I’ve always been super good at hoarding money. Though hoarding is typically frowned upon, I think this case calls for exception. It’s normal for me to feel broke. I can have a thousand bucks cash and feel broke. This is because I create untouchable money. Theoretically speaking.
Here are 5 ways to successfully squirrel away your savings.
1: Rounding Up and Down
Even though the girl at the bank doesn’t know what one is, I use a check register for my bank account. The key here is to round up your purchases and round down your deposits. Sounds easy enough? That’s because it is. So long as your transactions reconcile, who cares if the number is fudged a little. Before you know it, you’ve created a nice $300 cushion! So the next time you buy something for $1.02, make it $2.00 and hear your savings start to build. It’s fast. It’s simple. It works.
2: Never Spend Your Change
For two years I challenged myself to never spend my change. I’d rather dish out another buck instead of dig out some change. The first year I saved about $130.00. Last year was another $150.00 +. Need more incentive than just dollar signs? Find an attractive jar to collect your coins. It’s a fun way to watch your savings grow!
3: Out of Sight. Out of Mind.
Find a little stash spot that’s hard to find and hard to get to. Maybe it’s an old book tucked away on the shelf whose pages safely guard a thousand dollars. Maybe it’s an old coat with a couple twenties in the pocket. Maybe it’s a hundred dollar bill in the wallet you tossed in storage. Maybe it’s five thousand bucks bundled up in an unused purse. Or maybe you buried a bundle out in the yard. The secret here is to make it untouchable. Set a goal amount and find a creative place to stash it. It’s hard to touch money that you’ve given a purpose.
4: Direct Deposit
Not only don’t you have to make it to the bank during business hours in a town with zero parking and odd hours, you can easily deposit your money into multiple accounts. Most direct deposit methods allow you to deposit a percentage or set dollar amount into one account at any bank and the rest into a second account at any bank. I know, I know, this concept is nothing new. That is until that other bank is a private credit union holding a savings account whose access facility is over an hour away. My point is, make your money untouchable. Where deliberate effort is needed to access your savings.
Sure you risk every penny that goes into stocks and mutual funds. Some options are safer than others but the reality is anything could happen. I actually have a pretty healthy investment portfolio considering my gypsy style of living. Let’s face it. I’m better off than a lot of my generation but definitely not as far along as I could be had I buckled down and made something of myself. The key here is to just do it. I’ve adjusted my monthly contributions several times based on what I could manage. When I’m broke, I put in $50 a month. When I’m doing well, I go as high as I can. Having an investment portfolio isn’t just for the rich guy at the law firm. Oh no. An investment portfolio is for you, too. It’s invisible money. It’s the money you know will one day pay for the groceries when your 80 years old. It’s the hearing aid that no medical plan covers. It’s the assisted living facility that isn’t scary to be in. It’s your safety net.
The underlying key to successful saving is to not keep all your eggs in one basket. Be creative. Be diversified. Make it fun. Doing something is better than nothing and before you know it, you’ve stashed a nest egg worth being proud of. Good luck and happy saving!