Increasing your savings account doesn’t have to be painful. Even if you’re on a tight budget there is usually a spare dollar or two you can add to your savings. If you work on getting yourself into a savings habit, then you can enjoy watching your money grow. Here are a few tips we use:
1. Donate a dollar to yourself Every morning take a dollar out of your wallet and add it to your money stash. You won’t notice the difference in your pocket, but you will see your savings grow faster. If you can spare two dollars, do it! Use a large change jar, empty milk carton, or some other designated container. It’s not so important where you collect the money just as long as you collect it. Periodically remove the money and deposit it in your savings account.
2. Save your change At the end of each day put the change from your pocket into the jar. These amounts will add up surprisingly fast as long as you do this consistently.
3. Set up automatic deposits Your bank can set up automatic deposits to your savings account each week. The trick is to find an amount that you won’t miss from your paycheck and have it deposited on your paydays. Even a small amount like $5 or $10, will add up over time.
4. Let the credit card company add your change Several large credit card companies have a rewards program. Some programs work similarly to the change jar. They round each purchase up to the nearest dollar and put the change in your savings. Some companies even match a percentage of your savings from this method, so it’s free money to your savings!
5. Put your savings in an account that pays a higher interest rate Check with your bank for their rates on mutual fund or money market accounts. As your savings grow CDs pay better interest than regular savings accounts and they give you an incentive to leave it and let it grow.
6. Start a tax-deferred retirement account Check with your employer about putting automatic deposits into a 401(K) plan. Make the amount small enough so that it doesn’t affect your lifestyle. Your employer might even match a percentage of your deposits! If they don’t have a retirement fund program, then talk with your bank or an investment advisor about starting an IRA.
7. Buy at a discount and save the difference For items that you were going to buy anyway see if you can find them on sale and then put the difference in your savings. Make the effort to use some coupons at the grocery store and then save your savings from your coupon items. As you see your savings grow from this method, “couponing” becomes more fun!