UNITED STATES—Have you been wondering how to change your life in positive ways? For many, the number-one improvement on their lists is about saving money. Some are just beginning to design a savings program and find it challenging to get started. Others already have begun to set a certain amount of money aside from each paycheck but want to move to the next level.
The amount of money you are able to save, and the reason you make the decision, are two of the most significant factors that determine your lifestyle. Those who have financial security are able to take more vacations, purchase luxury goods when they want to, and live the way they wish. Whoever said money makes the world go ’round was right. Here are some practical ways to increase your personal bottom line and boost a savings account.
Track Spending with an App
Use one of the many free budgeting apps to track daily spending. For most, taking on this challenge for 30 days is quite revealing. The app gives you the power to record every penny you spend for that amount of time and get a graphic visual about your habits. Nearly everyone is shocked to see where their money goes, but the lesson is of immense value and can provide the incentive and motivation to get serious about personal finances.
Reduce Monthly Expenses
In so many important ways, a budget dictates how you live your life. The flow of money into and out of your control is a huge determinant of lifestyle. That’s why it’s imperative to reduce monthly expenses in order to put more into a long-term or short-term savings account. For working adults who are currently paying on one or more student loans, there’s some very good news. It’s now possible to refinance existing education loans into a single obligation via a refinancing agreement. Plus, it’s easy to learn how to refinance student loans and do the entire process online. Those who refinance gain access to more favorable terms, better rates, and the peace of mind that comes with making just one payment per month.
Make the Process Automatic
Remove emotion from the savings process by automating the process. Sign up for a payroll savings plan at work or set up an auto-deduct with your bank. That way, you’ll never see the cash that gets directly routed to a special account. Automatic deductions remove 99% of the pain that usually comes with building a nest egg.
Eliminate Wasteful Habits
It’s easier to think about eliminating wasteful spending than to actually do it. But the good news is that most have at least one money wasting personal habit. The trick is to observe your own spending habits. If you discover you have a problem with debt or a penchant for specialty coffee-shop drinks, pricey alcohol beverages, fast food, any tobacco product, candy, or impulse spending, then there’s room for improvement. Don’t assume you need to turn into a hermit with no social life or monetary freedom. On the contrary, when you learn to decrease wasteful habits and use the saved money to improve your lifestyle, there’s a good chance that your basic enjoyment of life will rise, not fall.