If you’re not a saver by nature, getting started can be difficult. The temptations of spending are all around you and you can receive instant gratification when you buy something new. You don’t get that same feeling of immediate satisfaction when you put a few dollars aside in your savings account.
Just like changing any other habit, you have to build a new and better habit over time and be patient with yourself. But there are a few tools you can use to help you build a saving habit and actually enjoy doing it. Let’s take a look:
Doing a savings challenge will help you build your account quickly and painlessly. It’s simply saving a little bit of money each week and increasing or decreasing the amount you put in depending on which way you decide to go. On week 1 you deposit $1 into your account. Week 2 is $2 and so on. On week 52 you deposit $52. Within one year you’ll have saved $1,378! Some people like to do the challenge backwards so that they have more money available to spend around the holidays. Doing it this way means you would deposit $52 on week 1 and $1 on week $52, but still ending up with the same amount of savings.
Here at B&B, we’re big fans of savings challenges. Some examples you might want to consider: 365 Day Money Saving Challenge, Reverse 52 Week Money Challenge, Money Saving Challenges for Kids, How to Use Digit to Maximize Your Savings
Make your savings automatic so you’re not even tempted to spend it. If you have direct deposit, schedule a portion of your paycheck to be directly deposited into your savings account. If you don’t have direct deposit, schedule an online automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account every payday.
Look for ways to cut your budget so you have a little more to put in savings. Cancel your premium cable package, spend more time on your computer and reduce the amount of data you use on your cell, limit yourself to one premium coffee drink a week instead of daily stops.
There are also a few great apps you can use to track your spending and saving that will help you see your account build and get you excited about its growth.
Mint.com will help you manage your saving, spending and budgeting like a pro. It syncs all of your checking, saving, and credit card accounts together in one place so you have your financial picture at your fingertips. It even keeps track of your investment accounts and updates your balances in real time.
Pocket Expense works with your natural spending habits to help you build a budget you can live with. It tracks your spending then creates a budget for you that works with how you already spend. It doesn’t sync with your accounts so transactions have to be manually entered, but if you have security concerns this works in your favor.
Mvelopes guides you through creating a budget with a few simple questions. If you like the envelope system of budgeting, this app is perfect. It guides you through creating a reasonable budget of spending and saving as well as long-term planning before creating your envelopes and dividing your money up.
Paribus is a great way to get money back. It will review receipts of your online purchases and search for better deals, getting you a refund if a better price is found. Some of your favorite retailers like Amazon and Walmart are found here.
Read more: Review of Paribus
ibotta offers coupons and cash back savings from your favorite retailers including Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and several grocery stores. A great way to save money on things you have to buy anyway!
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a little bit here and there will start growing your savings account quickly.