Have you ever found trying to save money to be nearly impossible? You have the best of intentions to save up for an emergency fund, a dream vacation, or something super special. Then as soon as you cut your expenses in one area to pull from, something else seems to need financial attention. It is just that sometimes we feel like we can’t just save up enough to get to our goal.
Perhaps you are the type of person that needs just a touch of magic. You can actually trick yourself into saving up and it is quite easy. Here are some ways you can start tricking yourself into saving up some cash right now.
When it comes to socking money away, you might view that as huge willpower. Author James Gordon makes a keen observation however, he says, “It’s not that some people have the willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.”
So, for now, forget about willpower and change your habits by automating your way into saving money. It is easy to do. Just set up a specific amount from each of your paychecks to go directly into a savings account or retirement fund that you are not touching. Keep the mindset that your savings account is off-limits.
Hide Your Money
Out of sight, out of mind might be a better mindset to help trick yourself into saving as well. Hiding your money might help you forget about it as to not entice you to spend it. Many people find that setting up single savings account with a separate banking institution helps. This way, you are not staring at your savings account every time you log into your bank account online.
You can even opt for paperless statements, ensuring even less distraction on this account. Keep in mind that you should still stay connected to fraud activity alerts. Sometimes banking institutions will alert you via email, text, or phone about suspicious activity. Keep those alerts turned on at all times.
Name Your Accounts
Giving your savings account a specific name can psychologically be helpful for saving up. It can trick your mind into remembering why you are saving and prevent you from withdrawing from it. You can usually set up multiple sub-accounts to your online bank, so give your savings account a thoughtful name.
A generic name will be easy to withdraw funds out of. If you label it “Disney Dream Vacation,” then chances are you will think twice before dipping in.
Download An App
Of course, there would be an app to trick you into saving or it isn’t the 21st century. A goal-driven app for this instance is called Digit. This app is a type of analyzer. It determines your expenses and safely saves money for you, so you don’t even have to think about it. It is pretty magical, right?
If you happen to bank with Bank of America, check out their own app called Keep the Change. It will round up your debit transactions to the nearest dollar and then deposit the change directly into your savings account. Now that is the most brilliant way to combine automation without thinking about your finances!
Put It Under Lock and Key
It is always a good idea to have a little bit of cash on hand. Many advisors would say $500 for a small emergency would be ideal to have on hand. However, this cash can be easy the taking if it not under lock and key.
You can get a home lockbox and hide the key well, so you can’t access the money too quickly or in some way to require effort to release the funds.
Divert Your Money
You should often look at your monthly expenses, and make cuts to things that you truly can live without. When you make a cut to your finances, consider for at least one or two months still making that payment, but diverting it to another bill.
For example, if this month you want to get rid of your Netflix account, go ahead and cancel. Then for two months take the money you would have spent on that subscription, and add it to your credit card payment. Saving money can mean helping pay down your other debts at the same time.
Make It A Game
Loose change in your car and dollar bills found in the dryer can really add up. Make it a game to save, and you will have more tomorrow than you did today. Look through your couch, under your bed, and all over the ground. Anytime you come across loose change, be sure to grab it, no matter how small the amount, and run it to your safe deposit box or piggy bank.
Save Your Raise
Are you due for a raise soon? When it is time to get that raise, consider sending a percentage of it directly into your retirement account. If your raise is 3%, then go for adding 2% of it right into your retirement or savings account.
Saving up money can be very difficult and even frustrating. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save that won’t even cause you to think too hard about it. Make small changes now to see big savings later.