According to a recent survey, 66 million Americans have no savings for an emergency and 47% say they wouldn’t even be able to afford an emergency expense of $400. Which got us wondering: what are some of the best ways to save – even just a little bit – for something unforeseen?
Here are a few easy ways to build up your savings:
- Delay gratification: Ever been in a store or online and just had to buy something? When that happens, step away, give it two weeks and see if you still have the urge. Very often, if you wait, the moment will pass and you’ll save on an unnecessary purchase.
- List it: If you have a habit of falling into temptation at the supermarket, make a list before you go and stick with it. Or, give yourself a $5 buffer for a treat you really can’t say no to.
- Eat in: If you live in an area with a lot of great places to eat, you may be finding yourself making a lot of excuses for not wanting to cook. That’s fine once in a while but eating out can get expensive – particularly when you add a tip as well as gas to get you there and parking.
- Have a heart to heart with your credit card company: If you pay too much interest on your credit cards – and frankly, any interest at all is too much – it’s time to give them a call and ask to negotiate your interest rate. You may also want to consider transferring your balance to a balance transfer credit card, which cuts out interest on monthly payments so your entire monthly payment goes toward paying down the balance.
- Spring clean no matter if it’s spring or not: Invade your closets, drawers and basement storage. Anything you don’t wear, don’t use or forget you had should get listed on Craigslist, eBay or letgo – or donate it. If you’re old school, have a garage or yard sale. Then take the proceeds and pay down any credit card balance you have.
- Automatic savings: If your paycheck is deposited directly into your bank account, ask your bank to transfer a set amount to a dedicated savings account. Don’t touch it unless it’s urgent.
- Take the Shopper’s Voice Survey: We don’t often plug ourselves on the Shop Talk blog but we’re making an exception here. If you’re not a member or you haven’t taken our survey in a while, join and we’ll send you coupons, samples, and free stuff.
What are your most effective ways to save? Share your tips with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!
Did you know: Start early but start anyway
If you set aside $20 a week from age 22 to 67, you’ll save more than $330,000. Even if you start late, you can still save a lot – so get to it! (Source)