Saving: Step by Step for Beginners

This step-by-step guide will assist you in developing a straightforward and practical strategy for all of your saving goals.

1. Keep track of your expenses.

The first step in beginning to save money is determining how much you spend. Keep note of all of your costs, including coffee, groceries, and cash tips, as well as your normal monthly payments. You may use a pencil and paper, a basic spreadsheet, or a free online expenditure tracker or app to keep track of your costs. Once you’ve gathered your information, sort it into categories like petrol, food, and mortgage payments, and add up the totals. Make sure you’ve included everything by checking your credit card and bank statements.

2. Plan to save money in your budget.

You may start making a budget now that you know how much you spend in a month. Your budget should indicate how your costs compare to your income so that you can budget and avoid overpaying. Always remember to account for costs that occur on a monthly basis but not every month, such as automobile maintenance. Include a savings category in your budget, and save an amount that feels comfortable to you at first. Plan to save up to 15% to 20% of your salary at some point in the future.

3. Look for methods to save money.

If you are unable to save as much as you would want, it may be necessary to reduce your spending. Identify non-essentials that you may cut back on, such as entertainment and dining out. Look for methods to save costs on fixed monthly bills like auto insurance and mobile phone plans. Other ways to save money on a daily basis include:

Look for activities that are free: Find free or low-cost entertainment using resources such as community event listings.

Examine your regular expenses: Cancel any subscriptions or memberships that you aren’t using, especially if they are auto-renewing.

Consider the expense of eating out against the cost of cooking at home.
Plan to eat the majority of your meals at home, and look for local restaurant specials on evenings when you feel like treating yourself.

Wait a while before making a purchase: Wait a few days before making a non-essential purchase. You can discover that the item is something you desire rather than something you need, and you might devise a strategy to save for it.

4. Set saving goals.

Setting a goal is one of the most effective strategies to save money. Begin by considering what you want to save for in the immediate term (one to three years) as well as the long term (four or more years). Then figure out how much money you’ll need and how long you’ll need to save it.

Short-term objectives include an emergency fund (three to nine months’ worth of living expenses), a vacation, or a down payment on a car.
Long-term objectives: Your child’s education, your retirement, or a down payment on a home or a remodeling project

5. Establish your financial priorities.

Your objectives are likely to have the greatest effect on how you spend your savings after your costs and income. For example, if you know you’ll need to replace your automobile soon, you may start saving money now. But keep long-term objectives in mind—critical it’s that retirement planning doesn’t take a back seat to immediate necessities. Learning how to prioritize your savings objectives might help you see where you should put your money.

6. Choose the appropriate tools.

There are several savings and investment accounts that are appropriate for both short and long-term objectives. You also don’t have to choose just one. Examine all of your alternatives carefully, taking into account balance minimums, fees, interest rates, risk, and when you’ll need the money, so you can pick the mix that will help you save the most for your goals.

Short-term objectives
Consider these FDIC-insured bank accounts if you’ll need money soon or need to be able to access it quickly:

A savings account is a type of savings account.
A certificate of deposit (CD) is a type of savings account that allows you to lock in your money for a certain length of time at a greater rate than a savings account.

Long-term objectives
If you’re putting money down for retirement or your child’s education, think about the following:

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or 529 plans, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts that are guaranteed by the FDIC Securities, such as stocks or mutual funds These financial products can be purchased through a broker-dealer account1.

7. Make saving a habit.

Almost all banks allow you to move money between your checking and savings accounts automatically. You can pick when, how much, and where you want to transfer money, and you can even divide your direct deposit so that a piece of each paycheck gets into your savings account.

8. Keep an eye on your funds as they increase.

Every month, review your budget and track your success. This will assist you in not just sticking to your personal savings goal, but also in rapidly identifying and resolving issues. Understanding how to save money may even motivate you to look for new methods to save money and achieve your objectives more quickly.