“I want to save more money” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions behind losing weight and getting in shape. You may have made this resolution at the beginning of 2014, but like over 80 percent of Americans who make resolutions, yours ended in failure.
However, a new year is upon us, and with the turn of the calendar comes another chance to actually save more money. But you can’t just say it; you have to do it as well. That’s where Putnam Bank comes in.
We’ve created a step by step plan to help you save more money to put toward an emergency fund, your child’s education, retirement or anything you need to save for. Follow these steps to save your way to a better 2015.
Step 1 – Make a budget
Need to make a budget? For one month, save all your receipts from your transactions. Yes, even that one for a bag of Skittles at the gas station. At the end of the month take those receipts and any other purchases tracked in your Online Banking account or checkbook and compare them to your income.
Step 2 – Organize and adjust
Organize your purchases by category. If what you spent is more than what you brought home, you’re operating at a deficit and need to adjust that immediately. Look at your categories and see where you can reduce your spending. Be sure to add a “savings” category to your budget as you are making adjustments if you don’t have one already.
Step 3 – Learn to live with less
Do you need 500 cable channels when you only watch a dozen of them? Do you really need a huge data plan for your phone? Do you really need to eat out as much as you do? As you’re making adjustments to your budget, you’re going to have to ask yourself some tough questions to make progress. Make your cuts and put the plan into action, but don’t give up right away if you encounter difficulties. Stick to it and get creative to find a solution.
Step 4 – Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account
Our brains are wired to love money. That’s why it can be hard to give it up. By setting up a recurring transfer from your checking to your savings account every payday, you take the humanity out of making a transfer. This makes saving easier because you can’t miss money your checking account never had.
Step 5 – Keep your budget in mind
Now that you’ve set up your budget and recurring transfer, you’re doing great! You can further compound your savings by coming in under budget. How? Whenever you’re making a purchase, ask yourself this simple, but powerful question: “Do I really need this?” You may be surprised how much money this can save you.
Step 6 – Revisit your budget
Whether your budget is set up for every week, two weeks or month, revisit it regularly to see how well you did. You can even take any money saved in a category and stick it in your savings account.
Planning for saving is the easy part. You have to be committed to saving money by having the right attitude. Otherwise you’ll end up in the same position at the end of 2015. Putnam Bank has a variety of savings accounts and online services like Online Banking to help you save, so come by your nearest Putnam Bank office to get started today!
Putnam Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender