How to stop flushing your money down the toilet

By Simi Afroza Mira

Saving can be incredibly challenging, and if you feel like you aren’t bringing enough money in to save anything extra, you are definitely not alone. The saving habits of the average American were closely examined recently in a survey by GOBankingRates, a popular personal finance resource. The purpose of the survey was to determine exactly what people are setting their money aside for. By examining the savings goal that people were trying to reach, they provided insight into what kind of big ticket items consumers were looking at. The survey also determined whether each person was confident that they would eventually reach their large savings goal, and it asked the consumers what they felt would be the biggest hurdle in saving a large sum of money.

Here are some highlights of what the survey uncovered:

Men Pick Cars

Men tend to save their money for a new vehicle. In fact, men are twice as likely as women to use their savings on a car.

Young People Live in the Now

Most of the young people that were surveyed were not too concerned about saving money. They were the least likely to set aside cash for an emergency fund.

Income Concerns Everyone

The biggest challenge keeping consumers from saving their money was listed as a lack of substantial income. Americans just don’t feel that they’re making enough to set additional money aside in a savings account.

If saving is a challenge for you, consider these tips:

Kick a Habit

If you smoke, drink fine coffee or eat a lot of expensive snack foods, you might be surprised at how much you’re paying for these. Calculate how much you spend on your habit to get a good idea of what kind of damage it’s doing to your wallet. Then consider if one of your joneses can be kicked.

Check your Medicine Cabinet

Be sure you’re using generic prescriptions if you tend to buy a lot of medications. They are often much cheaper than the name brand alternatives.

Reevaluate your Gym Membership

If you have a gym membership that takes out automatic payments from your checking account, ask yourself if you’re getting your money’s worth. If you don’t go to the gym regularly, you may be losing a lot of money. You can also try working out at home or exercising outside.

Try Having Movie Night at Home

Movie tickets have become very expensive. Although the experience of leaving the house to watch a new film can be more fun, it may be worth it to watch Netflix at home and wait until that new movie is released on Redbox.

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