Finding Money to Save

Building up your savings is a key part of financial wellness and stability. But sometimes, it can feel impossible to save enough money to reach your goals, whether it’s sufficient emergency savings, a down payment for a house, investments for retirement, or enough for a more reliable car.

Take heart! You can find success by steadily pursuing small saving tactics every day.

In general, finding money to save—even on the tightest budget—follows two strategies: minimizing spending or earning more money. You’ll hit your savings goals even faster if you do both!

Cut back on spending in ways big and small

If you don’t already have a budget, that’s the first place to start when looking for ways to spend less and save more. Look at how much you earn a month, how much you spend on fixed costs (life expenses that don’t change month to month) like rent, student loan payments, insurance. car payments, etc. and then decide how much you would like to save—$50 a month? $100? Or maybe more. Now build a budget as if that saving amount is a fixed cost. From there, see where you need to cut back in other categories—like food, entertainment, cell phone bill, clothing, personal care, gym membership, etc.—to make that happen.

Maybe you already have a budget and it’s tight. You feel like there’s no wiggle room to save money and pay your bills every month. Below is a table with some small-saving ideas that really do add up over time.

Where to save

Estimated monthly saving

Estimated yearly saving

Save $.50/day in loose change

$15

$180

Cut out 1 liter of soda consumption per week

$6

$72

Drink drip coffee instead of a fancier concoction

$40

$480

Eat out 2 fewer times a month

$30

$360

Comparison shop for gas

$4

$48

Bounce one fewer check a month

$20

$240

Avoid credit card late payment fee

$25

$300

Cancel or downgrade TV service

$100

$1,200

Other ways to spend less but still enjoy life:

Remember, every time you save money by underspending in your budget, put the cash straight into your savings account!

Earn more money

When looking for ways to earn more money—outside of simply picking up a part-time job—there are really only two factors you must decide how to offer or supply: time and/or talent. Find tasks that others don’t have the know-how or time to do and then fill the gap!

Some examples:

Other tips

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