You don’t necessarily need a windfall or a raise to save more money. The key to boosting your savings, according to experts, is to be intentional—and a little bit creative.
“It’s almost like you have to find ways to manipulate yourself into the right habits,” says Mary Lyons, a financial advisor and founder of Benchmark Income Group in Dallas. “You have to make it easy.”
Whether you’re saving to build an emergency fund or pay off debt, to fund a down payment on a house or set yourself up for a long retirement, resisting the temptation to spend can be hard. However, the right strategies and tools can make saving money less of a chore.
Here are five tips that can help boost your savings.
1. Check your tax withholding
Most people equate taxes with money out the door, except for the tax refund they might get once a year. But when the government sends you a refund, it means you overpaid income taxes. It’s just cash you could have had sooner. Luckily, how much tax gets taken out of your paycheck is in your control.
Your tax withholding form, or W-4, tells your employer how much of your paycheck to set aside for income taxes. It’s possible you haven’t touched a W-4 since starting your job. Experts, however, say it should be updated at least once a year, plus if you have a baby, get married or experience another life change.
By instructing your employer to take less for taxes, you could get bigger paychecks. However, your annual take-home pay won’t change. “The only