Getting around yourself – Ways to work with yourself to save money
Saving is an aspiration for many people, but an achievement for far fewer. Why? Through poor financial habits and temptations we often work ourselves right out of the money we’re trying so hard to hold on to. This article attempts to show you how to reverse that pattern, and get out of your own way with saving.
You can turn your savings into something you enjoy doing, you can even trick yourself into starting, with the following tips and tricks to get you started.
Tip #1 Disconnect your savings account from your bank card
Keep your savings account completely separate from your regular spending accounts. This strategy focuses on making it more difficult for you to cut into your savings, it in fact enables you to ignore the savings rather than spend it.
Tip #2 Make a list before shopping
This is an impulse control tip. If you make a list of what you need before you go out, you force yourself to avoid those purchases that you might need some time and to stick to those that you actually need.
An alternate version to this is to make a list of everything you’re thinking of buying for the month, and wait until the end of the month to buy it, thereby giving yourself time to really think about it.
Tip #3 Put your credit on ice
This is a humorous tip, and one that’s been used in movies a lot, but freezing your credit card in a cube of ice is one way to keep yourself from using it. That being said, it does damage the magnetic stripe, so it may really stop you from using it by permanently wrecking the card.
Regardless, it’s a possible way to control your use of credit.
Tip #4 Leave a note on your credit card
Write a note on your credit card about what you’re saving for. This will act as a visual reminder, and will hopefully curb your credit spending. This is probably a better tip than the former for controlling credit use.
Tip #5 Pay off your debts even after they’re gone
This may sound odd, but take a minute and think about it. You’re currently surviving making a $450 car payment, the car will one day be paid off, will you then go on to spend that $450 a month? You shouldn’t, you should be saving it instead. Keep saving payments you make on your debts, even once they’re fully repaid.
Tip #6 Only use change for saving, never spending
Every time you get change, lock it away. Don’t use change, ever, and watch it add up in your piggy bank instead.
Tip #7 Don’t bring your money
This is an easy and fast way to curb spending, don’t bring money with you when you go out. You’ll figure out just how difficult it is to spend money when you don’t have any on you. Just don’t cheat and bring any credit cards.
Tip #8 Click unsubscribe
Marketing emails are great – for marketers. Unsubscribe from all the ‘deal of the month’ clubs you’re currently signed up with to try to save yourself some serious cash – most of which would be impulse buys.
Tip #9 Automate your savings
Select an amount of money to commit to savings, and automate that commitment. This will enable you to save money without thinking about it as much, and really ensure your savings grows without giving you the option to back out.
Tip #10 Save your savings
Did you just use a coupon? Save with a price match? Take the difference and put it straight into your savings account. It will really show you how good you are at saving, and reward yourself in concrete savings instead of just theoretical ones.
Tip #11 Turn savings into a game
See if you can keep every bank account’s total completely rounded, sending the difference to savings every time. This is a mini game that can remind you to save and make it somewhat fun.
Tip #12 Rename your bank accounts
This may sound silly but really it just involves motivation. If you name your savings account after what it’s saving for, it may help you to advance quicker. Whether saving for a downpayment, an emergency fund, or a debt repayment, it may make it easier to achieve the goal.
Tip #13 Use invoices to save
Invoice yourself every single month for a certain amount of savings, making it serious between you and yourself to pay into your savings. It’s human nature, we do our best to pay our bills.
Tip #14 Cut up your card
Concerned that you’ll wind up re-using debt before you can fully pay it off? Take some scissors to your favorite credit card. This literally removes it as an option for payment, and enables you to focus on paying it off.
Tip #15 Put a hold on large purchases
If you ask your bank account or credit card company, they will hold large purchases, giving you time to think about it. A good general rule of thumb is to wait at least ten days before spending anything over $200.
Tip #16 Give control of your savings account to a trusted family member
This removes any and all temptation to spend your savings, it won’t be in your hands. You know that you will have to ask the person for your own money, and likely justify it.
Just be sure to select the right person, this is clearly very risky in terms of investing into some one else’s name.