Wish you could save more money? Here are 22 creative ways to save money this year that'll “trick” yourself into saving money.
If everyone found it easy to save, then a huge percentage of the population would have everything they ever dreamt of. Better yet, no one would have any kind of financial difficulty. Unfortunately, saving isn’t easy, but it comes down to an individual’s self-discipline.
Saving is important because you can counter financial emergencies as soon as they hit you. This will save you from debts you’d have accumulated without savings.
Life can deal you a great blow when you least expect it. Keep in mind that no one is immune to emergencies and without savings, you risk losing a lot of money to unexpected bills that can cause you to take emergency cash loans. However, you shouldn’t just save for the bad times, retirement is inevitable, and while social security is there for you. It might not be enough.
The best way is to save for your sunset years, but how do you do that considering the many financial responsibilities embedded in life? Promising yourself to save is a plain lie. It’s like vowing to cut weight but end up lining up at a fast-food joint for a king-size burger.
The remaining method is to trick yourself into putting away money. It may sound like a difficult thing to do, but here’s how to go about it.
Start by building a savings habit with simple tips:
Start with the Easy Stuff
1. Use a Jar to Put Away Change.
This is by far the oldest trick in the book and yes, it still works! To you, $20 a month might seem like a small amount of money to put away but look at it after 12 months. That’s $240 you’d have otherwise spent on unnecessary items.
2. Bank all raises.
Many people will smile all the way to their favorite shoe store to grab a new pair because they have more money to spend. However, you should look at a raise as money you don’t need. This is money you didn’t have in the first place, so if you get it, put it away in a savings account.
3. Keep your coupons.
You must have come across receipts with a message indicating how much you’ve saved after making a purchase. However, it doesn’t add to your savings if you don’t put away the indicated amount into a real savings account.
Take on Challenges
Now that you have a head start on savings with the easy stuff, it’s time to move on to advanced techniques:
4. The 52-week savings challenge.
This 52-week savings challenge involves choosing an amount to save every week. You can choose to set aside $1 for the first week. On the second, increase it to $2 and so on for the entire year. By the end of the year, you’ll have a handsome amount to go on vacation or buy that couch you’ve set your eyes on.
5. The dollar bill challenge.
When you return home from your daily routine, take out a certain denomination from the wallet and put it away as savings. You can do this for $1 bills.
6. The random number challenges.
This is an interesting one. Select a random number from 0 to 9. Every evening, when you get back home, check your wallet for bills with serial numbers matching the chosen number and put it in your savings.
Turn to Your Bank
You can use various services offered by the bank to help you save.
7. Use auto-save services.
Apps like Digit make saving effortless by offering this service. It involves setting up an automated funds transfer which will move a certain pre-set amount of money every month to the savings account.
8. Assign your money.
There’re banks that allow their customers to create sub-accounts. The customer will then assign it a specific name such as “road trip” or “new furniture.”
9. Round-up purchases.
Companies like Acorns round-up purchases and keep the change which is then transferred into your savings account. For example, if you make a purchase of $40.30, 70 cents will go to savings.
10. Use passwords as reminders.
Use your PINs and passwords as reminders for a savings goal. For example, use your child’s birthday as a reminder to save for their college tuition.
There’re a lot of applications that can make saving easy.
11. Save on impulse.
This will work to counter impulsive buying. Anytime you get the urge to buy something you don’t have the budget for, send the equivalent amount to a savings account. You can use the Truebill app to help you out.
12. Make discounts on purchases.
You can purchase a discount card for an item you need. For example, if you buy a $60 card for $55, transfer the difference to a savings account and then utilize the card as you would cash.
13. Apply for a credit card with cash rewards.
You can use this card for all your purchases including paying for a gym membership, groceries, utilities and fueling your car. When you receive the cash rebates, bank them. If you have no idea where to get these cards, start by looking here.
This sounds like an impossible task, but here’s how it works:
14. Add savings as a bill.
Among the list of monthly expenses, including savings a bill. When paying other bills, “pay” your savings as well. You can use budgeting software such as Mint to help you out.
15. Find a savings partner.
Invite a relative or a close friend to join you in a savings program. You can even introduce a challenge while at it. For example, whoever fails to make the required contributions will have to pay a fine.
Change Your Lifestyle
16. There are some behaviors that work against your finances.
Eliminating them will free up a huge amount of money, which you can toss into savings.
17. Quit unhealthy habits.
Are you a smoker? If yes, then quit. Afterward, set aside the money you once spent to finance this unhealthy habit. Do you drive to the grocery store which is two blocks away only to pick up a loaf of bread? Leave the car at home and walk to the store. You will save on gas money.
18. Quit expensive habits.
Do you frequent McDonald’s for lunch? It’s time to stop and substitute this with a homemade meal and save the money. If you go out with your partner to sample cuisines, quit and download the recipes. You’ll still have fun preparing them.
19. Save the unexpected.
Sometimes you can land unexpected cash. For example, the money you hid in the closet, rebate checks, tax refunds, and so on. If you stumble upon such funds, send them straight to your savings account.
20. “Steal” some.
A day before depositing your social security funds or receiving your pay, take some amount from the account. For example, if you have $200.70, take $50.70 and put it away as savings.
21. Rinse into savings.
Every time you do laundry, put $5 into savings. Also, if you find money in the pockets, throw it into savings.
22. Pay yourself.
Since saving isn’t an easy task, reward yourself every now and then. Every time you overcome an impulse urge to buy something and end up saving instead, reward yourself with a certain percentage of the amount.
Want To Save Money? Go Get It!
Saving is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be this way. When you focus on the goals and why you need to save, it becomes second nature. By using the money hacks listed in this article to save money, you’ll find it easy to set money aside, and you will reach your goals faster than you had anticipated.
Do you have any other creative ways to save money that we haven't listed? Let us know below!
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