August 28, 2016
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Are you a freelancer or part-time employee who feels that it’s nearly impossible to save money without getting a regular salary? We've all been there at one time or another. Not having a consistent paycheck can impeded your financial goals, making it feel like you’re never moving forward. However, there are some strategies you can use to create a savings habit that actually sticks.
- Open multiple savings accounts.
Your goal with boosting your savings is to create a habit so you’re regularly saving money without thinking too much about it. That’s the benefit of any habit, it’s something that comes naturally to you over time. One of the best ways to grow your savings, even without a steady paycheck is to open multiple savings account for each goal.
For example, if you want to go on a getaway trip this year, then start a “travel fund” account or if you’re planning to purchase a new car, open up a “car fund”. Don’t let all of your goals go into the same savings account as it will be much too tempting to dig into for random purchases, or to cover bills. But when you have the savings account named, with specific goals you already know that any funds withdrawn from that account will be allocated towards that specific expense. THis makes it much more difficult to pull money out for last-minute items. Besides, most additional online savings accounts are free to open, so why not use them as separate categories?
- Set up automatic transfers.
Once you’ve opened separate savings accounts that are directly related to each financial goal, set up automatic transfers to go from your checking account to your savings account. Start small with just $5 or $10 transfers every week, then once your budget gets used to this you can increase the contributions until you’re able to stock up a good amount of money.
The goal is to put your finances on autopilot so you can save money without having to make it part of your routine, or remembering to do it. You’ll experience some growing pains in the beginning but don’t give up. After a few weeks you’ll get into the habit of it and won’t even miss the money anymore.
- Bank your savings.
Did you know you have unrealized savings every day that are literally going “poof” into thin air? It’s true! Every time you use a coupon at the grocery store, or enter a discount code online, you’re saving money. But there’s no real benefit to this unless you actually bank the amount you’re saving.
Here’s what I mean: Any time you come home from the grocery and see that percentage discount circled at the bottom, pull up your mobile phone and transfer the difference from your checking account to a savings goal. Some banks even offer the ability to text contributions to your accounts, making it even easier to save the difference between what you would have spent and what you did spend after using a coupon.
- Try a savings challenge.
It’s not easy to grow your savings without a steady stream of money coming in, so if you’re struggling to develop a savings habit try a short-term challenge. There are lots of different spending and saving challenges online, and I’m currently doing this Monthly Money Challenge that I found while browsing Pinterest.
Want to save an extra $1,300 in one year? Try this insanely easy 52-Week Money Saving Challenge.
There are countless of savings challenges you can try, from 14 days to 12 weeks to even an entire year. Start with a small spending challenge and see how that goes. If you need more help, find an accountability partner who’s also trying to save more money, or working towards a particular goal, and make a competition out of it.
- Use a microsavings app.
Another proven way that I’ve learned to save extra money without a steady paycheck is by using a microsaving app to prompt additional savings for me. Microsaving is a brand new idea that starts with saving extremely small amounts of money, like $1 or $3 until you’re able to develop a strong savings habit.
There are several popular microsavings apps currently available, and are completely free, that will help you save money without thinking. Some of them will even help you start investing, or offering loans, with just a few cents based on the purchases you make every day.
Your financial situation is often much more stressful when you don’t have a consistent stream of paychecks coming in. But by applying these tips mentioned above you’ll be able to grow your savings and achieve big financial goals.