If you think that paying yourself first is easier said than done, here are some ideas to get started:
Begin by looking at your want expenses. Are there some wants you could do without?
Include “savings” as part of your spending plan. Make “saving” an expense in your money map. Make it come before spending for things you want but may not need.
Try putting $1 a day, plus your pocket change, into a large envelope or jar. Keep it in a safe place. At the end of the month, deposit that money into your savings account. This can REALLY add up! (Save one dollar each day, just seven dollars each week, and you can save $365 in a year!)
When you shop for items like food and clothes, look for things that are on sale.
Try shopping at thrift stores or garage sales. You can pick up some great bargains this way.
Use coupons to save on the items you are shopping for.
Break expensive habits, such as excessive clothes-buying, drinking, or smoking, and save the difference.
Try a savings app on your smart phone like Acorns or Digit to save automatically.
When you purchase a product, send in any rebate forms. Most people forget to take advantage of this savings tool.
If possible, have your employer automatically deduct money from your paycheck and deposit it into your savings account. What you don’t see, you won’t miss. Even if the amount is small, you’ll be amazed how fast your savings grow.
Another option is to have your bank or credit union automatically deduct a set amount from your checking account each month and deposit it in your savings account.
Put any tax refund, raise, or bonus you receive into savings rather than spending it.
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Drop your spare change into the Coinstar Center machine at your local grocery store in exchange for a gift card. You may be charged a small fee if you decide you want a cash voucher instead of a gift card.
Buy yourself a digital coin bank so you can track how much you’re saving when you drop in your spare change!