Are you having trouble saving money? You’re not alone. Research suggests that an alarming number of Americans are not too savvy when it comes to saving.
A recent survey by GoBankingRates.com revealed that 30 percent of households have savings balances of zero, while 21 percent have no savings accounts at all.
Another study by the Federal Reserve showed that more than 50 percent of households have less than a month’s worth of income set aside for emergency expenses. Most financial advisers suggest you have at least six months worth of income set aside at any given time.
With mounting debt and interest, saving money can seem nearly impossible. But all it takes is some discipline and a little know-how. Here are 16 tips to get you started.
1. Open a Savings Account
You can open a savings account through your bank, but it’s best to shop around for one that’s best for you. Online banks typically offer better yields than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
The average annual percentage yield (APY) for savings accounts stands at a dismal .06 percent, and some of the country’s biggest banks offer rates as low as .01 percent. Online banks like Ally and Synchrony currently offer rates of at least 1 percent. This doesn’t mean you’re going to get rich off your personal-savings account. But it’s better to keep your earnings where it can collect some interest rather than keeping it at home, where it collects only dust.
Consider this: Keeping a balance of $10,000 in a savings account with 1 percent yield gets you $100 each year, while storing it an account with .01 percent yield earns you $1 per year.