This post is sponsored by The Huntington National Bank. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Over the past year, our savings have taken a hit as we did what is pretty much the most expensive thing anyone can do – we bought a house. And, we didn’t just buy a house, we built a house, which means that there are still so many things to pay for as we have a yard, driveway, landscaping, and so many more things to deal with. As more and more little things have crept up that need our attention, our savings have taken a huge hit this year. So for us, even in the midst of our tight budget with all these added expenses to pay for, we’ve made it our goal to build back up our savings by the end of the year. We’ve actually got three different savings accounts that all serve a different purpose, and two are in need of some serious attention. After having paid off two mortgages and living a debt free lifestyle, I do know that it is possible to build up our savings even with a tight budget. It just takes some targeted strategies.
One of the most powerful strategies I have found in saving money is to make it as painless, automated, and consistent as possible. Saving money and maintaining a money wise lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle. Even with next to no “extra” money, putting at least something into a savings account every month is possible. In fact, it can even be easy with the systems, strategies, and tools I’ve learned over the past 20 plus years, and I’m excited to share them with you.
Here are some pretty simple ways you can save money even with a tight budget.
Set savings goals
What are you saving money for? Where do you see yourself in six months, one year, five years, or more? And, what will your financial picture need to look like in order to make those goals happen?
Goals, including savings goals, are so important because without them, how will you know where to aim? How will you know if you’re on the right track or if you need to shift gears if you don’t know where you’re going (and where your money needs to take you)?
Before you can start saving money no matter your budget, you need to start with setting some savings goals first.
For us, our goal is to get our emergency fund back up to being fully funded and building up a nice cushion in our “house fund.”
Create some actionable steps to make your savings goals come into view
A goal is only a thought until you do something to set it into motion. This is exactly what an actionable step is.
For instance, if your savings goal is to pay cash for a couple of college classes, how will you start getting some cash into your savings account?
An actionable step in this example is to determine at least one thing you will do to get some money into savings to pay for those college classes.
But what if you don’t have any money?
“How can I save money with an already tight budget?” you might be asking.
No worries, I hear you.
Once these first two steps are in place, I’ve got three simple ways you can start getting money into a savings account today, even if your budget is tight.
But, even before we get to those steps it’s important to know that you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to saving money.
Enter what has me so excited about being a brand ambassador for Huntington Bank this year.
They want to help you save money!
Sounds crazy, right?
It’s actually not.
Here’s what I’ve learned about Huntington Bank – they genuinely care about their customers.
But, it actually goes deeper than that.
Huntington Bank has made it their mission to learn the ins and outs about their customers and their relationship with money. Some of their top executives actually traveled around the Midwest, meeting with their customers at their own kitchen table to learn about how they manage money, to learn more about their struggles with money, and to see what tools they could create that would make managing their money easier. You can see some of these actual kitchen table meetings HERE.
Here are the three simple things you can do to build up your savings fast even if you’re on a tight budget, and Huntington Bank can help you with all of these.
Cut expenses in one area to build up savings
Think you don’t have money to save? All it takes is cutting expenses in one area and intentionally putting the amount you save into a savings account.
When you realize you’ve saved money in an area, immediately take that money and tuck it away into savings.
Huntington is there to help you with this. They can automatically take the money you save in any of your budgeted areas and sweep it right into the savings account or several accounts that you choose in order of importance.
Track your progress
With goals and actionable steps in motion, it’s important to periodically make sure you’re where you think you are. Because money flows in and out of our hands, pockets, and accounts every day, it’s important to stay on top of your money.
Not only that, once you start seeing your savings grow, it gets really fun. For a lot of people, seeing the balance in their account rise makes them want to save even more money.
So, their savings begin to grow even faster.
As with anything, doing more of what’s working and less of what’s not means you must be tracking your progress, which includes tracking your money and your savings progress.
With easy to read, colorful, descriptive, and detailed charts, graphics, and more, Huntington has made it very easy to see just where your money is at any moment. They’ve also got different ways for you to become alerted if you’re doing something with your money that could potentially set you backwards or cost you more in the long run.
Celebrate your wins
Recognizing your hard work, dedication, and success is so important. When you begin making progress towards your savings goals, celebrating your wins makes it so much easier to keep doing more of the same.
This is about the only thing Huntington can’t make easier for you using their new tools, automations, and products, but they certainly do celebrate the success of their customers when given the chance.
I think we can all agree that saving money is so important, but it’s equally important to know that you can save money even if your budget is tight.
Finding the right strategies, taking the right steps, and choosing the right people to help make this all easier is essential in creating your best life.