There are methods you can use to spend less and save more that won't seem like a hardship or burden.
Saving money seems daunting. Nobody wants to stash hard-earned cash when it could happily be spent on the here and now — perhaps a concert or trip to the beach. But saving also doesn’t mean you have to take hundreds of dollars out of your paycheck. There are plenty of ways to save and not feel like you’re saving at all.
1. Put an extra dollar into savings each week
I found this simple savings plan on Reddit. Here’s how it works: In the first week, you put just $1 into your savings account. The second week, you put in $2. The third week, you add $3, and so on. You see where this is going. By Week 52, you’re adding $52 to your savings account, and you’ve saved about $1,500 in a year.
2. Consider how much you make in an hour
Before you splurge on a new Coach bag or flat-screen TV, think about how many hours you’ll have to work in order to pay for that item. If you calculate several weeks of work, you might rethink your large purchase and have more money to put into savings instead.
3. Join a bank that offers “hidden” savings
Bank of America has a program called Keep the Change. Each purchase made with a Bank of America debit card is basically rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is moved to the member’s savings account, where it builds interest.
4. Turn your hobby into a part-time job
Are you a musician? Why not set up local gigs and get paid for your talents? Do you like to write? Consider a freelance job. The money you earn on the side can go into savings, while your day job pays for other necessities.
5. Hide your credit card
Out of sight, out of mind. We’re not saying you should ditch credit cards completely, but if you only use them every once in a while, you won’t accrue more debt than you can pay off each month. Leaving your credit card at home just means you’ll only be able to spend money you actually have.
6. Keep the change
At the end of each day, put your change in a jar. You’ll be surprised to see how much all those pennies and nickels amount to at the end of a year or even just a few months.