In this day and age, saving seems to be a thing of the past. With credit galore, impulsive buying, and spending, it makes it easier to avoid saving. Eventually, however, this lack of saving and credit debt will catch up to you. Finding ways to save is an important step in living a financially freeing life. Whether you live paycheck to paycheck, or you just have a hard time saving money, these three tips are sure to put money back in your pocket and help you save more:
- Pay yourself First: Bills are important, and should always be a priority, but sometimes after the bills are all paid, it is hard to put money back. Try making saving a priority just as you would a bill. Instead of putting money in savings, pay your savings “bill” first. Whether you can afford $1 or $20 a paycheck, pay that bill first, and then work on paying the rest of your bills.
- Auto Save: Set up a transfer from your bank so that you automatically save every month. If possible time this “savings transfer” for shortly after your paycheck lands in your bank account. You won’t realize the money left with this trick!
- Build up to more: Start your savings with a certain amount each pay period, but gradually build up to paying yourself more. One strategy is for the first pay period, pay yourself $1; then the second pay period $2; third pay period $4. Continue doubling what you paid yourself the prior pay period until you reach the maximum amount you can afford. This builds the habit of saving while increasing your savings just a little each time you get paid.
- A Penny Saved: Coupon. Get water when you go out to eat. Look at ans unnecessary subscriptions and cancel then. Every penny saved is a penny you didn’t have to work as hard for!
- Use Cash: This is an easy trick, but takes a little practice. Instead of going to the grocery store and paying with a card, set an allotted amount out for groceries, gas or household items. Only use cash when purchasing these items. This will help you to know how much you have, and will leave you with more at the end of the pay period. This prevents impulse buying and allows you to only get what you need. This can, also, work for paying bills. Taking out cash and setting it in individual envelopes for each expense can make it easier to spend ONLY what you have to.
- Set a goal!! Looking at your goal helps you realize the benefits of saving! For us, we put a picture of our vacation near a bottle where we were stuffing funds as we saved up for our trip – everytime we went to the store we paid $5-$20 to our vacation jar. I didn’t notice the little extras each month and before long our jar was filled!!
Using these three tricks will not only put money back in your pocket, but will help break the cycle of impulse buying and credit debt while giving you a savings to fall back on in the futures.