It often seems almost impossible to even think about starting a savings these days. With a little bit of effort and creativity it can be done. Here is a review of five easy steps according to the Federal Trade Commission that anyone can do to start saving money.
The first step is know where you’re at with your money. Compile a list of all your income, this can include any money you receive on a consistent basis. Then list all your fixed expenses such as mortgage, utilities, and cell phones. On a separate list, write down all your variable expenses. These would be items such as clothing, entertainment, gifts, and even your daily latte at your favorite coffee shop. The small expenses do matter. Now you know how much money you are bringing in and how much you are spending.
The second step is to set up a system where you pay yourself first. This could be an auto-deduction from you paycheck into a payroll savings plan, or an auto-transfer at your bank from your checking into your savings. Whatever method works best for you, this is an important step to guarantee you are putting some money into your savings on a regular basis. At first it will be a bit harder. Once you get used to not having the money to spend, and you see your savings grow you it will get easier.
The third step is a little more complicated, but don’t worry you can do this. Learning about and understanding compound interest will help you with your goal to save. The Federal Trade Commission explains compound interest as “the interest you earn on your initial investment plus all the interest that accumulates over time.” There is compound interest and simple interest. Simple interest is when you earn interest on your initial investment only. Compound interest is the better investment.
The fourth step is a pro-active step to savings. When you have “extra” money, you put it into your savings. When you get a raise take the additional money and have that transferred into your savings. If you pay off a debt such as a credit card or car payment, take the monthly payment you would have made and transfer it to your savings. To make it easy, have this automatically transferred from your checking to your savings.
The fifth step is be creative about saving money. Local beauty school students often give free or reduced haircuts. How about bringing a homemade lunch to work. Instead of buying books, music and DVD’s, get them from your local library. All you need is a library card. They give those away for free. How about using old-fashioned bartering. You have skills, and people need your skills, and you need their skills. It’s beautiful and free.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. You can enjoy your coffee shop latte, just cut back to once a week. AutoPayPlus could help you save yourself over fifty dollars a month with just that simple step.