Saving for retirement or building an emergency fund isn’t possible until you get that raise, right? Well there’s good news: You don’t have to wait for a bigger paycheck to start putting money aside.
Saving money isn’t about earning more — it’s about spending less. Trimming some expenses and cutting others altogether can add up to significant savings over time. With a few cost-conscious moves, you could cover all your financial bases and start saving money today.
Adopt a Frugal Lifestyle
Saving money doesn’t just happen; it starts with a commitment. Decipher your needs and wants, and limit how often you splurge on things you could do without. You may find you can get by — and live just as happily — with significantly fewer purchases.
When you feel like buying a new outfit or stereo system, simply take that money and put it into your savings account instead. Turn to alternative forms of entertainment — make dinner at home for friends, spend time outdoors instead of the mall, visit museums on free days. Treat yourself just once in a while, and those occasions will be all the more special.
Cut Easy Corners
Trimming everyday expenses can add up to significant savings over the course of a year. Try these money-saving ideas that won’t leave you feeling like you’re skimping.
- Dine out less. Keep a stash of leftovers in the freezer to help you resist heading to a restaurant after a long day at work.
- Buy only the groceries you need — and eat them. Think about the money you waste on produce that spoils and canned goods that collect dust.
- Swap DVDs and books with friends or check them out from the library.
- Visit a beauty school for discounted haircuts and spa treatments.
- Cut commuting costs by carpooling, taking the bus or telecommuting.
- Go generic with off-brand groceries, medications and clothing.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home. They’re more energy efficient and last longer.
- Volunteer at fairs and festivals for free admission.
- Switch to basic cable or drop it altogether — unless you really need hundreds of channels.
It’s also a good idea to consistently put any unexpected money — an income-tax refund, a birthday present, overpayment on a bill — directly into savings. If you receive a pay raise, consider increasing your savings contributions or direct deposit.
A savings account at Navigator Credit Union can help you reach your savings goals. Call us today at 800-344-3281 or visit our Web site at www.navigatorcu.org.