Most people are not natural savers. It seems to be a lot easier to spend, and most people are quite good at naturally throwing away most of their paycheck.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of this spending often goes to little purchases, the coffee you get a few times a day, the lunch you buy instead of bring; these seemingly small purchases add up quickly, and have to be stopped for saving to succeed.
The biggest tip related to switching from being a spender to a saver is not to have the money readily available to spend. Consider the following five tips to limiting your cash access, and how they may help you become a saver.
1. Don’t keep a lot of cash on hand.
Sure, we all have emergencies, but the truth is that most of the time the cash you keep in your wallet will be used for impromptu drinks, gum, transportation, magazines, and other entertainment ’emergencies’ that just seem to crop up. The solution? Limit the amount of cash you carry, make yourself have to think about those little purchases and what it will do to your emergency fund.
2. Don’t bring your cards.
Saving rule: it’s hard to wrack up a huge credit card bill when you don’t carry your credit card around with you all the time. People try to scare each other into carrying cards, citing emergency use (again) or the need to have access, but the truth is that the price you pay for the convenience of fast access is a lot higher than you’d think. Keeping credit cards on hand is even worse than keeping cash on hand, as it often doesn’t feel like spending at all, and thus makes it easier to spend your paycheck – and more.
3. Direct deposit your pay.
Sending your paycheck straight to the bank is just another way of removing the temptation to take cash from the cheque and overspend. Additionally, many banks now have direct deposit settings that can force you to save by committing a certain amount of your paycheck for transfer (to a savings account).
4. Keep change in a jar, not your pocket.
Again, saving is all about keeping yourself from spending. A great way to do it? Invest in a cheap coin jar (or reuse a clean jar from the house) to store your change. You won’t be able to spend it so readily, and it’s a good lesson about how quickly change adds up when you see how fast that jar can fill.
5. Save more than you need for your goals.
Nobody ever complained that their savings account was getting too big or uncontrollable. By saving more than you intend, you really are only helping yourself in the long run. This extra money can then be used to fund future goals, and encourages saving thinking, rather than spending thinking.
These tips are a solid start to saving money, rather than spending it. The bottom line is really to limit the availability of your money, and to get yourself excited about saving!