Are you sick of watching your savings stagnate? If so, it’s time to make an effort to get those numbers to climb. While you may not be able to throw hundreds of dollars into your savings or investments each month, you shouldn’t discount the smaller amounts that you absolutely can afford. All that pocket change adds up over time, padding your savings just a little bit more in case of a rainy day.
But how can you add to your savings without monitoring your bank accounts like a hawk? There are several easy methods available that can be set up quickly and, in many cases, can continue to add to your savings without you having to lift a finger. Here are the top easy ways to save money without having to think about it.
Did you know that you can set up automatic transfers into your savings account? Some people are able to do this with their paycheck, giving their savings a boost every payday. Other people opt to set up a recurring transfer into their bank account. You can determine how much and how often your deposits will be made.
For example, you could probably spare $10 a week, right? Why not set up that automatic transfer. You’ll get at least $40 extra dollars in your savings each month. By the end of the year, it’s an additional $520! Those smaller sacrifices seem more achievable than making larger deposits, but you still get the same great results. Plus, when you set up an automatic transfer, you don’t even have to think about it, and most likely you won’t even miss the money once it’s removed from your checking.
Keep the Change
Some banks have special programs that round up each of your debit transactions and automatically deposit the remainder into your savings. So if you used your debit card to spend $2.25 on a coffee this morning, $0.75 Go on a Target shopping spree and spend $150.92, and $0.08 gets added to savings.
At Bank of America, this program is actually called “Keep the Change,” but other banks are starting to follow suit. Check with your bank to see if any programs like this are available for your accounts.
Save (Don’t Spend) Credit Card Rewards
Do you have a cash-back credit card? These cards are incredibly popular right now since they give you money back for just about everything you purchase with your credit card. Why not make a little extra dough just from buying things you already need, like gas, groceries and household necessities?
The problem with these cards is that many users get that extra cash and instantly want to “treat” themselves to something fun. However, if you really want to be frugal, you should already have a limited portion of your budget set aside for things like entertainment and dining out. Using your cash back to add to this fund doesn’t really help your financial goals. So instead of getting that money in your debit account, having it automatically transferred to your savings. It’ll be better for you financially in the long run, and you’ll still get to have fun within your means.
Use Tech to Your Advantage
If you’re ready to get serious about saving, you can use some of the cool tech tools available for frugal folks. One great example is SavedPlus. This app doesn’t just help you save—it also gets you to rethink all your spending habits. Users choose a savings percentage ranging from 5%-20%. Once a week, the app reviews your transactions and transfers the percentage you selected to your savings. So if you spent $230 that week and you selected a 10% savings rate, $23 would be transferred into your savings.
Why is this model so revolutionary? Because when using this tool, you’ll reconsider every purchase you make. If you want to buy a $60 pair of jeans, you’ll realize that you need to actually budget for $66 since the extra 10% will be taken out of your account by week’s end. A $3-a-day coffee habit goes from $90 per month to almost $100 per month. And the costs are even greater if you choose to increase your savings percentage. It’s a great way to think about how various purchases affect your savings.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Change Jar
Do you deal with cash transactions as well as your debit and credit cards? If so, it’s time you start keeping better track of your loose change. Keep a jar handy in your car and/or in your home where you can toss your spare change. In addition to keeping heavy coins out of your pockets or purse, you can make this a handy savings method. Once it’s full, bring the jar to your bank and have it deposited into your savings. You’ll be amazed at just how quickly all those loose coins add up.
These no-brainer methods make it easy to boost your savings on a day-to-day basis. Use one or more of these tips to make sure you’re saving in ways big and small.