Saving money often feels bittersweet, but it doesn’t have to be. Ten minutes spent online can automate the savings process—but more importantly, do you have the discipline to make it work? Here’s how to get started.
Automate Your Savings and Forget It.
Set your checking account so it automatically pulls a certain amount from every paycheck and puts it in your savings. Then pretend that money is gone. You should only dip into your savings when you really need it. And no, you don’t “really need” that $1,000 leather jacket.
Define what an “emergency” (as in “emergency savings”) really is. Medical bills and auto repairs are top candidates. Living expenses should only qualify as “emergencies” when you don’t have a job.
Make Budgeting Choices.
Budgeting will help you decide just how much you can automatically save out of every paycheck. Keep in mind—it’s perfectly fine to get a latte every morning—provided you budget for it. If you’re consistently going over budget at the expense of savings, figure out why and either work it into your budget, or start making tougher decisions.
Don’t Forget to Budget for Fun.
While keeping a roof over your head and food on the table is obviously important, these aren’t the only reasons we go to work every day. Try to allot some of your income for social spending like movies, dinners, and events. It will be a lot easier to stay within your budget and maintain your savings goals.
Saving isn’t sexy. But without it, you might end up in the unsexiest place of all—back home with mom and dad.