From a young age my parents have scrutinized the way I spend my money. When my mom told me to start saving for retirement when I was 20, I started laughing…but now at the ripe old age of 22 (and being on the other side of a personal finance class) I realize that she was definitely right!
So why is it important to start saving now?
My personal finance professor has always loudly preached “THE TIME VALUE OF MONEY!!” This principle tells us that $100 available now is worth more than $100 in the future because of the potential for today’s cash to earn interest. This concept is key if you’re trying to save up for a larger purchase.
Here are 6 ways you can start to save today:
1. Put aside every $5 bill that gets into your hands. I started doing this about 3 weeks ago and have already set aside $85. Put it somewhere where you can’t see, and you won’t even miss it.
TOTAL SAVED = ~ $100 a month.
2. Set up auto-transfers with your bank. Ever since I got my first job, I’ve had an auto-transfer system synced to my payday which takes some of the new deposit and sets it into my savings account. It’s hard to spend money when it’s not readily there for the taking.
TOTAL SAVED = $200 a month.
3. Look into tiny auto-save features. My bank offers a $0.50 transfer with every debit transaction. Saving doesn’t have to be overwhelming baby steps are key!
TOTAL SAVED = 20 transactions * $0.50 = $10 a month
4. Make your coffee at home. We all know we should be doing it. A grande skinny vanilla costs $3.95. My Folgers Vanilla Biscotti K-Cup costs $0.53,. That price difference of $3.42 a day adds up, folks.
TOTAL SAVED = $3.42 * 20 work days = $68.40 a month.
5. Stop buying bottled water. FIRST, think about the piles of plastic waste we are contributing to this world. Secondly, think about the $$ you’re pouring down the drain, ALMOST LITERALLY. Pick up one of these cute reusable water bottles to help your style, wallet, your health, AND the environment.
Assuming you’re buying your bottled water when you stop to get your daily Starbucks … TOTAL SAVED = $1.80 * 20 = $36
6. Brown bag it! While dropping $8 on a lunch at Chipotle doesn’t seem that bad, doing the same thing everyday will kill your budget. The average bagged lunch costs $2.45, which is a steal compared to that steak burrito bowl!
TOTAL SAVED = $5.55 a lunch * 20 = $111
Add up these 6 easy tips, and your monthly total saved is a WHOPPING $525.
I know that this number will change for everyone based on their income. However, implementing even just a few of these tricks will help you to build up a solid foundation for money-saving well into your future!