12 Super Saving Strategies
by Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP
Your money belongs to you, to spend or to keep. But earning money is only half the battle. It is equally as important to learn to spend it wisely, and to save wisely as well. Begin now to tell your dollars where to go instead of asking where they went.
Here are some saving strategies that will promote healthy saving habits. Note which of the strategies will work for you.
Saving Strategy #1. Tithe to yourself. Each time you are paid, take 10% and sock it away into your saving account. With each bonus, do the same thing. Ditto for tax refunds, auto allowances, and any extra income that comes your way.
Saving Strategy #2. Stash money in your retirement plan. Put money into your 401(k) plan, TSA plan or tax-deductible IRA. The money it earns won't be taxable until it is withdrawn, and you'll garner a tax deduction for the money you contribute to the plan.
Saving Strategy #3. Save through payroll deductions. Payroll deductions that go directly into your savings account or into U.S. savings bond are an excellent way of saving, since it is money that you never see. Don't defeat your plan by raiding your savings account or cashing your bonds.
Saving Strategy #4. Make extra principal payments. Make extra principal payments on your home mortgage each month, to reduce the principal balance on your mortgage and decrease the interest that you pay. This will increase the portion of your regular mortgage payment that goes toward principal.
Saving Strategy #5. Save your bonus. If you receive a substantial annual bonus, live on your regular paycheck, and save your bonus, or at least a significant portion of it. Like saving part of your dessert for later, you won't really miss it now, and it will give you great satisfaction later.
Saving Strategy #6. Bank your raises. The next time you get a raise, don't tell your checkbook. Deposit the net amount of your raise into your savings account rather than your checking account. Hidden in your savings account, your raise will multiply like rabbits, and you won't miss it at all.
Saving Strategy #7. Continue making auto payments. When your automobile is paid for, continue making the auto payments - to your savings account rather than to the finance company. In a few years you will have amassed enough to pay cash for your next car.
Saving Strategy #8. Save with coupons. When you redeem coupons or shop sales, don't spend what you save, save it! Soon you will have enough money for a cruise, jewelry, or whatever you have yearned for.
Saving Strategy #9. Save with mutual funds. Ask a quality mutual fund to draft money directly from your checking account each month. This is an excellent way to invest, and you will be less likely to sell mutual fund shares than to raid your savings account.
Saving Strategy #10. Increase your income. Increase your income by working overtime, seeking a second job or holiday employment, starting a home-based business, doing odd jobs, baby sitting, etc. Deposit your entire pay for such work directly to your savings account, and watch it grow.
Saving Strategy #11. Save extra paychecks. If you are paid every other week, live on two paychecks a month. If you are paid every week, live on four paychecks each month. When an extra pay-period falls in a month, put the extra paycheck into savings. You'll be saving 10% of your take-home pay painlessly.
Saving Strategy #12. Reinvest interest and dividends. If you own certificates of deposit, let the interest accumulate rather than having it paid to you monthly. Reinvest dividends from stocks or mutual funds, acquiring extra shares of the stock or fund.
Ginita Wall is the Co-founder of WIFE. She writes two weekly columns: Tax Talk, Suddenly Single. Worth Magazine recently named Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP, one of the top financial advisers in the country. She provides forensic accounting and financial guidance to men, women and their attorneys before, during and after divorce. She is the author of several books, including "Your Next Fifty Years" and "Our Money Our Selves". Visit her website at: www.planforwealth.com
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