Saving money can be the difference between stressing to dress and dressing to impress. It can help you retire younger. It can mean building that dream house. And more than anything, it can mean having the money when you need it, and resting assured that you have it even for those times you don’t.
Put away the credit card
Credit cards can sabotage even the best of savers, according to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “Credit cards are the worst investment that you can make,” the billionaire told Business Insider. “The money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market.” On top of high-interest rates on credit card debt, paying with plastic could also trick you into spending more money. In a study published in the journal Marketing Letters, MIT researchers found that shoppers spend up to 100 percent more when paying with a credit card – and were even willing to pay twice as much for an item as those who paid in cash.
If you must have a credit card, here are some credit card rules you should never break.
Track your progress
Keeping tabs on your progress can both boost your motivation and hold you accountable as you save. Don’t just take our word for it, though; Microsoft founder Bill Gates shared this tip in his 2013 annual letter for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “In the past year I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improve the human condition,” he wrote. “You can achieve amazing progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal.” Whether you use a budget app or a simple paper list, tracking your savings can bring you that much closer to achieving your dream nest egg.