When you think about saving money, do you feel like you might fly into a thousand pieces? It can seem like an insurmountable task. And you might be thinking at this point about what your saving habits have been in the past, perhaps even beating yourself up for not saving. But doing this serves no purpose. It actually perpetuates the same vicious cycle. So, put the proverbial stick down and just start.
Here are just a few tips to get the ball rolling:
- Keep track of where your money goes. Start by writing down everything you spend, right down to the penny. Awareness is the first step to change.
- Open a savings account, even if it’s with just $10. It will make you feel better and give you hope that change is possible.
- Set small, short-term goals. People tend to stick to their short-term goals. If your goal seems unattainable, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- Put back a portion of each paycheck. Have the money automatically deducted from your check and placed in your savings account. That way, you’ll never miss it. Even saving your loose change can start to add up.
- Use the 24-hour rule. If you want to buy something, tell yourself you’re going to wait until the same time the next day before you make the purchase. That helps with impulse buying and may give you the needed cushion of time to ask yourself if your purchase is really necessary.
- Talk to your HR manager at work to find out if there are discounts and/or incentive programs for which you qualify. Some companies have 401(k) programs. There may even be a company match to what you put into your account.
These are just a few suggestions. Be creative, experiment, read books. Here are a couple of book suggestions you might pick up from the library (FREE): Why Didn’t they Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By, by Cary Siegel and The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman. Figure out what works for you. The key is starting, where you are, today. It may sound corny, but the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, even if that is a single, baby step.