#3: Make saving automatic
You might not have the self-discipline to set aside a portion of your paycheck every month for savings. So, make your contributions automatic. Banks often offer free services that will transfer a fixed amount of money from your checking to your savings account every month.
Or, ask your HR department if you can direct deposit a percentage of your paycheck every month into a savings account.
#4: Establish an emergency fund
While your savings account might double as a rainy-day fund, if you’re super savvy about saving you’ll have a fund dedicated solely to emergencies. Your savings account might be for big purchases — like for a down payment on a house or car — but you should not touch the money in your emergency fund unless there’s an actual emergency. If you lose your job or have to go the hospital, you’ll have something to fall back on without having to sacrifice that big purchase you’ve been saving for.
#5: Monitor your monthly expenses
For one month, track every single purchase down to the cent. You’ll know exactly where your paycheck is going and which areas you’re overspending on. You’ll feel more in control of your money, and it’s a key step toward forming a realistic budget.
You might realize, for example, that you’re spending an obscene amount on coffee every week. Once you’re aware of that, you can limit your coffee-shop stops to three times a week and put the rest of that money into savings.