With the continuing high cost of living and the high interest rates, saving has never been more important in this economy.
According to a recent YouGov survey, 39 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings. With 12 percent admitting to having no savings at all across any accounts, only 7 percent said they have $100,000 or more in savings.
Financial expert Anita Garcia, 31, has told Newsweek the one simple step we should all be taking to boost our savings.
Garcia runs the popular Instagram account @the.retired.millennial and has been saving since she was 18 years old and working at a local pizzeria.
In 2022, she worked her last day as a full-time software engineer after working hard to grow her net worth and build investments and savings. Alongside her part-time job in higher education, Garcia shares content to educate people about saving and investing their money.
One Simple Way To Boost Your Savings
Building savings can feel daunting, but Garcia explained that with one simple step, boosting your finances can be made easy.
“The simplest way to boost one’s finances is to practice what is called paying yourself first,” she told Newsweek.
Paying yourself first involves sitting down the moment your paycheck arrives and planning for the coming weeks and months. Splitting your money into chunks helps you to save before you get the chance to spend.
“Automatically set aside money from your paycheck into a separate savings account or investing account, depending on what the goal for the money is,” said Garcia. “Start with a percentage that you feel comfortable with, and work your way up to saving 20 percent of your take-home income.”
After setting aside the amount of your paycheck that goes on non-negotiable payments like rent and bills, paying yourself into a savings or investment account means that you will always be building your savings before your money is spent.
Once these things are taken care of, you are left with the amount of money you have to spend until your next paycheck.
“Many people spend their money on default, without defining what kind of life they want,” said Garcia.
For Garcia, her goals were clear. To retire early by living on half of her income, and saving the rest. By slashing her spending on food and housing, she maxed out the amount she was saving from each paycheck.
In just two years, she had built her net worth to over $141,000 in just two years with steps including getting roommates to help with rent, investing in social media earnings, and saving any income before spending starts. Now, she is on track to retire in her early 40s.
She explained that having a clear vision is the key to sticking to your savings goals.
“By simply making a vision board and turning that board into concrete goals, you can start directing your income towards your dream life instead of spending your money on default on things that don’t really add value to your life,” she said. “If more people set goals, more people would save more.”
If you’re looking to boost your savings even further, experts recently revealed to Newsweek how you can save $10,000 regardless of your salary.
Do you have a monetary dilemma? Let us know via email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.