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How to Build Your Saving Habits

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Do you want to start working on your savings goals but you have no idea where to begin?

Do you feel like you have nothing to save so you put off building your savings until you make more money?

Many people think they don't have enough money to build any significant savings so they don't work on their savings at all.

What they don't realize is that the hardest thing about building savings is developing the habit of making savings a priority. It's easy to say "I will put away $xx every paycheck" but it's a completely different thing to actually follow through with it.

If you begin working on the habit with small amounts today, when you're ready to make big moves, the habit will already be in place.

Here are some ways to start saving small:

  • $5 purge - check your wallet once a week, save all $5 bills in a jar or envelope. Check in a month and see how much you've been able to save, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

  • 52 week challenge - save the number of dollars for the number of week. For example: 1st week you save $1, 2nd week you save $2, and so on. If you stick to this challenge for a whole year, you'll save $1,378!

  • Set a small & attainable goal for the year - let's say $10 per week. If you stick to this goal every week, you'll save $520 in a year!

Helpful tips on how to make this habit stick:

  • Build saving goals into your budget - this will allow you to see how much you can actually afford to save. If you pick an arbitrary number, the goal may not make sense and be too difficult to follow through with every pay period.

  • Pay yourself first - set the amount you're saving each month aside right away, you will be less like to borrow from yourself later.

  • Have your savings in an actual savings account - savings accounts tend to have higher interest rates and allow only 6 withdrawals per month with penalties for additional withdrawals which will deter you from borrowing from yourself too frequently.

The most important thing is to take your time, start small, and let it become a habit.

Be patient with yourself and with time you'll see your efforts begin to pay off.


If you have a money question, submit it here for a chance to be featured in the "Dear Olga" column!

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