For so many people who are dealing with debt, having a savings account may seem like an unrealistic goal. Regardless of your income and what your current financial situation is, having a savings account is vital for your financial health. If you think having a savings account is out of your reach or you are looking for simple ways to make that amount grow, here are some helpful, simple ways to increase the balance of your savings account.
How to Put More Money in Your Savings Account
- Open a separate savings account.
If you haven’t done so already, open a separate account for your savings. If you are trying to save money in the same account you write checks, use your debit cards, and pay for bills and living costs, it is easier to start to dip into your savings. If you open a separate account, you have a clear picture of how much you have saved.
- Pay yourself every month.
When you sit down to pay your student loan, credit cards, rent, and other bills each month, pay yourself by making a deposit into your savings account. Making it a habit will make it easier to increase the amount you have saved, even if it is a small amount.
- Add savings to your budget.
While you are creating your new budget, add savings to the list as well. Just as you factor in costs for food and entertainment, you can factor in an amount for savings each month. Make the budget balance by trimming money of your other flexible areas, like entertainment or buying gifts.
- Create savings goals.
It may inspire you to save more if you have goals and aspirations for your money. If you are married or have a joint account with a partner, talk about your goals with them. Outline your goals and the timeline for these goals. And of course, discuss your steps to achieve this goal. If you aren’t on the same page as your spouse, read 5 Ways to Save Money When Your Spouse is a Spender.
- Continue “paying” completed bills.
When you are done completely paying off a bill, such as a credit card balance or doctor bill, continue to “pay” that same amount to your savings account. You were already used to paying this balance each month, so you should be able to part with this money easily.
- Take advantage of employee savings programs.
If your employer offers a match in your 401K, take advantage of this fantastic program. It is saving your money plus a bonus.
- Consider linked debit and savings account.
There are bank accounts that round up each purchase you make on your debit card, and then deposit that money towards your savings. For example, you might pay for a dinner that is $40.05. Instead, you would be charged $41. That 95 cents is then directly deposited to your savings account. It may not seem like much, but think about each purchase you make and you’ll realize that the amount can really add up quickly.
- Automatically save from your check.
Some employers offer to directly deposit a portion of your paycheck into a savings account instead of putting it into your checking account. While you can do this yourself, if they offer it, it might be a good idea to sign up so you don’t even have to think about it or get tempted to spend it instead.
- Increase your income.
Sometimes after paying bills every month and living expenses, there is simply nothing left. If that is the case, increase your income. There are many ways to do this. If you already have a full-time job, consider if you can ask for a raise or take on extra hours. Get a part-time job. Take on side jobs like doing housework, landscaping, babysitting, tutoring, giving a music lesson, walking a neighbor’s dog, or any other small way you can increase your income. With your extra income, you can then put this towards your savings account.
- Cut expenses.
A quick way to increase your savings account is to cut your expenses every month. First, go through your bills you pay every month. Can you cancel your cable? If not, consider bumping down to a smaller package with fewer channels. Call your cell phone company to ask if there is a smaller, less costly phone plan. Take on a roommate to split rent and bills. Cut back on your electricity. Use what you have instead of buying new clothes or other items. Cook at home and eat leftovers instead of heading out to restaurants. Find free and cheap activities to do with your family and friends instead of paying for expensive things to do. Try to walk and bike whenever possible to save money on gas. Go through your credit card and bank statements from the last several months. Highlight the items that were “wants” that you can do without. Now try to avoid these types of purchases. Take the money you saved, and put it in your savings account.
- Put any unexpected money into the savings account.
Whether it is a birthday or holiday present, a tax refund, a bonus from work, a credit, rebate, or any other type of money you weren’t expecting, put it into your savings account. Some credit cards offer cash back rewards where you earn money for charging. If you are enrolled in this, when you get the cash back, put it right in the savings account.
- Stop making excuses and putting it off.
Many young people don’t think they need to worry about saving quite yet, and sometimes older people feel like it is too late. People feel like they don’t make enough money to save or they really don’t need to save because they will always have the opportunity to work and earn more money. Whatever your excuse is for not having a savings account and not saving money, stop using it. Saving money is hard, and it could be overwhelming because it forces you to take an honest look at your finances, but it is important.
How have you increased your savings account? If you haven’t yet, which of these ways would you like to try?