GUEST POST SERIES ….

Today I am glad to bring you a guest post from Amy Nickson at olvg.com. Amy shares her ideas about starting the new year out right by providing tips on saving money. Check out her other work at Oak View Law Group where she writes about personal finance.

Thanks for reading !!

-Brian

Some people can save money with ease. They manage to set aside a certain amount each month. Whereas, some people admit that saving money is hard. The stats are also indicating the same. In our nation, nearly 26% of adults have no rainy day fund, 62% have only $1000 or less in their savings account, and 36% of people are yet to start their retirement savings.

These stats are shocking but true. Americans are good at spending but worse at savings.

But you can be one of those people who are successfully saving money. How?  Here you go..

1. Prioritize your goals

The beginning of the year is a good time to start with a goal. This time, give priority to money savings goal. Don’t let yourself lost in the list of resolutions that you have already made and failed.

For example:

If you haven’t yet started retirement savings, then start it. Or, start an emergency fund to beat with an extended unemployment and unforeseen expenses.

Tips:

A. Setting a goal is easy, but remaining focused is difficult. So, you have to set realistic and attainable goals. For example; Analyze your income and expenses, and fix an amount which you’ll be able to save every month.

B. Write down your multiple goals in a paper and put it in such a place where you can see it easily. After achieving each goal, mark as -“Done”

2. Plan a budget and revise it regularly

Budgeting is the key to save money consistently. Your budget will tell you where the money is going, which expense you can eliminate, when to stop spending, and how much money you can set aside every month.

Budgeting is not scary as most of us think. You just need to sum all your monthly expenses and deduct it from your monthly income. The amount left is your savings.

Try to save at least 20% of your income each month. Thus, you’ll be able to build up a decent financial cushion for the future.

Tips:

A. Use online budgeting tool or app to plan it easily. People who don’t like calculation will also enjoy it.
B. Write down all the expenses and allot money for each category. If you see the remaining amount you get is not positive, then revise your budget and make necessary changes or start increasing your income. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to save money.

3. Be wise when to pick a savings account

The interest rate, fees, and minimum balances vary among savings accounts. So, take all t

hese into consideration along with extra charges for monthly service and ATM fees before opening a savings account.

Tips:

A. Be consistent with your savings. Every little interest counts; no matter how minimal it sounds.

B. You can open online savings accounts. They often offer higher interest rate.

4. Save to secure your golden age

The sooner you start saving for your retirement, the better will be your golden age. There is no particular age for contributing to a retirement account.

Remember, the cost of living will be higher when you retire; so, to maintain your current lifestyle, you have to aim to save enough for your retirement time.

Tips:

A. If your employer offers a 401(K), then start contributing to it.
B. Put at least 10% of your income into the retirement account.
C. 401(K) is tax free. So you’ll be able to save money for retirement while lowering your tax bill.

5. Drive less to save more

You have to find out ways to save your every hard-earned dollar. For example, owning a car doubles the expenses. As per the stats, automobile owners spend nearly $8,700 every year.
So, drive less this year or consider biking to save a significant amount.

Tip:

A. Biking or cycling is a good exercise and can make you fit. If you are paying for a gym that you

hardly visit, then unsubscribe the service. Considering cycling will give you the desirable result.

6. Avoid debts

Monetary obligations are the main reasons behind the financial setback. Many people admit that due to their debts, they are unable to save money. The amount they save goes toward the outstanding bill payments.

Remember, once you fail to pay your monthly bills (credit cards, equity, mortgage, student loan), you’re adding interest rates and late charges. Avoiding these hefty charges and outstanding bills can save thousands of dollars to make a fuller financial cushion for the future.

Tips:

A. Make a shopping list and carry cash to avoid excessive credit cards usage.
B. Don’t consider your credit cards as the emergency financial backup.
C. Sign up for an automatic bill payment through your bank. Thus, you can pay each bill on time.

Finally, New Year has come with new opportunities. With the new beginning, focus on paying your past dues, monitor credit report, and save money consistently.

The day is not so far when you’ll have enough money in your hand to make down payments for a mortgage or plan an abroad trip or achieve financial freedom. Good luck!