How To Start Saving
Did you know that nearly 6 in 10 Americans wouldn't be able to cover a surprise $500 or $1,000 expense? According to Bankrate only 41% of adults reported having enough savings to foot an unexpected bill. Having an emergency savings fund may seem like a no-brainer but it's something far too many Americans are doing without.
Having a savings account, of any kind, is a necessity for everyone. You don't need to have thousands stashed away if you can't manage just enough to cover or partially cover a car repair or rent payment or two.
Regardless of your income you can take some small steps to get started or build up that savings.
1. Look at your spending
The best way to figure out where you have opportunities to save is by looking at where your money is going. When are you spending the most? What is it on? You can look at your online banking statements to get some insight or download one of many budgeting apps that will shed some light on your habits minus the analysis.
2. Shop for an account
If you want to open an account take a look around for a bank that has everything you are looking for. Is there a cap on number of transactions a month? Do they charge a yearly or monthly fee if you don't maintain a certain balance? Is it easy to put money in from your checking? Chances are you will go with the same bank as your checking account for convenience (and ease of adding money) but take a look around and read the fine print.
3. Start small
Even if you think you couldn't possibly find ways to save in your life you probably can. Look at what you found in step one and make some choices. Is that $3 cup of coffee you get everyday essential? That coffee over the course of a year costs you $1,095 if you purchase one every day. Making one at home could cost a fraction of that leaving you with a few hundred to save at the end of the year.
4. Take action
We can all think about saving but what counts is taking action. Make some changes and make them stick! Commit yourself to putting a sum in your savings every week even if it's only $10. With the changes you made in step three you won't even notice that $10 missing and at the end of the year you will have $520 in your savings. Also think about things like tax returns - can you afford to put that money away?