Everyone struggles with saving money and budgeting to their lifestyles. It is important to know that anyone can successfully get back on track and become financially stable. This may not come easy to some, but there are several tips and tricks you can utilize that will help you start saving money today!

First I would like to start by discussing some of the basics that some of us are already aware of, or have heard before. These are essential to understanding your personal finances.

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  • Think about a Plan: There is no way to know where you want to go without determining your goals and creating a plan. Your plan should consist of both your short term and long term financial goals. Short term goals may consist of paying down credit cards, saving for a down payment on a house or car, or contributing to an emergency savings. Long-term goals may include saving for retirement, your children’s college, or paying down your mortgage.
  • Establish a Budget: When establishing a budget, take the goals you established in your financial plan and put them into a worksheet to see how you can best contribute to each one. I like to use a budget calculator like this one by youcandealwithit.com. Calculators like this will allow you to break down your monthly/annual expenses and your monthly savings goal(s), in relation to your household income.

Now that you have your plans set and spelled out in your budget, let’s discuss a few tactics that can make a difference in your wallet over time, especially if you’re able to implement more than one. Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others may require a bit of consistent effort.

  • Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store We are very lucky nowadays to be able to utilize the internet to provide us with ideas for easy DIY gifts. Take advantage of websites like Pinterest and YouTube, as they provide plenty of ideas free of charge! 
  • Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it. When you create a shopping list before you go out, you are more likely to avoid making those impulse buys and unplanned purchases. Take this step to the next level and plan your list in accordance with the weekly grocery flyer! It may only look like small savings at first, but if you can make it a regular habit, those savings add up. 
  • Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts. Amazon Prime comes to my mind right off the bat. It is so easy to spend online when you have your card info stored in an account because all you have to do is click and buy. One of the best ways to break this habit would be to simply delete your card from the account. Personally, if I had to get up and get my wallet every time I had an urge to purchase something online, I would usually choose to continue browsing and forget about the impulse purchase.

There are plenty of different ways to save money and get on top of your finances. The most important thing is to have your infrastructure for success in place: you budget! Once you understand where your money is going and what you have left to spend, you have figured it all out! Well mostly..

David Curry

 AVP, Branch Manager

David Curry - AVP, Branch Manager - photo