3 Smart Ways to Start Growing Your Savings
Anyone who knows anything about personal finance knows that it’s important to set aside savings for large purchases, unforeseen expenses, and eventual retirement. Unforunately for many, saving is something they know they should do but spending often proves itself to be far more fun. Thankfully there are a few ways you can beat your spending addiction and force yourself to start or grow your savings.
If you’re really ready to start paying yourself and building your savings, here are a few clever ways of achieving that goal.
Set up automatic transfers
By far the easiest and most popular method for setting aside savings is to automate your transfers. This can be done in a few different ways. For one, if you have direct deposit, you may be able to tell your employer or their payroll company to divide your paycheck between savings and checking. Alternatively many banks offer some sort of automated transfers from checking to savings, be it on a monthly or weekly basis.
Some other possible solutions lie in third-party apps and services. For example the mobile app Clairity Money offers a feature for setting up automated savings you can adjust to your liking. Similarly the investment app Acorns can also serve as a savings routine, although you should watch out for the fees the service charges. Additionally, since your Acorns money is actually invested, it is possible to you could end up losing some of those savings.
“Lock yourself out” of your savings
One potential problem with automatic transfers is that you can often just as easily transfer the money back to checking and splurge away. That’s why it may make sense to up the stakes and make it harder on yourself to access your designated savings. One way to achieve with is with a certificate of deposit (CD).
CDs are offered with various term lengths ranging from a few months to several years. Should you try to pull your money before that end date, you’ll likely be subject to a penalty that will hopefully dissuade you from doing so. But what’s really great about CDs is that it will typically offer a much greater interest rate than a standard savings accounts — in particular if you choose to go with an online institution. Rates may also depend on the length of the CD.
Obviously it’s not a good idea to “lock up” money you may need for unexpected expenses as the amount you’ll pay in credit card interest will far exceed what you make from your CD. However, worse comes to worst, you can take the minor hit by pulling your money early… just don’t intend on doing so if you don’t have to.
If all else fails, perhaps the key to getting to you to stop splurging and start saving is to try using cash instead of your cards. It may seem silly, but given how we have become used to seeing our money only as a number on a screen, the act of breaking a bill and watching your cash supply dwindle can actually have a powerful effect on your spending habits. As a result you may want to try switching to cash and budgeting using the envelopes method in order to help grow your savings. While we’re on the subject of savings, putting your spare change in a “piggy bank” might also do more to jump-start your savings than you realize, especially if you start dealing more in cash.
Setting aside savings is a prime example of the “easier said than done” cliche. For many of us the best way to make a switch and actually start saving is to essentially trick yourself into saving by changing the way our brains think about money. So whether you choose to automate your savings transfers, lock yourself out of your money using a CD, or try returning to good old cash and feeding a piggy bank, hopefully these smart plans of attack allow you to finally start saving the way you should.