5 Simple Ways to Trick Yourself into Saving Money

Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. The hardest part is actually finding the discipline to do it. It can be easy to lose track of the many expenses that come and go throughout the month. All it takes is a change in perspective and a few helpful tips that can trick your bad habits. Use these 5 simple money saving tips to make savings a habit without feeling the cost.

  1. Overestimate your monthly bills. When you create your monthly budget, round up the cost. For instance, if your gas bill is $63 dollars, bump it up to $70. At the end of the month, sweep the extra dollars you didn’t actually spend into your savings account.
  2. Trickle effect. Save $1 more each week. Challenge yourself to save $1 on week one, $2 on week two and so forth. On the last week of the year, you should save $52. If you do this for a year, you could accumulate more than $1,300.
  3. Keep "paying" bills you've paid off. When you have finished paying off a loan, continue to pay that amount to your savings account instead. Likely you won’t miss that extra cash because you are already used to living on what you have after paying that bill. For example, suppose you've paid off a car loan with a $400 monthly payment. If you keep ‘paying’ that bill to yourself, in a year you'd have $4,800.
  4. Stick to water. One of the biggest margins at restaurants are on beverages. The cost of soda at a restaurant can reach over $3. If you have two per day you would be spending about $180 a month. Try changing your habits and opt for water at restaurants. Soon you will be in the habit of thinking of soda as a sweet treat, saving your wallet and waistline. Go a step farther and carry your own reusable water bottle. This will save you money on plastic bottles and do less harm to the environment.
  5. Don’t use shopping for entertainment. We’ve all been guilty of it. Walking around the mall on a Sunday is a great idea when there is nothing else to do, but have you really thought about what it’s doing to your wallet? Often we find some great shoes or an item we never knew we needed. If you splurge on something you were not planning on, it could really throw off your budget. Try going to the park or on a hike, where temptation won’t find you.

It may seem that having a large savings fund is something that happens to a lucky few. What people often don’t realize is that small positive habits can actually improve their personal savings account slowly over time. The reality is you may be able to accumulate substantial wealth by working hard, spending less, saving more and investing wisely. Talk to a financial advisor to identify your financial goals and build a personalized plan to work toward reaching them.

Visit our Financial Knowledge Blog to learn more money saving tips on setting up a solid financial future or join us for Financial Wellness Wednesdays.