If you’ve started saving, congratulations! This is a big step. But how do you keep saving?
Here are some ways:
Automate Savings. This means making the decision once and putting a system in place that makes saving happen automatically. People who save the most use this method. Using direct deposit of wages and then an automatic transfer to a savings account is the easiest way to automate savings. You can also directly deposit wages onto a prepaid debit card and transfer funds into a set aside savings account.
Pay Yourself First. If you can’t automate savings, then try “pay yourself first.” Before paying any bills, set aside a little bit for savings. If you don’t have regular wage employment and/or operate primarily using cash, then this could be a way for you to build savings. But, you have to make a commitment and stick to it.
Review Your Savings Goal(s) Regularly. Your goal is your motivation to save. Whether for the holidays, a new refrigerator, or an emergency fund, review your savings goals at least once a month. This will help keep you focused on saving. It may also help you avoid daily decisions that can derail savings. Consider posting your goals somewhere you can see them daily.
Share Your Goal and Progress with Others. One of the reasons Weight Watchers works for so many people is the peer support and positive reinforcement people get from it. Create this culture around savings. Share your goal with some close family members or friends that you know will be supportive of your savings goals. Ask them to check in on your progress. Or, agree to share updates periodically to keep you accountable and motivated.
Look for a Financial Mentor, Counselor, or Coach. Many communities offer financial mentoring, counseling, or coaching programs. They are often designed to help people stay on track toward their financial goals. Through a formal relationship in one of these programs, you will get support and accountability as you take steps in build your savings and reach your goals.
Celebrate Your Success. Make note of your increasing savings account balance. Check every few months, and you will be surprised how quickly your savings grows with regular contributions from you.