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.
Saving money isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into saving money if you want to get it done at all. You have to take your brain out of the equation to get it done.
Here are several great ways to trick yourself into saving money without even realizing what you are doing. These are some of the best ways to save for your financial goals and boost your investing without feeling the pinch in your wallet.
7 Simple Ways to Trick Yourself into Saving Money
Spend dollars, save the change
One of the best ways to trick yourself into saving money is to save without even realizing that you are doing it, make it subconscious saving. You have to almost trick yourself into saving. One of the best ways that I do this is by saving all of my pocket change.
Throughout the course of your day, only buy things with paper money, dollar bills. Collect all of the coins that you receive at the end of the day. I usually take all the coins out of my pockets and put them into a cup or jar that sits on top of the dresser in my bedroom.
You would be surprised by just how much you can save this way. After a few months, you’ll have a few hundred dollars in coins to roll and take to the bank for deposit.Are you using these sneaky tactics to trick yourself into saving money? #savingClick To Tweet
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.
Matching your grocery savings on your receipt
Have you ever noticed or paid attention to the savings that are listed at the bottom of your receipt from the grocery store? If you use one of the chain’s loyalty cards, you typically save a few dollars every visit. Most grocery store chains list your savings at the bottom of your receipt as a way to highlight how much you save by shopping with them.
My mother-in-law has taken to matching those savings like a company on a one for one basis. Whatever the savings balance is on the bottom of the receipt, she puts that money in an envelope on her dresser that is earmarked for such great things as a new vacation, trips to the spa, etc. It’s another great way to trick yourself into saving money when you don’t even realize it.
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.
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.
Make your savings automatic
We have all heard about how we should make our savings automatic. If you want to trick yourself into saving money, then you need to take the “you” out of the equation. We are the ones who continually screw up our own saving and investing plans. So, by making things automatic without having to do anything will help you keep the habit of saving money.
Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account for your Roth IRA contributions. Make your deposit into your emergency fund automatically come out of your paycheck without needing your input every month. This is one of the easiest ways to trick yourself into saving money over the long-term.
Skip your raise you just got
Believe it or not, but people are still earning pay raises at their jobs. One of the best ways to trick yourself into saving money is to continue living on your current salary while putting your new pay raise into the bank, pay down debts, or save for retirement. It is like found money any way that you didn’t really have to start with.
Even if you only take half of your pay raise and save it, you will be tricking yourself into saving money. Spend half of your pay raise on yourself and increase your lifestyle, but put the rest of your new pay raise to work for you in the bank or investing. It is a way to trick yourself into saving money without feeling the hit one bit since it is new money that you did not have previously.
Keep paying for your paid for car
I recently paid off the loan on my car. It was a great feeling having the title in my hand. There have been very few of those in my life.
So, now that my car loan is paid off, there is an influx of money that is in my account that would normally have gone to the car payment. What should I do with those several hundred extra dollars every month? The best thing to do is to “keep paying your loan payment”.
Now, I’m not saying that you should send the bank another check of course. You should set up an automatic deposit into another bank account and save the money that you were paying for your car loan.
Continue paying your monthly car loan payment, but pay yourself instead of the bank. I’m building up my account either for a classic Ford Mustang or maybe the down payment for my next new car. Who knows, maybe I could save enough to pay for my next car with cash. It would be really cool to have several car titles.
Write on your ATM sleeves
I love using ATM or credit card sleeves to help remind me why I’m saving money in the first place. These credit card sleeves help keep me from spending money. I write directly on them what I’m saving for. It’s very hard to spend frivolously or at least it makes me think twice when I see something like “family vacation” staring back at me when I go to pull out my ATM or credit card to use.
Buy yourself gift cards
One way that you can trick yourself into saving money is by using gift cards. J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly calls it using reverse credit. Reverse credit lets you build up a gift card balance. Then, you can use those gift cards to save up for and to pay for your future purchase.
For example, if you want to buy an Apple MacBook Air, you would accumulate Apple gift cards using reverse credit to save for the purchase. Need a Gift? Choose from Top Brands. Shop Giftcardmall.com Today!
Bonus Tip – 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.
These are some of the best ways to save for your financial goals and boost your investing without feeling the pinch in your wallet. Saving money isn’t easy, and we all struggle with it from time to time. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into saving money if you want to get it done at all.
You have to stop thinking about it and interfering with yourself to get it done. There are many ways to trick yourself into saving money without even realizing what you are doing.
What about you? How are you tricking yourself into saving money? I’d love to hear your tips in the comment section below.