Everyone wants to look forward to a rewarding financial future, but many folks don’t know how to increase their savings and investments. If you believe you need to save a large amount of money every month in order to have enough money to retire, you’ll be pleased to learn it’s the small things you do with your money that can result in big savings.

Savings Account

Your savings account should be treated as a bill. You owe it money every payday, and it is best to make it a certain amount. If you add $50 each week, you will save $2,600 a year plus the interest rate your bank offers. If you also place additional amounts of money, such as gifts, yard sale receipts, work bonuses, and inheritance funds, your savings will build even faster.

Analyze Your Spending Habits

Most folks establish daily routines, and that includes their spending habits. Buying scratch-off and lottery tickets every payday amounts to $25 for some people. Few people ever come close to winning as much as they spend, but that money could be earning interest in the bank. Do you go out to eat every weekend, followed by a movie? that can easily cost $50.00 for two people. Cut back to twice a month and rent a movie to watch at home on the alternate weeks. Don’t buy a new smartphone when the one you have works fine.

Improve Your Credit

Use some of the money you save to pay off your debt and improve your credit. Take advantage of software to improve your credit score, and start making changes immediately. Look at the purchases you’ve recently made, and be brutally honest with yourself. How many of the things you bought were wanted rather than needed? You could have used that $200 or $300 to pay down your credit card debt, and save on the interest. Use “unspent” money to make an extra car or house payment. Interest and late fees eat up money that could be growing in your retirement account. The goal is to earn interest and not pay it out.

Keep Your Car

Take care of your car, and keep it after your loan is paid off. You can probably get several more years of driving before it needs to be replaced. If your payment was $400 a month, put it into savings. If you go three years before making car payments again, you will have saved $14,400 plus the interest. Four additional years in the car will yield a savings of $19,200.

Retirement Plans

If your company offers a 401(k) retirement plan to their employees, take advantage of it. Too often employees don’t contribute enough to their company plan to qualify for the maximum employer matching funds. Free money should not be ignored. Many plans offer a 50 percent matching contribution. Where else can you get a guaranteed return on your investment?

Taking control of your money is the best way to guarantee your future. Start today, and watch how fast your money grows.