Chances are you find it difficult to save money. You’re not alone.
The median American household has $4,830 in a savings account, according to a 2018 analysis by MagnifyMoney. Almost 30 percent of households have less than $1,000 saved.
Having $4,800 in savings is a great start and can help pay for minor emergencies and maybe a few months of living expenses. If you’re at that amount, you’re making a good effort. But saving more is a good idea. Here are some ways to trick yourself into saving money:
Automate: Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to a retirement or savings account. If possible, fund both. Chances are you won’t notice the lesser amount in your checking account—which is probably depleted every month—and your savings will grow without you realizing it.
Hide It: Park your savings account at a bank separate from the one you normally use for checking and other regular expenses. This will require you to visit another bank or log in to another website to withdraw from your savings. Sign up for paperless statements so that you’re less likely to know the balance.
Use Apps: Apps such as Digit, Acorns and even your bank can let you save small amounts of money with each transaction. Other apps analyze your checking account transactions and either move money you won’t miss into a savings account or invest your spare money.
Game It: Make saving money a game. Some people save $5 bills they get. One woman saved Lincolns for 13 years and saved $40,000, according to NBC News. To ensure you don’t lose the money, when the fives you’ve collected become $100, put the money into a savings account. When it hits $1,000, put it into a certificate of deposit, or CD.
Bank Windfalls: Whether a raise, work bonus, tax refund, lottery or gambling winnings, or any other extra type of windfall, put the money aside in a savings account. If it’s a significant amount of money from a raise at work, put all of it into a retirement savings account. But don’t cut yourself off from enjoying some of the money you’ve come into. Spend 10 percent of it on whatever you want, and save the rest.
By using some of these tricky strategies, you can slowly beef up your savings and discover that you’re financially prepared for emergencies, retirement or even a nice vacation.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.