Saving Your First $500

When I first started learning about personal finance and money management, everything seemed so easy. In theory.

At it turns out, it isn’t as easy as I thought, and these are a few steps learned along the way for putting money away and budgeting.

It should go without saying, you need to save for a rainy day. When that day comes and what it might look like remains to be seen. But having some savings for when your car breaks down or an emergency happens is clearly a word to the wise.

Start a Savings Account. Now.

Like many, I used to have a checking account and try to leave some extra cash in there, keeping track in my head and hoping it would grow.

Since you can access those funds from a debit card, it isn’t exactly a savings account when you can grab your money on a whim.

Start Slashing Your Spending

To take your first step, find $20 in your budget and start putting that into your new savings account.

When you start looking, small things can add up. You might have a few subscriptions that are barely used. Now that GoT is over… you get the idea. Keep looking, and before you know it, you’ll have found that first $20.

But don’t stop there. Each month you should re-examine the possibilities. Take a closer look at your car payments, or insurance, or refinancing a loan. The point is, there are ways to lower your overhead and the first step is to start looking. Next month you might be able to put $40 into that new savings account.

The Couch Cushions

As you begin to budget, you’ll discover new ways to manage your finances. Here’s a few more favorite ways I’ve found to be helpful..

– Use a cashback rewards card for any and every purchase you make.
– Find rebates for any online shopping you do.
– Re-evaluate what you have and what you really use (gym?)
– Try to buy (and sell) used items and be amazed what you can save.
– Always price compare. You know you should.
– Seek out price adjustments on past purchases.
– Cut the chord (we mean cable) even if it’s basic.
– Lower your expenses, and start with insurance bill.
– Get rid of bank fees, because you know it’s time.

The tip of the iceberg, and when you add it up, you’ll notice a significant savings to be found.

Know what to do with it? That’s right, straight into your savings account.