Saving money isn’t that hard. What’s hard is keeping money saved. Try these ideas:
- Automate it: Willpower is overrated. Set up automatic transfers.
- Hide it: Set up savings accounts at a separate institution from the one that has your checking account, so you’re not seeing your savings balance every time you log on.
- Name it: Labeling an account with its purpose can be a powerful deterrent to tapping money for other uses.
- Use an app: Digit analyzes your checking account transactions, then transfers money into a Digit savings account. Acorns does something similar but looks across all your accounts.
- Lock it up: You should keep at least $500 cash easily accessible for small emergencies. Beyond that, consider creating barriers to accessing the money.
- Save your rewards: Use a cash-back rewards credit card for your expenses, pay the balance in full every month and regularly transfer the rewards to your savings account or IRA.
- Divert it: Every time you cancel a subscription, disconnect a service or pay off a debt, divert that monthly payment into savings.
- Bank your windfalls: Carve out 10 percent of any extra money that lands in your lap — rebates, bonuses, refunds — to spend any way you want and then save the rest.
- Make it a game: Save every $5 or $10 bill that wanders into your wallet. Stuff every $1 bill you get into a jar.