Saving money can feel difficult and sometimes even impossible. Many of us have admirable goals of getting out of debt and building our savings accounts, yet we struggle to make substantial progress. If you are determined to change your financial habits and save money every month, we’ve gathered a few tips to trick yourself into saving money. You may be able to save without even realizing it!
Tips to Trick Yourself into Saving Money
- Carry Large Bills: Only carry large bills in your wallet and leave debit and credit cards at home. This will help curb your appetite to buy smaller, more unnecessary purchases such as a pack of gum. Not only does it feel awkward to hand a cashier a lage bill when paying for an ice cream cone, but it also feels like you are paying a lot more for the item than if you paid using a couple of single dollar bills. Most people have a tendency to limit their spending of large bills to larger, more important purchases, so this is a great way to weed out the daily purchases that can end up breaking the budget.
- Turn coupon savings into actual savings: Clipping coupons is a common money saving strategy; however, it can easily backfire. When a person realizes that they have saved ten dollars on groceries that week, they often feel the need to “reward” themselves by buying a higher priced item or going out to eat. In the end, the result is the same as if they would not have used coupons because the same amount of money was spent. Instead, consumers should check their receipts to find the total amount of money that was saved, and deposit this amount into a savings account. This way, money saved using coupons is actually saved.
- Empty your pockets each day: At the end of the day, go through your pockets or wallet to find all of the loose change from the day’s transactions. This includes coins and single dollar bills. When you are only carrying large bills, there can be quite a few dollar bills left over at the end of the day after breaking a large bill or two. Place this money in a designated container that is deposited directly into a savings account every few weeks. Chances are, you will not notice a few dollars missing here and there, and meanwhile, the savings accumulate!
- Always save “extra” paychecks: Many people get their paychecks every week or every other week. During most months, this results in a worker receiving 2-4 checks per month. However, some months have five weeks, and therefore an extra paycheck is earned. Monthly budgets are usually calculated on a four week income period, so this fifth check is considered “extra money.” Take advantage of these events and place the check directly into your savings account without feeling a strain on the month’s finances.
- Thank the weather: Usually, there is one month during the spring and fall months where consumers get a break on their utility bills. The weather seems to be just the right temperature, and the heater and air conditioner rarely get used. This results in a significantly lower utility bill. Instead of just sending in a check to cover the expense of the bill, write yourself an additional check to be deposited into your savings account. Write the check to equal the difference between your average utility bill and what the month’s lower bill was. This way, the monthly budget remains on track and there is still a nice contribution made to savings.
With a little bit of strategy and some helpful tips, saving money can be easily accomplished — think of it like a challenge and see how many creative ways you can come up with to build your savings! Do you have helpful money saving tips? We’d love to hear them — share them in the comments!
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!