A healthy savings account balance could be the one thing that gets you through your next financial crisis, whether it’s an unexpected home repair, the need for a new car, or the loss of your job. In fact, as a general rule, it’s a good idea to sock away enough money in an emergency fund to cover three to six months of living expenses.
MassMutual has some good news when it comes to Americans’ savings. In a recent survey, it found that 35% of respondents saved at least $1,000 over the past three months, up from 30% of respondents who did so in July. Also, 37% of those surveyed say they intend to save more money in the course of the next three months, up from 34% who said the same back in July. Given the expenses associated with the holiday season, that’s a pretty impressive aspiration.
If your goal is to grow your savings, a few key moves could make it easier to achieve that objective. Here are a couple to focus on.
1. Stick to a budget to save more
What does budgeting have to do with saving money? A lot.
When you follow a budget, you’re more likely to meet savings goals because you’ll have a clearer picture of where your money is going every month. If you don’t budget, you might think you can afford to spend $300 a month on leisure and still have funds left over to put into the bank. But if, upon creating your budget, you realize you can only afford to spend $200 a month on leisure, you’ll know to cut back so your savings goals stay on track.
Creating a budget is a simple process. You can either list your expenses on a spreadsheet and compare your spending to your earnings, or you can use one of the best budgeting apps to set yourself up. The benefit of the latter is that many apps link up to your various bank and credit card accounts and update automatically, making it easier to track your progress.
2. Get a side hustle to boost your savings
Side hustles aren’t just a fad. They’re a great way to get you closer to meeting your financial goals.
If you don’t have much room in your paychecks to boost your savings significantly, a side hustle could help make up the difference. After all, that extra income won’t be earmarked for existing bills, so you should be able to stick all of it (minus your tax obligation on those earnings) into the bank.
Best of all, there are numerous side hustles you can choose from, so your second gig doesn’t have to be torturous. If you want something flexible, you can find a gig you can do from home, like entering data or writing web content. If you’re looking for a more social gig, you can pick up shifts working retail or find a restaurant that’s hiring.
Boosting your savings could give you more than just financial protection. It could also give you peace of mind. Sticking to a budget and picking up a side hustle could make it easier to grow your savings and enjoy the benefits that come with it.