We’d all love to have a large sum of money spontaneously appear in our savings accounts. But for most, that’s not how life works. We have to put forth conscious effort to save, even if a little at a time. Fortunately, there are many techniques to help your savings account grow. Here are three ways to save money gradually.
1. Automatic Transfer
Sometimes saving is difficult because we try to set aside money on our own. But the easiest way to increase your savings account is to use automatic transfers. Most banks allow you to use their online platform to schedule recurring transfers from one account to another. Take advantage of this feature and set up monthly transfers from your checking to your savings. You can align the transfers with your paydays and specify the amount you’d like to move. With the convenience of automation, your savings account will grow without you even having to think about it.
Another way to save money gradually is to invest it. There are many different types of investment accounts. Investing is the act of dedicating funds with the expectation of future profit. Depending on the type of investment, you can start with as little, or as much, money as you’d like. You have the freedom to contribute additional funds or to only invest your original lump sum. Some investments are high-risk and could result in losses, while others are relatively safe. Here are a few types of investments:
- Stocks: Buying an ownership share of a publicly-traded company
- Mutual Funds: A pool of several investors’ money to buy stocks and bonds
- Bonds: Loaning money to a government or company with interest
- Certificates of Deposit: Money invested for a predetermined amount of time and interest
Research these options to find the best fit for you.
3. Go Without
After the bills are paid and your necessities are taken care of, your leftover funds are called discretionary income. That’s the money that many of us use to buy luxury goods (i.e. wants vs needs). However, if you’re trying to save, this is the same money you can relocate to a savings account. While you could take the extreme step of giving up all of your luxury goods, that’s not necessary. Instead, each month, pick the one you can do without. For example, in January, skip the daily coffee shop. In February, decide not to eat out. And in March, ditch the pricey happy hours. With this plan, you can isolate your largest optional expenses and make a short-term sacrifice in the name of saving.
Saving money takes time, and that’s ok. Have a plan, practice patience and be consistent. Use these three tips to save money gradually and know that you are making progress toward your goal of full financial freedom.