7 tricks to save money

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You know how to save. Spend less than you earn and keep the difference in a safe place.

So why isn’t it always this easy?

Well sometimes it can be. Here are simple tricks to help you save more. Use them to divert money into savings before you even realize it’s gone from your wallet.

1. Save your summaries

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Use a bank that “rounds up” purchases and transfers the difference to your savings. You probably won’t miss these tiny amounts, but over time they can add up.

Some examples:

  • Bank of America”Maintain the Change Savings Program‘ rounds each of your purchases up to the nearest dollar when you use a participating debit card. The bank automatically transfers the change from your checking account to the savings account.
  • Allied Bank completes purchases from a debit card, electronic payments and checks drawn from a qualifying checking account. It automatically harvests the money when “roundups” reach at least $5 and rolls it over to your savings.

As always, check a bank’s rules and confirm that there are no fees.

Top: Applications — acorns, Qapital and Digit are some – they can do that too. However, apps may incur charges. So keep that in mind when deciding if an app is worth it.

2. Set it and forget it

Woman drinks wine and reads a book
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You’ve probably heard this advice: “Pay yourself first every month.” In other words, treat your savings account like any other bill and pay it before you pay any other.

Good advice, but it works even better if you can forget to pay. To do this, set up a recurring, automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account every month. Out of sight out of mind.

Visit your bank’s website or call to learn how to automate transfers between accounts. This may require signing up for the Bank’s online or mobile service. Depending on the bank, you can schedule transfers between accounts within a bank or even between banks.

Top: If your bank doesn’t offer this option, it might be time to look for a new bank.

3. Use a cash back bonus card

Man giving a thumbs up happy with his credit card rewards
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You can recoup some of your spending with a credit card that pays rewards for certain types of purchases.

I’ve made about $118 so far this year from a cash back card linked to my Amazon spend. It’s not a huge amount, but it covers the cost of a few purchases a year. Free is good.

Top: Find cash back credit cards in Money Talks News’ Solutions Center. Use the “Card Type” menu to select “Cashback” cards.

4. Ignore raises and bonuses

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Add to your retirement savings by sending pay increases and bonuses directly to your company’s retirement plan.

Just pretend the raise never happened. Keep your spending at the same level as before and give your savings plan a big boost.

top: Read “7 Ways to Save for Retirement Without a 401(k).”

5. 401(k) offered? Use it

retirement provision
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Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your 401(k) at work. The beauty of these plans is that your retirement savings can silently build up as you move on with life.

If your current job doesn’t offer a retirement plan, consider switching jobs for one that does.

When you sign up for a 401(k) plan, you’ll be asked how much of your paycheck — say 6% — will be sent directly to the plan. As your paycheck grows, the amount you save grows, since 6% of the new, larger amount means more goes into investments. You, on the other hand, do not notice the change.

Do not stop. Try to contribute at least as much as your employer is willing to pay so you get the money you deserve for your work.

Top: 401(k) Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs tells you how to maximize employer contributions.

6. Increase pension contributions

401(k) millionaire
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Whenever you can — especially if you get a raise — increase the percentage of your salary that goes into your 401(k). Increase your contribution amount in small steps so that you don’t feel any loss in your net remuneration.

Top: Do this as often as possible to keep the savings growing.

7. Divert coins to save

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Take the change from your cash purchases and stow it away. An empty glass or an empty coffee can will do.

Make this a fun game with kids to get the whole family saving and help them learn the habit of saving from a young age.

Top: At the end of the month (before your collection gets too heavy) Find a Coinstar coin sorting machine near you, count the money and deposit it on your savings.

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