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Are you one of those people who just can’t seem to find a way to save money?
You’re not alone. It’s hard to make yourself set aside funds for an undefined future date when temptations like splurging on the new pair of shoes, grabbing that extra coffee (with whipped cream and caramel syrup!) or taking a romantic vacation are all around us.
Fortunately, there are smart tactics you can employ to trick your savings-resistant brain into stashing away more cash without sacrificing your lifestyle!
In this article we’ll be exploring ten innovative hacks that will help make saving effortless and rewarding once again.
Read on if you’re ready start socking away some serious money.
1. Think Before You Buy
Advertisers are great at making us think we need something when we really don’t.
To overcome this feeling, stop for a moment before you see something you didn’t think you needed but now think you do.
Ask yourself how if will improve your life and how you will use it.
The more questions you ask, the closer to you realize if you do need it or if you’ll regret it later.
2. Know What Makes You Happy
It’s way too easy to see others success and things to buy in our consumer driven world.
But when you know what truly makes you have, you can tune out all this noise and temptation.
So take 10 minutes and write down what makes you happy and keep it with you at all times.
Then refer to it when you think of spending money.
3. Budget Like Crazy
The art of budgeting can mean the difference between living paycheck-to-paycheck and meeting your financial goals.
You’d be surprised how much clearer your financial picture looks when you put figures down in a spreadsheet.
The easiest one for most people is the 50/30/20 rule. It makes budgeting simply and easy.
4. Pay Yourself First
Sometimes saving money is all about your frame of mind. Pay yourself before other bills and watch the savings start piling up.
“I pay myself first each month,” says one enterprising person. “This is before I pay any bills. Paying myself first means money moves straight to my savings and investment accounts.”
5. Prepare More Meals at Home
I’m sure you’ve heard this advice before in one form or another, but it remains true whenever financial wellness is involved: stop eating out so much.
Eating homemade meals — and even bringing homemade lunch to work — is infinitely more affordable than eating out.
6. Cap Your Social Time
Saving money takes discipline. Think of all the extra money you’ll have to put towards savings if you knowingly limit yourself to one evening of socialization per week.
If you’re a spontaneous person, this can be quite the challenge, but as soon as you realize how much money you’re saving by not going out and spending it on a whim, you’ll become more disciplined by the day.
7. Consider Buying an Electric Car
Although switching to an electric vehicle comes at a high upfront cost in many cases, ditching gasoline-powered cars will pay dividends in the long run.
“I drive an electric car,” boasts one thrifty saver. “It’s one of the best decisions I have made – my driving costs are down about 85%!” In addition, there are some seriously cool cars in the electric vehicle space now, so why not consider them?
8. Automate Everything
According to many people, the logical next step after paying yourself is to automate where a percentage of your money goes with each paycheck.
Setting up automatic transfers to retirement or savings accounts is an easy way to save.
As an added bonus, many employers let you split your paycheck so that a portion goes into your checking account and another amount goes into savings.
9. Put Controls in Place
If budgeting is a tricky proposition for you, consider putting a clamp down on discretionary spending.
“I put controls in place to help me stick to my budgets,” says one woman. “I do grocery shopping only with cash – not cards. I have three ‘no expense days’ in a week, and I stick to them religiously.”
10. Have An Accountability Partner
Everything’s better with a partner, right? When trying to attain financial freedom, many advise having an accountability partner.
A spouse, significant other, or even a roommate can ensure you (or both of you) are on the right track with helpful words of encouragement.
11. Use Designated Bank Accounts
While only a few people have multiple checking accounts, if no fees are attached to these accounts, then it makes sense to take advantage of them.
It gives you another level of organization that can help you save money.
“This way, you transfer the exact amounts you need into each account depending on their purpose,” one person says.
12. Stop Eating Red Meat
Certain foods are more expensive than others, and cutting out a high-priced item like red meat will naturally translate into more savings!
“This has been fabulous for my health (which is the primary reason for my decision), but I also noticed a massive positive impact on my financials,” confesses one ex-meat-eater.
Learn More Ways to Save Money
If you want to get ahead financially, you need to put some money into savings on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, many of us never do. But that changes now. Here are over 100 simple things you can do to start saving money every day
Fun Money Saving Challenges
Do you find it boring to save money?
If you are motivation by turning things into a game, check out these money saving challenges. There is a game for you that will make saving fun and exciting so that you make it a priority to save money.
Save Money On Groceries
It’s no secret that grocery shopping is a significant expense every month. While most of us know a few ways to reduce this bill, there are many other simple things we can do.
Learn the easy tricks to spend less on groceries and pocket some savings.
Learn How To Save $100K
Saving money can be hard, especially if you are looking to have $100K in the bank.
But while it feels difficult, don’t let this stop you. Here is how you can save $100,000 in nine steps.
Free Budget Templates
It can be difficult to start budgeting from scratch.
While there are apps out there, some people like their privacy. This is where a spreadsheet budget comes into place.
But who wants to build one? Luckily there are some great free budget templates to use.
Here are the best ones.
This thread inspired this post.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.