Saving is a strong foundation for achieving financial well-being and feeling like you have control over your finances.
While saving isn’t an option for everyone, there are some simple things you can do today to set yourself up for success tomorrow. The key is starting slow.
If you feel like there isn’t room in your budget for savings right now, you may still benefit from these tips in the future. In the meantime, take a look at these creative ways to help you stretch your income, as well as our budgeting guide.
Review your spending.
We want to let you in on a secret: Putting money aside can give you the same warm and fuzzy feelings as shopping – without the onslaught of regrets. But if you’re new to saving, or you haven’t saved money in a while, it can be easy to get ahead of yourself by putting aside more than you can afford. First thing’s first, take inventory of your spending habits. Notice any patterns? Did anything surprise you? By taking a step back, you may be able to identify areas of your spending that could benefit from scaling back.
Once you’ve gone through the first step of reviewing your spending habits, set realistic goals and keep yourself accountable. Early in your savings journey, focus less on the amount of money you’re putting aside, and more on the frequency. For example, if you can only afford to save 5% of every paycheque, commit to depositing money into your savings account on pay days. You can gradually increase or decrease your contributions if your income increases or you experience any setbacks.
Automate your savings.
Digital tools like mobile banking apps and online account access have made it easier to help take control of your finances. Automatic withdrawals into a savings account, for example, allow you to build a safety net without the manual effort of making monthly transfers yourself. If you choose to commit to saving a certain amount of every paycheque, say, 5%, you can contact the branch associated with your direct deposit account to set up regular automatic withdrawals into your savings account on pay days.
Whether you’re starting with $5 or $50, the point is that you’ve made a commitment to your journey, and you’re working towards a brighter financial future. That’s great! However you choose to build your savings, don’t forget to celebrate the victories.