Grow savings

Four methods to help you grow savings

Earn more than you spend

Bring home the bacon—or veggie burgers. Smart personal finance for women means earning enough. If you’re looking for ways to increase savings now, that doesn’t mean you have to earn more, though. It might mean adjusting your expenses lower, selling something you don’t need, or making saving more of a priority.

Ever notice how our expenses have a way of creeping up to the level of our current income? They resist being cut back, but this is the first place to look for extra money to save. Consider expenses the lowest hanging fruit, and pick them first.

If putting expenses on a diet doesn’t produce the savings you want, consider ways to earn more. Is your current job a good fit for your skills and interests? Are you being paid fairly for it? Perhaps you need more training, or to negotiate a raise. Check out career advice websites like WomensMedia.

Pay yourself first, and make it automatic

Have you heard that eating before grocery shopping saves money? Feeding yourself first assures that you’re less likely to buy food you may not need.

Paying yourself first assures that you’re less likely to run out of money when it comes to the important task of saving for your future. Think of your income as like a pie. Before you dig in for that first sweet bite, slice off about 10% and put it in the freezer for later enjoyment.

If you put your savings last in line behind the bills, the entertainment, clothing and misc. purchases, you’re likely to have nothing left. Oops, the pie is gone. Schedule that savings “payment” up front to make sure it gets done.

Automate it so you make sure it gets down. Then, there’s no decision-making to do when it comes to monthly savings.

Set up a comfort-cash fund

Cooks need to keep a few basic ingredients like flour and sugar always in the kitchen. As you start saving, you’ll need to begin with a plain vanilla account–a comfort-cash fund. It covers you for emergencies or unexpected expenses. Consider fees and services when choosing best online accounts.

If you have comfort-cash in place, you won’t need to borrow from high-fee credit cards, or your retirement investments when a financial need arises. It’s a prerequisite to long-term investing.

Shop for investment bargains

One secret ingredient for successful beginner investing is…low fees. Choose investments that have low costs, and you’ll find your money growing faster.

Join our email list (it’s free!) and we’ll show you how to shop for bargains. (Hint: think no-load index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.)

Once you get started with a first investment, contribute regularly and leave it to grow. As we all know, opening the oven door often to watch the cake bake can slow it down. Monitor investments, but give them time to “bake.”

Right now, you may be puzzling over how to find money for investing, or where to put it for the best “recipe” for growth. If so, you’re not alone. Explore the website, join our email list, and learn something new from women financial professionals.

To your prosperity!

Robin Applegarth CRPC®