Develop strategies to save money effectively

Find simple tips to save money effectively so you can achieve your goals!

Being able to save money effectively is essential. Savings provides the foundation to achieve your goals and helps you get out of living paycheck-to-paycheck. But how do you achieve healthy savings on a tight budget with all your bills and other obligations?

These articles talk about the latest tips and techniques for saving money effectively.  Learn better ways to set money aside consistently and the best strategies for making it grow so you can reach your goals.

credit card rewards

Is There A Free Credit Card With Maximum Travel Points?

June 22, 2017 | Jason Steele

Yes, and it has an annual-fee cousin that’s even better.

Americans Wish They Saved More

June 21, 2017 | Gregory Cox

Not saving enough for retirement is a bigger regret than taking on too much debt

Lindsay from Notorious Debt

This “Money-Pit” Ruined Lindsay’s Finances

June 21, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

It left the Notorious D.E.B.T. writer and her husband hopelessly in debt — but they’re making a comeback.

millennial with student loans

Student Loans: What America Doesn’t Know Is Killing Us

June 20, 2017 | Joe Pye

Most borrowers have no idea what they’ll owe in the future – or even how many years their loans are for

Around the web

This Week Around The Web

June 20, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Make extra money, save money, family theft and pet care costs.

Paying credit card debt with your 401k could delay retirement significantly

We Grade Our Retirement Plans On a Curve

June 19, 2017 | Joe Pye

Americans give themselves a passing grade on saving for retirement, but most are failing.

How Much Is Too Much for Wedding Music?

June 19, 2017 | Emily Bloch

Some pro musicians are doing wedding tours between release tours. But at $7,000 a song, you have better options.

How One Of the 10 Commandments Can Predict Your Debt

June 19, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

If you break this Commandment, you’re probably broke.

cellphone

6 Cellphone Secrets That Can Save You Hundreds of Dollars a Year

June 16, 2017 | Money Talks News

You can pay less for more service. Here’s how.

Millennials Out-Save Older Generations

June 16, 2017 | Joe Pye

They are more conservative with their money at younger ages than previous generations

Is Neil Gorsuch an anti-liberal villain like Scalia?

Neil Gorsuch Sides with Debt Collectors in His First Ruling

June 15, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

That sucks in the short-term, but it’s good for consumers in the long-term.

working mom retirement

Women Struggling Hard with Retirement Savings

June 15, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Women are still primary caregivers, still earn less than their male counterparts, and still don’t believe they are financially ready for retirement.

Think Save Retire

Steve Snapped Out of His Spending Spree

June 14, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

He and his wife decided a retired life on the road meant more to them.

women manage money better

Women are Better Than Men at Money Management

June 13, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Women are not only better at saving, but also at investing. However, women don’t know they are better than men at money management.

What if I stopped paying my credit cards?

Middle Class Millennials Struggle With Employment

June 13, 2017 | Joe Pye

Having a credit score under 700 is related to difficulties holding onto jobs and living on your own.

Around the web

This Week Around The Web

June 13, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Saving money, divorce, the war on debt, financial goals and more.

health savings accounts

Why Health Savings Accounts Are Booming Right Now

June 12, 2017 | Dori Zinn

As many older Americans gripe with how to afford retirement, they’re taking advantage of health savings accounts now more than ever.

financial choice act

Where Does Trump Stand on Financial Reform?

June 8, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

He wants the CFPB gutted, but also is “looking at” busting up big banks.

cash advance

Don’t Take Advantage of Credit Card Cash Advances

June 8, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Consumers are paying much more in cash advances than what they take out. Here’s a breakdown of the costs.

Marcus from Minimally Nerdy

The “Geek Life” Nearly Ruined Marcus’ Finances

June 7, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

His collection of action figures, games and comics defined him, but he transformed.

Is It Legal For Debt Collectors To Ring My Doorbell?

June 7, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

This week: A reader asks about debt collectors, repo men, and “Fonzi” schemes.

prioritize debts

Are You Paying the Wrong Debt First?

June 6, 2017 | Dori Zinn

We’re paying off unsecured personal loans faster than auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards and we probably shouldn’t be.

