7 useful tips to start saving
Have you ever faced an unexpected situation where you didn't have enough money? Or perhaps you had a bigger goal that was difficult to achieve due to financial constraints?
If so, here are 7 tips to help you start saving for unexpected expenses and bigger goals.
Before you start saving, it's a good idea to pay off your biggest credit commitments. By paying off your loans early, you'll save interest that you can then use to build your savings. If you have more than one loan, you may want to start with the largest one or the one with the highest interest rate. This means you have to pay all your monthly payments and add a small amount of extra money to the loan you have chosen.
If you feel like you don't have any extra money, it may help to review your spending habits or look for additional income opportunities that will help you both pay off your loans and save more.
Even if you feel like you can't put aside a significant amount for savings, remember that small amounts turn into significant savings over time - provided, of course, that your savings account is regularly topped up. For example, if you save just €1 a day, in one year that would be €365.
Open a separate savings account
If you leave the money you have set aside for savings in your wallet or in a regular bank account, you are more likely to spend it. It is best to open a separate bank account for this purpose, to which regular transfers are made. If you choose to keep your money in a savings account, check the terms of the agreement and the ease and speed of the withdrawal procedure.
Set up a recurring and automatic debit
A good way to ensure that your savings account is funded regularly is to set up a recurring payment in your online bank. In this case, a certain amount of money will be automatically transferred from your regular account to your savings account on a certain date (for example, your payday). This has several advantages: on the one hand, you won't even notice the shortfall in your account (as long as the amount is reasonable), and on the other hand, your savings will be replenished regularly and in the desired amount, so you won't miss anything.
Set a goal
It is easier to save if you know what it is for. If you want to build up a contingency fund, you can base it on three months' salary.
If you are planning to save for something, such as a new car, calculate how much you need and over what period of time. Then you'll know how much money you need to set aside each month for this purpose. Of course, it's important to find a balance between what you want and what you can afford, otherwise you'll quickly lose motivation.
Define when it is acceptable to spend your savings
Saving money for a specific goal is simple: you will know when it has been achieved and you can spend what you have saved on your ambitions without remorse.
But if you're saving for an unexpected expense, you first need to define what you mean by an unexpected situation.
- Will you only use your savings for really serious situations, such as when you are without income for some reason?
- Or will it be an account you can draw on for small, unplanned expenses, such as a sudden need for car repairs?
You may decide to save only for emergencies and use a line of credit for relatively minor emergencies, such as an urgent bill. It's a modern way to get extra money when you need it, with later repayments. You can read more about the possibilities of a line of credit here.
It's important not to lose motivation when saving. There are many tempting opportunities in everyday life and you may be tempted to spend money on things other than saving. It's helpful to set specific goals and remind yourself what you're saving for and why it's important to you. For example, writing and pictures on your phone or computer screen can be helpful. Renaming your savings account with a specific name is also a good option - it will help you stay focused on what's important and not get caught up in the whims of the moment.
Saving is a great way to achieve and maintain financial stability and pursue bigger goals. You don't have to save large amounts of money. It's all about consistency, focus and commitment.