It’s officially 2022! 🤩
You know what that means: It’s time to hit the reset button and think about a few new goals you’d like to achieve this year. So, as you fully embrace that “New Year, New You” mantra––eating healthier, keeping your room cleaner and getting outside more––don’t forget to add your finances to the list!
In fact, according to a recent Step survey, 75% of teens already have financial goals in mind. What’s the #1 goal you ask? To make saving money a habit this year. So, today we’re talking about how you can make that happen! 💸
Your savings playbook
Let’s be honest, tackling your finances can seem really intimidating. That’s why it’s important to start small––Rome wasn’t built in a day––and your savings won’t be either. Below we’re sharing 5 key steps to help you become an expert saver this year!
Step #1: Review your finances
It’s really important to set realistic goals and that can be tough to do if you’re not sure where all of your money is going. The first thing you should do is open up your Step App and take a look at your activity from the past few months (don’t forget to check your email for our Monthly Spending Reports). Specifically, how much money is coming in (your income) versus going out (your expenses). You always want your income to be higher than your expenses, otherwise, you won’t be able to save. At this point, you should have a much better idea of what your finances look like and where all of your money is going.
Step #2: Create a budget
Now it’s time to create your budget. Experts recommend that you break your money down into 3 categories: needs, wants and savings. So, for example, if you have $100 in income each month that means you should allocate $50 for needs, $30 for wants and $20 for savings. This is an awesome way to help you keep your spending in check. For example, if you know you only have $30 to spend this month on wants, you might think twice about going to see a movie for $15 when you could rent one on Amazon for $5. This will turn you into a saver!
Step #3: Cut down your expenses
Beyond making mindful money choices every day, it’s also super important to take a look at your fixed expenses (recurring charges), especially if you tend to spend everything you make. Subscriptions are a great place to do this. For example, do you really need both Netflix and Hulu? That right there could save you ~$100 a year. Let’s talk about ads for a minute. While it’s great to listen to music without them, ask yourself if it’s worth a new pair of airpods (that’s roughly how much Spotify Premium is costing you). All of these small changes could lead to a huge payday for your savings.
Step #4: Find new ways to make money
While looking for ways to cut down your expenses is great, they may not be an option for everyone. This is where finding new income streams can be really helpful. For instance, if part of your “New Year, New You” mantra is to clean out your closet, consider selling unwanted clothing items on Depop or Poshmark. You could also look for odd neighborhood jobs like shoveling snow, mowing lawns and walking dogs. Small jobs like this could really help you increase your savings!
Step #5: Deposit your cash
We know that a lot of you still use cash, but it’s not the best way to keep your money safe or track your spending. Say over the weekend you get gas, go out to eat and catch up with friends over coffee. By Monday, you’ll likely have completely forgotten where all that money went. However, if you had all of that cash in your Step Account, you could easily track where it went. Now with our Instant Cash Deposits feature, you can deposit cash at one of 65,000 local retail locations like 7-Eleven, CVS and Walgreens.
How to set up Step Savings Goals
Before setting a few goals, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for doing all the legwork to get your finances in order! Now it’s time for the fun part, setting savings goals. We recommend starting with small, achievable goals to help build your confidence and Step makes this really easy.
We just launched a new product called Step Savings Goals where you can set multiple goals, easily track your progress and even share them with your family. To get started:
Open your Step App and toggle to the “Saving” tab.
Tap “Create a Goal” and enter how much money it will cost.
Then select which account you’d like to link it to and you’re ready to start saving!
Looking for more articles to help you save? 👀