Spend less than you earn. This may seem obvious but many
of us have trouble doing it. You can look for ways to cut back,
such as dining out less, but you can also look for ways to
create more income like taking on a part-time job. This combination
should give you a little extra money that you can use to invest.
Pay yourself first. Pay your savings
as you would pay a bill. Put a portion of your paycheck (even if
it's only a few dollars) into savings. You can even set up an automatic
deduction from your checking account to your savings account. This
can be very helpful because if you don't see it, you won't spend
Re-evaluate your spending plan. If
you're paying yourself first, it will very likely affect your spending
habits. You'll probably want to track your expenses to find areas
that you could cut back in.
Set goals. Knowing what you're saving
for makes it easier to save. Make a list of your goals in order
of importance and then determine how much money you'll need and
when you'll need it. Finally, figure out how much you will need
to save on a regular basis to achieve each goal.
Save your change. One painless way to save money is just
to simply save your change and then deposit it in a savings account
at the end of the month.
Don't spend "found" money. Instead
of spending extra money from things like rebates, raises, and refunds,
put at least part of the money in savings.
Save "extra" paychecks. If
you're paid bi-weekly, 2 months out of the year (4 months out of
the year if you're paid weekly) you'll receive an "extra"
check. Save at least part of this money.
Participate in a 401(k) plan. If
your employer offers a 401(k) plan, it's a good idea to participate
in it, especially because many employers match employee contributions.
Continue to "pay" for a loan. Once
you have paid off a loan, continue making the payment to your savings.
Try "crash savings." For
a specified amount of time, 2 months for example, buy only necessities
and save everything else. At the end of the time limit, buy
an item you were saving for.
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