Easy Ways to Save Money Without Really Trying – Guest Post
You know how to save money: Put money in your bank account and don’t spend it. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to follow such cold logic. You know you need to save money. You know you’ll be in a bad place if you don’t have any emergency savings and you lose your job, or if you have to retire early but haven’t planned adequately. Yet it’s so much easier to spend your paychecks on the things you’re trying to accomplish now: Buying a house, taking vacations, and enjoying other luxuries like eating out.
You don’t have to give up on these things in order to save money. You can learn to save money even if it’s hard for you to maintain the discipline to put aside money every payday or to avoid pillaging your savings account whenever you’re ready to take a vacation. Here are just a few easy ways that you can save money without really trying:
When you buy something for $15.89, what do you do with the change? You probably toss it into a jar on your dresser and forget about it — or, worse, it falls out into the couch cushions and is forgotten about until spring cleaning. When you buy that same item with your check card, you can bank that 11 cents in your savings account. That’s not much now, but if you bank 11 cents — or any change — every time you make a purchase, it adds up fast.
Many banks offer a program like this that rounds up the purchase price to the next dollar amount and banks the change in a savings account. It allows you to establish automatic savings that adds up quickly.
If you had to pay for your own health insurance or life insurance, you might skip this expense to save money in your monthly budget. When it’s automatically taken out of your paycheck, you don’t notice the expense as much. You automatically adjust to the take-home pay after the deduction.
The same concept applies to your savings. If you have to take the money out yourself, you may be less likely to do it. If you set up your deductions to automatically deposit into your savings account, you will be more likely to make regular contributions to your savings. You can decide to deduct a percentage of your pay or a set dollar amount. Either way, doing so will ensure that you are making regular contributions and building your savings.
Health and Dependent Care Savings Accounts
Health and dependent care savings accounts allow you to make tax-free contributions to pay for health care expenses and child care. What this means is that you are saving income taxes on those contributions, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars per year depending on your tax bracket and your level of contributions.
Your contributions must be used for qualified expenses, such as doctor visits and daycare. However, the contributions made are yours forever.
Saving money need not be an exercise in asceticism. You can make automatic contributions through payroll deductions, make incremental contributions by rounding up your purchases into your savings account or contribute to a health or dependent care savings account to save on taxes. All of these will help you put more money in your pocket and to have more savings for the future.
Catie Keeler is the primary researcher and writer for mortgagerates.info. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a degree in business and communications.