Saving more of your income is a noble goal but one that many people give up on too easily. For Americans 70% have less than $1,000 in savings and 1 out of 3 have no retirement savings.
You don’t have to be one of the negative statistics. The biggest challenge in saving money is simply developing the habit. Once you develop the habit you’ll be able to adjust your savings rate up and down based on your circumstances.
If you’re ready to start the savings habit here are a few easy ways to consider.
Participate in an Easy Money Saving Challenge
In January of each year a bunch of different money saving challenges begin to pop up. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be January for you to join in. You’ll get benefit out of these no matter the time of year.
Here are some of the most popular money challenges to consider.
Save All $5 Bills– For an easy challenge save all of the $5 bills you come in contact with. Consider putting all money into a savings account on a monthly basis so that you aren’t as tempted to spend it.
A Penny for Each Day– This challenge, also known as the 365 day money challenge, has a simple premise. On day one you’ll save $0.01 and will add another cent for each corresponding day. (On day 365 you’ll be saving $3.65.) At the end of one year you’ll have accumulated $667.95
The 52 Week Money Challenge – With this challenge you’ll save one dollar for each week of the year. For instance one week one you’ll save $1, on week 2 you’ll save $2 and so on. At the end of one year you’ll have accumulated $1,378 with this challenge.
Save $20 Per Pay – Like to keep it simple? Save $20 or more out of each of your paychecks. Have the money automatically transferred to savings each payday.
Up Your Retirement Contributions by 5%
If retirement is your main savings concern an easy way to save more is to up your contribution by a small amount on a regular basis. Consider upping your contributions by 5% twice a year, 1% per month or use another percentage and timeframe.
I personally like to go into my retirement account every few months and simply increase the contributions by $20 or add lump sums when possible.
Use Digit to Save
If you’re the type of person who needs to trick yourself into saving the Digit app could be a perfect fit.
Digit is an app you can download on your phone and that comes with a savings account once set up. You link your checking account to Digit and they will monitor your spending patterns and take small amounts of money out of your checking account and deposit them into your Digit Savings account.
You can adjust the settings to that Digit never draws your checking account past your desired balance. You can then withdraw your Digit savings at any time through their app.
Roundup Your Change with Acorns
Another useful app that will help you both save and invest is Acorns. With Acorns you’ll link your checking account to their app and every time you make a purchase they will roundup your change and invest it for you.
You can also make extra investments from your phone whenever you like. You can check out Acorns here.
Two Important Savings Tips
There are many different easy ways to save money you can take advantage of. At the end of the day there are two things you need to make sure you’re doing.
First, be consistent. Consistency in saving is what is going to help you create a good habit. It doesn’t matter the amount of money you’re saving as long as you are doing it on a regular basis.
The second thing you need to do is keep the money out of sight. When money is out of sight it’s out of mind and therefore less likely to be spent. Consider setting up an online savings account that is at a different bank than your checking. Since it takes most transfers between banks at least two days you won’t be able to impulsively spend your money.