I want to save more – I’m betting you want to save more. But saving can be difficult, especially when on a strict budget with little to no room for building up a nest egg for future needs such as an emergency savings fund, travel fund, or Christmas fund.
That’s all true, savings can be difficult – but how do we make savings easy? How do we save ‘without thinking’ so that we don’t have to stress when the cash is not available? Below are my ideas on this subject. Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult or challenging. It can be very easy and may even cause you to not even notice the missing money. So strap in.. here we go.
1. Use a split deposit when you get paid
Of all the ways to save without thinking, this is number one for me. Majority of us get paid on a normal schedule – It may be once per month, every two weeks, etc. One way to easily save cash is to work with your employer to split your payroll deposit into two accounts. One account for your operating account that you use to pay bills, buy food, etc. and the other account for your savings that you are using for storing up cash.
Set an amount that you are certain won’t send you into debt each month and forget it. Every couple months you can check in to see how your savings account is building up – no other action is necessary.
One of the positives of this method, is that it is a bit more difficult to change. In order to stop sending money into savings you have to contact your employer and change your deposit, which is not as easy as stopping the other methods below, and will encourage you to save even more..
2. Set up an auto transfer on the day you get paid
In today’s world, having access to your bank account information has never been easier. One way to save leveraging your internet banking is to set up an auto-transfer from your main checking account to your savings. This is next to simple if you are already using online banking, and if you’re not, all you need to do is visit your bank and request it.
I recommend setting this up on a schedule so that it always drafts from your checking on the day you get paid. This way you don’t have to think about it, and just like #1 you can just check in from time to time to see how much you’ve accumulated and adjust your transfer as needed.
3. Set up a daily auto transfer to savings
This item is a play on item number two and is essentially the same concept of auto transferring money from checking to savings – only doing it daily with small amounts like $5 a day.
Think about it… $5 a day adds up to $150 a month or $1800 a year!! That will buy you a nice little vacation.
The reason I promote the daily auto-draft, is that it works best with giving up something (specifically those who are really tight financially). Say you want to save $5 a day, but also go to Starbucks daily. Ditch the Starbucks and setup an auto transfer to savings. You can make coffee at home and enjoy Starbucks when you take that vacation you have now saved for – its a ‘no brainer’.
If you’re saying to yourself that you can’t save any money, I recommend this method. Figure out what you can cut, and transfer that to savings daily. (doesn’t have to be daily, could be your weekly night out, etc) I bet seeing your savings account add up will keep the motivation juices flowing…
4. Use a Piggy Bank
Ah… yes. The old fashioned piggy bank. My two little girls each have one and generally use it when they somehow find loose change amongst the couches. But the piggy bank can be a powerful savings tool, especially for buying small purchases you may desire – but aren’t in your budget. (say… new cell phone, iPad, toys for the kids, a weekend getaway?)
For adults, it doesn’t have to be a piggy bank. A large glass jar works great for throwing in loose change and dollar bills. (ok, its a piggy bank) This will quickly add up to hundreds of dollars and is a simple way to save some extra cash without thinking.
5. Rewards Credit Cards
This is a tricky one because you have to be extra cautious when using this method so that you don’t bury yourself in debt. Although it’s dangerous, it too is a powerful tool if used under control. Cash back rewards can really add up if used when paying for bills or purchases you have already budgeted. (i.e. able to pay off each month).
For example, I pay for my gas and a number of my monthly bills from my rewards credit card. I currently have around $600 in my rewards account since last year, and plan to just let it accumulate for a while before using it. Think of that… a couple hundred dollars for doing nothing more than being responsible. Just like number 4, this too is a great way to save some side cash for that special purchase.