Here are some ways you can save — and even make — a little green to meet both short- and long-term financial goals.
1. Make a seed-planting plan
Depending on what your individual financial goals are, you’ll need to figure out the best way to achieve them. Are you saving for something seasonal with a hard-and-fast deadline, like a holiday spending budget, or something ongoing? When making future plans for achieving your financial goals, think about the following:
Set a monthly budget. Track your expenses and figure out where you may be able to cut back. Apps like Mint or the OneMain online budget calculator can help you see where your money really goes. The money you’re spending on something frivolous can be allocated toward something more stable, like an emergency fund or future finances.
Consider whether a weekly or monthly monetary contribution to a savings account makes sense for you. You may even be able to automate this process for maximum efficiency.
Check in with your employer about contributions to a retirement account, as many employers will match your individual contribution up to a certain percentage.
2. Tend to your financial garden
Growing your finances is an ongoing process — small contributions add up over time with careful financial planning. Once you have the basics squared away, consider the following ideas for branching out and getting your savings to bloom:
Take the change from everyday purchases made with cash and put it into a jar. Wait until it’s full and then bring it to a Coinstar to turn those lucky pennies into serious savings.
Research money-saving and investment apps. Acorns automatically invests change from credit purchases into a diverse stock portfolio or an IRA account.
Services like Ebates and Dosh partner with select retailers to give you varying percentages of cash back on purchases you’re probably already making. Be mindful of where you may be able to earn returns the next time you’re out shopping for soil or pots.
Over time, you may be able to increase your established contributions and diversify your financial portfolio. After a more seasonal financial goal is met, you can reallocate your funds toward a new goal. Both short- and long-term ventures pay off and keep your finances healthy.
3. Stop and smell the roses
Remember to enjoy the fruits (and blooms) of your labor. Take time to admire where your hard work has gotten you. What started as tiny seedlings quickly grows into splendid flowers with the proper nurturing. The same is true for your financial goals — what starts as a few spare coins here and there adds up over time to a veritable fortune with a little TLC. And most importantly, remember that saving and financial planning isn’t limited to retirement. You can plant the seeds for financial wellness and a lovely garden to meet all kinds of goals.
*The companies and individuals referred to in this article are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with, OneMain Financial.