<img src="https://events.xg4ken.com/pixel/v2?tid=KT-N2BAB-3ED&amp;noscript=1" width="1" height="1" style="display:none">
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

7 Easy Saving Tips For Young Professionals

Chris Gottschalk

Chris Gottschalk About The Author

Jan 9, 2024 4:45:00 AM

If you've just started your first career job, one of your biggest challenges will be figuring out how to effectively use the money you're making. You'll have to pay off your necessary expenses, figure out which discretionary expenses you'll want to indulge in, and if that weren't enough, you'll also need to save money to deal with emergencies and achieve your financial goals.

The only problem with saving money is that it can be difficult to know where to start. Worse, thanks to inflation everything is a lot more expensive than it used to be. If you're having trouble saving money, we've compiled some easy-to-follow saving tips that will allow you to put more money in your savings account.

Use these easy savings tips to keep more of your money

saving tips for young professionals

Saving Tip #1: Understand Your Spending Habits

Understanding your spending habits is a great way to kickstart your savings journey. The best way to do this? Create a spending plan (aka a budget) to give yourself an overview of where your money is going each month.

If you've never created a spending plan before, now is the perfect time to start. Here's all you have to do:

  1. Look through your paychecks to figure out how much money you get each month. Be sure to include money from your side hustle if you have one.
  2. List all your expenses. You can make this process easier by looking through the transactions in your online bank account or mobile app to get a sense of where you spent your money.
  3. Total up all your expenses and subtract that amount from your income. If your expenses are less than or equal to the amount you bring in each month, congratulations--you have a balanced budget. If your expenses are greater than your income, though, you'll want to reduce the amount you've allocated to each category in order to make your budget balanced.

Once you've created your spending plan, you'll be able to see exactly how your money gets spent every month. Even better, you can use this information to figure out the best way to build up your savings. You might want to reduce spending in some areas, or you can use the extra money in your spending plan to fund your savings account.

Managing variable expenses

Variable expenses, such as eating out, clothing and entertainment, are nice, but their costs can add up pretty fast. This doesn't mean you need to live an ascetic, monk-like existence, though. You absolutely should have some categories in your budget exclusively for having fun.

Having said that, you'll want to make sure not to go overboard in these categories. Yes, it's nice being able to go out to eat every day. However, you'll have to weigh the short-term enjoyment you get out of eating out against the long-term benefits of saving enough money for financial goals like:

  • vacations
  • holidays
  • emergencies
  • retirement
  • buying a house

Reviewing and adjusting your spending

Once you've got a spending plan in place, you'll need to regularly review it in order to keep your finances healthy. Set aside time at the end of each month and review your spending plan for areas where you may have overspent or where you could have saved more. This will give you a realistic understanding of your spending habits and allow you to make necessary adjustments.

It's worth noting that adjusting your budget each month can eventually add up to significant savings. By diligently tracking your spending, you can identify areas where you consistently overspend and either put a plan in place to stop you overspending or figure out how to allocate more money to that budget category. You can also identify areas where you consistently spend less and see if the leftover money can be better used in another category or put into your savings account.

Create your new spending plan today! 

Get Template

Saving Tip #2: Automate Your Savings

One of the best ways to build up your savings is to have the funds automatically deducted from your paycheck when you get it direct deposited into your checking account. It makes setting aside money for your savings easy, and you'll never have to worry about forgetting to take money out of your paycheck. You also won't be tempted to use it for anything else!

How to set up an automatic transfer

Setting up an automatic transfer isn't hard. Here's how you do it:

  • Open a savings account where you would like your money saved.
  • Get a Direct Deposit form and fill it out with the routing number of your credit union and your account number. You can find this information on a personal check, or you can ask one of your credit union's member advisors for this information.
  • Determine how much of each paycheck you'd like transferred to your savings account. You can usually either say what percentage of your paycheck you'd like to put in savings or write down a dollar amount.
  • Review and confirm the details of the automatic transfer.
  • Monitor your bank account to make sure the automatic transfer is working.

Saving Tip #3: Embrace Frugality Without Sacrificing Quality of Life

Contrary to popular belief, being frugal with your money doesn't mean sacrificing your quality of life. It's about making conscious choices and finding ways to save money without compromising on the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. With a few simple adjustments, you can lower your expenses and make a big difference in your savings journey.

