Clever Ways to Increase Your Savings

Is your travel fund running low? Us too! We are still early in 2018 and now is a good time to look at your finances and really get a grasp on what you have, owe and have the ability to save.

Learning to be creative with your savings is a guaranteed way to have some spare cash at the end of each month. Saving money is a long term habit and when you really commit to saving each month, the savings over time will grow. By the 12th month, you’ll feel accomplished at your ability to save just a little every month.

Whether you’re saving for the long run or for the short term, here are a few ways you can cleverly increase your savings:

Take advantage of all things free:

Join the many Facebook groups out there where people post either free items or items they’re willing to swap. Our first inclination might be to buy something completely new, but before you go out and buy something shiny and new, try searching Meetup for clothing swaps, networking opportunities for possible new business ventures. The Freecycle Networking is a free site that allows you to search the thousands of grassroot groups across the country that give the gift of giving all year round.

Wait 30 days before you buy:

The 30 day rule is a good way to put into perspective just how much you do buy versus how much you need. This trick works especially if you are shopping online. Instead of automatically clicking the ‘check out’ button, try leaving your wish list in your cart. Check back on it every few days until you reach 30 days. After 30 days, if you still have a desire to purchase the item, then purchase. If you decide after 30 days that this was simply an impulse item, remove the item from your cart and move on. When shopping at the store, walk a few extra laps around the store before checking out. By doing so, you give yourself more time to think about the items in your cart and really ask yourself, “does this item add value to my life?”

Plan a one month money detox:

The idea of staying home for an entire month straight probably doesn’t sound appealing. If you’re budgeting for an upcoming trip, a money detox might be your first step. Cleverly devise a set of ‘to do’s for each weekend in the month that involve little to no money. Start with to-dos that are related to personal development so that you aren’t tempted to spend money on yourself. Instead, think of ways to increase your personal growth. Track your savings over the course of a month and bam, you’ve just completed a month long money detox.

Invest in life insurance:

This money saving idea is definitely meant for the long term investment! Life insurance is particularly useful if you would like to build a policy that will increase over a specific amount of time. Many insurance policies offer cash value policies, meaning your policy will amount to a cash value after a specific amount of time. Keep this in mind, “In traditional whole life insurance policies, your premiums stay the same until you've paid off the policy. The policy itself is in effect until your death, even after you've paid all the premiums.” Choose a policy wisely and really discuss how much you are willing to invest each year because it can take a lifetime (so to speak) to really generate a high cash value.

Be creative in your quest to increase your savings. Give yourself some credit along the way. Saving money can be challenging. Each month you’re responsible for a series of bills that all add up and may leave you with little expendable cash. The key is limiting yourself to the essentials and slowly building your way to a sustainable savings that will allow you to take that prized trip you’ve been saving up for!

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Isabelle Marsh

Isabelle is a freelance writer and educator based in Seattle. Her background stems in social work, but her love of writing is forever intertwined in her work. She enjoys monthly adventures around the PNW and everything plant related.