Save money. It’s something we are told to do from an early age. Save your allowances, save your tooth fairy money, save your paychecks, etc. It’s ingrained in us from childhood. But so many of us as adults aren’t great at it. It’s taken me years to become a saver. Years to see savings as a good thing and see goals being met. It’s insanely rewarding to see those accounts grow. I want to talk about 8 things you should be saving for and how to do it. I feel like so many of us want to save but may not know how.
8 Things You Should Be Saving For (And How To Do It)
What to save for:
- A house: To me, this is one of the more obvious things to save for. Someday you may want a house (or a bigger house).
- Travel: One of the more FUN things to save for. I love having a separate account just for saving for travel.
- Emergencies: Having a 6-month emergency savings account is recommended. This would include all your bills and a little extra.
- Education: For you or your children, depending on where you are in life.
- To pay down debt: If you have any debt to pay down, you can be saving for this. Skipping that extra Starbucks could help you not gain more interest on debt you need to pay down!
- A rainy day: For when you need a pick me up, want to treat yourself or do something fun!
- Home repairs: Kind of like an emergency fund, home repairs are bound to come up if you own a house. For example, our hot water heater went out on Christmas Day last year, and we had to have it replaced. Not something you want to be shocked by financially.
- Retirement: In my opinion, this is the MOST important thing to save for. There are so many ways to do this. You can have an IRA, 401K, savings accounts etc.
How to do it:
- A percentage of each paycheck: This is one of the easiest ways. Take 10% of each paycheck (or a number that makes sense for you) and put it right into savings. Almost as if you were paying a bill.
- Make your goals realistic: This is so important. Make your savings goals realistic or you’ll never reach them. If your goal is to put 50K in savings in two months, you probably won’t make it happen. A goal to save $100 each month is more attainable and realistic.
- A monthly transfer: Similar to the first point, have a certain amount automatically deducted from your bank account and into a separate account each month. This way you don’t even have to make an effort.
- A side hustle: This is a great way to make extra money that you can put directly in savings. If you have a side hustle, along with a regular income, vow to put all the money from your side hustle directly into savings.
- Max out your 401K: If you work a traditional job, chances are you have a 401K or some sort of retirement. If your company matches it up to a certain percentage, I suggest maxing your end of that out! Whatever is the highest they will match that’s what you should put in. That’s a great way to save for retirement as mentioned above.
- Have a visual reminder: A chart, a graph, a picture of what you are saving for, a vision board, etc. Something visual can help you remember your goals.
- Use the 50/20/30 Rule: I saw this on Forbes years ago and it’s always stuck with me. Essentially it means 50% of your budget goals towards essentials like food, water, housing, and transportation. 20% goals towards savings, retirement, and your debt reduction. Finally, your last 30% is flexible spending, meaning you can use it for anything not in the first two categories. To me, this is a low-pressure way to save. You are still getting your wants and your needs, and it’s based entirely on your income. You can pay bills, add to savings and retirement, pay down debt and still have a life!
Savings is one of those things that we are almost always doing. So hopefully some of these tips gave you some new ways to save that will seem a bit less daunting!
Do you have anything to add to my 8 things you should be saving for? I’d love to hear them!
This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for 2021.
Great list and great tips! Seems like there is a neverending list of things to save for, haha…
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
It’s always worth it to invest more time into finances. It has given me so much stress relief knowing I am covered financially if anything were to to ever happen. These are all wonderful financial tips to live by.
Love these tips! It’s so important to save money and always prioritize your bills over spending on things you really don’t need.
My husband and I have a few savings accounts that we put money into, a percentage of our income, twice per month. We save for a future home, our emergency fund, our travel money, and we put money into a savings account for both boys to save for college or whatever they want to do after high school. I wish my parents saved a bit more for me when I was younger, so we are trying to give our kids the best start we can.
We are currently saving for a house. It seems like it takes forever though. I know the end goal will be worth it, but sometimes it’s hard.
I’ve never seen the 50/20/30 ratio. I’m going to take a look at my budget to see if I’m close!
I’m constantly saving for travel! Travel makes me happy so the more I save the more awesome adventures I can go on!
Love the simplicity of your list – so logical and so true.
I like that 50/20/30 rule. I’ve also heard it’s important to “pay yourself first” by putting money towards savings first and then deciding what you want to do with the rest.
Man oh man, this list makes me wanna get (financial) things moving! Saving for retirement is SO easy to put off, but the earlier we save, the more time we have to let compound interest grow our savings.
When I first started working, all I cared about was whether I had health insurance, but I sure do wish I had looked more into the retirement plan benefits at that company. Those first years are so important.
These are all such important things. It is easy to let finances spiral out of control a bit. We have been cutting back on things like travel to deal with other things like home repairs and anticipating college expenses.
Ahhhh such great tips!!
This is something my husband and I always give our full attention to – save for emergencies. Because of the simple fact that you don’t know when an emergency will arise, it is always best to have some funds set aside. We make sure that 10% of our weekly earnings to into our emergency fund, and we do it by making arrangements with our bank to automatically transfer 10% of our weekly paycheck into a separate savings account set up primarily for that reason.
Found this helpful,didn’t even think of it this way.Thanks a lot
YES! This post is so needed! Everyone should be saving. Always! Whether you have a goal or not it’s so important to have that cushion. Not to mention everyone should be saving for retirement. The sooner, the better.
Thanks for the 50-20-30 rule. I’ll have to look more into that.
These are such great tips and practical advice on how to do it! I have a bunch of small savings accounts that i named. It is much more fun to put $200 bucks into the “Dream vacation” account rather than account #839484!. It helps me stay motivated!
Great list! It’s especially important to save for retirement.
This is amazing!!! We do save but we never allocated the savings as you suggested, this is amazing and will start doing it!!!
These tips are so helpful! A side hustle has definitely been helpful for me to save. Thanks for sharing these!
My husband got really into learning about savings and finance at the beginning of last year, and because of that, we were able to save up and buy a home this year! Woohoo! Now we’re working to get our emergency fund back up and we’re gonna be saving for travels 🙂
I couldn’t love this post enough! if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that saving is ESSENTIAL! Having enough to cover bills for a few months in case of emergency or job loss really speaks volumes. Home repairs also seem to just blossom out of nowhere!
These are such great tips for saving. I’m a huge advocate of saving and investing! Now that I’ve purchased my first home, I definitely like to save for any unexpected expenses that arise (as they are sure to do!). Saving for retirement is so important too – especially as an entreprenuer!