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Saving is hard.
Whether it’s because you’re an excellent spender or have no more money-saving tips, your savings account grows slower and slower each month.
So do you sit back and continue saving close to nothing? Of course not. You take action.
Saving has been something that I’ve struggled with for the majority of my life. Even today, as I write articles related to finance, it’s challenging to save. Despite this challenge, I’ve managed to keep more than ever.
I learned what works for me. And that’s how you’ll start saving more. It doesn’t have to be a painful process either. It can be one that requires little effort on your part.
It’s about working smarter, not harder. The tactics I’ll cover will help you do just that. If you’re done watching your savings balance stay the same, here are money-saving tips on how to save more.
You Need To Have A Burning Desire For Success
A goal without a plan is only a dream.
A big reason why most people struggle to save is that they have no direction. It’s as if they’re stashing a big pile of money for the sake of doing so. Instead, pick a worthy goal such as retiring early or saving for an emergency fund.
Saving without a purpose leads to burnout and more spending. Think about it, would you get excited to save $500 to have it lying around or to save $500 for unexpected emergencies?
Most get caught up in the rat race, spending most of the money sealing their fate of retiring at 65 if they’re lucky. But, those who save aggressively retire early because they have a purpose.
By having a purpose, you’d be able to delay short-term gratification. For example, you’d resist buying the latest iPhone if this meant you wouldn’t hit your savings goals. Studies show that those who can delay gratification are more successful in life.
Why does this matter?
The chances are that you’re not the average person. You’re someone who wants more out of life, and that is why you’ve stumbled upon this article. If you want to become a better saver, set a purpose.
Make Your Savings Visible
Money gurus preach to leave your money out of sight so you can save more.
I can vouch that this method works if done right. The problem is not seeing your savings balances grow without logging in to your savings account. Once logged in, it’s easy to transfer money out, defeating an external account’s purpose.
Also, without watching your balances grow, you’ll lose motivation to save more. But what if you were able to view your external savings balances grow without having to login in each time?
Fortunately, it’s possible, and is how I have my accounts set up. All you need to do is sync all your bank accounts with Personal Capital. Once synced, you’ll be able to view all your saving balances in the main dashboard.
A Bankrate survey showed more than half of Americans have less than six months’ worth of savings. This is most likely due to these people thinking short-term with their finances. To avoid this problem, pick a meaningful goal and watch how much more you’ll save.
Spend More to Save More
Contrary to what others say–spending more can help you save more.
Start using your credit card’s rewards points. This works best if you’re credit card debt-free. The goal is to use your credit card to pay most of your bills.
Login into all your accounts and schedule your payments to come out of your credit card each month. You shouldn’t pay any interest since you’d be paying off all your balances immediately. Most credit cards offer a 1% cashback for each dollar you spend, but some offer higher interest.
I’ve been able to redeem hundreds of dollars using this method. Although you’re not saving money, you can use this extra cash to transfer to your savings account.
Spend Money On Value And Forget About The Rest
The truth is a normal budget isn’t going to help you save.
A typical budget will make you feel restricted and cause you to burn out. That’s because it uses fixed percentages stating how you should budget your money. Instead, customize your budget around your values.
For example, if you enjoy having $6 lattes at Starbucks a few times each week, find something to sacrifice. If you don’t care about what car your drive as long as it’s reliable, then you can cut some costs here. Take time to brainstorm what your values are and where you can cut down costs.
Aim to save at least 10% of your income and customize your budget to align with your values.
Be Lazy and Let Robots Do the Work
Give a robot a task and it’ll produce the same results on a regular basis.
But, you and I don’t work this way. Instead of depending on yourself to save consistently, automate as much as possible. Thanks to technology, you can achieve this in many ways.
Automate your savings
You have the option to automate your savings each paycheck. Most banks allow you to set up recurring transfers. Apps like Digit also help you save based on your spending patterns.
Automating my savings has been a game-changer for me and has allowed me to save thousands each year. Save an amount that’s big enough to be substantial but not so big that you’ll burn out.
Saving is a marathon, not a race.
Often in your journey to saving money, you’ll hit roadblocks. For example, you’ll want to keep more but not have the extra money to do so.
Fortunately, apps like Trimm help you save on subscriptions, cable bills, and much more. All you’d need to do is sync all your bank accounts and let Trimm do the rest.
Automate your bills
How many times were you hit with a late fee?
The odds are that you’ve paid at least one late fee–one too many. To avoid further costs, set recurring payments. You have the option of using your bank’s Bill Pay feature or your credit card to do this.
Start by understanding and analyzing your cash flow. You should know how much money you have leftover each paycheck and when all your bills are due. Use Personal Captial to help you achieve this and write it down on a separate spreadsheet.
You may find out that most of your bills fall on around the same date. If this is the case, call your bill providers and change the dates to have an even split each month.
Make your money work harder than most
Let’s be real. Most banks offer a mediocre savings interest rate.
That’s because they have a lot of overhead costs. For example, a traditional bank has to pay salaries to their employees. Instead of complaining about your low-interest rate, deposit your money elsewhere.
So where should you deposit your money?
Online banks, but don’t close all your bank accounts. Instead, open a separate online saving account. Currently, online banks such as Goldman Sachs offer a savings interest rate as high as .5% (this will vary.)
While this isn’t high enough to beat inflation, it’s much better than .01%.
Use apps to find you the best shopping deals
Frugal people will say that shopping is a waste of money.
While I agree with this to an extent, I also believe that being frugal isn’t for everyone. Instead, if you like to shop online with the money you’ve budgeted, use apps to help you find the best deals. Honey installs in your browser and helps you find coupons from over 30,000 shopping sites.
Saving $1-$10 each time you buy adds up, ultimately leaving you with more money in your pocket. The best part is saving time searching for coupons, as I’ve wasted in the past.
Reach Your Financial Goals
Stop making excuses for why you’re not able to save money.
Everyone’s situation is different, and for some, it will be near impossible to save. But, with technology and the right mindset, I’m sure you can save, even if it’s only a little more.
Before you commit to saving your first dollar, find a reason big enough to help you stay motivated. The going will get tough, and wanting to quit throughout the process is inevitable.
Imagine not worrying about your bills or losing your job. While the rest of the world is spending their money as fast, you’re saving intentionally.
Money can bring freedom to your life, but it won’t be easy to make this happen. Financial freedom is what has kept me going for the past few years to save and earn more.
What will be your motivation?