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by Hillary Patin

Learn to Save Money: Start Slowly

It's difficult to save up money, especially for those of us who can't afford to save much. However, getting in the habit of saving now can be immensely helpful down the road.
Save Slowly

It’s difficult to save up money, especially for those of us who can’t afford to save much. However, getting in the habit of saving now can be immensely helpful down the road.

If you’ve set your sights on saving money (but don’t have a lot to start with), don’t worry—what matters in the beginning is not how much you save, but how often. While it’s important to have a big picture goal to keep your motivation going, it’s also important to start with small, manageable steps that you can commit to in order to eventually fulfill the goal.

Save slowly with Goals

Simple’s Goals feature can help make saving easy. There are a couple of different ways you can use Goals, but the ‘Save over time’ function is purpose-built for people who are learning to save, and want to put away a little each day.

To set a Save over time Goal, all you have to do is pick the date you’d like to save an amount by. Once you’re set up, your Simple account will automatically move money from your Safe-to-Spend® every day until your Goal is completed.

Once you’ve set up a ‘Save over time’ Goal, all you have to do is get used to living without the money that’s sitting in your savings, which is why it’s best to start small.

Saving slowly is the first step in learning to save at all. Whether you continue saving slowly forever, or eventually work your way up to saving more, it’s important to get in a regular habit of saving if you want to reach your big picture savings goal.

Steps to saving slowly

Learning to save can be easy as 1-2-3…4-5. Here are five steps to get on your way.

1. Give your savings a purpose

First, think of your big picture savings goal as you would any other part of your budget–housing, food, bills, etc. Envisioning what the money will eventually be spent on gives each dollar saved a purpose. This can help you continue saving money and keep you from spending it elsewhere.

2. Decide your savings rate

Then, decide your savings rate, or how much you will save and how often. Because we’re focused on getting in the habit of saving rather than on the amount saved, it’s best to start small. If you can only afford a dollar a day, start there. Whatever amount you choose, make sure it’s affordable and that it’s small relative to your income and living expenses. By easing yourself into learning to save, you’re much more likely to get in the habit of saving, and save more money in the future.

3. Set up your savings Goal

In your Simple account, create a ‘Save over time Goal.’ When creating the Goal, it will ask you how much you want to save, and the date you want to save it by. For instance, you could choose to save $365 over the next year if your savings rate is a dollar a day. Remember—you can always adjust the Goal later.

My Goal

4. Watch your Goal grow automatically

After you’ve set up your savings Goal, leave Simple to take money out of your Safe-to-Spend each day; you should only really need to think about your Goal if you run out of money in your Safe-to-Spend. Only take the money out if you really need it, like to help pay for an emergency. Hopefully, you’ll be saving so slowly that you’ll hardly notice the money that’s left your Safe-to-Spend and gone on to live in your savings Goal. Maybe you’ll even forget that your savings Goal exists at all.

5. Fine-tune your spending and savings

If you’ve managed to keep your Safe-to-Spend above zero and your Goal funded each day, feel free to check back after a while to see how your Goal is doing. If you haven’t looked at it in awhile, it’ll be like finding forgotten cash in your pocket (yessss!). But don’t spend it—remember its eventual purpose, the reason you were saving up in the first place. You just want to make sure you show yourself that you did it—you saved money. If you did it for a month, then you can do it again next month.

Once you start to save slowly, you get used to having a few less dollars here and there. Once you’ve gotten used to that, you can turn up your savings by revisiting your spending. For instance, if you saved a dollar a day for a month without issue, and you think you can afford to save two dollars a day, do it. All you have to do is edit your savings Goal by changing the due date or the Goal amount to change your savings rate from one dollar a day to two dollars a day.

As you slowly start saving more and more, you’ll be able to adjust to spending less and less. Fine-tune your savings rate where you’re comfortable, and your Simple account will do the rest.

Ready to get started?

Set a Goal

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner banks, The Bancorp Bank and BBVA Compass, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.