If using cash, at the end of the day, empty your wallet. See any five-dollar bills? Nab 'em and put 'em in an envelope. Do this every day, and at the end of the month, deposit the bills into a savings account. You'll be putting money you would have spent on other things into savings, and you'll trick your brain into making it part of your daily routine. You'd be surprised how quickly it all adds up.Spend Money to Save Money
Jean Chatzky, financial expert and author of Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security, says that sometimes, it saves to pay. "I know it sounds untraditional, but I was a victim of the $30 blowout (once a week, sometimes twice) until I spent nearly $200 on a really good flat iron," she says. "Now I still go for special occasions, but it saved me at least $1,500, and probably more like $2,000, a year." Is there something that you splurge on that you can cut down? Try investing in favorite coffee to make at home, an awesome topcoat for your DIY mani, or an ice-pop maker to make your own frozen (cheap) treats.Hide the Money (From Yourself)
The reason 401(k) plans work is explained in Chatzky's money rule: If you can't see it and you can't touch it, you won't spend it, she says. Automatically transferring money from checking into savings, an IRA, a 529 Plan, or even an account with a different bank where you get a slightly higher rate of interest (think online banks like ING) works spectacularly.Grocery Shop Online
It's harder to avoid those impulse buys when you're seeing it on the shelf (and when you know you can dig into that cupcake soon). "That's why I'm now an online grocery shopping devotee," says Chatzky. You save money because you don't buy on impulse, and you can save gas to boot. Plus, many online services store your list, so you can get all your basics in one click (saving you time). Even with the $5 to $10 delivery fee, "I more than make up for it," says Chatzky.Transfer Balances
If you have a credit card that seems to be killing you with fees, here's what to do: Call customer service and ask to lower your interest rate. If they say no, speak to a supervisor. And if that supervisor says no, speak to his or her supervisor. If you still hit a dead end, look for a cheaper card to transfer your balance to (hint: go to lowcards.com to find one). "But don't close the old card unless the annual fee is ridiculous, advises Chatzky. "Closing it will take your credit score down."
Tell us: How do you trick yourself into saving more money?Check out ways to cut costs on everythingPlus, marriage saving sinsNestpert:
Jean Chatzky is the Today finance editor, host of Cash Call on RLTV and author of the new book Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security
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