Money-saving is tough, no doubt about it. It’s a constant struggle to balance what you earn versus what you spend. And let’s be real, without some sort of game plan, it’s easy to blow through any extra cash you have leftover. But fear not! We’ve rounded up 11 sneaky strategies to help you save more money without sacrificing your lifestyle.
Automate your savings
By setting up an automated savings plan, you can watch your savings grow effortlessly. How does it work? Well, it’s simple. Most financial institutions offer the option to set up regular transfers from your checking account to a savings or investment account. This means that you can schedule automatic transfers to take place at a frequency that works for you, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Why is automation such a game-changer when it comes to saving? For starters, it takes the burden off of you. Let’s face it, life gets busy, and it can be hard to remember to make a savings deposit, let alone find the willpower to do it. But with automated transfers, you don’t have to worry about remembering to save. The transfers happen automatically, so you can sit back and watch your savings grow without any effort on your part.
Build savings gradually
By setting up an automated savings plan and gradually increasing it by just one to two percent every six to 12 months, you can watch your savings grow without feeling the pinch in your wallet.
Let’s say you’re currently setting aside 10 percent of your paycheck. By increasing it by just one to two percent the following year, and repeating that increase annually, you’ll soon be saving a significant portion of your income without even realizing it. And the best part? This method makes it easy to adjust to the higher savings level, so you won’t even miss that extra bit of cash.
Utilize a financial management app
There is a way to save without even noticing it. Acorns is a financial app that rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the extra change into an investment account. So, that $4.58 coffee you bought this morning? Acorns will round it up to $5 and invest that extra 42 cents for you.
Now, you might be thinking, “42 cents? What’s the point?” Well, it’s true that these small amounts won’t make a huge difference in your daily life, but over time, they can really add up. Think about how many small purchases you make in a week or a month - those extra cents will start to pile up before you know it.
The beauty of Acorns is that it’s automatic, so you don’t even have to think about saving. And if you’re worried about risking your hard-earned money in investments, don’t be. Acorns offers a range of investment portfolios to choose from, including some that are more conservative than others. Plus, with Acorns’ easy-to-use interface, you can track your investments and see how they’re growing over time.
Keep the change
Toss your spare change into a jar. Think about it, how often do you find yourself jingling with coins in your pockets? Instead of letting them weigh you down, simply empty your pockets into a jar when you get home. It’s a win-win situation: you’ll declutter your pockets and start saving money at the same time!
Not convinced yet? Well, consider this: most people don’t enjoy carrying change around. So, why not turn that annoyance into something positive? In no time, you’ll accumulate a decent amount of spare change that you can deposit into your savings account.
Save your rewards
Whenever you receive any sort of financial bonus - whether it’s a raise, year-end bonus, or cash gift - immediately transfer that money into your savings account.
Sure, it’s tempting to use that extra cash for some well-deserved treats. But if you’re already living within your means, you don’t actually “need” to spend it. Instead, consider putting the majority of the bonus towards your savings.
By prioritizing savings over spending, you’ll be setting yourself up for financial security in the long run. It may take some discipline, but your future self will thank you for it.
Name an account
It turns out that giving your bank account a catchy name, like “Tahiti” or “Maserati,” could be the key to hitting those targets. This technique, called “mental accounting,” suggests that naming or defining your goals can be more effective in motivating you to save.
Utilize a cashback card
With these cards, you’ll get an instant refund on your purchases, usually ranging from one to two percent. In some cases, you might even snag a whopping five percent cash back. But, let’s be real: this tip requires some discipline. To make the most of cash-back credit cards, you’ll need to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid getting stuck with pesky interest charges. If you can commit to this, you’ll be in the clear to use your card for cash back rewards and pay it off right away. It’s a win-win situation!
Pay yourself first
Treat saving money like it’s one of your mandatory monthly bills. Yep, you read that right. Every month, make sure to pay your savings account first before you spend a dime on anything else. This puts saving money at the top of your priority list, where it belongs.
By paying yourself first, you’re ensuring that you hit your savings goals no matter what life throws at you. Unexpected expenses pop up? No problem. You’ve already put money into savings. Want to splurge on a fancy dinner or a new gadget? Go for it – but make sure you’ve already put your savings contribution aside.
Making saving money a priority might not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but trust me, your future self will thank you for it.
Make withdrawing difficult
Money can be a tricky thing to manage, especially in the modern world where it’s so easy to access. With the convenience of smartphones, web pages, and 24/7 telephone access, it’s tempting to spend money whenever we want. But what if there was a way to make it harder to spend our hard-earned cash?
One option is to open an account at a bank that’s far away from your usual haunts. If you have to drive to get your money, it can help deter you from spending it frivolously. The inconvenience may seem annoying at first, but it could be a game-changer for your spending habits.
It’s all about creating barriers between yourself and your money. When it’s too easy to access, we’re more likely to spend it on things we don’t need. But when we have to work a little harder to get our hands on our cash, we’re more likely to think twice before making that impulse purchase.
Next time you’re tempted to spend money on something you don’t really need, consider opening an account at a bank that’s not so easy to access.
Initiate a savings challenge
Grab a savings buddy and start a challenge to see who can save the most. Set some rules and parameters, and watch the race begin!
To make it even more exciting, you can even offer a prize for the winner, like a free lunch. Or if you prefer, just award a badge of honor to show off your saving skills. The best part? It doesn’t have to cost a thing! At the end of the day, both you and your savings buddy will come out as winners. Not only will you have saved some extra cash, but you’ll also have had a great time competing with a friend.
Impose a waiting period
Have you ever bought something on a whim and regretted it later? It’s a common trap to fall into, and it can quickly drain your savings. But there’s a simple trick to avoid this buyer’s remorse: wait 24 hours before making any big purchases. This pause can help you differentiate between what you really need versus what you just want, and ultimately lead to smarter spending habits.