For some people, saving money is the financial equivalent of going on a diet.
It’s the cake that you can happily ignore for weeks or months on end, until the very day that you decide you need to get Beach Body ready – then you just have to have that cake.
If you always seem to go into overdrive, determined to leak every bit of money out of your bank account, just after making the decision to save money, this article is for you.
I’ll share with you 5 ways to trick yourself into saving money, without having to feel like you are making any sacrifices, or changing your spending habits too much.
You’ll increase your savings so discreetly that the inner voice that usually says “don’t save, buy it now!” won’t even realise what you are doing, until it’s too late.
The aim with this is not only to increase your savings, that’s only the short term goal. The long term goal is to change your money mindset, so that after you see results, and realise that it was fun, and that no major sacrifices were involved, you’ll start to feel GOOD about saving money.
Rather than dreading having to save, or self-sabotaging, saving money will become a fun challenge and you’ll look forward to doing it.
So let’s dive into my 5 tips to trick yourself into saving money:
No Spend Days
This tip is for you if you buy a coffee on the way to work, eat lunch from the local Deli every day, spend your free time at lunch online shopping from your favourite store because they have a 30% off sale that only lasts for today.
Then you buy another coffee or treat on the way home, or meet friends for drinks or dinner after work.
Just 2 No Spend Days a week will save you a lot of money and it is so easy to do it, with a little bit of planning.
I wrote about my two favourite money saving tips and coffee was a big part of it. I love my coffee. But I love the savings I make by NOT buying a coffee every day even more.
Have a coffee before you leave the house or better still, get one of those cup flasks so you can make a lovely coffee at home and take it with you in the car or on the train.
Take lunch from home, and not just a boring sandwich. Make it a lovely lunch (leftovers from last night’s yummy dinner or your favourite salad).
Leave your credit card at home and do not look at your emails during your lunch so that you won’t be tempted by the sales promotions. There will always be another sale next week.
If your friends want to meet up, suggest a movie night at your house (they’ll probably bring wine!) or arrange your No Spend Days for the days that you are not meeting friends.
You only need to do 2 a week to make a big impact over the next 6 months.
Set a (FUN) Savings Goal
Saving for a large purchase such as a new fridge or renovating your driveway is important, but it’s not exactly inspiring.
If you hate saving, these are the types of goals that make you groan on the inside, rather than get excited about them, and inner-groaning is exactly the sort of response that will tempt you to spend, spend, spend rather than save, save, save!
Try telling yourself that you are saving for something exciting like a holiday or something off your Bucket List that you’ve always wanted to do.
You’ll still be putting money in your account for the new driveway or fridge. But when you do, focus and visualise only about your holiday, or the helicopter ride that you’ve been promising yourself for many years.
Every dollar that goes into the savings fund will seem like it is taking you one step closer to those exciting goals.
Give Thanks for What You SPEND
You’re probably thinking, hang on, she’s just told me to try and save money and now she’s telling me to give thanks for spending it.
Well the reasoning behind this is that when we overspend or avoid saving, we tend to spend our money mindlessly.
We don’t even think about all the little bits of money that we’re spending throughout the day, but over weeks or months, it really adds up.
So this tip is to make you more conscious about money. Every time you spend any money, even just a dollar, say thank you for whatever it is you get in return, and that includes paying your bills.
When you are paying your cable bill, give thanks for being able to watch your favourite shows or films. Next time you are paying your telephone bill, give thanks for being able to keep in touch with your family or friends.
Then start to notice all money that comes into your life, not just your pay check, every bit of money, large or small, that comes to you.
If a relative gives you a gift, or you get a refund or bonus that you were not expecting, accept it, acknowledge it and say THANK YOU.
This is especially important when the money is completely unexpected. You’ll be amazed at how much money you start to notice by doing this.
Save Your Savings
I never buy anything without first having a look online for a discount voucher.
In fact, I haven’t bought at full price for many years, and have saved hundreds, probably thousands of dollars by doing this. Even if it’s only a free delivery code, it’s still saved money.
If I want to buy something such as a new washing machine, I check out the prices in various shops and online to find the best price with a money off voucher.
When I can’t find one, I buy it through one of the cash back websites such as Ebates.
It takes me a bit of time to go through this process, but for more expensive purchases it is well worth the effort. Never pay the price you see in the first shop.
But what do you do when you save that money on your purchases? You usually just spend it on something else. Am I right?
This tip is simple, put any savings that you make with discount codes, cash back and money off vouchers into a savings account.
When you save $4 on delivery, move that $4 over to your savings account and then forget about it. If you get $30 cash back, put it straight into your savings account rather than into your main account.
That’s it! You won’t miss the money at all and within a couple of months you will have a nice sum of money in your savings pot.
Automate Your Savings
This is one of the easiest ways to save money.
You can set up automatic payments from your main account to go into your savings account a couple of days after every payday. Once it is set up, you don’t have to get involved at all, it will happen automatically.
This tip is great for people who look at their bank balance and spend money if it’s there.
The money will go out of your account just after you get paid, so you won’t miss it and won’t have a chance to spend it.
If you’re into technology and like to use apps on your phone, there are all sorts of apps available that you can use to save little bits of money throughout the month. We have at least 5 or 6 here in the UK that can do anything from saving your spare change (by rounding up your $33.56 purchase to $34 and putting the difference into your savings account) to investing small amounts of cash directly into stocks and shares.
Most apps are specific to a particular country, so search online for “best money saving apps + Canada” or whichever country you are in.
Be sure to check the reviews from people who are already using it. Find out which ones have the best reviews and are user friendly.
I really hope you have found at least one or two of these tips useful.
If you start implementing them today, it won’t be long before you start to see a real difference with your savings account balance.