The savings rate in America is dismal, and it’s heading in the wrong direction. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate in America is 4.5%, down from 5.6% the previous year.
But do you know what’s the greatest hindrance to you increasing your savings? You. Your brain is the biggest thing holding you back from saving more, and one of the best ways to combat this is to trick yourself into saving money every day. You have to make savings a game. Here are five sneaky ways to do so.
Take The 52-Week Challenge And Increase Savings Weekly
The 52-week savings challenge helps you save more money without even realizing it. Starting with the first week of January, save $1 in a piggy bank or savings account of your choosing. For every week, you increase your savings based on the corresponding number of that week. For example, during the second week of January, you’ll save $2 for that week. The third week you will save $3 in your piggy bank. And, now you have $1, $2 and $3 for a total of $6 saved over the first three weeks.
By December, you’ll be saving $49, $50, $51 and $52. And at the end of one year, you will have saved $1,378. Even though the year has already started, it’s not too late to start the 52-week challenge. You won’t have to add much money to your piggy bank for the initial few weeks.
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Set Aside Your Savings From The Grocery Store
Every time I buy something at the grocery store, the cashier hands me my receipt and tells me how much I saved during my trip. The savings, of course, come from using my loyalty card.
My mother-in-law and father-in-law have a great system for their grocery loyalty cards. They take the amount listed on the bottom of their receipt that they saved with their loyalty card, and they put that in the savings account or piggy bank.
It’s money that you would’ve spent anyway if you had been shopping without your loyalty card. And it is a fast way to build up your savings without even realizing that you’re doing so.
Save Your Change In A Coin Jar
Not only do my wife and I balance our family’s monthly budget with a credit card, but we also do not spend coins. Instead, we make as many cash purchases as we can by using only bills.
At the end of each day, we take all of the change that we’ve accumulated and put it in a coin jar. My coin jar sits on top of my dresser, where it reminds me to put my change in it. You’d be surprised how much money you can save that way. My wife routinely saves more than $500 a year in change.
Want to find out other great ways to save money every day? You should check out the complete story with even more tips on saving money at AOL Daily Finance.
Note: This article originally appeared at AOL Daily Finance and is reproduced with permission.