Are you anticipating any big financial investments in your future, or do you just wish you could put a little more money into your savings account each month? You’re not alone! A lot of people are trying to make saving a priority. For example, did you know that 62 percent of millennials are stashing away at least 5 percent of each paycheck for anticipated future expenses, according to the Washington Post?
Fortunately, you can learn how to save a significant amount of money and fuel your future life plans with a tidy nest egg. Let’s take a look at some smart ways to save that you can start today.
Keep the Change
How often do you toss the change you receive into your savings jar? This practice has now gone high-tech! Some banks automatically transfer a set amount from your checking to your savings with each purchase you make, and some investment firms are taking that one step further and diverting your “change” into investment portfolios. For example, apps like Acorns round up the change amounts from your debit card purchases and invest that money into stocks and bonds for you.
It may seem ineffective to stash away a few nickels and dimes at a time, but consistently applying your change to your future can add up fast, putting you in great shape for your retirement.
Remember: Everything Is Negotiable
Are you getting the very best prices on each of your recurring expenditures? Companies tend to appeal to new customers by offering fantastic rates that then go up as you become complacent. Here’s the thing, though: Everything is negotiable. Everything — your gym membership, your cable bill, your cell phone charges and more. You can often work with the companies you patronize to ensure you’re always getting the best deal. Gone are the days of strict company loyalty. If a certain provider just won’t budge on pricing, it’s likely you can save a bit by moving to their competitor. Now that you’ve lowered your bills, take the difference and apply it straight to your savings.
Consolidate to Save
If you have a mortgage, particularly if you obtained it in 2009 or later, you likely have a very affordable interest rate. Consider a cash-out refinance, which involves refinancing your mortgage for more than you actually owe (potentially at a lower interest rate) and pocketing the difference. Then — you guessed it! — send the difference straight to your savings account.
Can’t refinance? Home equity loans often have competitive interest rates as well. Remember, again, that everything is negotiable. If you have a good record of paying on time and have used your credit responsibly, a phone call to your credit card company can sometimes knock a few points off your interest rate.
Drive Your Budget — Don’t Let It Drive You
Budgeting is tough, and sticking to a budget can be even tougher. You may feel like you’re at the mercy of your budget instead of vice versa, especially if you are starting out with very little extra money. Wondering how to save in this scenario? You can take firm control over your budget with Voya’s slick budgeting tool and keep track of where your money is going each month. Eyeballing each expenditure can help you recognize opportunities to save, renegotiate and consolidate. You can also craft a sample budget for how much your anticipated expenditures will cost, enabling you to determine how much you must save on a regular basis to achieve those goals.
Whether you’re saving up to buy a home, take your dream vacation or adopt a pet, these tips can help you make your future goals a reality.