Americans, on average, are not terribly adept at saving money on, and there are several steps that one can take to break away from this trend.

Here are a few tips that can help toward your money saving goals in 2018.


Set A Goal

Setting a goal is imperative. Those who aim at nothing will hit it every time. On the other hand, those who set an achievable goal are more likely to reach it. Absurd goals like saving $1 million in a month are not helpful, though.


Choose An Account That Pays

There are checking accounts that do little in terms of bringing in additional income. Dollars can work for their owners to bring more dollars in through compounded interest. Therefore, it’s important to choose a savings account that pays out a decent amount of interest while charging no fees.


Make Saving Automatic

Setting up a direct deposit from a paycheck or an automatic transfer from a checking account will make it more likely that some money will actually get saved each month. Just make sure that there is money available to make the transfer. Otherwise, overdraft penalties could ensue.


Track Spending And Set Up A Budget

It’s important to know where money goes on a monthly basis. There are some pretty impressive web-based budgeting tools like Personal Capital and Mint that allow users to see where every dollar goes. Setting up a budget can also ensure that bills are paid. Paying one’s self first is the key to saving money over time.


Set Up An Emergency Fund

A lack of an emergency fund can make getting into debt more likely. Those who have a car break down without an emergency fund will be likely to put the charge on a credit card that requires interest payments. Every dollar that goes to interest is a dollar that cannot go to savings. Start with an emergency fund of $1,000 and then work up to three to six months of living expenses.


Take Advantage Of Shopping Apps

Apps like Ibotta and Ebates provide rebates on purchases. These rebates are basically cash in the pocket. Any money that gets saved should go toward long-term savings goals.


Assess Progress

It’s a good idea to regularly track the process toward savings goals. This can be as simple as looking into the account online or setting up a chart with goals that can be marked off once achieved. Regardless, saving for emergencies and for the future is a great idea that can pay off in the long run.