How to Start Saving on an Entry-Level Salary

Even if you don't earn much, you can find ways to cut spending and start saving.

Posted Sep. 12, 2018 | Personal Finances Articles

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“I’d like to start saving money, but I’m not sure if I can afford it right now.” Well, good news! Even if you’re in an entry-level position, you can start saving. It just takes a bit of discipline to curb spending habits and start proper saving techniques.

How to Cut Costs and Start Saving

Commute Differently

Carpool with co-workers, take the bus or see if your workplace will allow you to work from home. You can even get in your workout if you live close enough to bike or walk!

Don’t Follow Your Friends’ Spending Habits

Just because they seem to go out a lot with no repercussions, it doesn’t mean you can, too. They might earn or work more than you think, or they could be overspending with credit cards. Live within your own means.
 

Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions

Many of us pay for online services like Spotify®, Netflix® and Amazon Prime®, but if you’re subscribed to more than one, they can chip away at your budget. Try finding free alternatives or split the costs with friends and family. Take inventory of your monthly and yearly subscriptions and cut the cord for the ones you don’t use often. Find more ways to reduce spending without unsubscribing from it all.

Contribute to a 401(k)

Many employers offer to match employee contributions to a 401(k) plan. If your company matches up to a certain percentage, try to take advantage of the full match. Someone who starts setting aside $100 a month at 21 will have over $191,000 saved when they retire at age 65. It’s an easy way to set aside money for retirement.

Get a Side Hustle

In the age of the gig economy (e.g., driving for Uber®), turn your hobby into your side hustle. Like to make jewelry or bake bread? Sell it at farmers markets. The extra income can help you financially until you start earning more in your primary job.

Explore Savings Products

Checking accounts are made for frequent deposits and withdrawals, while savings accounts are meant for frequent deposits only and generally award you a higher interest rate for allowing the balance to grow. Navy Federal has a variety of savings accounts for your needs. Check out different savings options and find the best one for you.

Deposit a Portion of Your Income

If you have your paycheck set up for direct deposit, it’s easy to start saving. Start by setting up just a small portion of your pay—just 5 or 10 percent of your paycheck to be deposited directly into your savings account.

Put Away Unexpected Money

Whether it’s a gift or tax refund, bonus cash is a savings opportunity. Since you’re not dependent on this extra money, you can put it toward your savings without feeling a pinch.

Learn more about saving for short- or long-term goals, and save more with some of these tricks. To start putting money aside, open a savings or money market savings account at Navy Federal today.

Spotify is a registered trademark of Spotify Technology Holding. Netflix is a registered trademark of Netflix, Inc. Amazon Prime is a registered trademark of Amazon Technologies, Inc. Uber is a registered trademark of Uber Technologies, Inc.