It’s no secret that this year hasn’t been easy and many of us are facing unique challenges with finances. When times are tough, putting a few extra dollars into savings for the future can be tough.

Whether you’re saving for a great post-pandemic family vacation, a new car, a home, or just to have some spare change for a rainy day, here are a few ways you can start small with savings.

1. Start with attainable goals

Saving for something big like a car or home can be daunting if you’re new to the savings game, so it’s a good idea to start with smaller, more practical goals. An easy place to start is the One Percent Goal—the goal of saving one percent of your earnings every month. By setting this small amount aside regularly, you’ll get into the habit of putting a portion of your income into savings. Once you’ve developed a routine, try increasing how much you’re saving every month.

2. Pay yourself first.

What if you treated your savings account the same way you treat one of your monthly bills? Decide upon an amount, and, when you sit down to pay your rent, mortgage, or other payment, pay your “savings bill” as well. The best part about your savings bill, it’s going to you, your family, and your future.

3. Look for miscellaneous expenses.

For one month, track what you spend. Whether you do it in a journal, or on your mobile device, document what you spend on groceries, gas, bills, and miscellaneous purchases. Once you’ve looked at this, compare it to your income and try to find what can be eliminated from that list of expenses. There is likely a miscellaneous expense or two you can cut from your budget, like a streaming service you don’t watch or a subscription you don’t use.

4. No spend weekends.

A no-spend weekend is exactly what it sounds like: a weekend where you don’t spend anything. Once a month, have a weekend where you don’t purchase anything. Do activities around the house or doing something free in your community like visiting a park or volunteering. Not only are these no-spend weekends great for your savings plans, they’re great opportunities to spend time with family and friends creating unique memories.

5. Take the work out of it.

Did you know you can set up automatically recurring transfers between your accounts? With the Alliance Bank Mobile app, you can take some of the work out of saving by setting up an automatic transfer of funds from your checking account to your savings account however often you’d like. This will keep you on top of your savings goals without having to take the time to do it.

Alliance Bank is here to help

You aren’t going to meet your savings goals overnight so it’s important you don’t put too much pressure on yourself when starting your savings journey. Start small and work towards your goals gradually with help from Alliance Bank. With friendly, experienced bankers and five locations across southeast Missouri, Alliance Bank is your ally on your savings journey.