Reducing notifications that encourage spending

In the digital age, we are bombarded with promotional emails, notifications, and advertisements that tempt us to spend money. To curb this impulse spending, take proactive steps to reduce the notifications that encourage spending. Here's how:

  • Unsubscribe from promotional emails: Go through your email inbox and unsubscribe from newsletters, promotional emails, and any other subscriptions that lead to unnecessary spending.
  • Disable push notifications: Customize the notification settings on your phone, turning off push notifications from shopping apps, retail stores, and online platforms that often entice you to make impulse purchases.
  • Utilize the "Do Not Disturb" feature: Set specific times when you activate the "Do Not Disturb" feature on your phone, limiting the time you spend on shopping platforms and social media. This way, you can avoid tempting spending opportunities during those designated periods.
  • Set a time limit for shopping: If you find yourself getting carried away while online shopping, set a specific time limit for each shopping session. Use a timer or phone app to track the time and ensure you don't exceed the allotted duration.

By taking control of the notifications and temptations that influence your spending habits, you can make more conscious purchasing decisions and reduce unnecessary expenses. This will free up more money for savings and help you reach your financial goals faster.

Lowering utility bills

Another way to be frugal is to look for ways to lower lower your utility bills each month. By making a few simple adjustments, you can significantly reduce your energy costs and free up extra cash. Here are some strategies to lower your utility bills:

  • Replace traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives, such as LED or CFL bulbs, which consume less energy and last longer.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater, as water heating accounts for a significant portion of energy use in most households. A temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is usually sufficient for most household needs.
  • Unplug electronics, such as TVs, chargers, and computer peripherals, when not in use, as they still consume energy even in standby mode.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule temperature adjustments throughout the day, reducing energy consumption during times when you are away or asleep.
  • Regularly check for water leaks, such as dripping faucets or running toilets, and fix them promptly to prevent water waste and lower your water bill.

By implementing these energy-saving practices, you can lower your monthly expenses and make a positive impact on the environment. The savings may seem small at first, but they add up over time, contributing to a better financial future.

Strategic grocery shopping

Grocery shopping is a recurring expense that can often be a drain on your budget. However, with some strategic planning, you can significantly lower your grocery bill. Here are a few tips:

  • Plan your meals and create a grocery list before you go shopping. This way, you'll be less likely to make impulse purchases and more likely to stick to your budget.
  • Take advantage of grocery store loyalty programs that offer discounts, rewards, and special promotions. These programs can help you save money on regular grocery shopping.
  • Consider opting for generic or store-brand products instead of brand names. They are often cheaper but provide the same quality and taste.
  • Keep an eye out for promotional offers, discounts, and coupons. Many grocery stores offer paper coupons, as well as digital coupons that can be loaded onto your store loyalty card.
  • Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse purchases. Eat before you go grocery shopping to avoid unnecessary spending.

Savings Tip #4: Be Mindful With Your Entertainment Spending

Entertainment expenses can quickly add up, especially with the popularity of streaming services and online subscriptions. However, by adopting a more mindful approach to entertainment spending, you can save money while still enjoying the activities you love.

Assessing entertainment expenses

Start by assessing your monthly entertainment expenses to gain a clear understanding of where your money is going. Look at the different streaming services, subscriptions and memberships you have, and evaluate whether you are getting the full value from each of them. Cut back on any services or memberships that you no longer use or that don't align with your financial goals. By eliminating unnecessary expenses, you can free up extra money to put towards savings.

Utilizing free local attractions

One of the best ways to save money on entertainment is by exploring free local attractions. Many cities and communities offer a wide range of free or low-cost activities that can provide hours of enjoyment without breaking the bank. Take the time to research and discover what your local area has to offer. Museums, art galleries, parks and community events are often great places to start. By embracing these free local attractions, you can save a lot of money while still enjoying leisure time

How young professionals can save

Savings Tip #5: Break Up With Brand Names

Breaking up with brand names may seem difficult at first, but it can make a big difference in your savings journey. Instead of automatically reaching for the brand name products, consider the alternatives that offer the same quality at lower prices.

