Developing healthy habits—that benefit us physically, emotionally and financially—is no easy feat. In fact, changing day-to-day activities is one of the most difficult things to do (yes, it seems we humans truly are a routine-driven group).
Maybe you started the year out with a goal to save more money, or perhaps you were recently hit with an unexpected expense that left you wishing you had more tucked away “just in case.”
We’re here to help with five easy ways to save money fast. Read on to find out more and start saving more money TODAY.
1. Start small.
We know, we know, you SAW that one coming. We’ve said it before, and many habit-forming experts agree that starting small really works. And starting small can look different for everyone as they embark on a mission to build their savings. For some, it could be putting a jar by the door for your spare change or setting up an automatic transfer for $5 a week.
2. Track your progress.
One of the reasons sticking to a new habit can be so hard is we are creatures in need of immediate gratification. If we don’t see progress right away, it can be easy to throw our new goals by the wayside. So whether it’s two jars with marbles representing your weight loss goal (with one marble for each pound you want to lose), or a quick view of how much you’ve saved toward a particular financial goal, find a way to show yourself how far you’ve come. You can also set up savings goals in online banking by going to “Financial Wellness,” clicking on “Savings Goals” and clicking or tapping the “Create a Savings Goal” button. Name your goal, determine how much you want to save and the way you’ll start saving (through automatic transfers or manual deposits/transfers), etc. Once you have your savings goal set up, you will see a progress bar showing you how far you’ve come, and you can even set up alerts to let you know when you’ve hit your goal.
3. Try a no-effort option.
You already have a lot on your plate, so even the thought of starting something new can be overwhelming, unless it involves almost no effort at all. You likely use your debit card several times a week for things like fuel for your car, coffee, groceries or lunch. What if we told you each time you make a purchase, we’ll transfer a few cents into your savings account for you? Sounds pretty great, right? Add Round Up to your account to automatically round your purchase up to the nearest dollar and transfer the change to savings with every debit card purchase you make.
4. Let your credit card collect a little dust.
As a financial institution offering a variety of financial products and services, including credit cards, trust us when we say it is OK to give your credit card a little break every now and then. If you are struggling to stick to your budget due to too many temptations, tuck your credit card away and remove the number from wherever you have it saved online (including your phone or computer). Re-evaluate your budget to identify any trouble areas and ways you can spend what you have and nothing more. Keep your credit card on hand, even if you are not using it as often as you used to, so you have an option for emergency expenses, as well as a longer credit history to keep your credit score intact.
5. Set up spending limits and alerts.
Just like you can track your progress toward your savings goals in Verve’s online banking, you can also categorize purchases (ex: home maintenance, groceries, healthcare, etc.) and set up spending analytics to track your spending habits over time. You can also set spending limits by categories, as well as alerts so you know when you are close to or have hit a category limit. In online banking, go to the “Financial Wellness” section and click on the “Spending” tab. There you will see all of your recent transactions. You can click on each transaction and add a category. Then you can set goals (by going to the “Goals” section in the “Budget” area) for how much you’d like to spend in each category to monitor your spending over time, or set up alerts when you exceed your budget in a particular category.
It’s never too late (or too early!) to focus on building your savings. Use our five easy ways to save money fast to start saving for the first time or give your emergency fund a much-needed boost. Want more money-saving tips to help you grow your savings account all year long? Check out more tips on our blog.