Retire On Your Terms

4 Creative Ways to Start Saving

Saving money is an important part of leading a successful and financially independent lifestyle. While saving can help fund big-ticket items such as cars, homes, or vacations, it also serves as part of a balanced preparation for a stress-free retirement.

However, it can be difficult to begin saving money – especially when you’ve grown accustomed to spending a significant amount of your paycheck. To help get over the initial heartache that may come with handing over a percentage of your salary to a savings account, here are a few pain-free and creative strategies that can help you get into the habit.

  1. Use a budget-tracking app. With the advent of online banking, balancing a checkbook has become a lost art. Luckily, there are several ways to stay accountable by utilizing the multitude of budgeting apps that have developed in the past few years.  These apps allow you to track how much and where you are spending your hard-earned income. Many have extra features such as reminders to stick to your established budget and notifications for when you have bills to pay or you’ve hit savings goals. Check out our home budget calculator here, along with a list that Forbes compiled.
  2. Trick yourself into saving. By rounding your payments up and paychecks down, you can begin to save incrementally with virtually no effort; this is especially useful if you use a budget-tracking app. For example, if you bought something for $27.50, you could round up and record that you spent $30 while transferring the rest to your savings. Similarly, if you are paid $207.00 each week, rounding down to $200.00 could eventually result in significant savings with minimal pain.
  3. Use cash for spending on entertainment. If you have a habit of overspending while having a good time, try hiding your debit and credit cards and using cash for your weekend adventures. By making a decision beforehand to limit yourself to a core amount of money, you can better track your money and avoid spending too much without realizing it.
  4. Avoid lifestyle inflation after a raise. Make the decision to put half of your additional revenue into savings. That way, you can enjoy having more money than before while also enjoying all the benefits that saving brings. After a few raises, you’ll be putting more money into your savings account than you ever thought you could.