Struggling to Save Money? Here's One Trick That Should Help

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  • Saving money is difficult, even when you stick to a budget and make the effort.
  • By sending some money into your savings at the start of the month, you can get closer to meeting your goals.

It's an easy step that could really help your savings grow.

Does it seem like no matter how hard you try or how many little luxuries you give up, you just don't manage to save enough money? It happens to the best of us. And while putting yourself on a budget can certainly help, even that may not completely do the trick in helping you meet your savings goals.

If you're tired of struggling with savings, there's one solution worth looking into -- and it could end up making a huge difference for your finances.

Put your savings on autopilot

It's difficult to spend money you don't see or get your hands on. And so if you set up an automatic transfer to your savings that goes through every month, you're guaranteed to stay on target.

There are different ways to automate your savings. If your goal is to build an emergency fund, you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. Then, as each paycheck hits, a portion will be moved over to savings before you get a chance to access that money. The result? Forced savings, which is actually a good thing.

If you're all set on near-term savings and are more focused on building a retirement nest egg (which, to be clear, you'll need when you're older), then you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your IRA. Though not every IRA account offers this option, many of them do.

If you have a 401(k) plan through your employer for retirement saving purposes, that, too, will allow you to automate your savings. With a 401(k), you simply inform your payroll department how much money you want taken out of your earnings to fund that account. From there, those deductions will be made automatically so the paycheck that hits your checking account each month doesn't represent your total earnings, but rather, your earnings minus your 401(k) contributions.

The upside of automating your savings

Automating your savings takes the temptation to spend out of the equation. Imagine you don't automate your savings and instead tell yourself you'll transfer $200 into your IRA at the end of each month. Well, if social plans arise that tempt you, you might spend more than anticipated, to the point where you don't have that $200 by the time the end of the month rolls around.

With an automatic transfer, you don't get that option. Rather, that $200 leaves your account at the start of the month (or whenever you get paid) so you're not able to spend it.

If you're a really disciplined saver, you may not need to put the process on autopilot. But if you've been struggling to meet your savings goals, then automating the process is a really good bet. It also makes it so you don't have to think about writing out a check to your IRA or moving money around yourself. It's a worthwhile thing to do for the convenience factor alone.

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