I will be the first one to tell you, saving money is no fun. Spending money is super fun. But unfortunately, part of “adulting” is not living your life like a Leonardo DiCaprio gif.
Download helpful apps
How easy is it to just swipe your debit card without really looking at the amount? Apps like Digit do all the work for you and automate your savings. It uses a sophisticated algorithm to track your income and spending habits to determine how much is safe to save every week. You’ll never overdraft because it learns your utilities schedule, pay dates, etc. It just takes out a small chunk each week and sets it aside for you in a secure account.
Another helpful app is Trim. I used to look at my checking account all the time and think “what are these recurring charges for?” Subscriptions and bills can easily sneak up on you, and they’re often just small enough to not make a noticeable dent in your bank account. But that $14.95 Audible subscription you never use could actually save you $180/year. The little things add up quickly! Trim analyzes your spending habits and subscriptions and makes suggestions on what you could “trim” to save more money. Heck, they’ll even negotiate your cable and internet bill for you!
Add it into your budget
Even if you don’t physically have it written out, you have a budget in your head. You know when rent is due, when credit card payments are due, etc. Adding to your savings account should be just another “monthly expense” that you factor into your available funds. By having that mindset of it being a required payment each month, you are able to take that amount into account when managing your cash flow. Set a specific amount that you want to add each month and schedule yourself a reminder to “pay the bill.”
Keep paying off loans even after they’re paid off
I don’t mean to the lender. But if you’ve been paying off certain student loans or credit card debt and are finally down to a $0 balance, congrats! But don’t stop now. You’re already of the mindset that that amount is deducted from your account each month, just reallocate it. Instead of paying it toward the debt, pay the same amount into a savings account each month. It’s a great habit to develop and you’ll be really glad you did.
Fake it ’til you make it
If you remember my spending freeze last year, I talked a lot about the mental impact online shopping has on consumers. It’s almost like an addiction to order something online and wait for that little package to show up on your doorstep. As someone who is an avid shopper and lights up when she sees the word “sale,” I know how tempting it can be. This might seem like a really silly tip, but it has totally worked for me. Go ahead, shop your heart out. Scour the sale and add everything to your cart. And then, walk away. The reason online shopping is so tempting is because it provides that instant gratification from the comfort of your couch. It’s almost like your brain gets high off the process. I did this a lot during my spending freeze. I still went through the motions of shopping for all the things I normally wanted, but then I walked away. If I still wanted those items by the end of the week, I’d go back and take another look. But guess what? 99% of the time, I was over it. The thrill was gone. Because we don’t really need more stuff, we just want it. So get your fix by filling up your cart, and show restraint by walking away. Even better, take that amount you were going to spend in your cart and transfer it to your savings account.
You might also enjoy reading: New Goals To Set And Old Goals To Drop In The 2nd Half Of The Year and Whitney Leigh Morris On Purpose