How to Trick Yourself into Saving Money
If you find it difficult to save money, you're certainly not alone. Only 48 percent of Americans have more than $1,000 in their savings accounts, and one in five Americans don't even have a savings account. Here are a few ways to trick yourself into the healthy habit of saving.
Take it Off Your Paycheck
One of the best ways to save money is to set it aside before it even gets to you. Enroll yourself in your employer's payroll deduction plan for retirement savings if it's available. If that's not possible, you may be able to have the payroll department put a portion of your check into a second savings account through direct deposit. Even setting aside 2 percent of your pay each week will quickly add up over a year.
Direct Deposit into Savings
If you can't divert money from your paycheck through direct deposit, the next best option is to take it out of your checking account. You can do this with online tools available at most banks. Just create a new savings account, and then set up a recurring transfer from your checking to savings on the day after you get paid. Start with a small amount that you won't notice, like $20 or $50, then increase it every few months to pave a pain-free road to a small fortune.
Keep the Change
Some banks are now making it easier to set aside some money every time you make a purchase, like the Way2Save® program offered by Wells Fargo and the Keep the Change® program from Bank of America. Way2Save transfers one dollar from your checking account to your savings account every time you make a purchase on your debit card or pay a bill from your checking account.
The Keep the Change program rounds up every purchase you make with your debit card to the closest dollar and then transfers that amount to your savings account. By encouraging you to use your debit card, you may save even more by eliminating extra ATM fees.
Hold Yourself Up
If you're someone who likes to use your bank card a lot, socking away some cash may be a good way to save. Whenever you go to the ATM, withdraw an extra $20 and put it in your back pocket. When you get home, put it in a small box or a sock in the drawer. If you do this every week, that old sock will be worth a cool grand before the end of the year.