It’s post-holiday season and you’re rolling into the new year with the resolution of saving more in 2016. You’re only problem? Where do you begin – especially with all the sales happening everywhere?
You know what phenomenon I’m talking about. The “buy 3, get 1 free!” when you surely only need one, or the “save $50 on the new PS4” that tempts you to buy one or two more games. These are almost too good to pass up, but don’t necessarily help you save the extra dollars you were hoping to put away this year.
In fact, many times great coupon deals trick you into spending more than you actually would have in the first place. To avoid falling into these money traps, here are some helpful ways that you can spend while you save – at the exact same time.
Put Away the Promo Savings
You are correct in thinking that the PS4 promo is a fabulous deal, but rethink your methods once you’ve decided to purchase the gaming console. Sure, the $50 you’re saving will buy a new game, but it’s also money that you would have spent purchasing the console without the deal. Take the literal definition of “save $50,” and actually save it.
Sign up to Save Without Thinking
Saving doesn’t always have to be a large sum. One free service that really does help you save without thinking is Digit Savings. You simply connect your bank account, and Digit analyzes your balance, saving only what it calculates you can afford around two to three times per week. The amounts are so small, you’ll rarely even know they’ve been taken out. Seriously, last month alone, I saved $500 without me really noticing. It’s such an awesome feeling.
Over time, the savings will add up, making it a happy end-of-the-year surprise. Don’t worry: If at any point you need to access the saved funds during the year, they are easily transferrable back to your bank. It’s all taken care of by simple phone commands.
Round up and Save Up
Another easy way to make that change count is to make a habit of rounding up your purchases. Keep a change jar or transfer the difference to your savings account each time you buy something. For example, you spend $4.55 on a coffee. That extra 45 cents won’t buy you much by itself, but over time, those little bits of change will start to add up.
Give yourself an even bigger incentive by making your round-up savings purchase be a long-awaited treat – like those shoes you’ve been eyeing every day at mall, or that camera you’ve longed to get your hands on. With a tangible goal at the end of your savings adventure, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your plan.
Treat Yourself and Your Savings Account
Make it a rule that every time you decide to splurge on an item you’ve been desperately wanting, you also match the same amount to your savings. This will not only help you cut down on extensive impulse buying, but you also won’t have the same buyer’s guilt that normally accompanies the new video game, shirt or pair of shoes that winds up in your cart at the end of the shopping trip.
Read Your Receipts
Those routine trips to the grocery store usually involve shopping around for the best price and using the coupons you’ve found in the Sunday paper or online. However, have you actually paid attention to the amount you save on these shopping trips?
It’s probably safe to assume that you don’t usually analyze your grocery receipts in great detail. Instead, pay close attention to the savings amount listed at the bottom, and match that number in your savings account. For example, say you saved $34.58 the last time you made a grocery run. Yes, technically it’s virtual money that you may or may not have spent without a coupon or sale. Get literal about it, and put the $34.58 away. Groceries will start to have a greater purpose.
No matter what method you decide to try, you can build your savings. It’s not impossible. These suggestions are just a few ways to help you get your savings on track for 2016.