You don’t need luck to build a cash cushion this week, or any week.
Follow these tips to score your pot of gold:
1. Automate your savings
Set up a direct deposit to your savings account. You won’t miss the money if you never see it! If you’re following the 50/30/20 rule (which is my fave approach to budgeting), you should be putting 50 percent of your take-home pay toward essentials, 30 percent toward non-necessities and 20 percent into savings. If you automate that 20 percent, building a solid savings account balance will be effortless.
2. Take advantage of benefits
You might skim over perks your company offers, but you shouldn’t! If your company offers flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts, take advantage of them.
You just stash pretax money in those accounts to use for future medical or health care expenses. You’ll likely need to take a trip to the doc at least once this year, so why not use pretax money for those expenses?
3. Trick yourself into saving
Sometimes, it’s just hard to save when bottomless brunch sounds so much more fun.
And, like Carrie Bradshaw, sometimes I think my money looks better hanging in my closet. If you’re going through a savings slump and are finding it hard to save, especially during fun seasons like summer, trick yourself into saving more.
Download the Digit app, which analyzes your spending habits, finds small chunks of money you could be saving and stashes that cash away for you. The amounts of money Digit sets aside are typically so minimal you won’t even notice it’s missing, but it adds up fast.
Or, check out what savings programs your bank offers. Bank of America, for example, offers a Keep the Change program. Whenever you use your debit card, it’ll round your purchase to the nearest dollar and then transfer the difference from your checking account to your savings.
BTW, need a place to stash all that cash? Compare rates to find the right savings account for you.
Where to save this week
St. Patrick’s Day deals
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, retailers and restaurants are offering some seriously deep discounts. Many local bars and pubs will likely be discounting everything from beer to Irish Car Bombs, so Friday is starting to look a lot more fun.
If you’re all about growing your green, save money by staying in and whipping up your own green beer or Shamrock Shake. Later this week I’ll show you how, so be sure to follow me on Facebook!
ICYMI, pizzerias were dishing out some major deals on pizza in celebration of Pi Day earlier this week. But you can still slice up some savings, thanks to Domino’s!
Through March 19, when you buy one pizza, Domino’s is hooking you up with a free pizza of equal or lesser value. This is definitely a deal worth breaking your diet for.
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My savings story
Raise your hand if you’re totally over being bombarded with news all the time.
I know it’s so easy to tune out all the noise coming from Capitol Hill. Trust me, I feel you.
But there are important decisions being made that will directly affect your money — on issues like health insurance and tax reform. Think I’m bluffing? This week, I blogged about a proposed bill that would give a tax break to companies that help repay employees’ student loans; aka, a major reason for them to dish out that dough and do you a solid.
Pay attention. Whether you get your daily dose of news from Twitter or TheSkimm, know what’s going on. Because when things get flipped and you realize you can’t afford your dream vacation anymore because of all the changes going down in Washington, you’ll kick yourself for not trying to speak up.
Download the Countable app and get your voice heard. It allows you to send messages to your representatives, get your opinion heard by people who matter the most and gives you daily notifications about upcoming votes.