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Saving is hard.
Whether it’s because you’re an excellent spender or have run out of money-saving tips, your savings account grows at a slower and slower pace each month.
So do you sit back and continue saving close to nothing? Of course not. You take action.
If you’re done watching your savings balance stay the same, here are money-saving tips on how to save more. It’s about working smarter, not harder. The tactics I’ll cover will help you do just that.
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 need direction. It’s as if they’re waiting for a big pile of money to do 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 more excited to save $500 only to have it lying around or to save $500 for unexpected emergencies?
Most get caught up in the rat race, spending most of their money sealing their fate of retiring at 65 if they’re lucky. But those who save aggressively retire early because they have a purpose.
Studies show that those who can delay gratification are more successful in life. By having a purpose, you’d be able to delay short-term gratification. For example, you could resist buying the latest iPhone if this allowed you to hit your savings goals.
Make Your Savings Visible
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 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.
Login to 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 by transferring it to your savings account.
Spend Money on Value and Forget About the Rest
The truth is an average 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 else to sacrifice. If you don’t care about what car you drive as long as it’s reliable, you can cut some costs here.
Take time to brainstorm your values 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 regularly.
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 sprint race.
Often in your journey to saving money, you’ll hit roadblocks. For example, you’ll want to keep more but may not have the extra money to do so.
Fortunately, apps like Trimm help you save on subscriptions, cable bills, and much more. All you 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 can use your bank’s Bill Pay feature or your credit card.
Start by understanding and analyzing your cash flow. You should be aware of how much money you have leftover each paycheck and when all your bills are due. Use Personal Capital to help you achieve this, and write it down on a separate spreadsheet.
You may find that most of your bills fall on or 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 honest: 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.
Where should you deposit your money?
Deposit in online banks—but don’t close all your bank accounts. Instead, open a separate online savings account. Online banks, such as Goldman Sachs, offer a savings interest rate as high as 3% as of early 2023!
While this isn’t high enough to beat inflation, it’s much better than .01%.
Use Apps to Find You the Best Shopping Deals
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.
Reach Your Financial Goals
Stop making excuses for why you’re not able to save money.
Everyone’s situation is different, and it will be near impossible to save for some. But with technology and the right mindset, I’m sure you can save—even if it’s only a little to start.
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.
Financial freedom has kept me going for the past few years by motivating me to save and earn more.
What will be your motivation?