If you’re in the process of looking for a new home, or have owned a home before, you know just how valuable good saving habits can be. Putting your excess cash away responsibly can put you in a position to give yourself the best in a new home, condo, or apartment, and the money can be put toward anything – a higher down payment or monthly payment so you pay it off quickly, furnishings, rent or utilities, the list goes on and on. Plus, the comfort of your savings is invaluable when things around the home inevitably break or fail.
But despite the fact that recent economic upturns have given more and more people the opportunity to save money, reports still show that just 24% of Americans have a decent savings cushion. To get you back on track to being financially secure, here are some tips for getting the most out of your savings – because one day, they might just save you.
- Make it automatic
It’s tough to look at a paycheck and physically transfer a chunk of it to savings. It’s far too tempting to look at it and say “Maybe next month.” By setting up your bank account to automatically transfer a set amount every month into a secure savings account, you won’t even have to think twice about the process – it’ll just be there when you need it.
- Create a solid budget
The biggest problem nearly everyone faces with spending is that they don’t really know how much they’re spending. Without a budget, you won’t know exactly how much you can spend at the grocery store or on bills and still have some left for a movie with friends or dinner out. But when you create a detailed list of expenditures that tracks how much money you use, you’ll be more connected with your money than ever before.
- Don’t pay for a checking account
Having a checking account that charges you monthly to use it is taking money right out of your pocket – but it doesn’t have to be that way. While many banks have eliminated free checking accounts, plenty still offer them, and they are a good way of subtly saving a little money every month without you even noticing it.