If you’re like most people, you’ve probably hit a mid-month slump with your savings resolutions. This week, I’m here to make you feel especially #motivated about your money.
I’m challenging you to rally, and to not give up on the financial goals you ambitiously set at the start of 2017.
I know how hard it is to have the self-discipline to slay at saving, so that’s why I’m divulging my arsenal of savings tips. (Yes, I have a few secret weapons.) You’ll actually see a difference in your bank account instead of just hoping for it.
Remember when you said you were going to make 2017 your year? Spoiler alert: There’s 11 1/2 months to make that happen.
Now go get that green and watch it grow.
How I’m sticking to saving
Confession: I was so energized at the beginning of the year to make major moves with my money, health and fitness. But lately I’ve been swapping my gym sneakers for slippers and cashing out instead of saving.
The Manhattan doom and gloom is starting to get to me (there’s only so much slush in my shoes that I’m willing to put up with), and I can feel my New Year’s resolutions slipping.
Jan. 16 even marked Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. And trust me, I’m feeling blue. The past week, I indulged in all the comfort money can buy, simultaneously breaking all my saving, fitness and diet resolutions. Whoops.
Everyone’s allowed a cheat day every now and then, but a cheat week? No bueno.
I’m pulling it together, though, and revisiting my resolutions. You should, too. The result of letting your savings goals slip is like a snowball effect, and if you’re not careful, you could end up with a bank account that’s seriously struggling.
Here are some tips on how you can stick to saving and turn your resolutions into reality.
1. Take another look at your budget
Did you already bust the budget you made at the beginning of the year? You might have been a bit too ambitious. Before you give up on it completely, revisit it and make adjustments. Nothing is set in stone, and your budget should reflect a lifestyle you can realistically abide by.
It’s helpful to track your expenses for a month before you set a budget so you know what your spending habits are already like. Set realistic expectations you’re able to actually reach with a little hard work.
2. Check out cool tools
Many savvy savers weren’t born that way. It sometimes requires the help of cool tools! There are a few awesome apps and programs that will help you save, especially if you don’t have the self-discipline to surrender a portion of your paycheck yourself.
Digit is a popular app that is stealthy when it comes to your savings. After connecting to your bank account, Digit analyzes your income and spending, finding small chunks of money that it can put aside for you. Every few days, the app moves that money from your checking account to a special savings account.
If you have a Bank of America debit card, you can also check out the bank’s Keep the Change Savings Program. Every time you make a purchase with your card — even if it’s just a cup of coffee — it rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar amount and transfers the difference from your checking account to your savings account. It adds up fast!
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3. Enlist the help of others
We all tend to perform better when we know people are watching. So why not take the same approach with saving? Find a friend to keep you accountable, or check out an app that has a social component. Unsplurge does just that.
With Unsplurge, you enter what you’re saving for (a vacation, a cooking class, etc.) and a dollar amount. The app tracks your progress and has a section that brings in a social element, allowing you to see the strides others are making with their savings goals. You can share your own progress as well!
4. Make your PIN memorable
Every time you withdraw money from your account, give yourself a subtle reminder of your saving goals with your PIN. If you’re trying to have $5,000 in your emergency fund by Dec. 31, for example, make your PIN 1231.
It’ll make you feel a little bit guilty when it comes to withdrawing cash for frivolous purchases.
5. Decide on a tangible reward
You might have a set number you’re trying to reach when it comes to your savings account (psst … you should).
Set up a tangible reward you can reap once you hit that number; maybe it’s a pair of shoes you’ve been lusting over or a weekend trip to visit your best friend. You are definitely allowed to bribe yourself if you’re lacking motivation!
Do you have another sneaky way to save? Tweet it to me!