You know the people who set their clocks ahead ten minutes so they’ll never be late? There’s a certain weird psychology in that… and it works. The same principle of “tricking” yourself can be applied to saving money with great success. Here are some slick tricks for simple saving.
When you record your expenses in a checkbook register, round UP the amount you write down. If you paid $87.12 for electricity, mark it as $88.00 even. Shoes cost $32.75? Make it $33.00. If you write twenty checks or make twenty ATM purchases, with an average of .50 cents “round-up” each, that amounts to $10.00 you’ve saved – and that’s only the beginning.
Every time you spend a dollar, save a dollar. You can do this by matching your payments to credit cards, utility bills, insurance payments. At the very least, this ensures you’re saving for the same expense next time around. In the best case scenario, you save a bundle, fast.
Having even a small amount of money automatically withdrawn from your main account on a weekly or monthly basis and transferring to a different account can result in super savings. Just be sure you don’t trigger over-draft fees.
Make two lists: one says “Things I Want” and one says “Things I Don’t Want.” Be sure to include “debt” and “bankruptcy” on the “don’t want” list!
This is a psychological mind twist that works wonders for many, especially women who like to shop (who doesn‘t?). Go online to your favorite store and put anything you like into the virtual shopping cart. Exhaust yourself with online shopping (until your fingers hurt). When you see the total in your cart — the shock may put you off enough to empty the cart and log out.
Take twenty dollars out of the bank in the form of four $5 bills. Put $5 in each of two winter coats and two pair of pants. Now, forget about it. When you eventually reach into your pocket you’ll be reminded of your abundant life. A little encouragement might be all we need.
Put those tempting but treacherous credit cards in a block of ice (using the bottom of a cut-down waxed milk carton). When you find yourself frantically pouring boiling water on ice to free up your cards, you’ll surely stop and think about it. This not only curbs spontaneous spending, it’s highly amusing for friends who look in your freezer.
Visualization is critical in reaching any goal. Create a colorful poster board using whatever supplies you have on hand, then write our your financial aspirations in bold bright colors and keep track of saving where you can really see them. Add a couple of pics or magazine cut outs of some things you’re saving for to give you extra inspiration.
Grab your best un-used tea pot or finest empty beer stein (or even a plain old glass jar). Whenever you find a few bucks lying around, put them in the pot and leave it alone for a prescribed amount of time. Keep this savings vessel near your laundry for fast action savings.
Have you received a pay raise or come into unexpected money (even if it’s that $20 bucks that Fast Eddie finally paid back after all these years)? For any extra income you receive on the side, just save it — forget you ever got it. You’re already used to your financial routine and won’t even see the difference.
Which one of these tips resounds with you? Try one or two savings tricks to get your secret saving plan started — or try them all for really spectacular results. Your trick will be a treat.