Building Your Nest Egg
Small steps can lead to significant savingsBy Allison Goldberg
Life costs money, and the more “life” your income supports — such as children, pets, dependent parents, hobbies and vacations — the harder it can be to save. Here are a few tips to help you build your nest egg.
Banking and insurance
Move your money into a saving account at a bank or credit union that offers higher interest than what you are getting now. If you receive your pay through direct deposit, deposit a workable amount of each paycheck into your savings account.
Shop around for ways to save money on auto and homeowners’ or renter’s insurance. Insurers often offer discounts if you have multiple policies with them. Sometimes you can get discounts based on a student driver’s good grades, being a veteran and other qualifiers.
If you carry credit card balances, call your credit card companies and ask for an interest rate reduction. Mention you are comparing your options in the marketplace. If you pay off a credit card, don’t spend the extra money you now have. Instead, put it into your savings account or your 401(k) or IRA account.
Television has two purposes. One is to entertain, and the other is to sell you things. Reducing your cable package to the bare minimum will save you money each month and reduce the effects of advertising on your budget. Call your provider and ask about options and better deals.
Or, cut the cable TV cord entirely. Less expensive monthly alternatives are abundant. They include connecting your laptop to a TV screen and watching shows aired on TV channel websites, or purchasing a Wi-Fi streaming device and subscribing to streaming services. (And don’t forget the low-tech TV antenna option for local channels).
Embrace the idea of “Doing It Yourself.” Thanks to the internet and your local library, how-to information about nearly everything is available for free. Whether it’s making a delicious, homemade latte instead of buying it or caulking windows to save on your energy bills, there are many resources, including easy-to-follow videos, which can help you make your DIY project a success.
An ounce of prevention
Enact a mandatory waiting period before making purchases. Whether it’s 30 seconds for items you’re adding to your grocery cart, 30 minutes for less expensive items you want to buy or 30 days for large purchases, living without and having time to contemplate the necessity of an item will often keep you from purchasing it.
There are many useful tips to be found from news sites and magazines that focus on finance. Your bank or credit union may also have resources or seminars to help you learn more about personal finance.
About the AuthorAllison Goldberg writes for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
Other ways to save