A few months ago, Well Heeled from Well Heeled Blog wrote a really interesting piece about “tricks” she uses to save the money she would have otherwise spent. After I read the post I must have put it in my mental filing cabinet because when I was driving home the other day, obsessing (as I so often do) about how to increase my cash savings and the ideas that she discussed jumped back into my consciousness.
It’s no secret that I suck at saving. So far, I’ve been diligent about my Roth contributions for 2012, which is a step in the right direction. But I’ve been struggling with my cash savings. One of my 2012 goals is to end the year with $5,000 in cash savings, and it appears that one of my major annual extra income sources – summer school – has dried up. I need to come up with a different strategy to pump up my cash savings. Enter: Well Heeled’s great idea!
So here’s what I’m going to do from now on: whenever I resist making a frivolous purchase – say, getting a pedicure or a second glass or wine with dinner – I’ll transfer the money that I would have spent on that purchase into savings. See, in the past if I resisted one of those purchases I would have just been like, “Good for me, I didn’t get another drink with dinner. That’s more money in my discretionary budget to spend on something else!” So, yeah, I would have saved the money…only to spend it at slightly later date. But now there will be a tangible result at the end of the month for my good decisions – a fatter savings account.
Also, I’ve noticed that I’ve started thinking about saving money in hundreds, which is a bad thing. Like, if I can’t put $100 (or another denomination of $100, like $200) in savings, it’s not worth it. Now, I’ll be getting into the habit of putting small amounts into savings which will hopefully really add up.
My budgeting month re-starts on March 16, so I’m going to put this new strategy into effect then. On April 16th I’ll post a reflection on how my new strategy is working.
Do you trick yourself into saving or does it come naturally to you?