Advancements and innovation in technology has made investing in your future easier and more efficient than it might have been ten or twenty years ago. With more tools available to save than ever before, saving among the general public should be quite commonplace, right?
Unfortunately, nearly 21% of the population doesn’t retain a single dollar of their income – even though it is generally recommended that you save at least 10% of your income for future expenses. With that in mind, here are several modern-age ways to help you get to that savings started.
Save from your phone
Long gone are the days of being limited to investing your money at brick and mortar locations; nowadays, there are a myriad of different ways to go about banking, investing in the stock market, and even doing your taxes. Save yourself some time and money by signing up with or downloading these financial platforms. If you still want to continue saving, you may want to consider signing up for direct deposit if you still happen to receive paper checks every week or so. This will allow you to save even more while on the go.
The main reason many make the choice to go mobile is because of the reduced fees and ease of access. Physical banks may charge you service or teller fees in order to compensate for the higher overhead costs of managing these locations. However, if you choose a mobile bank, a lot of the time they offer incentives such as no fees or minimum balance. Not to mention you can access your bank anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
If you haven’t already, you may want to consider doing some analysis on going mobile. It may just be worth your time and money to cut your old bank off and switch to an organization that better matches your lifestyle.
Utilize free services
You no longer need to spend vast amounts of money on entertainment and information. Instead, to save a few bucks on those excess expenses, you should utilize other services available to you like free video streaming platforms and online books. Even if you don’t utilize the free services offered, there are many cheaper alternatives. One example is the fact that most streaming platforms are considerably cheaper than if you were to purchase a cable and TV bundle from a provider. So get creative with finding different ways you can save on these frivolous payments.
There are also many organizations that offer free ways to make money—just make sure you’re on alert for scams. That being said, companies like Swagbucks and others pay big money for things like data, so you could make some money through things like surveys or by watching videos. Although the payout may not be as much as you want, any money made can be money saved, so it might be worth considering. You could also sell your unwanted belongings on free platforms such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace; just be sure you’re aware of the risks involved with selling face-to-face beforehand to keep yourself as safe as possible.
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There are also many free platforms that help with investing directly rather than simply helping you save. A few examples include Turbo-Tax with their “free” tax service, and Robinhood with their stock trading platform. You will still need to invest your money on the platform, but they don’t charge to use their platform like other traditional stock exchange companies. In addition, there are plenty of different apps or sites that have calculators and trackers to help you plan your expenses and keep to your budgets. If you do find the free version isn’t comprehensive enough for you, many of these products do offer paid versions for better service. However, most of the time, the free versions work just fine.
Consider AI services
AI – or artificial intelligence – is changing the future by creating better financial predictions and more accurate results than humans have ever could. Granted, AI can help firms and individuals get the edge when it comes to their finances by eliminating human error. But this kind of investing does present its own unique challenges as well. There are problems with managing the complex data produced by the algorithms. There is also the challenge of attempting to understand the specific algorithms while the machine learns and becomes increasingly intricate.
If this all seems like a bit too much to take in, a smart home assistant might be the perfect thing to implement. It tracks your energy consumption habits, and then changes the settings of things like heat and electricity to perform at their most efficient settings, resulting in a lower overall energy bill.
If you are interested in adding AI into your existing framework, it is crucial to outline a plan on how it will be used or you else you risk setting yourself up for failure. AI doesn’t replace the need for humans in investing, but rather makes them more valuable to “guide” the program and scale successful techniques. Robots can handle the process of identifying financial trends and swings and then humans can act on those movements to create worthwhile results. This is mostly information businesses can use, but as an individual, be sure to work with companies using technology and algorithms that have been proven to work. Without a good historical track record, you risk investing in a business that could end up losing more than they make.
Saving is important if you plan on enjoying yourself after you retire, but sometimes expenses and a lack of explicitly clear goals can get in the way of this dream. Do your best to take the time to assess your future. Ask yourself: “What am I saving for?” That might just be the inspiration you need to begin growing your savings. Using the strategies listed here might take some commitment, but the best time to start is now. Take advantage of all your resources to save every dollar possible. Be sure to leave a comment on what saving strategies work for you as well to keep the conversation going.
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out Carly Cristman’s 10 ways she is saving money in 2020: