How to put your savings on autopilot
If you struggle to save money each month, you're not alone.
With large amounts of debt, stagnant wages, and inflated housing costs, our generation has a lot going against us. But that doesn't mean we can't try and make the most out of our situation.
So one way I've found to establish and stick with a savings habit is by putting it on autopilot.
There are a few ways to do this but if you're just getting started, this is what I've found to work best:
Determine how much you want/need to save
There will be a little work upfront figuring out the numbers for your situation, but let's say you needed to establish a 6-month emergency fund. If your monthly expenses are $3,000 - this comes out to $18,000.
You may realize that you have to adjust spending to be able to save money and that's normal. Sometimes you do have to make sacrifices to get ahead.
Set up automated transfers
After knowing the numbers, things get easier. Once you know how much you're able to save each month, go to your bank app or website and set up 'recurring automated transfers'. This will allow you to set up a transfer to your savings account that automatically happens every month without you thinking about it. Generally, payday is the best option to select for the date of transfer so you're paying yourself first and only spending what's left after saving. It's okay if it's only $20 or $50 at the beginning, the important part is getting started and establishing the habit.
Let time work its magic
If it feels overwhelming, just remember that nothing happens overnight. Good financial habits take time to develop and results only come after repeated action. In a few months, you'll start to see your savings balance goes up and if you're like me, it becomes a game at that point. It's fun watching the number go up every month and figuring out how you can save even more.