Saving for the Future
Many people feel that saving isn't nearly as fun as spending, but it's important — especially when you're young. Making sure you have a safety net for rainy days can provide peace of mind and keep you out of debt if trouble hits. On the other hand, you might want to make a big purchase sometime soon. For this, you will most likely need a down payment, and for something like a house, that can add up!
- Set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings right from your paycheck. This way you don't actually have to think about putting money aside. As many experts say, “pay yourself first.”
- Start investing — it pays off in the long run. Set up monthly automatic transfers from your checking or savings account to a mutual fund or stock dividend reinvestment plan.
- Get multiple savings accounts and name each one according to the goal you hope to reach. For example, name one “College Moolah” if you plan to save for college. This keeps you motivated and helps you split up your savings for the things that matter most.
- Use online bill pay. You'll save on stamps and paper checks, and you can automate it so that you won't forget to make payments.
- Consolidate your student loans. With interest rates as low as they are right now, even a 1% reduction could save you hundreds per year.
Small Cuts Mean Big Savings
- Unplug all your stuff at home when it’s not in use to save money on your electric bill. It's also good for the environment.
- Do any of your coworkers live in your area? If so, carpool! You'll save a ton on gas, and you might get to work faster if your city has carpool lanes.
- A single coffee may seem cheap, but buying one every day adds up. Cut back and make your coffee at home a couple days a week. Often, you'll also get a discount at coffee shops if you bring your own thermos.
- Brown bag it. It may take a little planning ahead, but bringing your lunch to school or work every day will save you big bucks.
- Plan out your meals a week in advance. This way, you’ll make fewer trips to the grocery store and save money on both food and gas.
- Clean with cheap household products. Did you know that baking soda is great for scrubbing bathtubs? There are many items around your kitchen that can be used for cleaning in lieu of expensive commercial versions.
- Resist impulse purchases. Think about if you really need the item, or just want it. If you don't need it, pass it up and keep the money for something else.
- Shop with your debit card instead of your credit card. This way, you can't spend more than you have and you'll avoid the fees and interest payments that can come with buying on credit.
- Keep a watchful eye on your accounts to avoid incurring bank fees like overdraft and returned checks. These can add up fast.
Saving for that starter home? Find out how much you’ll need with Tech CU's mortgage calculator.