There’s no two ways about it: Savings are foundational to your financial well-being. As not it gets into full swing, we asked nine experts to share their best tips for growing your savings this year. Whether you’re looking to replenish your emergency fund or save up for a major purchase, here’s some valuable advice from a handful of personal finance experts.
Alissa Todd, The Wealth Consulting Group
- Get clear on your goals and why you want to save money. Are you saving to build an emergency fund? Save for a house down payment? Summer vacation? You are more likely to stick to your budgeting and savings plan if you relate them to goals instead of simply saying that you want to save.
- Automate your bills to avoid late payment penalties and interest charges. Automate your savings so that every time you get paid, a portion of your paycheck goes directly into your savings account.
Marc Andre, VitalDollar.com
- Learn to wait on significant purchases. Whenever you’re buying something that’s not a necessity, wait at least 24-48 hours before buying it. This will help you to avoid impulse buys, and you’ll find that, in many cases, you may decide it’s not really worth the money.
- Don’t pay for too much insurance. Check the details of your insurance policies (like car, home, renter’s, etc.) to make sure that your coverage is not higher than you need. If it is, adjust the policy and it will reduce your premium, freeing up dollars to deposit in your savings account.
Kristin Stones, LifeOfStones.com
- Participate in a money-saving challenge. For example, try the five-dollar bill challenge, where you save every five-dollar bill you come across. Psychologically, challenges make saving more fun and give you a more visual representation of how much you’ve saved—which can be very motivating to help you keep going.
Cherie Lowe, Queen of Free
- Cancel unused subscriptions. Whether it’s wine, clothes, books, streaming services, magazines, or gym memberships, many people have more subscriptions than they can shake a stick at. See which subscription services you can do without for a short or long period. But don’t absorb those extra dollars into your checking account—transfer the exact amount over to a savings account.
WenFang Bruchett, BlissFinance
- Maintain the strongest credit scores you possibly can. Pull your free credit reports from each of the three major bureaus at com. If you catch any errors, fix them to potentially boost your score. A better score can mean you pay less on expenses like a car loan or apartment rental, allowing you to put more money into savings.
- Pay off your debt. If you can eliminate paying interest to lenders, you’ll have more money to save for rainy days.
Logan Abbott, Wirefly.com
- I recommend doing a self-audit of your finances that includes several steps but is actually quick and easy to complete. First, make sure you aren’t carrying any large credit card balances. If you have the ability to pay off the balance, do so. Second, see if you’re paying too much for a monthly service like cell phone, TV or Internet. Third, take a look at your monthly subscriptions and cancel those you’re no longer using. Fourth, consider signing up for a service like Mint or Betterment, which allow you to see a full picture of your finances and track your saving progress over time.
Marcia Layton Turner, Layton & Co.
- Sign up for an automated service, such as Acorns, and have money from your checking account or spare change transferred and invested. It’s a painless way to save.
- Generate extra cash to dedicate to savings by bagging up clothes that you and/or your kids have outgrown or no longer wear. Send them to a consignment service, such as thredUP, where you can earn money on items that are sold. It’s easy to do and also helps control closet clutter. You can also try other income-generating ideas, such as selling your cast-offs on eBay or Poshmark.
Patty Briotta, National Veterans Legal Services Program
- Veterans should make sure they have maximized their awareness of benefits they may be eligible to receive. Through NVLSP’s VA Benefit Identifier App, they can review specific VA benefits to which they are likely entitled. This could represent a meaningful amount of untapped monetary VA benefits for veterans and their families.
Dustyn Ferguson, Dime Will Tell
- Cash back and rebate apps can save you a lot of money on things you are already buying. There are apps to save money on groceries, gas, online shopping—virtually everything. You can then deposit the earned cash straight into your savings account.
If you’re considering paying off your high-interest rate debt to generate more savings in 2019, a personal loan could be a good fit for your financial situation. With a fixed-rate, fixed-term loan through Prosper, you could potentially consolidate your credit card debt with a budget-friendly, single monthly payment.