We all want to be that one person who knows how to save money from our paychecks. Don’t say that you haven’t wanted to or that you never tried to save a dollar here and there. There’s this notion that if you save money you can be retire early, buy emergency products (car/home repairs and medical expenses), or just to have a little extra money if you need it. As a tax writer for individuals I can honestly say that having this nest egg can and will always be a life saver. Why? Well I see clients who don’t have a source of savings and sometime through the year they always wish they had the money to help out. This brought them into cashing out 401(k)s from work and having to pay upfront at the end of the year…That in itself is horrifying and messy! With this said here’s a few tips that might help you start saving:

1.) Ask yourself if you REALLY need that latte from Starbucks. Sure you can splurge every now and again on a half calf latte, but cutting back on how many you get through out the week can add up, FAST!

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2.) Set up a tiny savings account that your bank offers. This is very useful especially if you forget to place money into it. I bank with Wells Fargo and they offer an awesome account that rolls a few dollars for every amount you spend. This has given me a good fall back if something happens.

3.) Separate needs from wants. You’re walking through a store and that one thing that you’ve always WANTED starts to scream, “BUY ME! BUY ME!”, and you start to pick it up to buy it. IT’S A TRAP! This might sound a little harsh of me, but if you’re desperate to save some cash, please don’t waste money on certain things that are not an absolute necessity. Once you are in that comfortable area with your finances, then by all means, treat yo self! Until then just buy what you need.

4.) Sell some unwanted items. If you haven’t used it or it’s somewhere through out your house and you didn’t even know it existed, toss it! Now selling Nick Knacks, unread books, small/ unworn clothes, this can give you a few dollars on the side while cleaning up the place.

5.) Name brands aren’t always the best. This goes for food, clothes and everything in between. Sometimes value brands taste better, fit better, or have a higher quality then name brands. So, don’t be afraid to buy off name items.

6.) Bargain Shopping. Try shopping around for sales for anything that you have been needing for awhile. This will ultimately save you a few pennies in your wallet.

7.) Set up a 401(k) if your work provides it. It can be a valuable account and can help you save if you plan on retiring happy! But please be warned as I stated earlier, if you draw from this account before you retire, you will be penalized at the end of the year and could end up owing the government.

8.) Side Jobs. If you have the time or expertise in a certain area, you could end up picking up a side hustle. I do this every year during tax season and can easily get up to 3K in two months! If you end up making this kind of cash, it is very tempting to spend, spend, spend, but fight that little devil! This cash is good to start storing in a savings account as well because you can put a bigger amount away. The bigger the amount you can stow a way, the happier the savings account.

Now, I know some of this can be difficult and that life is unknown! Yet, saving and making a few extra dollars can eventually be the biggest life raft you can invest it. Money is the hardest thing to earn yet its the easiest thing to lose as well. So if you can make sure you have this safety raft you don’t have to worry about losing it all when times get tough.

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