to make an emergency fund or a travel fund, the grand scope of your goal may stop you from taking any action towards achieving it. The trick is to ignore the big picture for the smaller, simple steps that will take you where you need to go. These simple techniques can help you focus on achievable steps, so you can create savings quickly.
Pay yourself first
Most people focus on paying bills first before they look at their savings. That time between paying off the final bill and transferring cash into savings is a tumultuous one. It’s easy to forget about your commitment to saving and spend dedicated savings on things you don’t need. Whether your biggest temptation is UberEats or sales at the clearance Nike store, these purchases can make saving hard.
An easy way to get around this is by lumping your savings contribution in with bills and other essential expenses. You pay yourself first by one of two ways:
- Assign your savings contribution a due date at the beginning of the month —or any time that makes sense with your pay schedule. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account to make sure you don’t spend this money on other things.
- Make your savings account your primary account, and deposit your paycheck there. Use your budget to figure out how much cash you’ll need to pay for essential expenses, and transfer the exact amount into your checking account. This stricter approach is great for those who struggle to ignore impulse shopping.
Have a plan B already picked out
Your goal may be to save, but circumstance may cause you to spend more than ever before. Things outside of your control can make covering bills and repairs a challenge despite your commitment to savings. Financial emergencies happen to people like you all the time. They may be small difficulties like when your cellphone bill is twice its usual price after you accidentally streamed the latest My Favorite Murder episode over data. Or they could big issues, like a when you need to replace your prescription glasses after you stepped on the last pair. Without savings, how will you cover these expensive bills?
When you answer this question before these emergencies happen, you’ll be able to pay off these bills faster—avoiding stress and costly fees while you’re at it. When you have time to research online lenders and direct payday lenders, you won’t feel overwhelmed and make a poor decision under the ticking clock. You’ll know which company to contact as soon as they occur.
Lines of credit and benefits or insurance plans are ideal for life’s biggest emergencies, and online personal loans are better for small bills and repairs. These short term loans are uncomplicated compared to traditional personal loans, and they’re faster, too. You can find easy payday loans online that arrive in just one business day, so you never have to wait to pay an urgent bill.Find one with the rates and terms that fit your capabilities, and you’ll never be more than one day away from getting the cash you need.
Keep your change
Most people don’t think much about the coins in their pocket. It’s hard to care for a handful of metal that may only amount to one dollar if you’re lucky, but you should start caring. Those pockets add up when you’re committed to saving all this change—especially when you apply the same rule to your digital payments. Now, in addition to putting your spare change in a piggybank, you can use apps like Acorns to help save extra cash.
They sync with your accounts, so it can track each purchase. When you use your debit card, it will round the charge up to the nearest dollar. For example, that means your $26.57 at the pumps will cost your checking account $27. Acorns then funnels the $0.43 difference into a dedicated savings account. While $0.47 doesn’t seem like a lot on its own, it adds up. Rounding works best when you’re already making a lot of purchases with your cards. It’s also a lot easier than rolling up that spare change.
Sure, savings like your retirement fund can take nearly your entire life to accumulate, but not all savings are alike. Smaller savings accounts meant to help cover emergencies, pay for vacations, and buy cool shoes don’t take that long to build. You can make flash-savings in no time if you’re careful with your money.