Money math on your mind? The effects of inflation, pandemic-related job loss, supply chain issues and stock market fluctuations are everywhere. Spending patterns have shifted, and Americans are struggling to stretch their cash between paychecks. Nearly half can’t cover an emergency expense of $400. And no matter where you are in life – paying your way through college or starting a family, supporting aging parents or simply preparing for retirement – it’s impacting you a little bit differently.
#1. Take advantage of student discounts
Research and utilize all student discounts available. Many companies offer sizable discounts on tech that can save a lot of money.
#2. Save on everyday items
Trade in that $5 latte for your own brewed coffee. Buy used and refurbished electronics, and share software with friends. If you live with roommates use a grocery calculator and choose generic brand items. If you need a haircut, find a hairstylist in training for a lower rate.
#3. Set savings goals for big purchases
While you work on long-term goals, practice saving for something fun in the short-term. Think of an item or experience that enhances your life, figure out how much it will cost, and make a plan for hitting that number – when you define a goal like this you increase your chances of achieving it.
Tip: If your employer offers Even, click here to create a savings goal so that the money you save is separate from the money used to pay bills.
#1. Build retirement savings
Nearly half of millennials haven’t planned ahead for retirement. But it’s not too late to start. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, use it! Even a minimum contribution taken from your paycheck helps. If not, look into an IRA or simply open a savings account and commit to adding to it regularly.
#2. Automate your savings
The best way to save – according to behavioral science – is to automate savings in order to avoid “present bias” – the feeling that a new coat, say, is more important than saving $50 for retirement.
Tip: Saving for a wedding? Using an app like Even, you can create savings goals and track your progress. Name a savings goal “Dream wedding” and tell the app to set aside up to 10% of every paycheck toward your goal.
#3. Cut back on recurring expenses
Did you put toilet paper on auto-refill delivery back in 2020? Over half of Americans have no idea what they’re spending each month due to these kinds of recurring orders.
Tip: Put all recurring auto-ship expenses on one card so it’s easy to look at which subscriptions are active. With the Even app, you can connect your bank account and view and track recurring subscription expenses all in one place.
#1. Buy in bulk
It may seem like a bad decision to spend $30 on bulk chicken thighs instead of $10 for one night’s dinner, but if you buy in bulk, chances are you’re getting far more than three times as much chicken for a third of the cost.
Tip: Stock up on shelf-stable items like cereal, pasta, bread and even eggs (as well as air-tight jars and freezer bags).
#2. Explore local vacation spots
Experts say your 2022 summer vacation could cost between 25% and 50% more than last summer. With gas prices at a historic high, this is the time to play tourist in your own community or go camping in a nearby national park.
#3. Increase your savings for retirement
Almost 40% of baby boomers – adults 55 and older – have under $50,000 saved for retirement. And far less time to do it before retirement.
Tip: Save for retiree insurance and annual out-of-pocket medical exams. Maximize your 401(k) contributions or open an IRA. Not sure how to increase retirement savings? Apps like Even that track spending can help reveal hidden or overlooked expenses to cut out so more funds can go toward savings.
For students, managing your financial wellbeing is all about smart spending, strategic saving on everyday items, and forming good money habits that will carry over into post-collegiate life.
For working adults, it’s all about disciplined automating savings for emergencies, future plans, and retirement.
For families, and everything that comes after, your focus should be on thinking big: as a family, shifting group spending habits so that more money goes toward paying off a mortgage or debt and into retirement funds.