How much money do you have in savings? According to financial planners, you should have at least three to six months worth of expenses in the bank. If it costs you $3,000 to pay for all of your monthly bills plus groceries and gas, you should have $9,000 to $24,000 in the bank. If you don't, you're not alone. A whopping 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Only 15 percent of people have managed to save $10,000 or more. Not having enough savings puts you at risk for financial ruin and homelessness. So what can you do to pack away more money? The following are four strategies.
Split Your Direct Deposit
It's hard to put money in savings after it's in your hand. There are just too many things to spend it on, and saving it feels like a sacrifice. Many people have found that they can save more money if they never see it. If your company offers direct deposit, you have a very easy way to do just that. Set up your direct deposit to put so much money in your savings account and the rest in your checking account.
Save Your Change
If you put all of your change in a jar, you'd be surprised by how much money you can save in a year. All you have to do is simply break a bill and put the change in the jar. But what if you use only electronic payment methods? You can do the same thing. Round up your checking account after each purchase or use a debit card that has a round-up option. The change from your purchases will automatically go into your savings.
Treat Savings as a Bill
Make savings a bill and pay it regularly. Call "saving" something else if you have to to make your mind want to put money away. If you do pay off a bill, instead of putting the extra money in your pocket, stash it in savings like your'e still making the payment. You've already been making the payment, so you won't notice a difference.
Stash Money from Side Jobs
In today's economy, a lot of people have side jobs. If you have one or are thinking about getting one, put the money that you earn into savings. Even if you can only work online for 5 to 10 hours per week, the money will add up.
There are several ways that you can start saving money without feeling the pinch. Successful saving is all about establishing a plan and sticking to it. Talk to a financial planner for more personalized solutions.