Home & Family Finance
Practical Ways to Save Money
Michelle M. Haas-Dosher, CCUFC
/ February 8th, 2019
When you’re on a mission to save money it might seem like it will take forever for savings to grow. Saving money often starts with changing “spending” habits. Here are some ideas that can help:
Get cooperation from partner first
Controlling spending starts with you but, if you have a spouse or children, it’s essential to have buy-in from family members to make it work.
Talk with your partner first, then involve your kids in age-appropriate ways. Discuss money management as a couple—get organized, put goals and details in writing, and schedule a money management meeting. Also:
- Develop a spending plan together.
- Agree who will take responsibility for what.
- Learn more about your finances. Honesty is key. Know details so you know what you’re dealing with.
- Set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and have set time periods.
Involve your kids
Once you and your partner are on the same path, involve your children:
Control living expenses
We often accept expenses as they are without trying to change them. Here are some areas where, with just a little work, you might be able to reduce your bills:
Your credit union can help
The professionals at your credit union can help you—and your family—get on track with saving:
- Use direct deposit and automatic transfers from checking into savings. Chances are, once you set up transfers to savings you won’t even miss the income—and you’ll establish a great habit.
- Automate anything you can by using online or mobile bill pay and reminders. This will help you make consistent progress on financial goals, and help you avoid late fees.
- Refinance your mortgage or car loans to take advantage of lower rates, if you qualify. Talk to a credit union loan officer about options to reduce your debt load or to retire debts faster.
Give yourself credit for your progress and accept that reducing spending and increasing savings will be a lifelong effort. But it also pays lifelong dividends.