In a world where you find yourself trapped by voices that scream for you to blow all of your money away into a mountain of debt, building a viable savings account can be really hard. But whether your savings plan requires $1 per week or $100 per month, the problem is more likely to stem from lack of willpower. But, I'm not here to lecture you. Here are four ways to trick yourself into saving money instead.
1. Switch savings accounts
Banks regularly offer cash bonuses or better initial interest rates on savings accounts for people who are first-time account holders. You can easily get $250 deposited into your savings account just by moving your personal finances to a new bank. Repeat this three to four times per year and you can make up to $1,000 just in free money.
2. Set up autopilot
Pay yourself first, as the old adage in personal finance goes. It's actually a simple, but often overlooked, trick when saving money. Treat your savings account just like another recurring monthly expense. Once you've paid off the rent, utilities, and other obligations, allocate a portion of your paycheck to your savings account. Better yet, set up your bank accounts so that a fixed amount coming into your checking account is automatically redirected to a separate savings account before you have a chance to spend it.
3. Don't underestimate spare change
Pennies and quarters don't buy you a car or house, but spare change saved over time can pay for your next night out of town, or at least, a taxi cab. Empty the change from your wallet and the ones in your pants' pockets at least every week. Save them all up in a jar, and then exchange them at your local bank. There are also coin exchange stations in some supermarkets if you don't want to pay the small fee that banks charge for counting and converting your change.
4. Use investing apps
Apps like Acorn offer people the ability to invest their spare change in stocks and index funds automatically. Simply connect your bank account to their app and they'll invest the residual amount from any expenses that are charged to the bank account. For instance, if you have a $3.50 purchase on your debit card, the app takes the $0.50 and reinvests it, making your total cost an even $4.
5. Wrapping up
Saving money consistently can be difficult due to the mental and psychological barriers and the way that our minds are programmed. Fortunately, tricks like the four mentioned above can help overwrite that consumer-driven mindset, and help you gain the financial control you need to build a cozy cushion against life, as well as, freeing yourself from debt.