Am I saving enough?


   Just like any adventure, committing to living frugally can come with its pitfalls. When it comes to budgeting and taking care of debts, sometimes it is not so much about making more money as it is about saving the money you already have. The tricky part is knowing where to start! What savings can we make right now that could make a lasting difference in the future or affect our live at the moment? Sometimes the hardest thing about saving money is just getting started. It can be difficult to figure out simple ways to save money and how to use your savings to pursue your financial goals. These simple ways guide you to saving money and the habits can help you develop a realistic savings.

   The first step to saving money is to figure out how much you spend. Keep track of all your expenses that means every coffee, newspaper and snack you buy. Ideally, you can account for every penny. Once you have your data or note, organize the numbers by categories, such as gas, groceries, rent or mortgage, . . . and total each amount. Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car or house maintenance.

   Now that you have made a budget, create a savings category within it. Try to put away from 10 to 25 percent of your income as savings. Pay yourself first. The easiest way to save money rather than spending it is to make sure that you never get a chance to spend the money in the first place If your expenses are so high that you can not save that much, it might be time to cut back. To do so, identify non essentials that you can spend less on, such as entertainment and dining out.

   One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking of what you might want to save for a down payment for a house or a car, emergency fund, retirement, your child’s education, or project, . . . then figure out how long it might take you to save for it. if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover large emergency expenditures.

Saving tips:

  • Designate two or three days a week a “no spending day”
  • Pay off credit cards in full each month
  • Remind yourself to think through every purchase by covering your card with a savings message, such as “Do I really need this?” Write the message on a piece of masking tape or colorful wash type on your card.
  • Don’t just save money but save for your future. There is a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account.
  • Don’t waste any money on things that you don’t need or already have.


   If you’re saving for retirement or your child’s education, consider putting that money into an investment account. While investments come with risks and can lose money, they also create the opportunity for compounded returns if you plan for an event far in advance. After your expenses and income, your goals are likely to have the biggest impact on how you save money. Be sure to remember long-term goals it’s important that planning for retirement does not take a back seat to shorter-term needs. Prioritizing goals can give you a clear idea of where to start saving. For example, if you know you’re going to need something in the near future, you could start putting money away for one immediately. Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can choose when, how much and where to transfer money to, or even split your direct deposit between your checking and savings accounts. Automated transfers as soon as you receive your salary or paycheck are a great way to save money since you don’t have to think about it and it generally reduces the temptation to spend the money instead.


   Check your progress every month. Stick on your personal savings plan, it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. Saving money may even inspire you to save more and hit your goals faster.

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