The Saving Game
Published On June 2nd, 2010

Creating and maintaining a savings account requires patience and discipline. For those of us struggling with this important mindset, here are four strategies that might make it a bit easier.

Employ Your Employer – If you’re lucky enough to have an employer retirement plan, take advantage and sign up for automatic deposits. Even if it’s just $50 to $100 a pop, the savings can add up quickly, especially if your employer matches part or all of your qualified contributions. Think of it as another tax and, after awhile, you won’t even miss it on your check.

Re-Direct Your Deposits – Have your paycheck direct-deposited into a savings account instead of your checking account. This way, you’ll be forced to transfer money to your checking account before you write any checks or use your debit card. For whatever reason, it’s psychologically tougher to transfer money out of your savings account, and this extra step could trigger more thoughtful spending habits that can help you save money.

Pay It Forward – If you finish paying off a credit card or if you decide to tighten your belt and cancel a service like cable or an expensive gym membership, continue making those monthly payments right into your savings account. This way you actually see the savings and feel rewarded for your sacrifice.

Go Green – Why not set up a monthly cash budget using separate envelopes for things like gas, groceries and other essentials. Not only is it psychologically tougher to spend actual dollars than to swipe a credit or debit card, you can also save money on debit fees and take advantage of cash discounts at gas stations.

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