Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

3 Money Saving Tricks That Actually Work

By Christy Bieber – Apr 11, 2020 at 12:46PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

You can keep more of your hard-earned money by trying them.

Saving money is harder than it seems. While most people know they need to put aside cash for the future, actually coming up with money to put into retirement accounts and other savings accounts often seems impossible due to pressing expenses you're facing today.

The good news is, there are tried and true tactics that really work to help you increase your savings rate. In fact, if you try these three techniques, you could find your spending falls and your savings account balances grow bigger than you ever imagined they could. 

A man looks distraught as money flies out of his wallet.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Focus on the big stuff

Saving money generally requires you to spend less, and there are two ways to do that. You can cut out tons of little things that make life enjoyable, depriving yourself of your lattes, dining out, comic books, shoes, or whatever your indulgences are. Or you can keep your big costs low and save the difference.

When trying to save more, most people take the first approach. That's because it seems easier to track spending and find areas where you're "wasting" money rather than make a big lifestyle change. And this sometimes works. But if you have to cut too many little indulgences to make a meaningful difference in your savings rate, you'll probably end up with a budget you can't stick to. 

It can actually be much easier to make just one or two big changes that free up a lot of cash because it can be easier to get accustomed to just a single change in circumstances that happens only once. 

If you're used to driving a new car and having expensive costs for insurance and maintenance, for example, it's not that difficult to get used to driving a cheaper used one -- and you'll reap lots of savings over the long term. 

Some other big changes include downsizing to a smaller and cheaper house or cancelling one or more expensive subscription services. 

2. Earn more

No matter what approach you take to cutting spending, you'll eventually run out of expenses to reduce. 

You won't ever run out of chances to earn more, though. And if you can increase your earnings without giving into lifestyle inflation, you can save all of the extra money you're making. 

You can increase your earnings by improving your skills so your labor is worth more, or by simply working more hours. Ask about training programs to open the door to advancement at work, or think about taking on a side gig. 

3. Make it impossible not to save

Saving money is something you have to do for your future, so treat it as an obligation, and don't give yourself a choice about whether to do it. You can do that by automating a transfer of funds to savings when your paycheck hits your account. 

Workplace 401(k) plans are set up to withdraw money from your check before you even get it, and you can take a similar approach to other savings accounts, too. Whether you're putting money into an IRA or a taxable account, set up a transfer on payday, and don't touch the money in those accounts unless you're using it for its intended purpose. 

Try these techniques to increase your savings

While cutting your spending and finding extra income can be challenging, it's worth making the effort to boost your savings rate. You need money invested for retirement and future financial goals, and the sooner you start putting away cash to help bolster your financial security, the easier it will be to achieve your savings objectives. 

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
326%
 
S&P 500 Returns
102%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.