Around the web

This Week Around The Web

June 6, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Wasted stuff, experiencing life, doing nothing, summer adventures and more.

moving back in with parents

College Grads Moving Back To Mom’s And Dad’s

June 6, 2017 | Joe Pye

College graduates value their degrees even though they can’t afford to live on their own.

baby boomer retiring

We Don’t Care About Retirement as Much as We Say We Do

June 5, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Most of us are worried about emergencies, health care, and vacations more than saving for our retirement.

average American spending

QUIZ: Do You Know American Spending Habits?

June 5, 2017 | Emily Bloch

It’s like a really sad version of ‘The Price is Right,’ because the only prize is knowing how people budget

Homeowners insurance rates by credit

Here’s How To Lower Your Homeowners Insurance By Two-Thirds [map]

June 5, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

It’s not as simple as it sounds, but also not as hard as it looks: Raise your credit score.

biggest regrets of college students

College Seniors Struggle To Pick Careers

June 2, 2017 | Joe Pye

One reason: They focus too much on class and not enough on what else colleges offer.

Where to sell stuff online

5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Every Online Purchase

June 2, 2017 | Money Talks News

Yes, you can get a discount on almost everything you buy online.

Millennial retirement

Financial Flexibility Is Top Goal Among Pre-Retirees

June 1, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Except only a handful are on their way to achieving that goal

debtfreegeek

Chris From Debt Free Geek Believes in Intensity

May 31, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

It not only helps him stay debt-free, it also protects him.

Close-up of a gold-ingot on top of a troy ounce silver and palladium bar

How Do We Prepare For The Next Recession?

May 31, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader agrees with her husband: A recession is coming. They don’t agree on what to do about it.

Portrait of young stressed woman sitting at home office desk in front of laptop, touching head with frustrated facial expression, having headache, overworked or depressed about health

Women Aren’t as Financially Well-off as They Think They Are

May 30, 2017 | Dori Zinn

The loss of a spouse or divorce is a major test of financial independence.

geeky subscription boxes

Are Geeky Subscription Boxes Worth the Price?

May 29, 2017 | Emily Bloch

Pay up, get quirky mystery goods on a regular basis. We break down the value of some popular services.

why a college degree is more valuable

What You Can Learn About Money From A Commencement Speech

May 29, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Here are six lessons not only for new grads, but for everyone.

retirement role model

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same Salary

May 26, 2017 | Money Talks News

Yes, you can retire earlier than your friends, and live much more comfortably.

Young clever woman during her job and money conversation

This Summer: More Seasonal Work at Higher Pay

May 24, 2017 | Dori Zinn

More companies, large and small, are on the hunt for great workers this summer, while pay for those jobs is also expected to go up.

Kayla’s Debt Changed Her Life

May 24, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Her financial mess gave her new hope.

A team of 2 firefighter of a German fire brigade after an exhausting training session with protective gear

Can Volunteer Firefighters Get Student Loan Forgiveness?

May 24, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader wants to know if you need a real job to get real debt relief.

Work excuses you can use

Just Being Poor Can Make You Sick

May 23, 2017 | Dori Zinn

The more debt you have, the more likely you are to have higher stress levels, more weight gain, and increased sleep loss.

Banking apps may be better than you think.

Baby Boomers Really Love Smartphones

May 23, 2017 | Joe Pye

They are more willing to give up financial stability for smartphones, than younger generations.

Around the web

This Week Around The Web

May 23, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Singer Jack Johnson, a five-step plan, a gas hike, good habits and more.

debt tech robot

Can “Debt Tech” Robots Keep You From Going Broke?

May 22, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

With self-driving cars already taking to the road, is it so far-fetched to think robots can keep you out of debt?

Relaxed business woman in office

Entrepreneur Moms Never Stop Working

May 22, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Most entrepreneurial moms are still the primary caretakers of their families, but that hasn’t stopped them from leading hugely successful careers.

Ed Sheeran

You Should Manage Your Money Like Ed Sheeran

May 22, 2017 | Emily Bloch

Turns out, the millionaire knows a thing or two about saving.

how to avoid financial stress

High Debt Gives Us High Anxiety

May 19, 2017 | Joe Pye

Most Americans don’t have a plan to deal with an average debt of $37,000.

