Savings Tricks to Try Today
Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. While it may seem like you can’t possibly save anymore, there are always things you can do to stash away some additional cash. Even if you have a fixed income, there are savings tricks to save more.
While the savings may be slow at first, you’ll be surprised at how every little bit adds up. Stick to your plan, and you will soon have extra cash for an added layer of financial security. Here are our tips to get you started.
Automate your savings
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re saving money every month is by putting it on autopilot. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account on the day you get paid. You can start with as little as $5 and build it up from there.
Since the money is whisked away as soon as it hits your account, you won’t even miss it. This means you no longer have to rely on your willpower to save money. Soon you will have a nice stash of cash in your account.
Hide your money
Another great way to avoid spending money is to hide it from yourself. This way, the money is out of sight and out of mind. The easiest way to do this is by opening a savings account at a bank different from the one where you keep your every day checking account.
Set up an automatic transfer from your regular bank account to your new bank account and let the money grow. Make sure you sign up for paperless statements and don’t check them more than every few months.
Turn on text or email alerts so you can be alerted to any unusual activity. This can help you catch fraud if someone gets a hold of your account information.
Having the money in a separate account makes it easy to accumulate cash since you never miss it and forget it’s there. This can also serve as your emergency fund if you’re in a pinch.
Here’s a fun savings trick that can help you save money: challenge yourself to save every $5 bill that hits your wallet. This can be done with any bill denomination – $1, $5, $20, even change. Since $5 are not as frequent as $1 and not as big as $20, they are easier to save.
Use a jar or a box to stash your $5 bills every time you get one. This only works if you use cash regularly. Before you know it, you will have a good amount of money saved up. Check how much you have at the end of the year and deposit it in your savings account.
Save your coupons
Do you love looking at the bottom of your grocery receipt to see how much you saved shopping sales and using coupons? Instead of just patting yourself on the back for your skills, transfer the amount you saved into your savings account.
This way you are banking your savings from shopping smart. Do it after each shopping trip so you don’t forget to do it later on. Depending on how many coupons and discounts you use each trip, the savings can add up.
Give your savings a purpose
If you have a reason to save, this can be a powerful way to stop spending. Giving your savings a name rather than having a general savings account can help you say “no” more often.
Most banks offer the option to name your bank accounts and some even let you create sub-accounts. Use this feature to your advantage and set up several sub-accounts with specific goals. Name each one to reflect how you plan to use the money such as beach vacation, new car fund, kids’ braces, and so on.
Next time you want to use money from your savings account, you will think twice before pulling funds out of your vacation fund. It’s a lot easier to spend money in a nameless account that has no defined purpose.
Do a no-spend challenge
Saving doesn’t have to be boring. Use this as an opportunity to challenge yourself to save and get creative. Try doing a no-spend challenge. This can be a daily challenge, weekly or even monthly.
Ease into it by trying to not spend any money outside of necessities for a day. This means buying groceries after work is OK, but picking up a to-go coffee on your way to work is a no-go. It may surprise you to find how many times you spend money mindlessly in a day.
Each time you’re tempted to spend money outside of your necessary expenses, write it down. Tally up how many times you said no to spending and transfer that amount from your checking to your savings account.
Use an app
Need help with saving money? An app like Digit makes the process painless by analyzing your checking account transactions and transferring money you won’t miss into a Digit savings account.
Another app that operates on a similar concept is Acorns. It analyzes your bank accounts and sets aside spare change or extra cash as you go about your day by rounding up your transactions.
Save your raise
Got a raise during your last performance review? Congratulations! Use that money to set yourself up for financial success. Instead of spending the extra cash each paycheck, increase your retirement account contributions.
You can also bump up how much you’re transferring to savings every pay period. Since you were already living on your paycheck pre-raise, you won’t even miss it. Let that money work for you by helping you grow your savings accounts.
Stash your windfalls
Any extra money that hits your bank account outside of your regular compensation is a windfall. This can be your tax refund, other refunds, rebates, bonuses, and so on. Finding yourself with some extra cash may have you itching to spend it.
Put the breaks on and use this as a chance to pad your savings. Take 10 or 20 percent of your windfall and designate it as spending money then save the rest. This gives you the freedom to enjoy the extra money while still banking most for the future.
Use hours instead of prices
Thinking of purchases in terms of hours worked instead of dollar bills can put things into perspective for you. If you see a new pair of shoes you like for $100 and have to have them, consider how long you must work to pay for them.
If you earn $10 an hour, it will take you 10 hours to earn enough cash to pay for your new kicks. This doesn’t even take into account taxes or other factors that shrink your paycheck. Are you willing to work more than a day at your job just to pay for those shoes? Re-framing your decision can help your brain make better choices.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many ways to make the process fun and pad your bank account. Sometimes it means tricking yourself into saving money. It doesn’t matter how you convinced yourself to save; it only matters you did.