I think it’s really funny/cool how we all do things that forces us to save money sometimes. Like we can’t do it without tricking ourselves or something ;)
This new blog I started reading – Master the Art of Saving – talks about stashing $1 coins in her house (the gold ones, which she refers to as “pirates gold” haha….) and how storing them in a box high up in her closet keeps her from spending them! Plus the fact she just really LOVES the way they look, haha… They’re pretty dope.
I find myself doing stuff like that too. I have wads of cash both in my safe, and my currency album (naturally), but also outside in my car’s console. It just makes me feel safe! And when I start saving up cold hard cash like that, it gets even harder for me to unload it later. Like, once I hit X amount in “real” money, the odds of it going anywhere gets cut down dramatically. If I were a smart man, it would probably serve me well switching over to a 100% cash system, haha… it’s just I really don’t have the patience for it ;)
Something else I realized I was doing was ONLY investing money in my retirement accounts – never outside of them. At first it was mainly for the tax benefits, but then it actually forced me to leave that money alone! There’s no dipping into it or cashing out cuz I know I’d be taxed up the wazoo even if I dared. So when it’s invested, it’s invested all the way. And the beauty is I can still sell crap stocks and anything else I want to do too! The money just remains in the respective accounts instead of in my pockets. Pretty much like a normal brokerage account, except I don’t get taxed on it (yet) and I can’t take the money out and spend it on anything. It keeps me in check.
Do you guys do anything like that? Find ways to force yourself to save better? I thought it would be cool to see what other people were doing online, so I asked around on Twitter and Facebook, and got quite a few tips in return :) Maybe you’ve tried some?
- @Talar13 – Whenever I intentionally save money, I move it out of my checking acct. Ex: if I save $15 using coupons, I then transfer $15 into my savings acct!
- @1bets1 – Every payday I make a deposit, but record $100 less. It adds up.
- @JessOtwell – After a non-essential purchase, I always put 50% of that cost into savings. Can’t afford to? Then I don’t buy it!
- @JBird_1205 – I buy a roll of quarters every paycheck & put them in the change jar.
- @MoneyTalksCoach – If I get paid in cash, I stash it away & don’t count it as ever being received.
- @BoomerandEcho – I make a forecast of income + expenses for a whole year, then funnel any unspent money from any category into savings.
- @jopinion– I have a bank account that I have no debit cards or checks for- I call it the fun fund.
- @inexpensively – I use an online savings account specifically so I don’t have easy access to the funds
- Jen – I set up auto-transfers every weekday of $1 & $2 through ING.
- Phil Villarreal – I’d say the best way is to use personal finance software to make yourself arduously catalog and break down every purchase. For instance, an $80 trip to Target would mean a mandatory 10-minute endeavor in which you have to break down every item into its specific category, making you think twice before tossing random products into your basket on the next trip.
- Adam Piplica – Hide money in a non-online bank that you have to actually walk too – that way you can’t easily transfer it back into your checking account!
At the end though, it really doesn’t matter *how* you end up saving money, just that you DO. If you find a way that works like crazy, run with it! And if not, keep on trying new things until something sticks. Sometimes you just gotta find that rhythm.
Have some of your own tricks to share with us? Drop ’em below so we can all learn from ya!
(Image courtesy of Jen)