During tough economic times, saving money is even more important, although it can seem harder than ever to do. Here are some ideas to help you and your family curb spending and begin to save for a rainy day.
Start small. If you start automatically putting a small amount from each paycheck into a savings account, it will add up. Once you start saving, you may realize that you can even put away more each month. It will add up faster than you think. Here are some items to consider:
- Have an emergency savings account.
- Look at your long-term goals. Retirement may seem like a long way off, but the sooner you start saving for it, the better.
Ways to control spending:
- Make a list of your needs and wants. In the "needs" list, put every expense that you must make each month—car payments, grocery costs, utilities etc. In the "wants" list put items like entertainment costs, clothing and dining out.
- Ask yourself "Do I need this?" When you are thinking about making a purchase from your "wants" list, ask yourself if you really need it.
- Commute another way. Carpool with a friend, or bike in the summer— this saves on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
- Buy used. Need a new lawn mower? Check the classifieds or online sites like Craigslist.com
- Make it at home. Brew your coffee, pack your lunch—savings can add up over a month's time.
By cutting back on "want" purchases— even a little bit—you can ensure your financial safety for those unexpected rainy days.