Wouldn’t it be nice to go on vacation without having to put it on your credit card? If you put a little bit of money away each pay, by the time your holiday rolls around you will have it paid in full. The trick is….you might have to trick yourself into saving.
You won’t spend what you don’t see
One of the easiest tricks in the book for saving money is to have a certain amount deducted automatically from your cheque each payday and deposited into a tax-free savings account. You can set restrictions on this account so that the money cannot be accessed without having to go through a lengthy process – or until it reaches a certain amount. You can also set up an automatic retirement savings contribution to be deducted from your pay. It’s before taxes, and you get some of it back at tax time that you could spend on a trip. Have your pay deposited directly into your savings account and move a basic budget into your chequing account. The remainder will accumulate in your savings until you decide you really need it.
Is it a want or a need?
When you are writing up your monthly budget you might also write up a list of wants and needs for that month. You need a tune-up on your car, but you want to take a road trip this summer. You need to buy the kids new clothes, but you want to update your own wardrobe. Know where temptation lies. If you are likely to overspend or impulse-buy in a bookstore, shoe store or games shop, maybe you should stay out of those types of places until you have decided you can afford to make a purchase. Keep in mind that running a new car like the Chrysler 200 means you will have fewer maintenance and running costs than you would maintaining an older vehicle.
High-tech vs. low-tech savings techniques
The Internet offers a number of money-saving apps that you can set up on your phone. Technology can help, whether you are searching for the best buy online or looking for a nearby restaurant that is offering a discount. The Digit app actually takes money from your bank account and moves it into savings when it sees you have some to spare. This may be the best way to save if surplus funds are just going to burn a hole in your pocket. A simple way to curb your spending is to force a delay. If you remove your credit card information from your favourite online shopping sites, you will be forced to go and get your card and re-enter the details every time. Those few precious minutes might actually make you think twice about spending. Got spare change? Empty your pockets each night into a piggy bank on your dresser. It’s quirky, but it works.
We all need to take a look at our spending from time to time, to readjust our priorities. If you still have trouble saving and are guilty of impulse purchases, you might need to just leave your wallet at home.
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