There are a lot of reasons you might need to build up a stash of cash fast, whether your car needs new brakes or you’re saving up for that much-needed vacation. Luckily, there are some creative ways to help you save money fast without feeling deprived. These tips could have you on the way to your next big purchase before you know it.
Getting Rid of Unnecessary Expenses
In an age of digital content and automated monthly charges, it is easy to lose track of what exactly you’re paying for each month. With internet bills, online media subscriptions, streaming services, and subscription boxes, it is entirely possible that you’re paying for something you’re not even using.
In order to pinpoint any potentially unwanted expenses, you may wish to review a full month’s worth of auto debits from your bank account. As you review your automated expenses, you could write down each service you’re paying for each month.
You may find that you’re still paying $5 a month for a digital magazine you no longer read, or that you really don’t use three different streaming services to the tune of $15 a month each. Once you determine which costs you’re willing to cut, you could cancel all of those services. Although canceling subscriptions can be tedious, just think of all the dough you might save.
Once you’ve canceled, you could reroute the money you would have spent directly into your savings account. While $20 or $30 a month saved on subscriptions might not seem like much, even small amounts can quickly add up over time. In combination with other savings techniques, this might help you build your savings fast.
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Negotiating and Automate Your Bill Pay
Did you know that some companies offer discounts for setting up payments to be debited from your checking account automatically? This means connecting a bill directly to your bank account and allowing the company to automatically withdraw the amount of the bill on the due date.
Some companies offer a discount in these situations because automatically debiting your account gives the company assurance that the bill will be paid on time. The bonus for you is double: You might get a little discount on your bills and you won’t have to remember to manually pay the bill each month.
Auto pay might also help you avoid unexpected late fees, which in turn could help you build up savings faster. There might be some downsides to autopay though. If you set up an autopay agreement, but then don’t have enough money in your account to cover the charge, you might end up with a canceled subscription or overdraft fees from your bank.
According to a 2018 report from the Center for Responsible Lending , the 10 largest banks in the U.S. all charge more than $30 in overdraft fees. If you set up auto pay only to rack up overdraft fees, that might negate any money savings gained from setting up automatic payments.
Carefully Considering Big Decisions
Instead of buying something as soon as you want it, you might want to sleep on it overnight and see if you still want it the next morning. Why wait overnight? Giving yourself more time before pulling out your credit card could help you determine if you really need the item you want to buy, or if you were just caught up in the excitement of shopping.
This can be especially useful when making big purchases, not only because big purchases may set back your savings goals, but because they might require more research anyway.
For example, if you’re buying a couch and you fall in love with a blue sectional you see at a local boutique, waiting overnight before swooping in with your credit card might give you a chance to read manufacturer’s reviews, double-check the measurements of your space, and look to see if there are similar styles available online that might cost less.
Still in love with the first couch you saw? You can always return to buy it later, knowing you’ve done your due diligence and are sure that you’re making smart spending choices. Decide against the purchase? You could put that money directly toward your savings goals instead.
Considering a Spending “Fast”
Ready to give yourself a challenge in pursuit of your savings goals? Some savers find that they can save money fast by planning a day or two every week where they try to eliminate all unnecessary spending.
For example, if you decide to do a two-day spending fast, you might decide that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays you don’t spend any money other than what it costs to commute to work. That means that on those days you might choose to forgo your daily pitstop at the coffee shop, a lunch from the corner bodega, or ordering the brand new book you’ve been waiting to read.
Planning to not spend could help you reign in unintentional spending. Chances are that you barely think about that $4 you spend at the coffee shop, but if you give it up twice a week, that’s $8 that could be going into your savings.
If you save an average of $40 a week with a two-day fast, that could add more than $2,000 to your savings.
Putting Your Accounts to Work
Choosing the right account for your money can be a great way to save funds fast. Some checking accounts charge monthly or annual account maintenance fees, with little to no interest.
Savings accounts might offer higher interest rates than a checking account, but the reality is that the average interest rates on a savings account is still only a measly .1 percent, according to the FDIC . This means that putting your money in a standard savings account might not be the fastest way to grow the money you’re saving.
A checking and savings account with SoFi could be one way to help you save money. SoFi Checking and Savings have no account fees and allow you to withdraw money at any ATM around the world that accepts Mastercard and we’ll reimburse all of your ATM fees.
With that in mind, fees charged and ATM fee reimbursement policies are subject to change at any time.
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