17 Habits of People Who Are Great at Saving Money
Because when it comes to building your nest egg, these little moves can add up big time.
Good savers take free money
Does your employer give you a discount on your insurance for getting a check-up every year? Does your company have employee stock options or offer to match your retirement savings? Do you have flight miles or hotel points accrued that you’re not using? Many people leave this so-called “free money” on the table, Woroch says. It may take a little extra effort to fill out the paperwork, but it’s worth the time.
Good savers have three to six months of expenses saved
Here’s your scary stat for the day: About 78 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which means most of us are just one bad car accident or layoff away from financial ruin. It may sound obvious, but good savers save. How much savings you need depends entirely on your lifestyle, but Garrett and Stanzak recommend having enough money to cover at least three to six months of basic expenses like mortgage, insurance, utilities, and food. Check out these easy ways to save money without feeling the pinch.
Good savers are honest with themselves
None of us are getting any younger, that’s for sure. Yet so many people live in denial of this fact, Stanzak says. The truth is that each of us has risk factors that could affect financial security. Good savers are honest about their particular risks—advancing age, tenuous job security, chronic health problems, family issues, etc.—and plan their savings to account for them. Get a look at these simple ways to make some extra cash, fast.
Good savers do not feel entitled
“Too many people have this attitude of entitlement,” Stanzak says. “They get caught up in ‘I work hard, so I should have this because I earned it.’” But if you can’t afford a nice car or a day at the spa, you shouldn’t buy it, no matter how hard you work or how strongly you feel you deserve it.
Good savers use online savings accounts and credit unions
Online savings accounts generally offer a better interest rate than traditional brick-and-mortar banks, Woroch says. “Good savers also shop around to ensure they don’t get charged bank fees and may use a credit union instead.” Learn when you should never, ever use your credit card for payment.
Good savers make saving easy and automatic
Remember how automatic bill pay allowed you to forget the pain of paying your bills? Well it works the other way too. Automating your savings account, either through an automatic transfer on a certain day each month or through using one of the savings apps like Digit, can take the sting out of saving, Stanzak says.
Good savers start small
It can be easy to read lists of money-saving tips like this and feel completely overwhelmed and throw in the towel. But saving doesn’t have to be a huge change, Woroch says. “If you’re new to saving, start small. It’s easier to adapt to a small change than a complete life overhaul,” she explains. “So begin by automating a small amount each week and when you become accustomed to saving that amount and living off what you have left, increase it by a little. You’ll continue creating a better savings habit each time.” Read on for the things you should never, ever pay full price for.