Saving money can be a never-ending battle. Just when you think you have your living expenses covered and more money in hand, some unplanned expense pops up like a water pipe or air compressor repair; then you’re right back to square one with your savings plan. There are, however, some proactive strategies you can implement so you can save more money. They are as follows.

Minimize Variable Expenses
If you’re like most people, you earn enough money to at least cover your bills. But in the long run, you’re still not going to save much money without a real plan. That’s why you need to fully examine what you spend and look for ways to cut expenses. You can start by examing expenses you can reduce to increase your savings, such as those premium channels on satellite TV, meals you eat out and expensive hair cuts.

Use the 50/30/20 Approach
The 50/30/20 savings strategy entails spending half your income for necessities, 30 percent to things you want and 20 percent to savings, according to Nerd Wallet. When you do this, you’re forcing yourself to save a certain amount each month.

Refinance Your Home or Car
If you’ve owned a home or car for a while, you may be able to refinance with a lower rate. And if you’re bank can’t get you the lower rate you want, shop around. You may be able to add an extra couple hundred dollars per month to your savings account by refinancing.

Set a Specific Goal
Establish an amount you want to save, such as $3,500, and focus your efforts on saving that amount, according to the Credit Counseling Society. Knowing in advance how much you need to save can help you get their quicker.

Distinguish Between Short and- Long-Term Goals
You may need $10,000 for a house payment, but you also need to keep your longer-range savings goals in mind. That’s the money you’ll need for retirement. One way to achieve both short and- longer-term savings objectives is to create two different savings accounts — one for things you want to buy and the other for the future. Your 401(k)at work is a great savings vehicle toward your retirement, as is an IRA account.

You have to examine both your expenses and income when you’re trying to save money. And if you need money fast, sell some of those dust collectors you’ve got sitting around the house.