Nowadays many people find it difficult to accumulate savings. And this is completely understandable.
In December, inflation was still rising 3.4% year-on-year. And many expenses, from housing to food, are still high. Since these aren’t expenses you can easily reduce — you have to eat and you need a roof over your head — it’s easy to see why your savings account balance might be stuck in the same spot.
However, there may be some steps you can take to be more successful in the savings department. Here are three to consider.
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1. Be involved in the budget
Many people insist that they will. Not. Budget. They say it’s difficult, boring, time consuming… whatever you say. And honestly, if your financial situation is solid and you save money regularly, there’s really no need to push yourself into following a budget if it’s not something you want to do.
But if your money-saving efforts have been unsuccessful, try budgeting before abandoning the idea completely. You may find that seeing your expenses mapped out and having a better idea of what your various bills entail helps you make wiser choices.
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If you don’t want to use a budget spreadsheet, find a budgeting app you’re comfortable with instead. You may find that the process is less annoying this way.
2. Join the gig economy
Committing to a side gig might not be something you’re all that eager to do. But the great thing about the gig economy is that you don’t have to put in much effort. You can find a side job that is flexible and easy enough to fit into your schedule. And from there, you can work extra when it’s feasible and stick to your main job only when life gets busy.
Some gigs that can offer a lot of flexibility include:
- Home service
- Pet sitter
- Grocery delivery
- Shared driving
- Data entry
- Telemarketing (yes, it still exists)
Remember, any money you make from a side gig is extra. So if you have a month where you can only put in a couple hours and take home an extra $50, well, that’s $50 more than before.
3. Reevaluate your leisure spending
You most likely spend money regularly on things that are wants rather than needs, like streaming services, take-out meals, and non-work clothing. It’s perfectly OK to do so. When you work hard, you deserve to enjoy some of your earnings. But if you’re having trouble saving money, think about the things you’re buying that don’t count as necessary and make sure they’re actually worth it.
For example, you might pay $15 a month for a streaming service. But are you bored? Do you only watch it once a month? If so, it might be something to consider canceling.
Likewise, you may be in the habit of dining out at a high-end restaurant once a month with friends. If you care about the business but not so much about the food, why continue to spend $75 on a single meal? Instead, suggest low-cost ways to spend quality time together, such as having convivial dinners or meeting for picnic lunches.
It’s difficult to save at a time when expenses are still so high. But these tips might help you give your savings the boost you’re looking for.
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