When people think about saving money, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ll feel deprived. While putting cash away does require a certain level of sacrifice, it doesn’t have to be the thing you’ve been dreading so badly.
When you have money saved, you have a nest egg that you can use for a vacation, a house or a new car. At the same time, having some money put away ensures that you are safe and secure should you face an emergency, such as a broken bone, loss of a job or a major repair in your home.
Not only is saving money something that most people don’t equate with enjoyment, but it can also be difficult to find the extra cash to save. However, saving doesn’t have to be terrible and, in fact, there are some ways that make it fun and exciting. Try using one of these techniques, and you’ll get some enjoyment out of putting away money for a rainy day.
1. Set A Dollar Goal
Instead of saying you’re going to save for a trip or an emergency, experts suggest choosing a dollar goal. Start with something that ensures instant success, such as $20. Put it into an account and then leave it alone. You’ve already reached your goal! Now, you can create new dollar goals as you go, adding that amount to the account each time you have it.
Create a small goal to make you feel like a winner right off, but then choose higher dollar amounts because reaching a goal that is harder to attain makes it much more likely that you’ll keep that money in the bank instead of using it for anything other than what you’re saving for.
For example, save the amount you need to pay the rent for one month or save however many dollars your college tuition for the year would be. These arbitrary goals make saving a bit more fun than just saying you have to put the money in the bank.
2. Stock Up On Necessities
This is a great tip for people who have a hard time not spending money when they have a little bit of extra on hand. Instead of blowing that cash on another new pair of shoes or a night out on the town, use it to stock up on things you absolutely need and will use up over time.
For example, buy a couple of boxes of contact lenses, or fill your cabinet with extra bottles of prescription or over the counter meds that you take every day. By doing this, you won’t see the money saved in a bank account, but you will save yourself from spending it on things you don’t need and then finding yourself short when you really need those meds or contact lenses. Other ideas include stocking up on baking goods if you use them a lot because they keep for several years.
Fill your shelves with coffee or your drawer with extra socks. That way you’re putting extra money to good use if you are someone who has to spend it when you have it. The trick is to stock up right away before you get the chance to blow the cash on something else.
3. Start A “Savings” Pinterest Board
Why does this work? Because it keeps what you’re saving for front and center. So if you want a trip to an island, pin photos of that place. If you’re saving for a pricey purse, pin photos of it. Once you have the ideal item pinned, save what you need to buy that item.
The trick here is that when you have the money, take stock of whether you actually still want or need the item. Perhaps you’ll decide that the money is better spent on home improvements or a new wardrobe for work. On the other hand, if you decide you still want that coveted Pinterest item, go ahead and buy it. After all, that’s what you were saving for, right?
4. Consider Your Money Security
One of the best ways to hold on to your extra money is to look at it as your security and power. When you know that you have the cash in case of an emergency, a home repair or a broken down car, you feel secure in that knowledge. The feeling of power and security you get from knowing that you can handle what life throws your way makes it more likely that you’ll want to hold onto that cash because you might need it someday.
For many people that looks a whole lot better than a new pair of shoes or a fancy vacation when something less expensive would work just as well.
5. Download A Savings App To Your Phone
When you really want saving money to be fun, consider putting an app on your phone that does just that. There are multitudes of money saving apps out there that help you put away a little bit of cash in an enjoyable way. Some such apps allow you to choose a given amount to transfer from your checking to your savings account once a week so that you don’t have to do anything but watch the balance in your savings account get bigger and bigger.
You can also find apps that help you put away a small amount every single day so that your balance gets bigger all the time. Seeing your balance get higher every day is certainly a fun way to save some extra money for whatever you need it for. Other apps will pay you to shop in certain places or take surveys.
If you have that money funneled right into your savings account, it’s easy to hold onto it rather than spending it. There are a plethora of apps for both Android and Apple users, so you should have no trouble finding the one that works for you.
As you can see, saving money doesn’t always have to be such a painful chore. There are options when you want to make it something you look forward to rather than something you dread. Whatever tactic you choose, it’s important to have some money put away. You never know when your basement will flood and you’ll need a new carpet or you’ll get laid off and you’ll need to pay the bills until you find something new.
In addition, a healthy savings account can help you out when you retire or if you decide to move, take a vacation or need to send your child to college. Having a savings account is a choice you’ll never regret making. If you need help, talk to a financial adviser or a manager at your bank for more information on your options and how you can save the maximum amount of money in the least painful, but most fun way possible.