Here's a New Year's Resolution to consider this holiday season: why not start 2016 with a savings plan in place?
Creating a savings plan is often a good idea, because it could help you start working to achieve your financial goals. Think about what your financial priorities are - for example, saving for retirement, building an emergency fund, or saving up for a major purchase.
If you don't already have a savings account, you may want to start by opening one. See if your bank offers savings accounts that earn interest too. To prevent yourself from being tempted to dip into your savings willy-nilly, you might want to make it so you cannot access this money with your debit card.
Now where to find the money to fund your savings plan? Here are some ideas:
Bank your cup of coffee
Buying coffee every day from coffee shops can add up quickly. Depending on your coffee drink of choice, you may be spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. To save yourself some cash, create your own coffee tip jar in your kitchen, and "tip" yourself the amount you're saving by brewing coffee at home. Then, once a week or so, you could deposit that money in your account.
Have an automatic deduction taken from your paycheck
Consider finding out whether your employer can start setting up a deduction that puts money from your paycheck directly into your savings account. Figure out how much from each paycheck you can afford to put in savings. Whether it's $1, $10, or $100, it will all add up over 52 weeks.
Collect loose change
If your house is like mine, then it's easy to find loose change around, especially in the laundry, the couch, or the car. Try looking around regularly to see if you have any money lying around. Even if you don't end up finding a fortune lying around, every little bit of money you do find can be put in the bank.
Deposit tax refunds and bonuses
If it makes sense for your financial situation, you might want to consider depositing tax refunds and work bonuses in your account in order to help you work towards your savings goal.
Sell stuff for extra cash
From consigning your clothes to selling a coin collection on eBay, there are plenty of ways to clear the clutter from your house and maybe get some extra cash to fund your savings account.
Find missing money
Are you aware that states hold onto money that is due to you but, for whatever reason, cannot be delivered to your address? It could be that you moved or the company never had your address correctly. Either way, you can use unclaimed property or missing money websites to see if any money is owed to you. If you find some, you can apply to claim the cash, and, if successful, receive a check in the mail, which you can then deposit in the bank.
When you're considering your financial priorities, it may seem difficult to determine how to start saving. However, by following easy strategies like these, you may be able to begin building your funds and making progress toward your savings goals without too much hassle.