Welcome to Two Minute Money, Yahoo Finance’s new personal finance series offering quick explanations for some the the most important questions involving your money.
If you could save $100 a month without sacrificing your lifestyle wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would.
We’re going to show you how to save money habitually so it never feels like a chore.
Start by taking a snapshot of your expenses. Most credit and debit cards offer personalized reports that breakdown your monthly spending.
Try using one card for all purchases for an entire month. Now you can see your expenses all in one place.
Where can you cut back a little? Awareness of overspending is the first step toward saving.
But what if you suck at budgeting? Here are some effortless tips to save $100 a month.
One—link your paycheck to a savings account. If you get two paychecks a month ask your employer to withhold back $50 per check. It can be deposited automatically so you won’t have to think about it. That’s the easiest way to make a quick $100.
Two—increase your income tax withholdings. Increase your withholdings – just slightly. When you file your tax returns you’ll get a bigger refund. It’s easy—just ask your H.R. person for help. Again, you don’t even have to think about it. There are many more tricks for saving. Don’t hesitate to get creative.
Three—go cash-only. This is great for daily out-of-pocket expenses like lunch; you can’t overspend what you don’t have.
Four—start a piggy bank. Deposit your pocket change in a jar every night. Cash in the contents every month and you can probably skip an A.T.M. withdrawal. Meanwhile, your stash will regenerate. Even if it only nets out to $5 a week that’s still $20 a month closer to your goal.
Five—limit your lattes to paydays and Fridays only. Just get coffee the other days and spring for the brioche on your birthday. If you drink a medium latte every workday this tip can save you $50 a month.
Six—keep a guilty pleasure fund so you don’t zing your credit card on a getaway. Put a dollar in every time for every time you do indulge.
With these quick tips you can save at least $1,200 a year.
So take a vacation or reward yourself some other way. You’re not splurging on impulse. You’ve earned it through discipline.
Besides, saving should not mean suffering.
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