Saving money can seem like a daunting task. Everyone knows that it is something that needs to be done, but it seems to take so much effort. However, there are ways to “trick” yourself into saving money – without having to make major budget adjustments. It is a matter of identifying the monetary waste that each household has and converting it into your savings, rather than just letting it slip away. Incorporate all five of the following suggestions into your savings plan, and you’ll be surprised how fast it adds up without you noticing a big change in what is available for you to spend each month.
1.Keep making car payments, even after the car is paid off. Most Americans buy cars by financing them. This means that a monthly car payment is built into your budget. When the car is paid off, simply keep paying the amount of your car payment into a savings account. That money for a rainy day will add up – and you won’t be paying any more than you did each month for years before.
2.Try to use cash when possible. Have a jar set up and put all of the coins you get back in change into the jar. Then, when the jar is full, take it to a Coinstar machine or even roll it yourself when you have a free evening. Add this money to your savings account. You’d be surprised how much can add up when you use this method of building a little extra savings. Plus, using cash helps you “see” how fast the money is going. Swiping plastic just doesn’t have the same psychological effect.
3.Direct deposit into savings. Most employers offer a direct deposit option that allows your paycheck to be placed immediately into your bank account. It is also possible to have a portion of that placed into a savings or money market account. Just as your retirement and benefits can be deducted, you can arrange to have money deducted from your paycheck and placed directly into your savings account. You never see it, so it is not available to spend.
4.Write checks or make payments for the big things when you get your paycheck. Many people’s mortgage or car payments are not due until the middle of the month. Rather than waiting to pay until these bills are due, pay them immediately. That way the chunk is deducted from your checkbook ledger or computer budget program, and you see only what is truly available to you. This works even if you have automatic withdrawal. Deduct the amount from your finances immediately, and then you won’t spend the money, leaving it available for the withdrawal later in the month.
5.Use your telephone bill to save money. Budget a certain amount each month for your phone bill (or other utility, like electric) based on the highest amount you have paid, plus $10. Pay this every month. The months that you are ahead, and the bill you get is less than the amount budgeted, pay the amount owed, and put the difference into a savings account. You won’t miss the money because you have already written off in your budget.