How do you save money for the future when you cannot pay for today.
An emergency fund is an incredibly important part of your budget and for your life. That financial cushion is a life saver in the case of unexpected bills or problems.
Having something saved up to fall back can relieve at lot of the stress in your life. You know you will be able to meet your financial obligations if you need to.
When doing your monthly budget look at each item as you come to and see where you can cut back and tighten up a little.
Look for places where you can save 10 or 15 dollars. Even ending unnecessary bank charges to withdraw cash from a bank machine that is not your bank.
Those small two dollar charges may seem like they are not much but they can add up in a hurry. Walk the extra couple of blocks to use a machine from your bank.
Every little bit that you do helps.
Remember you are building this up over time it often takes years of small savings and as time goes on you will be able to increase the amount you save as you clear your other debts.
Consolidation loans can be a good option. If you have a lot of small debts, say numerous credit cards and store accounts along with car loans all having a variety of interest rates being charged a consolidation loan may be a great way to go.
The bank totals up all your debts and pays off your creditors. You end up with one loan and only one payment; make sure your interest rate makes it worthwhile.
After you have gotten your loan and your debts are cleared do not make the same mistake a lot of people do when they go through this. Their credit card statement comes in the mail and they see the zero balance and they are out the door card in hand and they start charging their way back into an even bigger mess.
The smart thing to do is keep one card that has the lowest rate (only to be used in a real emergency) and close the rest of the accounts you have.
All it does is tempt a person knowing they have this available credit sitting there.
Keep in mind that it is credit you will be using someone else’s money and they are going to make you pay for that privilege.
If you use cash for purchase save your change. Dump it is a jar, drawer or a piggy bank and twice a year or when it gets full roll it up and deposit it into your emergency fund.
Try for a dollar a day, at the end of each day drop a loony in you piggy bank.
Use a separate account for your savings. This keeps the money out of sight and out of mind so to speak.
Get an account that pays you a good interest rate and has no or very little in the way of service fees.
Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Her column appears every other week in LIFE. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org