Have you ever heard the saying “Sometimes you are your own worst enemy?” That’s definitely the case with a lot of people when it comes to managing money. We know we should be saving, and we want to keep hold of our money for as long as possible. Unfortunately, whenever we see something in a store that we want, we can’t control our impulses.
In a world where it’s incredibly easy to overspend and under-save, sometimes you need to trick yourself into taking control of your cash. Fortunately, there are some quick ways that you can boost your chances of saving success.
Get beyond the mindset that saving has to be something you do in huge chunks or giant leaps. You’re still saving money if you’re just putting your spare change into a jar at the end of every week. It might only add up to $10 or so a month at first, but that extra money will come in handy when you’re struggling to find some money to put into your emergency fund.
Whenever you end up with a little extra money, perhaps from a discount on your shopping, or an extra bit of cash from working over at work, put it away in your savings. Those small steps go a long way.
If you’re a competitive person, then one of the best ways that you can improve your chances of saving money,is by challenging yourself to accomplish specific goals. For instance, rather than trying to save as much money as you can the next time you go shopping for groceries, try to aim for a specific dollar amount. This kind of gamification can make the act of frugal spending a lot more enticing, and also ensure that you’re more likely to stick with your goals.
Another way to challenge yourself could be to put one dollar a day away into your savings, no matter what. This can be tough to do at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll end up with almost $350 at the end of the year.
Change your Loans
When’s the last time you looked into how much your loans are costing you? Personal loans and emergency cash advances can be helpful from time to time, but if you’ve had a long term loan that you’ve been dealing with for quite some time now, you could be paying over the odds on your interest rates. If your credit rating or score has improved since you last took out your loan, see whether you can get a better deal by consolidating what you owe.
Remember to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible for your loan when you look for a new lending opportunity in the future too. Don’t just accept the first deal you can find.
Use your Bank
Even if your savings account isn’t giving you the best return on your cash – that doesn’t mean that your bank can’t be helpful. There are lots of ways that you can use your bank to improve your savings strategy. For instance, why not trick yourself into thinking that you don’t have enough money to spend each month by ensuring that all your bills come out on the same day that your money from your job goes into your account. While you’re dealing with your bills, set up a direct deposit from your current account to your bank account for the amount that you can afford to save each month too.
If you can look at your bank account after payday and see an insight into how much discretionary spending money you have straight away, you’re less likely to accidentally spend the cash that you owe elsewhere.
Try Something New
Finally, if you’ve tried budgeting before and nothing has worked, then now is the perfect opportunity to try something new. For instance, you could consider signing up for a new Bank of America program that allows you to round up your debit card purchases. The strategy means that you put a little change from your purchases towards your savings. Rather than spending $37 on groceries, for instance, you could opt to round that number up to $40 and save the $3.
This small but simple strategy gets you into the habit of saving before you even realize that anything has changed. You might not even notice the missing change from your bank account over time.