A newer version of your browser is available. Older versions may limit your ability to access some of this site's functionality. Citizens Bank recommends upgrading your browser.
By Stephen Sellner | Citizens Bank Staff
For some of us, saving money is like flossing your teeth. You know it’s something you should be doing, but life gets crazy sometimes and who’s got the time and you do it once and then it hurts and you swear you’ll get into a routine of doing it every day. Next thing you know, you’re having a less-than-pleasant checkup at the dentist’s office.
OK, enough about teeth. Let’s talk money.
We all have things in life that keep us from saving money. Some might keep you from saving money at all; others unnecessarily hold you back and prevent you from saving as much as you could.
Here are seven money-saving barriers — plus advice on how to knock each of them down.
Housing — be it rent or a mortgage — is most people’s biggest monthly expense. But are you taking on more than you should?
The average American spends 37% of their pre-tax income on housing. The general rule of thumb is to pay no more than 30% on housing. Whether you subscribe to that thinking or not is neither here nor there. The point is, since housing is likely your biggest expense, it could be the biggest rock to look under when searching for more money to save.
We get it; the word “budget” doesn’t exactly excite anyone, but hear us out.
A budget is essentially a financial game plan. It helps you set limits on how much you spend in certain categories. Plus, it accounts for every dollar coming in and going out each month so you better understand how much you could be saving.
OK, so maybe you’re not saving as much as you’d like right now, but things will change when you get that promotion you’ve been working toward, right? Maybe.
Yes, making more money certainly makes saving money a lot easier. But do you expect your expenses to stay the same? Think back to the last time your salary experienced a big jump. Are your expenses the same now as they were then?
This type of thinking could be holding you back from starting to save right here, right now.
Some people’s savings plans consist of this: get paid, pay the bills, spend like they normally do, and save whatever’s left. What if you could do things a little smarter?
Saving money is just like any other goal: it’s much easier to achieve it if you specify a target to reach. That’s why people looking to lose weight assign a certain amount they want to lose each month. It gives them a goal to work toward, keeps them accountable, and lets them know if they’re doing a good job or if they need to make adjustments.
RELATED: 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Success
If housing is your biggest expense, student loan payments are probably next in line.
The 2019 average monthly student loan payment is $393, and the median payment was $222. However, you might be paying even more than those figures depict.
It’s hard to add new habits to your routine, saving money included. Creating a budget, following it, setting savings targets — all these things could be new to you, which might be scary. So scary, in fact, that you drop it altogether at the first sign of trouble.
Credit cards provide such great flexibility when making purchases that we sometimes overextend ourselves. Then we get the bill and wonder what the heck happened out there.
And with high interest rates, you’re under a lot of pressure to make your full payments each billing cycle. You’re left to decide between overextending yourself to make the full payment — and thus cutting back on how much you save that month — or paying some of it and getting hit with interest charges.
◆ ◆ ◆
Get help creating your consistent savings plan by stopping by your nearest Citizens Bank branch to speak with a banker today.
Also, with One Deposit Savings from Citizens Bank™, the monthly maintenance fee is waived if you make one deposit of any amount each month.
The zip code you entered is served by Citizens One, the brand name for Citizens Bank's lending business outside of our 11‑state branch footprint. Under the Citizens One brand we offer Auto Loans, Credit Cards, Mortgages, Personal Loans and Student Loans. To learn more, please visit: