4 Sneaky Ways to Force Yourself to Save Money

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Want to grow your savings? Here are four tips to help make saving easier.

If saving money were easier, many of us would have more robust bank account balances to boast of. But saving money can be tricky -- you need to really work hard to avoid temptation and stick to your goals. If you've struggled with saving money in the past, here are a few sneaky ways to go about it that'll actually make the process much easier on you.

1. Set up an automatic transfer

When you're sitting on extra money from your paycheck at the end of the month, it can be tempting to spend it on something fun. But if that money isn't available in your checking account, that won't be an option. The solution? Take that option off the table by automating your savings. You can arrange to have a specific amount from each paycheck go from your checking account to your savings account at a given point during the month so you're effectively forced not to spend it.

2. Sign up for your employer's 401(k)

Participating in a 401(k) plan is another means of forced savings, albeit for retirement. This isn't a bad thing, as you'll need money to cover your senior living expenses down the line. With a 401(k), you tell your payroll department to deduct a certain dollar amount or percentage of your salary for retirement purposes, and that money comes out of your pay automatically, the same way your employer withholds the taxes you owe the IRS. That way, you don't miss the money and aren't tempted to spend it.

3. Don't store credit card details on any of your electronics

Many people window shop online for fun, but also end up completing purchases when they see things they really like. And the ability to store credit card details on our various devices makes that easy to do. A better bet? Don't keep your credit card information on your phone, tablet, or laptop. If you have to get up and hunt down your credit cards each time you want to make a purchase, laziness will likely kick in, thereby stopping you from spending on something you probably don't need. The result? Extra savings for you.

4. Pay for purchases using a cash back rewards card

The great thing about credit cards is that they reward you for purchases you were already planning to make. If you use a cash back rewards credit card to pay for essentials like groceries, medication, gas, and your cell phone, you can score free cash in return. All you then need to do is have that money transferred to your bank account, and voila -- your savings balance will grow.

Saving money often means overcoming the urge to spend your income rather than bank it. And that's not always an easy thing. But if you adopt these tricks, you may find that saving money isn't as hard as it once was. Also, remember that saving small amounts at a time counts as saving nonetheless. So if easing into the process is what works for you, go for it.

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