If you’re not already in the habit, saving money can seem like a chore. How much should you put away? Where should you put it? Is a savings account good enough or should you put it in a CD? Should you take out a loan and invest in real estate? What’s the secret to saving money without all the stress?
Don’t have time to figure it all out? You don’t have to start with a complex strategy. Whether you’re just starting to save money or you’re looking for ways to save on autopilot, try the following simple money-saving strategies.
5 Convenient, Stress-Free Ways to Save Money Effortlessly
1. Get a spending account that automatically pads your savings account
This is a truly effortless way to save money. Signing up for a spending account that automatically deposits money into your savings account puts saving money on autopilot. For example, Chime is a popular spending account that rounds up each debit card purchase and automatically puts that difference in your savings account. When you purchase something for $5.30, Chime rounds the purchase up to $6.00 and deposits the $0.70 into your savings account.
Saving less than a dollar per transaction may not seem like much, but your transactions will add up over time. It’s money you never would have thought to save.
2. Skip the pizza and drive-thru and deposit $20 into your savings
Each time you feel the impulse to grab a pizza or go through the drive-through, skip it and transfer $20 into your savings account. You don’t have to do this every time, but when you do, you’ll see your savings account grow faster than you thought possible.
Skipping 5 trips to the drive-through will net you $100 in your savings account. It’s your money, but that’s the point. Instead of spending it frivolously, you’re tucking it away for the future.
3. Don’t keep your money in PayPal
If all your money is in PayPal, it’s not earning interest, which means you’re missing out on the opportunity to increase your savings account. Your money also has the potential to become tied up if PayPal audits your account. During an account audit, PayPal freezes the account until the owner provides a photocopy of government-issued identification. This process is extremely inconvenient and sometimes takes weeks to resolve.
No matter how frequently you use PayPal, you don’t need to carry a PayPal balance. You can connect your bank account and credit card to make payments. When you receive funds through PayPal, transfer those funds to your bank account immediately where you can then distribute a portion to your savings account.
4. Set up automatic, recurring transfers to your savings account
Automatic, recurring transfers are a great way to save money effortlessly. Whether you get paid via direct deposit or check, set up at least one monthly automatic, recurring transfer that moves money into your savings account.
If you have a free checking account, you might already have a transfer set up as the condition that makes your checking account free. Either way, transfer a minimum of $25 per month into your savings account and your account will grow by a minimum of $300 each year.
5. Eliminate restaurants and fast food
Restaurant meals may not seem pricey until you add them all up. How many times do you visit a restaurant each month? If you’ve already got a giant savings account, eating at a restaurant isn’t a big deal. However, when you’re trying to save money, restaurant meals should be eliminated.
For at least one month, don’t eat at any restaurant or fast food place. Instead, cook meals at home and bring your lunch to work. Take the money you would have spent on dining out and put it into your savings account. After just one month, you’ll see your savings account grow and you may decide to keep going. Or, you might choose to eat at restaurants less often and tuck more money into your savings account.
Save more with multiple strategies
Saving a few cents on the dollar or earning 1% interest may not seem like much, but it takes time to build up a decent savings account. To get a head start, start saving as soon as possible.
You’ll save the most money when you employ multiple strategies and take advantage of interest-bearing accounts. However, it doesn’t matter what strategies you begin with as long as you start somewhere.