Getting into a savings routine is much easier said than done. It takes willpower and self-control “not” to spend money. But while saving can be a real challenge, there are several money-saving mind tricks to put you on the right path.
1. Split Your Direct Deposits
If your employer offers direct deposit, have a percentage of your earnings deposited into your savings account, and put the rest into your checking account. This is a simple and painless way to build your personal savings account, and you might not miss the money.
2. Automate Your Savings
If your employer doesn't offer direct deposit, set up automatic savings with your bank. With this setup, a certain dollar amount is automatically transferred from your checking account to your savings account at intervals of your choice. You can set up this automatic transfer to coincide with your paychecks, or you can set up transfers to occur once a month.
3. Save the Change
It might come as a shock, but your bank might offer savings programs to help boost your savings account with little effort. For example, some banks offer round up programs. For every debit card transaction, you can round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and the bank deposits the difference into your savings account. Or, your bank might offer a program where it'll deposit one dollar from your checking account into your savings account each time you make a debit card purchase.
4. Empty Your Pocket Once a Day
Spare change in your pocket, wallet or purse adds up quickly. Keep a coin jar, and once a day empty all your change inside. Let your coins accumulate for one or two years and then deposit the money into your savings account. You can take the coins to a Coinstar machine and convert the change into dollars, or you can roll the coins and take this spare change to a bank.
5. Pretend a Raise Didn't Happen
Some people get a raise and the first thing they do is upgrade their lifestyle. They start looking at new homes, more expensive cars, and they might go on a shopping spree. But if you want to trick yourself into saving money, pretend a raise didn't happen – at least for right now. So if you're earning an extra $300 a month, that's over $3,000 you can use to boost your savings account a year.
6. Use a Cash Back Credit Card
If you have self-control and you're committed to paying off your credit card balance in full every month, use a cash back credit card for the majority of your purchases. With a cash back credit card, you can earn 1% cash back on all purchases, and up to 3% or 5% cash back when you purchase from select retailers, such as grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants. Your cash back rewards can add up quickly. Once your money accumulates, you can request a check from your credit card company. Deposit this check into your savings account.
7. Keep Making a Loan Payment
After paying off a credit card, an auto loan or a personal loan, you might jump for joy since you have extra disposable cash. After you pay off a debt, continue making the payment — but this time, make payments to your savings account.
Saving money is probably one of the hardest things to do. However, with a little creativity and cleverness, there are ways to feed your savings account that don’t require a lot of effort on your part. What are other money-saving mind tricks?