Money worries are some of the most common out there, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in financial concerns. Money doesn’t have to be a major stressor, though. Keeping track of your finances and making sure you have something extra for a rainy day can make things a lot easier and help you clear your mind of worry and doubt. Here are three ways to get started building your savings to reduce your financial stress.
Make A Budget And Stick To It
Budgeting isn’t always the most fun you can have with your cash, but it’s one of the most important tools when it comes to making sure you know what you’ve got and what you need to be saving. Plan out your budget dollar by dollar, starting with expenses you can’t cut like housing, food, utilities, etc. Make sure your budget includes an allotted amount for savings. There are a lot of calculations out there about how much you should be saving, and certainly you shouldn’t put off building a savings simply because you want that money now. However, taking a look at your budget and figuring out a dollar figure that fits comfortably within it is prudent, even if it doesn’t always align exactly with the projected percentages. Don’t forget to build a bit of “fun money” into your budget, too. After all, the point is to reduce stress regarding your finances. Allowing yourself to enjoy a bit of your hard-earned cash is just as important to that goal as building savings.
Create Goals To Replace Rewards
We all like to splurge on a thing or a great night out when payday hits, but it does little to motivate savings. Instead of treating yourself to a short-term reward, set longer term goals that will pay out when you get there. If, for example, you’re saving 15% of your income, dedicate 10% to your long term savings and set aside 5% for your goal, maybe a dream vacation. Once that 5% reaches the amount you need to afford your goal, reward yourself by taking that vacation. Set a new goal and repeat. You get higher yield rewards that way, and it’s tied directly into your savings plan so you’re making sure your money gets to the right place. It’s a way to enjoy your money and eliminate trying to scrape together funds out of your excess money for things you want.
Evaluate Your Insurance
Insurance is one of the biggest security blankets we have, but overpaying for coverage you don’t need takes away cash that you could be putting elsewhere. Take a look at all of your insurance plans – medical, dental, life, auto, home, everything – and see what costs outweigh the benefits of your coverage. Keep the things that give you peace of mind, and don’t cut away anything that’s legally required in your state or by your community, but if you find that you’re paying for coverage that seems to take more than it gives, cut the cost and roll that into your savings. It’s an easy way to use money you’ve already allocated elsewhere to build your account while keeping yourself protected in all the right areas.