When it comes to saving money, there’s no one size fits all.
We all have different lifestyles, incomes, and preferences. This means the ways we save money, as well as our abilities to do so, are completely different.
If you have yet to find a savings method that works for you, here are four winning ideas you can try:
1. Save a certain percentage of your income
Saving a percentage of your income is a strategy often used for retirement savings — but it doesn’t have to stop there.
This is a particularly good method for those of you who receive a variable income. Instead of committing to saving $50 per paycheck (and falling short every time your pay dips), you can instead save a certain percentage of your take-home pay.
By doing this, you won’t feel like a failure for not being able to keep up with your intended plan.
Plus, if you’re working on more than one savings goal, you can easily break down your contributions by percentages. For example, you can put 5% towards a down payment, and another 5% towards an emergency fund.
2. Save a set dollar amount
Second on the list, we have the very popular method of saving a specific dollar amount in a set time period. This method is used frequently because it works and can easily be automated.
Unlike saving a percentage of your income, with which you have to manually calculate your savings, you can save a specific number in a “set it and forget it” type of way.
Saving a set dollar amount each week/month/pay period also works particularly well when you’re running on a short deadline. For example, if you need $6,000 in exactly one year, you know you have to save $500 a month to reach your goal.
3. Save the (virtual) change
Throwing loose change in a jar has always been a common way to save. But now that a lot of money comes electronically, saving your change isn’t as powerful.
To save your virtual change, you’ll need to round up the purchases you make on your debit cards to the next dollar amount, then put the difference in a savings account.
One of the big banks (Bank of America) has started offering this “save the change” feature as one of its perks. Hopefully more banks get on board with this, as it’s a great way to save if you’re on a tight budget.
4. Participate in a savings challenge
Sometimes, you just need a good ol’ challenge to help you get into the swing of saving. Lucky for you, there are plenty of money-saving challenges for you to try.
Here are a few:
- Saving all of your $1, $5, or $10 bills
- Saving every bill that’s older than you are
- The 52 Week Challenge: Saving $1 for each week of the year (e.g,. $1 for week one, $2 for week two, and so on. In one year, you’ll have accumulated $1,378.)
We all have different preferences when it comes to personal finances. If you haven’t found a money-saving method that works for you, experiment. Keep trying different methods until one clicks.
What’s your favorite method for saving money? Have you tried any of the ones above?