Let’s be honest: Saving money is easier said than done. You know it’s important, but it seems like you never put away as much as you’d like. You have great intentions, but they get lost at the grocery store, in the mall, or on the golf course. Being smart with money is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. You have the knowledge but don’t put it into practice. I get it. I’ve been there.
I can’t force you to make the right money decisions, but I can make it easier for you. Check out these tricks to help you keep those dollars in the bank.
1. Go Automatic
When you’re saving, use the automatic transfer option if your employer offers it. That way, you never even see the money in your paycheck. And you don’t have to remember to set aside the funds every month, so it’s a win-win!
2. Go Green
Pay cash for everything. The human brain registers a little bit of pain when we fork over cash instead of plastic. That pain keeps your spending in line, making you less likely to splurge on stuff you don’t need.
3. Keep the Change
Rather than using spare change when making a purchase, use the bills in your wallet. At the end of the day, any change you accumulate goes into a jar. You’d be surprised at how much money you save over a year’s time!
4. Save a Percentage
Instead of saving a specific dollar amount, ask for a percentage of your paycheck to be taken out. That way, when you get a raise, your savings increase, too.
5. Tell Yourself No
That’s right, no. It’s good that you don’t get everything you want right when you want it. One sign of maturity is the ability to wait. Yes, that new techno-gadget looks awesome, but you don’t have to buy it this minute. Don’t give into your every whim. That makes for spoiled kids—and spoiled adults!
6. Hit the Pause Button
Impulse buying will kill your finances. Before you make a purchase over $50 on nonessential items, wait at least 24 hours. You’ll discover that you didn’t really need that stuff after all—and the money stays in the bank!
7. Keep Up the Habit
If you’ve been making car payments for years, you’ve gotten in the habit of paying that bill. Once it’s paid off (and you don’t have other debts to worry about), keep making that car payment—but put it in your savings. If you keep up this trick, you’ll be able to pay cash for your next car!
8. Take the Money Test
Let’s say you’re trying to decide whether you want to buy a shirt or not. Ask yourself this question: If a person offered me the choice between the shirt and the cash value of that shirt, which would I take—the cash or the shirt? If you’d rather have the cash, then ditch the shirt and keep the money in your pocket.
Changing your spending and saving habits will pay off in the long run. You’ll have money to eliminate debt, build your emergency fund, catch up on your retirement fund, or even go on that dream vacation. Using these money tricks will help you reach your goal sooner than you think, so try them out to see which ones work the best for you. Then stick with it!