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How to Save Money at Any Age

October 14, 2016

While each season of life comes with change, saving money is a necessary habit for financial stability. Whether you’re thinking about weddings, family vacations, retirement, or just scraping together quarters for the next load of laundry, you should be considering how to save what you earn. No matter your age, here are 5 tips you can apply to start saving today:

Create a system for recording and monitoring your spending.

It’s a best practice of money management to know how much you have in the bank at all times. This knowledge informs your spending decisions and helps you budget. Create a system that suits your lifestyle for tracking your money so you know where your hard-earned dollars are going. Your system can be as simple as labelled jars or envelopes, or as complex as spreadsheets or a financial manager. E-banking or account notifications are easy ways to monitor your money wherever you are. Whatever system you choose, be sure to regularly devote time to reviewing your accounts and considering areas where you could cut back on spending and build your savings instead.

Set goals.

Is it overwhelming to even think about your student debt? Are your retirement savings nonexistent? Thinking about getting married or buying a house? Goals, both big and small, require some financial planning. The first step towards reaching your goals is to set them. Research the price range of the homes that interest you. Set your budget for the big family vacation you’ve been wanting to take. Once you have goals, you can work through baby steps for achieving them. When you break things down and start saving a little bit here and there over time, you’ll be ready to make the leap before you know it.

Live within your means.

With credit cards and loans, the slippery slope into debt and financial instability is always near. You must exercise caution and discernment in order to avoid overspending. A good rule of thumb is to only spend money you actually have in the bank. You can’t save money that you don’t have, so in order to build your wealth, it’s crucial that you live at or below your means.

Negotiate for more money.

Know your full value, and don’t be afraid to respectfully ask for more when appropriate. You might be surprised by your employer’s willingness to consider a higher salary or larger benefits package. Remember, you have to add value and earn what you ask. Only begin negotiating when you are confident that you are deserving of it.

Minimize debt.

You have to have money to save money, so debt is crippling when you are trying to plan for the future and put money away. Even if your debt seems insurmountable, paying off small portions at a time is better than paying off none at all. Begin paying off your debt and avoid racking up large credit card balances to achieve financial stability.

Building your savings starts small and requires consistent spending and saving habits. It may seem challenging to put money away, but the rewards of financial security and the ability to afford your goals make small saving adjustments well worth it.

Keep your budget and financial goals organized.

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