Do you tend to be surprised by Daylight Saving Time (DST) each year? (FYI – it starts on March 13 in 2016.) If you live in an area that recognizes DST, you may find that you are excited to gain an hour of sleep in the fall but not at all happy to lose that hour in the spring. The grogginess associated with being caught unaware by DST may result in less productivity and cost you money. In the same way, not having any savings should an unexpected life event catch you by surprise can also be costly. Each year when we are instructed to save more daylight, you can use this as a reminder that you also need to save more money.
Perhaps you are thinking that based on what you earn and your financial obligations there is no way for you to save money. Here are some saving strategies:
Start Small. Can you commit to saving $1 a day or $1 a week? Becoming a habitual saver is not about amassing a large pit of money immediately. Instead, you need to get into the habit of saving on a regular basis because as you see your savings grow over time, you will become more motivated.
Set Goals. Setting a savings goals that can give you more reasons to save. One of your first goals should probably be an emergency fund but you can also set aside a little for something fun like a vacation if that that is what you need to do to get into the habit of saving.
Redefine Saving. Stores and retail outlets have made us think that we “save” money when we pay less for something. Ads help you add up your “savings” when you get a discount or use a coupon. It is good to pay less for things but paying is still spending. All of the money you save by paying less does not sit in a bank account or interest-earning cd. More than likely, you’ll just spend that money on something else.