Your personal savings isn't going to grow itself. If you don't have an emergency fund, or if you're looking to add to your current cash cushion, there are effortless ways to grow your personal savings. Everyone needs at least a three to six month reserve. Although it takes sacrifice and a little creativity to save money, you can reach your financial goal. Here's how.
1. Put All Your Single Dollar Bills into a Jar
Many people put their spare change into a jar every day after arriving home from work or school. This is a simple way to grow their savings, and some people accumulate hundreds in coins each year. But with only spare change, your savings will grow at a slower pace. Try another approach. In addition to your spare change, put any spare $1 bills into a jar.
2. Do the 52-week Savings Challenge
This is a simple way to increase your savings account by $1,378 each year. For this to work, you need to deposit cash into your savings account every week, but the amount you deposit varies from week-to-week. For example, on the first week of the challenge, you deposit $1 into your savings account. On the second week, you deposit $2. On the third week you deposit $3, and so forth. Continue this routine for 52 weeks, and on the last week deposit $52 into your savings. Some people start this challenge the first week in January, but you can start anytime (from March to March).
3. Keep the Change Savings Program
Speak with your bank to see if they offer savings programs to help accountholders increase their savings accounts. Some banks have a 'keep the change' program. Each time you use your debit card, purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the bank deposits the difference into your savings.
4. Direct Deposit Part of Your Paycheck into Savings
If your employer offers direct deposit, rather than put all your earnings into a checking account for bills, only deposit a portion of this money into your checking and then deposit the remaining balance into savings.
5. Sign up for Auto Bill Pay for Discount Rates
If you have a mortgage loan, an auto loan or a student loan, you might qualify for a discount rate if you sign up for automatic payments. The discount rate can reduce your monthly payments, and you can deposit this savings into your savings account.
6. Get Rid of an Unhealthy Habit
Some bad habits are costly. If you're trying to save more, consider habits you can break to save money. This might include smoking cigarettes, going to happy hour on a regular basis, eating out several times a week, or using retail therapy to boost your mood.
7. Include Saving in Your Budget
As you create a budget or spending plan for the week or month, don't forget to pay yourself. Many people budget for bills, food and other monthly expenses, but forget to set cash aside for saving. When you receive your check, put money into savings before paying any bills.
Building a cash cushion can provide peace of mind, and ensures you have emergency cash. But saving isn't easy, so you'll need to be creative and disciplined. What tricks do you use to save more money?