3 Ways to Boost Your Savings -- Without Downgrading Your Lifestyle

by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 2, 2021

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Young woman smiling as she counts cash in her hands.

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Here's how to grow your savings without making too many sacrifices.

You'll often hear that saving money requires some sacrifices, and that could mean giving up things like summer vacations, leisure, and the nicer car you like to drive. But what if you don't want to downgrade your lifestyle? The good news is you still have the option to boost your savings -- if you play your cards right by doing these things.

1. Bank your bonus cash

The money you get in your regular paychecks may be earmarked for your ongoing expenses, but chances are, you get some extra money during the year.

Right now, a lot of families are getting a monthly windfall in the form of the boosted Child Tax Credit. That credit formerly maxed out at $2,000 per child but can now be worth up to $3,600 per child under age 6 or up to $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17. Plus, half of that credit is being paid out in monthly installments from July through December, so you can stick that money into your savings account as it arrives.

Meanwhile, you may be eligible for a performance bonus at work for a job well done. If that's the case, that's money you weren't counting on getting, and so you can put it into your savings account too.

2. Put your raise into savings automatically

You may be in line for a higher paycheck in 2022. Lots of companies give out cost-of-living raises, while others hand out pay increases based on performance and merit.

No matter which system your company uses, if your paycheck is increasing in 2022, take that extra money and set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings. That way, you won't be tempted to spend that extra cash. But you also shouldn't miss it, since it's money you're not living on right now.

3. Get a side hustle

Maybe you don't have kids, you're not getting a bonus at work, and your company has put a freeze on pay increases for the time being. If that's the case, you can still grow your savings without having to cut back on spending if you're willing to get a side hustle.

These days, there are so many gigs you can do on a flexible basis. It pays to explore your options and see what works best for you. You may decide to sell crafts online for extra cash, drive for a rail-hailing service, or care for kids and pets in the area. Or, you may decide to take on more than one side hustle and see which you like best. Either way, that extra money could help you meet your savings goals without having to cancel your cable plan or forgo the takeout meals that spare you from having to cook.

Meet your savings goals without being miserable

Cutting back on too many luxuries could make you unhappy. If you don't want to go that route, look at these options for giving your savings the boost you're hoping for. The more reasonable your strategy for boosting your savings, the more likely you are to actually stick with it.

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