Do you struggle to try and save money? If you are a business owner, pursuing financial goals should be a priority, but it can be difficult to stay on track. The good news? You don’t need to have a substantial income to get your savings underway. Here are 5 simple tips to support your journey as you work to grow your savings, and boost your dreams
Determine your goals:
Goal setting is an essential habit if you want to win in the saving money game. Writing down your financial goals and keeping the list somewhere you can see it, such as on your refrigerator, will get you to stick with it, versus not having any goals at all. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented. Figure out how long it might take you to save for each goal with a tool like Bank of America’s savings goal calculator. Create small steps for each goal to make achieving it less scary and more manageable. And celebrate when you reach each milestone…you deserve it!
Make a budget
…And stick to it! You need to establish where you are — before you determine where you are headed. It’s not as scary or difficult as it may seem. And when you get control over what you are spending vs. saving, it will add freedom to your life and help you make the best choices to benefit your long-term goals. Saving money is not about depriving yourself, but rather empowering your efforts.
Cut excess spending
Do you carefully track your expenses? Each and every one, from your daily Starbucks drinks to late-night Uber rides? It’s the very best way to get a handle on your money. Tracking how much money you have coming in versus how you spend is important in making smart financial decisions that have a big impact on your future. Try using a budget app like Mint.com to track where your hard earned dollars are going, and make cutbacks on anything non-essential. If you’re not paying attention, how will you achieve your goals?
Create a solid savings plan
Carefully look at the goals you’ve created, along with where you currently are in your finances. Then do your research to determine the costs associated with achieving those goals, and the timeline for getting there. For short term goals [1-2 years], you should look at a low-risk regular savings account, money market savings accounts, and CDs. You may want to look into stocks or mutual funds for longer term goals. If you are unsure of where to put your savings, it’s best to consult a professional.
Check in often
Have a weekly “date night” with your finances. Getting into a healthy routine will be incredibly beneficial. Go over your accounts, and review your budget to track progress against your goals. Decide if there are any expenses you can cut back on, and where you can potentially be saving even more money. Nurture your money relationship!
If you don’t pay attention to your money, it will be difficult to ensure you’re prepared for each of your goals — including retirement savings and even shorter-term goals, such as taking a dream vacation, finally buying that hot car, developing an emergency fund or buying a house. Find your own simple tactics to effectively start saving money today.