Saving money is very hard to do when you either have a spending habit or a very small budget to work with, or a combination of the two. It doesn’t have to feel painful to put money away. You can save money in ways that trick yourself into thinking you aren’t putting that much money away. Here are some ways to do just that.
How to Trick Yourself into Saving Money
Save all your change and only use paper money to pay for things. Saving change is an amazing way to save money that will not even be noticeable to your day to day spending. It can really add up quick, too! My family has a family piggy bank jar that we all toss money into. Every few months, we count it out and take it to the bank. We have had over $100 in there before and didn’t even know it.
Do the 52 Week Money Challenge. While this is ideal to start at the beginning of the year, you can join in at any time and it still matters. Just save the amount of dollars that is the same week of the year. For instance, the first week of the year, you would only save $1. The second week, $2. By the end of January, you will have over $10 in your savings. If you join in April, you will be at week 12, so you put $12 in your savings. Just keep doing this and at the end of the year, you will have over $1,000 in your savings! You can find a printable to keep track of your 52 Week Savings Challenge here.
Penny Challenge – If a dollar a week is too much to contemplate, try the penny challenge instead. On the first day of the year you put a penny in a container, on the second day you put 2 pennies in…on the one-hundredth day you put in 100 pennies or $1.00…on the last day you put 365 pennies or $3.65. It adds up to over $600.00. Keep track with this printable tracking form for the Penny Challenge.
Use placing a small amount in savings as just another bill you pay. It’s called “Paying yourself first”. Just add $10 or $20 or whatever amount to your savings as you are paying bills. Consider paying yourself as another expense, not an after-thought.
Save all $1 or $5 bills. Any time you get $1 or $5 bills, save them. You won’t notice much if it is just these small amounts at a time and they will add up very quickly. This is especially an easy way to save if you work a job that you get tips at.
Continue to make payments on loans after they are paid off. I don’t mean to the lender, but to your savings account. Set aside a period of time, say 6 months to a year, where you will make payments on time to your bank account for the same amount you were paying. At the end of the period, use it as a down payment on something else or spend it on another need or want.
If you shop at a grocery store that tells you how much you saved on the trip with either sales or coupons, set aside that amount when you go. After all, it was money you would have spent had it not been for coupons, so it should go into savings for something else.
Decide on a number. At the end of the week or day, look at your bills left in your wallet. If they are small ones, look and see if the number you chose is one of the bill’s serial ending number. If it is, into the savings it goes.
If you aren't sure that you can commit to saving all of your $5 dollar bills or set aside a certain amount for savings each week, you might want to use a Budget Planner to track your spending. It will help you identify wasteful spending, where you can make realistic cuts, and find money to direct to savings.
More Budgeting Tips
- 10 Tips for Staying on a Budget
- 101 Ways to Save $1.00 a Day
- 7 Little Ways to Save Money
- How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- 8 Reasons Your Budget May Not Be Working
- How to Budget for People Who Hate to Budget
- How to Build an Emergency Budget on a Limited Income