If you’ve noticed your bills creeping up lately, you’re not alone! Summer can easily lead to increased spending. Even with planned expenses for vacations, dining out, and other summer activities, additional costs can sneak up on you. Electricity bills, for example, can put a big dent in your budget. They certainly have in ours, especially given the recent heatwaves! Luckily, if you’re keen on holding onto your dollar bills, there are easy ways to trick yourself into saving more money.
Save More Money
Don’t let summer fun affect your bottom line. Stay on budget this season and beyond with these simple tricks!
1. Automate Your Savings
Pay yourself first. Adjust your 401(k) contribution and/or schedule recurring transfers to your savings account(s). If your employer allows for direct deposit with multiple accounts, you can even arrange to have a portion of your paycheck deposited into a savings or brokerage account. When you automate your savings, you don’t see your full paycheck in your bank account, so there’s less temptation to spend! It tricks you into living below your means.
2. Overestimate Your Bills
Give yourself a nice cushion by overestimating your bills. Tack on an extra $50 or so to your monthly expenses. Not only will this give you a little wiggle room for “just-in-case” situations, but if you don’t need it, it will just roll over into the next month.
3. Strategize Pay Increases and Bonuses
Wisely allocate your pay increases and bonuses. Extra earnings can be divided and directed toward debt payments, investments, savings, and splurges. It can be tempting to spend as you earn, especially when your salary increases. However, if you can minimize or prevent lifestyle inflation from impacting your financial obligations, then you’re able to maximize savings.
4. Keep Budgeting for Loans Already Paid Off
This clever method of saving is borrowed from the debt snowball method. This debt-repayment strategy, originally popularized by personal financial consultant Dave Ramsey, entails paying down the smallest debt sums first, then rolling those payments into the next largest balance, and so on and so forth until all debt is paid.
If you no longer have debt, you can use this method as a savings strategy: Take the monthly amount you were applying towards your previous loan and put it into your savings or investment account. Saving more money is easy this way because you’re already accustomed to setting that amount aside!
5. Connect with Other Savers
Spending time with other savers is one of the most effective strategies to increase your savings. This social outlet will help you stay focused, learn new strategies, and remain motivated. Whether you choose to connect in person or online, a community of like-minded people (e.g., savvy savers!) will share similar interests and hobbies, which can naturally encourage you to stick to your own goals.
6. Fund a High Yield Savings Account
Open a high yield savings account (HYSA) for the best bang for your buck. If your money sits in a standard checking account, it’s not earning as much interest as it could! Some HYSAs are currently offering up to 5.00% APY, which is much higher than the national average of 0.06% APY on standard checking accounts. If you’re not funding a HYSA, you’re leaving easy money on the table!
Stay On Budget
Many situations can have an impact on a budget; they can be planned events, spontaneous fun, or unexpected emergencies. Either way, it’s a good idea to have some extra cushioning to be able to afford what must be paid. Saving money doesn’t have to be synonymous with deprivation, especially when there are super simple ways to make it happen!
How do you trick yourself into saving more money?