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Make saving simple with these 10 tricks

It's easier than you think to build a comfortable savings cushion. No matter what you need to save for—a child's college education, a family vacation or vocational retirement—small steps yield big results.

Here are 10 practical reminders.

  1. Keep your budget and goals simple. Zeroing in on your main objective will help you stay on course. What goal are you saving for?

  2. Write down specific goals and amounts. It makes them real. Pledging to save $2,000 for a beach retreat is more likely to get you there than saving an unspecified amount for a vacation.

  3. Set up an account for each goal—education, vacation, car, computer—or for recurring expenses, such as insurance premiums, so you know your status at all times.

  4. Start small. Even $100 per paycheck will add up over time. Use GuideStone’s 7 savings calculators to evaluate your personal savings plan.

  5. Start retiring now! The earlier you invest in a retirement plan, the more time you allow your money to work for you. Because of compounded growth, even modest contributions can build into large savings over time.

  6. Give yourself an instant reward. Each time you brown-bag your lunch instead of eating out, toss the savings into a change jar. Leave it alone and watch your money grow into enough to pay for holiday gifts or even that beach vacation.

  7. Keep writing the check after you pay off a loan or bill, and send it to a savings or investment account instead. By continuing this habit, you’ll really make a positive impact on your savings.

  8. Let your employer take money off the top of your salary for retirement. You’ll never miss it. And, you can increase your personal contributions each year to accelerate the savings.

  9. Start a rainy day fund. Take an inheritance or a tax return and invest in a fund that will grow while you don’t need it and will be there when you do. How much should you have in emergency savings?

  10. Improve your insurance coverage. Did you know a 35-year old is 4Xs more likely to become disabled and need disability coverage than to die and need life insurance? Consider adding disability insurance to protect yourself and family against the unexpected.

For more tips and timely information, follow us @GuideStone.

Through re:connect, GuideStone offers ideas, not advice. Any information about taxes or investments should be discussed with a trusted financial adviser.