Comparing brands and prices

Spend time comparing the prices of brand names versus generic products. You'll often find that the generic products are significantly cheaper, yet still offer the same quality and functionality. Here are a few tips for finding the best deal:

  • Research online: Utilize online resources, such as price comparison websites and customer reviews, to compare the prices of brand names and generic products.
  • Try store brands: Give store-brand products a chance. They are often produced by the same manufacturers as the brand names and can provide significant savings.
  • Look beyond the packaging: Don't let fancy packaging deceive you. Many brand names rely on expensive marketing campaigns, which ultimately increase the price of the product.
  • Experiment with alternatives: Be open to trying new products and experimenting with different brands. You may find that the lower-priced options deliver the same quality and satisfaction as the brand names.
  • Use budgeting apps: Download budgeting apps that not only help you track your expenses, but also provide insights into the best deals and savings opportunities on a wide range of products.

Breaking up with brand names doesn't mean sacrificing quality. It simply means being more mindful of the prices you pay, and the savings you can accumulate by making the switch to lower-priced alternatives.

Savings Tip #6: Look at Your Banking and Insurance Needs

When it comes to banking and insurance, several considerations can help you save money in the long run. By exploring your options and making informed decisions, you can secure better rates and financial benefits.

Explore your banking options

Most young adults are either using the same bank account their parents opened up for them or have an account they opened up at college. Now that you're truly out on your own, though, it's time to look over these accounts and see whether they're still the best fit for you. 

When you're looking over your account at a bank or a credit union, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my monthly fees? 
  • What are my transactional fees, such as using an ATM? 
  • What are the interest rates on savings accounts and loans?
  • Do they have an online banking platform, and if so what features do they offer?
  • Is there a physical branch near me? 
  • Do they offer multiple savings accounts?  
  • Are there any additional benefits? 

Once you've answered these questions, look at other banks and credit unions in your area to compare features. You might find a better option that suits your financial needs and helps you save money.

Want to switch to a new credit union? Get our free switch kit today!

Download the Kit

Comparing car insurance rates

Car insurance is a necessary expense for most young professionals, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Take the time to compare car insurance rates from multiple providers. Request quotes and consider factors such as coverage options, deductibles, and discounts offered by different insurance companies. You may be surprised to find that you can secure better rates, while still receiving the coverage you need. By shopping around and being proactive, you can save a significant amount of money on car insurance, freeing up extra cash for savings.

Savings Tip #7: Take Advantage of Coupons and Promotional Codes

Coupons and promotional codes are powerful tools for saving money on a wide range of products and services. They can provide instant savings and significantly lower your expenses.

Where to find coupons and codes

Look for coupons in the promotional sections of your favorite grocery store's app or website. Many online banks offer cashback deals when you use your bank card at specific retailers. Signing up for a store's loyalty program usually grants access to exclusive savings and promotional offers. You can find promotional codes and discounts on various products through brand websites and social media pages. Don't disregard paper products, as many brand names provide coupons in the Sunday paper or online.

How to use coupons and codes effectively

Using coupons and promotional codes effectively is essential for maximizing savings. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your coupons organized and easily accessible, so you always know what savings you have available.
  • Use coupons when the products are already on sale, compounding your savings and reducing the overall price.
  • Stay aware of the expiration dates of your coupons to ensure they are used before they expire.
  • If allowed, combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons, and promotional codes to get the best deal possible.
  • Make a conscious effort to never pay full price for a product. Use your coupons and promotional codes to save money whenever possible.

By utilizing these strategies, you can make the most of coupons and promotional codes, ensuring significant savings on your regular expenses.

Got questions about how to save money? Ask us! 

Get Started

Save More Money With First Alliance Credit Union

Young professionals have enough expenses to worry about without trying to save money for an emergency fund or achieve a savings goal like buying a new car, but these savings tips can help you find extra money in your budget. You can create a spending plan to help you manage your necessary and variable expenses, automate your savings and look for ways to live frugally without having to sacrifice your quality of life to help you set aside more money.

If you're looking for help saving money, you can also take advantage of the resources we offer at First Alliance Credit Union. You can use our free downloadable budget worksheet to help you create your spending plan, look over your spending habits using the My Money tool in our online bank account and mobile app, and even figure out how you'd like to use the money you've saved with our SMART goals worksheet.

We do our best to provide helpful information but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article, under no circumstance does the information provided constitute legal advice. You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to use it in any way. Additionally, the content is not intended to be reflective of First Alliance Credit Union’s products or services, for accurate and complete details about our product and service information you must speak to an advisor at First Alliance Credit Union.