While 78% of Americans have a savings account, the majority only have between $1,000 and $5,000 in savings. With the current economic environment, learning how to increase your savings is essential. Otherwise, you could find yourself among the 36% who can’t cover a $400 emergency.

Here are 12 money-saving tips you can start using to add a little more to your pocket. With these tips, you can prepare for a rainy day (or that vacation).

Read on to learn how to save money today!

1. Set Goals

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Before you use the rest of these tips to increase your savings, take a moment to establish specific goals. Setting SMART goals can help give you more direction. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

For example, perhaps you’re about to get married. Consider setting a goal to save $10,000 within the next year. Then, break that goal into smaller, easy-to-accomplish chunks.

Perhaps you want to save for your retirement, vacation, or child’s college fund instead.

Determine your goal, when you want to achieve it, and how you want to achieve it. Breaking your goal into smaller chunks can help you track your progress along the way. If you notice you’re not progressing as fast as expected, you’ll know it’s time to make a change to your plan.

2. Review Spending

Gather your paystubs, bank statements, and bills to review your recent spending. Try to gather three months’ worth of these documents. Determine how much money is coming in every month, and how much you’re spending.

Make a note of what you’re spending money on, too. Then, break the information into categories like:

  • Gas/transportation
  • Debt
  • Medical expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Rent and utilities
  • Miscellaneous

Determine where you spend the most money each month. Make a note of where you can cut costs to save on bills. For example, perhaps you eat out three times a week.

In that case, you’ll know to make changes in that category.

Set a monthly budget for yourself, with how much you intend to save in mind.

Aim to save about 20% of your income. Dedicate 50% to necessities. You can spend the remaining 30% on discretionary items or use it to increase your savings.

Then, break your monthly budget up using the above categories.

3. Pay Debts

The average American has about $155,000 in debt. Your debts might include:

  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Mortgage loans
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Auto loans

If you really want to save money long-term, try to pay off your debts as soon as possible. Start with the debt with the highest interest rate first. Use the debt avalanche strategy to minimize your debts as much as possible.

Consider this merchandise card for bad credit if you’re still struggling.

4. Reduce Taxes

Consider talking to a tax expert to discover new ways to reduce your annual taxes.

First, make sure you’re choosing the right filing status. Review the tax rules around claiming dependents, too. For example, you can use the child tax credit if you have children.

If you’re overspending on taxes, a professional can help strategize, ensuring you find new ways to save money.

5. Prepare a Rainy Day Fund

Once you begin using these tips to spend less money, consider creating a rainy day fund. An emergency could wipe out your savings if you’re not careful. Creating a rainy day fund could help you avoid dipping into your savings account when a disaster strikes.

6. Cut Costs

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After reviewing your monthly expenses, you might notice areas where you can begin cutting costs.

First, review your monthly subscriptions. For example, you might have media streaming services like Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. Perhaps you have a subscription for meal kits or groceries.

Consider cutting back as much as possible. Turn off the auto-renew option, too.

You can also cut costs by purchasing generic brands and cheap foods. Consider making your own coffee and meal prepping as well.

7. Plan Meals

Planning meals in advance can help you avoid eating out. It can also ensure you eat everything you purchase, rather than allowing food to go bad.

Make a list of meals you want to make for the week that have overlapping ingredients. Buy only what you need. Follow the list and avoid impulse spending at checkout.

8. Make Repairs

You can also save money by making your own repairs around the house. Instead of tossing out damaged possessions, learn how to fix them yourself!

For example, you can fix a dress shirt with a missing button or fix a wobbly chair.

9. Find a Side Hustle

If you’re aiming to increase your savings this year, consider finding a side hustle.

For example, you can deliver food and groceries, create an Etsy account, or start selling on Redbubble. Consider your skill set and find a side hustle that encourages your passions. You can make money and enjoy the process!

10. Reduce Energy Use

To save on bills, try minimizing your energy use this year.

First, switch to energy-efficient appliances. Try taking shorter showers, too.

If your windows are old, consider weatherstripping to keep air from slipping in and out.

11. Use Cash

Instead of using your credit card throughout the week, give yourself a weekly allowance. Then, only use cash. Seeing your allowance disappear throughout the week can discourage you from spending.

At the end of the week, put any money you didn’t save into your savings account.

12. Remain Consistent

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Once you begin using these tips, remain consistent. You’ll need to continue using these tips to see real results. Don’t draw money from your savings unless you absolutely have to.

In time, you’ll have plenty in your savings account.

Start Using These Money-Saving Tips Today

Ready to put a little more money back into your pocket? Give these 12 money-saving tips a try. Remember, consistency is key if you want to see results.

With these tips, you can save money and increase your savings in no time!

Searching for more tips and tricks? You’re on the right blog.

Explore our latest articles for more helpful guides today.

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