2020 has been one of the hardest years most of us have ever experienced. Dealing with Covid-19 and the fact that many people are already in dire financial straits, saving money may be the last thing on your mind. Now Congress has decided to give low-income folks a measly $600 as part of the new stimulus package, as opposed to $1200 in the first round of stimulus in the spring. And here it is Christmas.
However, as humans our stronghold is hope, and no matter how this past year has played out, now is the time to consider how you can actually start saving money in 2021. Sadly, according to a survey of Americans by GoBanking Rates, 69% of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings accounts. Never has there been a more important time than now to begin to change your financial situation.
The good news is that most of the fault in having no savings lies in excessive spending on non-essentials, something you can definitely address. Taking control of your spending will empower you and help you feel more in control of your finances and your life.
To help you get started saving more money in 2021, The Rules of Thumb blog from MoneyThumb would like to offer the following 4 tips that will get you off to a great start in the New Year:
- Pay Yourself First--This tenant is one of the main things that made Suzie Orman famous. It may seem odd that you should pay yourself, which means putting money in savings before you pay anybody else or any bills, but it has proven to be a great piece of advice. The only hard part is actually doing it consistently.
- Make a Budget and Stick to It--So many people start out the new year by making a budget but before long that budget has been abandoned. Write down all of your income vs your expenditures and create space for savings while limiting an extra output of money. Set aside how much you actually need for extras and don't vary from that amount. In other words, give yourself an allowance, but a frugal one. Cut out unnecessary expenses, like eating out, too high cable bills, luxury expenses such as vacations, spa days, shopping frivolously--you know best what you waste money on.
- Take Advantage of Banking Offers With Rewards--Now may be the time to take a second look at where you are banking and choose a different bank, or open an additional account. MoneyCrashers has this great list of 24 banks that offer attractive bonuses for opening new accounts this month, December 2020. However, banks usually offer some type of bonus, with rules to follow, all year long.
- Find a Way to Make Extra Money--There are so many ways to add to your income outside your regular job, such as driving for Uber, having garage sales, or using your creative talents in some way. Dave Ramsey, the guru of finance, offers 32 ways to make extra money, both online and offline, in this article from his website.
As you can see from the 4 tips offered above, saving money is going to take commitment and fortitude. However, if you truly want to save money in 2021, these tips will definitely get you off to a great start! The team at MoneyThumb would appreciate it if you could share this post so that your friends on social media can take advantage of the advice.