5 steps on the path to saving

Saving, like exercise, is all about the first step. Getting started can be the hardest part. Once you get going, though, you do it without a second thought.

That’s what happened to me when I began adding to the amount from my check that was automatically devoted to savings. We can come up with reasons every day for not saving, but rarely are they good reasons.

Consider this a nudge, the little push you may need to start putting a dollar or two away. Every little bit counts.

A penny a day...start saving now. Credit: coinnews.net

A penny a day...start saving now. Credit: coinnews.net

The Frugal Living blog suggests these tips:

1. Set up Auto draft: Relying on your good intention alone to set aside the funds may not be enough. Use an auto draft to take your temptation out of the equation.

2. Hang on to your change: I’ll admit I don’t keep my change in a piggy bank. I have change in a wooden shoe (souvenir present from my parents that I didn’t know exactly what to do with). I have change in a plastic cup. I have quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies in the box my medicine ball came in. While my method isn’t the greatest, the point is that I keep my change. You should too. It adds up!

3. Save your rebates: Consider depositing all your rebate checks into a savings account.

4. Bank your raise: Your raise could come from your employer. Or it might come as a raise in the money you have left over each month after the bills are paid. I paid off my car recently and began putting part of the old payment toward another bill, and the other part into my savings. Don’t waste it all on guilty pleasures.

5. Hide your money: By this, I don’t mean hide it under a mattress or in a jar in the backyard. Sound familiar anyone? Think about using a second banking institution for your savings and checking accounts. You won’t want to bother going to both, or operating from both, so you’ll be less tempted to fuss with your savings.

How did you jump-start your saving habit? What hurdles do you run into now, or in the past?

4 comments Add your comment

MJ

July 29th, 2009
11:35 am

I bought a little plastic coin sorter from an office supply store. It’s near the door and I empty my pockets of spare change as soon as I get home. When it’s full, I just slide the coins into paper sleeves. So far I’ve deposited about $37 into my savings account from doing this.

Change adds up (and earns interest), time to clean out that wooden shoe!

MatthewH

July 29th, 2009
12:54 pm

Bank of America has a great “Keep the Change” program. Every time you use your debit card, they round the purchase up to the next dollar and take that money from your checking acc’t and put it into your savings account. They also do a match at your anniversary of signing up for the program. Since I always used to round my purchases up (to make balancing the checkbook easier) this was not painful at all. As of now, I have “saved” over $700 in this program. And no, I don’t work for BofA.

AngelaS

July 29th, 2009
2:14 pm

My husband and I have been emptying our change EVERY FRIDAY for the past 2 1/2 years. To date we have saved $2800 in CHANGE. It’s definitely a great way to save money.

JRW

July 29th, 2009
10:42 pm

My husband and I do this and each year use the money for a vacation. This method definitely works!