Spring is in the air. Taxes are done (or approaching). You probably have a clear picture of your financial picture for at least the next several months.
Barring major life events, now is the perfect time to start adding to your savings and really kick your financial plan into overdrive.
Whether you’re looking to get out of debt or trying to maximize your investments, here are five tips to boost your savings you probably haven’t thought of yet.
1. Use a hybrid checking/savings account
You probably have a checking account right now. You can also have a savings account. But what if you could get all the benefits of a savings account (ie higher interest) in a single checking account?
That’s what the LendingClub Bank Rewards Checking Account is all about. It’s a checking account, but it has a high interest rate!
Now you can get the benefits of a savings account with the convenience of a checking account. You don’t have to worry about having one account for transactions and another for earning interest.
Also, interest is nothing to scoff at!
This is a great way to increase your savings because you can earn more money than in a regular checking account.
Check out the LendingClub rewards checking account here.
2. Break down your recurring monthly expenses
One of the most important ways to increase your savings is to break down your budget and assess your recurring monthly expenses. Your recurring expenses are usually the ones that consume most of your extra cash, and believe it or not, you probably have the most control over them.
And one of the scary things about monthly recurring expenses is that most people never bother to look at them once they start.
Here are some common recurring expenses that could save you a lot of money:
If you still don’t know where to start to cut back, check out this video on how I’ve saved over $500 a month from my budget:
3. Increase your 401k contribution
One of the easiest ways to increase your savings is to simply increase your 401k contribution. While it’s usually very easy to do (just log on to your employer’s website or tell your HR representative), it can be an emotionally difficult decision.
Remember, however, that your 401k contribution is on a pre-tax basis. So when you increase your savings, you’ll also pay less in taxes. As such, the increase won’t reflect as much on your paycheck.
Another way to increase your savings is to simply put any raises or bonuses you receive at work into your 401k, up to the 401k contribution limits.
4. Maximize your cash back for what you already do
No matter how frugal you are, you’re already spending some money each month. Why not earn rewards and cash back for the spending you already do? This can add up to $100 per year in extra money that you can use to achieve your financial goals.
Some of the best cash back credit cards allow you to earn more than 2% cash back that can be deposited into a bank or brokerage account. You can then combine that with the LendingClub Rewards checking account and earn even more with that money.
The key to maximizing your cash back is to put as much as possible on the card and then pay the balance in full each month like a debit card.
This does two things for you:
- By putting it all on the card, you maximize the cash back you can earn each month.
- By leaving your money in your bank account until you pay off the balance in full, you can potentially earn more interest on that money.
Check out some of the best cash back cards here and see if it makes sense for you.
5. Start a side hustle
Finally, one of my favorite ways to increase your savings is to simply earn more money. Earning more money is the best way to achieve your financial goal, whether it’s paying off debt or increasing your savings.
The reason is simple: while budgeting is important, you can only reduce your expenses so far. However, the power to earn is unlimited: there is no upper limit to how much you can earn each month.
There are so many ways to earn extra money. You can start with your employer and just focus on working overtime or working overtime. You could get a second job and work nights and weekends.
You can take advantage of the gig economy and start driving for Uber or Lyft, deliver for Doordash, or even rent a room in your house on AirBnB.
The bottom line is that there are many ways to earn extra money. And you can use that extra money to add to your savings this year.
If you don’t have a great idea, check out this list of 50+ ways you can earn extra money.
Now is the perfect time to really give your money a boost. Check out these five strategies to boost your savings this year and take your personal finance game to the next level.
Let us know which strategies you love to increase your savings!