These techniques can help you effectively reach your intended goal:
1. Plan ahead. The more prepared you are, the better. If you’re planning a major event for your 20th anniversary, for example, you could start saving for it just after your 19th passes by. If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater system, look at the price and determine how long it would take you to reasonably acquire that amount of money.
- All you need to do is find the price of the item, decide when you want to make the purchase, and then divide the price by the number of weeks until the purchase date. The answer tells you how much to put aside each week.
- Start planning for your special purchase well ahead of the event because the longer time you have to save, the less money you’ll need to save during each pay period.
2. The power of the change jar. Did you have a piggy bank (or some variation of it) when you were a child? Piggy banks instill the idea of saving money in you at a young age. Little did you know that the same principle could be applied later on in life! Your extra change can be a very powerful savings tool.
- At the end of each day, simply put your left-over change into a container and leave it there. It’s rather brilliant in its simplicity. You usually round-up when you pay anyway, so as far as you’re concerned, that money doesn’t exist.
- As time goes on, the container will fill up and that jar of change will turn out to be a pretty hefty chunk of money.
- Roll up your coins and take them to the bank to trade them in. It may not be as convenient as those coin counting machines in the grocery store, but you’ll save the 8% fee. Besides, you can make a game out of it with your kids!
3. Put off superfluous purchases. If you’re saving up for a major purchase, a good way to speed up the process is to cut out any unnecessary purchases. You can always pick up the item after you get what you were saving for. Putting off unimportant purchases will make it easier for you to reach your goal — and your reward — that much sooner.
4. The electronic change jar. A lot of banks have implemented automatic transfer programs that mirror the change jar. It started with Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program, where any debit purchase triggered a transfer of the difference up to the next dollar. For example a $5.85 purchase would transfer $0.15 to your savings account.
- Like the change jar, it’s a great way to subtly put money aside. One of the great perks is that some banks match a small percentage and add it as a deposit to your savings account at the end of the year. It’s like getting free money just for saving your change!