When I first started blogging I never imagined I’d one day be sharing tips for saving money. I’ll be the first to admit I was very financially naïve coming out of college. Credit cards terrified me and I regularly avoided looking at my bank account. (Those entry-level PR jobs…)
Moving to New York and becoming independent from my family really forced me to become educated about the importance saving long-term and how to efficiently pay off my student debt. I’m very proud of the financial habits I’ve developed in the last four years and that today I can say I’m debt free and have a solid emergency savings account. Cue the happy dance!
Everyone’s financial situation is unique and a tactic that may work for one person, may not be right for another. I’m at a unique stage in my life where marriage, buying a home and starting a family isn’t that far away. It’s crazy (but also exciting!) that Nick and I have serious conversations about all of this on a regular basis. Just like saving for college, life moments like these require smart financial planning so in partnership with Upromise I’m sharing 5 tips to save money for large purchases and build your savings account. With the holidays inching closer and a new year on the horizon, now’s a great time to get started!
Set a Goal & Deadline. Determine how much money you’ll need and by when you want it. It’s important to be realistic so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Having a firm deadline will also help you stay accountable. I’d encourage you to check out the Upromise GoalSaver Account – it’s a goal-based savings program where you can link your account to easily set and track savings goals. It’s free to sign up and offers loyalty bonuses and milestone rewards to help you grow your savings faster!
Eliminate Debt. It felt like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders the day I made my last student loan payment. The way I paid off my loans was by setting up automatic maximum monthly payments, but also with additional lump sums from money I made through my website and by selling my car. Services like the Upromise Loan Link can help those with eligible student debt pay it with a percentage of earnings from daily purchases.
Have a Separate Savings Account. Having an account solely for the purpose of saving money has helped me tremendously. Not only can I visually see my savings build, but I can also track my contributions and progress month-by-month.
Follow a Budget. When saving it’s important to match your cash flow. You need to make sure you aren’t overspending on everyday expenses. I would suggest creating a spreadsheet that maps out your income and everything you spend money on each month including re-occurring bills, rent, car payments, groceries and entertainment. Look back at the last 3-6 months as a reference. From there you can cut out unnecessary expenses and decide on a budget that will allow you to effectively save.
Take Advantage of Financial Planning Programs. And don’t be scared off by credit cards! If you use them wisely, you can build your credit history (something you’ll need to show when buying a house) and earn money back on everyday expenses. I use the Upromise MasterCard for many of my daily purchases. Just by shopping online, going out to eat, and more you can receive a percentage of what you spend back so you can start saving for things like college, retirement, student loans, buying a house, starting a family, weddings and more! It’s the best.
Saving for a large purchase and paying off debt takes a lot of patience. It’s not easy putting money away for something big with the constant temptation of spending it on small expenses. You just need to continually remind yourself of your end result and focus on the great feeling of seeing your savings grow or your debt diminishing. Trust me, there’s no greater feeling when you finally meet a financial goal J
How do you save for big purchases? Have you ever used Upromise for financial planning?
Big thank you to Upromise for sponsoring this post!