Saving for retirement or a new home can seem like an unreachable goal when you are struggling to pay the monthly bills. The important thing to remember is that you will never reach your goal if you don't start. Here are a few tips to get started on the road to reaching your financial dreams.
Start Small – Find small ways to start saving like having water instead of drinks when eating out and take those savings and move those to a savings account. Look for other ways to cut expenses like canceling one magazine subscription or a movie subscription service and visit your local library to check out movies for free. Each time you find savings, move them to a separate savings account. Once you've saved at least $500, make a commitment to look for other ways to increase the amount you are setting aside each month.
Automate Savings – The best way to make saving a priority is to setup automated paycheck deductions for a company sponsored savings plan or an individual retirement account. Not only will you benefit from the tax deferment on your contributions and earnings, salary increases will boost the amount of your monthly contributions. Setup automated monthly transfers from your checking account to savings accounts dedicated to emergency fund, vacation, college, etc.
Get Your Family Involved – What better way to teach your children financial literacy skills than to involve them in planning and saving money! Have a monthly family finance meeting and make it fun by challenging family members to find ways to cut costs. Saving money doesn't mean the family has to sacrifice on fun activities, it will require some effort to find cheaper alternatives but it is doable. Use sites like Groupon and TripAdviser to find bargain prices on activities the whole family will enjoy.
The important step is the first one, so start small and watch your savings grow!