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Saving Money Can Be Hard – Here Are 3 Simple Tips to Help

By Jennifer Oakley, Brand Relations Manager and Certified Money Coach

Saving money isn’t easy. A recent Bankrate survey1 showed that nearly half of working adults in the U.S. are saving less than 10% of their annual incomes, while an astounding one in five aren’t saving anything at all. This isn’t just due to wanting to indulge from time to time: the cost of living is high, and incomes often fail to cover even basic necessities, let alone occasional luxuries. But in stretching your weekly (or bi-monthly) paycheck, it’s essential to put something aside in case of an emergency or to pay off important debts. Though this is easier said than done for many if not most households, there are ways you can save money even on the thinnest of margins. Here are three of them.

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Saving money made simpler

Have a savings account that you don’t touch. Make a distinction between your checking and savings accounts. Your checking account should cover all your regular expenses as well as occasional splurges, while your savings account should be off limits other than in emergencies or to pay for a designated expense. The purpose here is to “ring-fence” some portion of your money, preventing you from over-spending or failing to account for future expenses. The conditions under which you access your savings account should be extremely limited. Over time, you will begin putting the money in your savings account “out of sight and out of mind,” leaving you with a smaller but predictable budget with which to work week-to-week. This is a good way to make saving money a habit rather than something you rush to do when an unforeseen expense comes up.

Make use of personal finance apps. Apps are increasingly used to simplify every aspect of our lives. Sometimes, when the apps involve spending money, that can be a bad thing. It’s easier to make purchases by one swipe than taking the time to write out a check or part with hard-earned cash, eliminating psychological barriers to spending. But apps can also be used to save money – and otherwise give you greater control over your finances. Affinity published a blog about the “3 Ways Apps Can Improve Your Spending Habits and Cash Flow,” a good resource for information on specific apps and what they do. Apps can help you budget better, put aside money – even if it’s only $5 per week or so – into your savings account to build a nest egg over time and even help you invest extra money in the stock market. Doing some research on what other apps are out there and how they match with your financial goals is good advice to an aspiring saver.

Make small but meaningful adjustments. Do you order lunch or go out to eat every day at work? Do you buy coffee as part of your morning routine? These are expenses that seem small on a day-to-day basis but add up to a lot over a few weeks or months. Cutting these out or reducing them can make a surprisingly big impact on your finances over time. So, instead of going to the coffee shop or chain every morning, make coffee at home and bring it to work in a thermos. Instead of ordering or going out for lunch, pack a sandwich. If you enjoy dining out occasionally, use social media to look for special nights when your favorite restaurant has a discount or accepts coupons. And if you don’t want to give up all your creature comforts at once, set aside one or two days per week when you indulge and cut back the rest of the time. Before long, you’ll realize just how much you’re saving, and how little you miss the things you can still have less expensively by making them at home.

Saving money can seem difficult to a household struggling to make ends meet. At Affinity, it’s our job to help our members with improving their financial situation through changes both big and small. When it comes to the small changes, these three tips are a good place to start on your journey toward positive financial well-being.

1 Retrieved from https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-march-2019/

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.   - See more at: https://www.affinityfcu.com/tips-and-tools/affinity-connect-blog/2017/acronym-101-the-low-down-on-segs.aspx#sthash.HNRlWMk2.dpuf

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