5 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Savings

Savings growing
Photo by Adga / Shutterstock.com

The darkest days of the Great Recession are long gone, and the economy is gathering strength. But millions of Americans still have a difficult time saving money.

In fact, more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, according to a recent GOBankingRates survey.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Following are five changes guaranteed to move you closer to savings goals.

1. Improve your self-discipline

A spending plan helps you control the cash that flows into and out of your household. Although it is a simple document, just 41 percent of Americans have a budget, according to a U.S. Bank study.

How to do it: Implement a budget to help tame excessive spending. That way, you’ll have money left over each month to save. For tips, check out “8 Secrets to Building a Budget That Works.”

2. Boost your financial literacy skills

Where did you receive your education about personal finance? Was it from your parents, or the school of hard knocks?

Unless you grew up in a financially savvy household, read a lot of self-help books or had a mentor in your corner at an early age, you’ve been forced to figure this thing out by yourself.

How to do it: If you haven’t learned the basics — such as banking, budgeting, saving and debt management — get started now. You can search for any of these topics here at Money Talks News, and you’ll find endless education and advice. You can also find great resources for everything from getting out of debt to finding a great mortgage rate in our Solutions Center.

Reading personal finance books is another key step to getting your financial house in order. Be sure you consider the reputability and knowledge level of the author before you make a choice. A great place to start is “Life or Debt: A New Path to Financial Freedom,” written by Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson.

3. Increase your income

Having a limited amount of income to work with month after month can put even the best-laid financial plans at risk. All it takes to blow up the budget is an unexpected emergency, such as a layoff, medical expense or even a simple utility bill.

Of course, earning more money doesn’t automatically equate to a fat savings account. Plenty of people who earn extra money use it to continue a bad habit of spending beyond their means. Maybe that sounds like you — but not anymore.

How to do it: If funds are limited, try to find a side hustle. Or, ask for a raise at work. If you can’t get a pay increase, put in the extra hours on the job to get a promotion. Do what you must to boost your income, then take those extra dollars and save them.

4. Get out of debt

Unfortunately, debt is easy to get into and difficult to get out of.

With the rising cost of living, we tend to charge away instead of cutting back. The end result is that money that could have otherwise been saved is wasted on credit card interest and fees.

How to do it: Yes, getting out of debt is difficult. But “difficult” is not the same as “impossible.” Are you worried that paying off debt in an aggressive manner will strain your resources? Create a balanced plan and execute. Check out “Ask Stacy: What’s the Single Best Way to Pay Down Debt?” for a list of ideas.

5. Pay off student loans

Perhaps you are paying such a large amount of your income to retire a student loan debt that you can barely stay afloat, let alone save money. If so, you need a plan.

How to do it: Reach out to your lender to see which options are available to you. These may include, but are not limited to, payment modification, consolidation, deferment, forbearance, and loan suspension or cancellation. Some of these options merely defer reality, but temporary relief will enable you to stash away cash for a rainy day.

Do you have more tips for boosting your savings? Share them in comments below or on Facebook.

Chris Kissell contributed to this report.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs
5 Ways Anyone Can Save on Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Here’s how to lower your health care costs without skimping on care.

7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings
7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings

You can make your retirement money last a lot longer by avoiding these costly mistakes

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

These Medicare Expenses Will Jump in January
These Medicare Expenses Will Jump in January

Some Medicare premiums and deductibles will take a bigger bite out of Social Security payments next year.

8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk
Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends leaving this type of store within a half-hour.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.