Six Painless Ways To Save More Money

By Nedra Rhone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

According to a recent survey, 26 percent of Americans have no emergency savings.

A full 67 percent have saved less than the recommended six months worth of expenses and 50 percent have saved less than three months expenses.

Here’s the really scary part…people between the ages 30 to 49 are more likely than any other age group to have no emergency savings.

Meanwhile, 18- to 30-year-olds are the most likely to have up to five months worth of expenses saved up. And yet, all anyone can talk about is how poorly millennials are faring financially. Strange.

If you are one of those 30- to 49-year-olds with no emergency savings, you need to get started. Here are some painless (and small) ways to saving more money:

The money jar. This is one of the oldest saving strategies, but it still works. At the end of the day, dump your spare change in a jar, piggy bank or other container and watch it add up.

Automate it. Route your paycheck to your savings account instead of your checking account. Enroll in a bank program that rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the change in your savings account. These small things can help you save hundreds per year depending on your spending habits.

Bank your raise. Were you lucky enough to get a 2 percent cost-of-living raise? Maybe you earned an even higher pay increase. If so, pretend you never got it and send the extra cash to your savings account.

Save the unexpected. If you earn money from a side gig, if you get an unexpected bonus, or if your favorite aunt gives you $500 for your birthday, send it directly to your savings account. It may also be fun to open a separate savings account just for your unexpected windfalls. This can help you keep track of how much unanticipated cash comes your way over a period of time.

Give up a habit (in moderation). By now, we’ve all heard about how much you can save if you give up your coffee habit or carry your lunch everyday, but what is life without small pleasures? Instead of wholly eliminating one habit, try just giving up a few days of coffee, taking your lunch three times per week. Put the money you save from reducing your five-day-a-week habit to two-days-a-week into your savings account.

Believe in starting small. People are often not interested in saving just $5 a day or $50 a week, but taking small steps can help you get out of the rut of not saving at all. And really, saving anything is better than saving nothing.

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