Are You Really Saving Money? Tips to Ensure You’re Saving Smart

saving smart

It can be tough to save money, especially if you’re a gig worker or independent contractor.  Here are a few tips that can get you pointed in the right direction and help you start saving smart.

Your Personal Budget

The first step in saving money is to establish your personal budget.  You have to know how much you’re bringing in and where your money is going to figure out how much you can save.  You’ll need to list all of your monthly income, all of your monthly expenses, and see what’s left.  The best way to do this is to write down every time you spend any money for a month.

Is there anything you can cut out or cut back on?  For example, do you need that trip to the coffee place every day or can you can make your own?  If you can cut back, commit to putting the money you would have spent into savings.

You should set a goal for saving and then stick to it. Even small amounts can add up over time.

Automate Your Savings

The easiest way to save is to automate it. 

For gig workers and independent contractors, set up an automatic transfer from your account to savings, so it happens without you touching it.  If you’re cashing checks, put money into your savings at the same time so it becomes a habit.

If you’re providing services to multiple places, such as driving for Uber and delivering for GrubHub, think about splitting up where the payments go.  Send payments from one to your savings account and use the other to pay bills.

If you’re an employee, you can typically set up automatic deposits.  Consider splitting your paycheck into two accounts.  The second account would be the amount you want to save each payroll period. Take full advantage of your company’s 401k plan if they have one.  Many employers offer a matching program to increase your savings.

Consider Cashback and Rewards Programs

If you’re using a credit or debit card, look for cashback or reward programs.  Get in the habit of moving any cashback directly to a saving account. Some cards will let you automatically round up your purchases and put the difference into a savings plan as well.

If you’re not paying off your credit card each month, you’ll pay interest on the balance.  Look for credit cards with the lowest interest rate to save a few bucks.

Put Money in Savings

If you’re cashing your paycheck, you can also set aside a certain amount and deposit it in your savings account.  Even if it’s just $20 a paycheck, it could add up to more than $500 a year.

With a little planning and discipline, you can start to save money and build up a nest egg. The sooner you start, the faster it will grow. Saving smart will set you up for financial and personal success down the road.

About the Author: Paul Dughi has an MBA in Business Administration and has held executive management positions for the past 30 years.  He is an Emmy® Award winning Producer/Writer and has authored two books on Marketing, Management, and Sales.

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