With National Savings Day approaching on Oct. 12, this year’s “celebrations” may be more important than ever.
According to a recent survey from TopCashback.com, the USA’s most generous cashback site, 30 percent of Americans have been saving more in the past six months.
In the past six months, what best describes your approach to money?
• In the middle — Spend and save within your means. (62 percent)
• Save — Better to be safe than sorry. Aiming for long-term financial security. (30 percent)
• Spend — Money will keep coming. Enjoy what has been well-earned. (Eight percent)
In the past six months, have you been spending more or less than you previously were?
• Less (42 percent)
• The same (32 percent)
• More (26 percent)
If you’re saving more, do you plan to continue this trend going forward?
• Yes (89 percent)
• No (11 percent)
Whether you are saving toward an emergency fund or your dream home, here are five tips to help you build your savings from Rebecca Gramuglia, Consumer Expert at TopCashback.com:
Actively contribute to your savings and budget accordingly
Allot for room in your budget to have a portion go towards your savings. To stay on track, consider adapting a budgeting tool like the 50/20/30 rule. Spend up to 50 percent of your after-tax income on essentials, such as housing and food; 20 percent on financial priorities such as debt repayments and savings; and 30 percent on your wants; such as splurges.
Copy your employer's 401(k) match to save more
Contribute enough to your 401(k) to get the full employer match. For example, say your employer matches 50 percent of what you put in — up to five percent of your salary. That means if you earn $60,000 a year, you must contribute $3,000 to your retirement plan to get the full employer match. And once you do, your employer would kick in another $1,500 towards your savings. It’s basically free money you receive from your employer after you make pre-tax contributions to your retirement plan. And remember your 401(k) contribution amount should be guided by your retirement savings goal, so faithfully contribute to allow your investment to grow and garner additional savings.
Add to your emergency fund
Whether it’s a bonus, extra change, holiday gifts or anything in-between, consider saving any additional cash you may receive instead of spending it. Whether it’s a portion or all of the money you received, adding to your emergency fund can eliminate any future financial stress and frustration when something major occurs that you would typically need money for.
Be mindful of spending habits
Online shopping has become the norm for many and it’s important to always be on the lookout for ways to save and avoid fees. For example, if you find yourself paying for shipping, see if you can score in-store pickup to eliminate extra costs. Plus, be sure to layer on the discounts by using coupons and credit card rewards, and shop through a cashback site like TopCashback.com to earn a percentage of your purchase back in cashback on all qualifying purchases from stores like Zappos, Home Depot, Sephora and more.
Stop paying for convenience
Cutting back on daily coffee runs and takeout orders can save you major bucks. Instead of paying for someone else to make you coffee, prepare your meals or cut up fruits and veggies, try doing it yourself. For example, your morning coffee runs can be costing you $15 a week, which means you could ultimately be spending $60-$75 a month just to satisfy your coffee habit. Instead, invest in a good coffee machine and make your own coffee every morning. And the money you would have spent on those daily coffee runs could ultimately be going to your savings.
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