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How to save money fast

Everyone wants to know easy ways to save money, whether it’s to buy a house, a new car, pay for college tuition, or fund a wedding. While most people tend to save for a specific purchase, financial experts recommend that everyone have money saved for unexpected expenses, such as a medical emergency or job loss.

As a matter of fact, a good practice is to put aside 20% of every paycheck for savings and keep a savings reserve equal to at least six months of living expenses.
 
If you’re ready to start saving money, we can help! At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make saving money easier.
 
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our home equity lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all your banking needs.


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Review current expenditures

Although it can seem challenging, there are easy ways to save money. The first step to saving money is to review your current expenditures so you understand where you can cut back.
 
Every reduction in spending you make should be put toward saving money or paying down any debt, such as credit cards, student loans, auto loans, or mortgage.
 
Get started by examining these expenses and making cuts where you can:
 
Entertainment. This includes going to the movies, concerts, and even dining out. A focus on home entertainment can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
 
Food. The cost of all food items has significantly increased during the past year, so what can be done to save at the supermarket? Try buying the store brands of juice, soda, cereal, sauces, and other products. Buying the generic store brand will save you money at the register.
 
Utilities. Remember when mom and dad used to say, “turn off the lights if you’re not in the room.” Our parents recognized that lights left on in unoccupied rooms would make the family electric bill higher. To save money on utilities, turn off lights, reduce heater and air conditioner use (when safe to do so), and don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth.
 
Housing. Hosing costs can be some of the most challenging to reduce. If you’re a renter, you may need to move due to rent increases. Homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage are in the best position, while those with an adjustable-rate mortgage should consider refinancing to a fixed-rate loan for monthly payment stability.
 
Car. If you’ve got a car loan, shop around for a lower interest rate to which you can refinance your loan.
 
Insurance. Your vehicle’s insurance policy is another place to find savings. Get quotes from several insurance companies and consider switching to a new lower-rate policy. Lower cost homeowners’ insurance and renters insurance may also be found by shopping around. Most insurance companies give a discount to peopled who take out multiple policies, such as home and auto insurance.
 
Subscriptions and memberships. These cover a wide range of areas, including magazine and online resource subscriptions, gym, and fitness memberships, etc. Look for ways to cut back on these, especially if you find you no longer use the service as much.
 
Electronics. It’s tempting to want to buy a new phone, laptop, tablet, TV, and other electronics as soon as they are released. Getting more use out of your existing electronics will save you money now, and when you do upgrade eventually, you’ll have an even newer device to enjoy.
 
Travel. Vacations can get expensive, especially if you stay in luxury hotels. Staying at a vacation rental house could save you money. Of course, reducing the number of vacations you take each year will save you the most.
 
Gifts. If you tend to spend a lot on buying gifts for friends and family members, consider giving less pricey gifts, or giving home made gifts or baked goods.
 
Student loans. Depending on the type and amount of your student loans you may be able to pay off this debt through debt-consolidation or pay less over time by refinancing the loan to a lower interest rate.


Saving money: a step-by-step guide

  1. Create a budget. First, create a list and add up your monthly income sources and your monthly expenses. Make sure you know exactly how much money you need to pay your bills each month. Then compare this to how much you earn each month, to determine what amount is left that can be put into a savings account. Financial experts recommend saving 20% of each paycheck. Looking at the numbers you can see where you can cut expenses to increase savings.
  2. Sell unwanted household items or clothing. Many people earn extra money by selling household items they no longer need or want including furniture, d├ęcor, kids’ toys, and baby items, and just about anything else. There are several online sales platforms available for selling good and clothes.
  3. Pay off existing debt. Paying off high-interest loans and credit card debt means you’ll save money each month.
  4. Set concrete goals. Setting goals will help you stay on-budget.
    • Short-term goals. These include saving for a vacation or a new phone, and other things you’ll want or need this year.
    • Long-term goals. This can include saving to buy a house or saving for retirement.
  5. Set up automatic bank account transfers. Most credit unions and banks offer a feature that lets you automatically have money moved from your checking account into savings. This makes saving easier.
  6. Track your savings. Credit unions and other financial institutions have online and mobile tools you can use to track your savings and spending.
  7. Consider debt transfers. High-interest credit card debt is one of the biggest drains on individual finances. Look for a credit card with zero interest on balance transfers, which will give you time to pay down or pay off your credit card debt.
  8. Use a high-yield savings account. Transferring your savings to a high-yield account puts money in the bank.
  9. Stick to your plan. Whatever financial goals or budget you set, the most valuable action you can take is stick to your plan. If you need to modify your savings because you need more cash available, that’s fine. Just don’t give up. Saving a little each month will add up!


Why savvy consumers choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including mortgages, Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
 
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation loan consultation with a CU SoCal Member Services specialist.
 
If you want to create a credit union online account with CU SoCal, give us a call or open your account here!


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Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.

 

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