**Full Disclosure: Thanks to Capital One Bank for financially supporting today’s post. All opinions are my own.
A new survey from Capital One Bank revealed that while people feel happiness and satisfaction from saving money, they also find it hard to actually save because of financial constraints and deep-rooted spending habits. I can say that is absolutely true for my household! It seems like as soon as we feel like we’ve got a good handle on things, something comes up and we have to spend a small fortune to get new tires or a root canal or some other expensive necessity.
But how do you save for your child’s college education when you have a hard time saving in general?!
Financial expert Nicole Lapin is delighted to team up with Capital One Bank to help consumers ‘Challenge Your Savings’ to make saving up for those bigger purchases (like college education) simple and easy.
- Cut out one “luxury” item. If you have high-interest debt, cut out one luxury expense—like dining out weekly or a pricey monthly salon visit—and put use every available dime toward paying down your debt. This will give you a nice financial bump in two ways: 1) once the debt is gone, you’ll find yourself with even more “fun” money because you’re no longer paying off yesterday’s fun money with interest; and 2) you might find that you’ve lost a taste for those expensive habits that got you into trouble to begin with. This is something my husband and I do. We don’t spend money unless it’s necessary or we’ve agreed on the purchase – no matter how small.
- Work as a team. If you and your spouse are trying to save for a shared expense, such as the down payment on a house or a new car, set up a “matching” savings plan and get there twice as fast. You can easily track it all with 360 Savings from Capital One’s My Savings Goals tool. To add even more incentive, for every dollar your spouse saves against your goal, pledge to match a dollar. Not only does this method give you both skin in the game but a little friendly competition will move those savings along more quickly.
- Take advantage of tax refunds. Stop seeing your annual tax refund as free money. It’s not free money; it’s your money. As soon as you receive your refund, transfer those funds directly into your savings account to give it a bonus boost. My husband and I usually spend our tax refund on fun stuff, but I’ll see if I can talk him into putting it in savings next year!
When it comes to financial goals like saving for a college education, Nicole encourages individuals to get into the nitty gritty – no detail or expense is too small when you’re trying to get a sense of your overall financial picture, especially when it comes to saving.