Financial stress upsets business man traveling home by train

How to Prepare for and Deal With an Income Emergency

May 19, 2017 | Money Talks News

How quickly could you come up with $400? Many of us would need to borrow it.

Millennial Adults Still Living At Home

May 18, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Most moms say their adult children aren’t ready to live on their own and only one-third of young adults are looking to move out of their parent’s house.

Ruining retirement with bad planning

Boomers Aren’t Ready for Retirement

May 17, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Most Americans believe they are financially prepared for retirement. As more baby boomers hit retirement age, they don’t know as much as they think they do when it comes to finances in the golden years.

Financial Pain is Nothing to David from Run the Money

May 17, 2017 | Brian Bienkowski

Sure, it hurts, but he’s been through worse.

6 Smart Tips for How to Save Money More Effectively

#1: Make savings automatic

Anytime you can set up a system to work without you, it’s more likely to work. If you have to remember to set aside money each month before you spend it, it’s less likely to occur. So, you want to make savings automatic.

The best idea is to ask your HR department to split the Direct Deposit for your paycheck. Allocate 5-10% of your income to deposit directly into your savings account while the rest goes to checking. This way, you don’t even have to think about setting money aside. Otherwise, set up a recurring monthly transfer from your checking to your savings account.

#2: Establish a short-term emergency fund first

Your first savings goal should be to have a $1,000 balance that you maintain in your main savings account. This should be the minimum balance that you try to keep in the account so you have funds to cover most emergencies. Then you can use the funds if your car breaks down, you have an expensive home repair or an unexpected medical bill.

As you’ll see below, this is not the full financial safety net you need. But it’s a good, solid first milestone that you can aim to achieve.

#3: Next aim for 3-6 months of budgeted expenses

A true emergency fund is big enough to cover all your bills and necessary budgeted expenses for up to 6 months. This means you can be out of work due to unemployment or a medical issue for half a year without facing financial distress. You don’t have to rely on high interest rate credit cards to cover your expenses or take out costly payday loans.

Total up all the necessary expenses in your budget and multiply by three. This gives you the next savings milestone you should aim for after your basic $1,000 emergency fund.

#4: Don’t be afraid of investing

A traditional savings account typically has an interest rate of less than 1%. In fact, 1% is considered a “high rate” when it comes to savings accounts. The problem is that such a low rate means it takes a long time for your money to grow. You’ll be lucky if you ever achieve your goals with such little growth.

In order to save money effectively, you must make those savings grow effectively. This means you need better growth rates than your basic savings account can offer. Without more robust investment tools, it will be hard to achieve stable long-term savings.

#5: Consider cash equivalents

If you don’t like the risk of the stock market and you prefer to start small, look to cash equivalents first. Cash equivalents refer to any investment that you can easily convert to cash. This actually includes basic checking and savings accounts, as well as investments like Money Market Accounts and Certificates of Deposit.

Money Market Accounts function like savings accounts, except they usually have higher minimum balance requirements. The applied interest rate is usually higher, too. In fact, most MMAs work on a tiered rate system. This means the more you save and the higher your account balance, the higher your rate of return, too.

CDs are a type of short-term investment that also offer better rates for saving. You deposit a certain amount of money that matures over a certain term; typically, terms range from one week up to five or ten years. At the end of the term, you withdraw the money or let it roll over for another term. This type of savings can be good to hit specific goals like we will describe below.

#6: Allocate savings for specific goals

Think about savings in terms of specific goals that you want to reach. For instance, you would have your basic savings and emergency fund, long-term retirement savings, and then savings that you allocate for certain purposes. This will help you save strategically and ensure the money doesn’t get spent.

So, let’s say you want to buy a car next year. You have $3,000 in savings that you want to use for the down payment. If you put that money into a 12-month CD, it can grow for a year and it’s not sitting in your savings account where it can get spent. Allocating savings this way helps ensure you can pay for specific goals with less need for financing. You can also pay for things like vacations without high interest rate credit card debt coming home with you.