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When it comes to saving money, most people begin with the best intentions. But any financial expert will tell you that intentions do not amount to anything when it comes to growing your savings, which takes planning and discipline.

“If you want to save, you have to be very diligent with your money, even people earning a good income,” Dorethia Kelly, a Detroit, Michigan-based personal finance expert and author of #MoneyChat: The Book tells NewsOne. “You will be surprised when you evaluate your spending at the end of the month and see where you could have saved here and there by cutting back on excesses like going out with friends.”

Here, Kelly provides five tips for building your savings:

1. Hook up a side gig with the specific goal of shoveling the money into your savings. Opening an account with the Urban Partnership Bank is not only a step in the right direction, it ensures you will earn interest on the money in your account. Have each paycheck from that part-time job automatically deposited directly into an account that isn’t easily accessible. Remember, every penny deposited is a chance for you to increase your wealth.

2. Delete excesses — While we love to go out with friends, be sure to monitor your spending so that you do not go overboard on meals and entertainment. Scrap the gym membership that you do not use, and set spending limits on participation in school fundraisers co-workers pass around for their kids. You could end up spending a nice chunk of change on wrapping paper, candles and cookies if you aren’t careful.

3. Develop a financial blueprint for each pay period that includes all expenditures–even the fun ones. Save what is left over. If it’s not as much as you wanted, see where you can pare down on spending. Most people have more money than they think at the end of the month, but they think they have less because they fail to monitor their spending.

4. Automate monthly bill payments, which frees you up from worrying about mailing payments on time. Yes, it pays to pay your bills on time because late fees eat away at your cash!

5. There’s an app for that! GoodBudget or your banking mobile app helps users to track spending and savings, which allows them to keep up with their goals.

Now, are you ready to save? Ready. Set. Go.

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