How to Save Money for Short- and Long-Term Goals

September 1, 2017 | Dawn Virgilio

Photo of happy couple saving money.

Learning how to save money is an important skill, whether you’re saving for short-term goals like the holidays, or for long-term goals like retirement. Saving carefully keeps you from running out of money when you need it. No matter what you’re saving for or why, you’ll need to learn to budget. Below are some tips to help you prepare for financial needs both near and far.

Six ways to save money consistently

When it comes to saving money for short-term goals, it’s all about creating day-to-day savings habits. Following these tips will help you save year-round.

  1. Develop a monthly budget
    Create a budget for your expenditures and stick to it. You’ll avoid unintentional overspending and get in the habit of living within your means.
  2. Save the same amount each paycheck
    Commit to putting a percentage or a specific amount of your paycheck into savings every time you get paid.
  3. Use credit cards sparingly and wisely
    Only use credit when necessary and pay cards off right away. Look into cards with no annual fee and cards with rewards programs to help you earn points and potentially save money when you use the rewards for cash back, gift cards or travel.
  4. Eat in, pack lunches and make coffee at home
    Eating out is expensive! Save money by eating in and making your lunch and coffee at home. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll save.
  5. Conserve energy by turning things off
    Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use. Program your thermostat so you’re not heating or cooling your home when you’re out.
  6. Examine bills and see if you can cut back
    You may not use everything you pay for. Look into a smaller phone plan, less expensive TV service or save money on insurance.

Four ways to save money long-term

For long-term savings, you have to commit to the long financial journey ahead. Explore long-range plans to make the most of whatever money you can save so it’s there when you need it.

  1. Use higher interest accounts
    Money Market Accounts, Retirement Accounts or other Savings Accounts can help you earn a higher return on your savings.
  2. Start saving early and keep saving
    Experts suggest you start saving 10 to 20 percent of your income as soon as you’re able. Even when you can’t save this much, return to this goal when you can.
  3. Use employee match programs
    You may be able to increase your savings through your employee benefits. Find out if your employer offers matching for 401(k) and stock options.
  4. Save unexpected money
    If you receive bonuses at work, cash gifts for holidays or find yourself with extra money at the end of the month, put that money directly into savings. It won’t impact your daily budget, but adds up quickly.

Whether you’re saving for a short-term purpose or for long-term security, the best way to save money is to start early and be consistent! Follow these tips, save steadily and you’ll be ready.

Looking for guidance about the best ways to support your saving needs? Stop by Mission Federal Credit Union and let our knowledgeable employees assist you. We look forward to helping you find new ways to save money!

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Dawn Virgilio

Dawn Virgilio

Dawn Virgilio is VP Financial Planning & Analysis at Mission Federal Credit Union. She has enjoyed a long career working for financial institutions, the majority of that time (25 years) dedicated to credit unions. She really likes numbers, especially when they add up and multiply.

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