5 Reasons Why You Aren’t Saving Money (And What To Do About It)
Saving money is a habit, one that is useful to help you keep some funds on hand for vacations, emergencies, Christmas and your retirement. The financial stupor of the past few years has made it difficult for people to save, when some individuals using up their savings to make ends meet. There are a number of reasons why you aren’t saving money. There are also ways you can counter these reasons, to start saving again in quest to reach your goals.
1. Tax returns — The average individual tax refund was $3,045 for tax year 2009 according to the IRS. That’s a hefty amount of money, but it also a source of temptation for taxpayers to fritter away these funds or not apply the money carefully elsewhere. Resolve to set aside at least one-third of your next refund in a savings account. Apply the remaining funds to pay down your bills, to handle an upcoming expenditure or both.
2. Retirement match — If your company offers a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) and you’re not participating, then you may be giving up hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars of retirement savings. In recent years companies have held down wages and retirement contributions, making it all the more important that you participate. Some company plans are quite generous, matching the first two or three percent of your income with each dollar you contribute. Moreover, the money you save is saved tax-free and may place you into a lower tax bracket.
3. No savings account — You have a checking account with your bank, but you don’t have a savings account. And why is that? Because, at 0.25 percent interest, a savings account has not appeal to you. Aside the paltry interest rate, having a savings account is important, because it allows you to set aside money that might otherwise get spent. Many banks allow customers to link a savings account to their checking account, making automated withdrawals that can lead to regular savings. Open up an account and have money withdrawn weekly from your checking account to your savings account.
4. Your utilities have run amok — Most consumers make big use of utilities and have electric, gas, phone, Internet, cable and cell phone bills that press their monthly budgets. If you can live without a land line, drop it and rely on your cell phone exclusively. You can also combine your cable, Internet and phone service to one service provider, bundling your costs and setting aside your savings. Cell phone costs can wreck any budget — shop for the cheapest phone and simplest plan, avoiding costly texting if it is an extra expense.
5. Change your personal habits — Many of us have habits that cost us money, things we can live without or cut back on in a bid to save money. Cigarettes, beer, fast food dining, visits to the coffee shop and front row tickets to a sporting or music event can drain you of cash quickly. You don’t have to get rid of each habit, but put these under control to save yourself money. Oftentimes it is the little things that can drain many a budget.
Will you get rich quick by putting into practice these five money-saving tips? No, but you’ll begin building a way to save, having readily available cash to cover life’s expenses while putting money aside for your later years.