I have been using the best little trick since I can remember to ensure that I do not spend money allocated for savings before I actually save it. If you do not already have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account, STOP AND DO THIS NOW. This may seem like a no-brainer but I just want to be sure you have it done as this is key to getting your money to where it needs to be. I am not sure that most employers even send out paper checks anymore but having your paycheck directly deposited into your account is the first step towards ensuring that your money works for you and not against you! Sometimes it is even possible to have your money direct deposited into multiple accounts which is an amazing idea…see why below.
If you are someone who sees a huge chunk of money sitting in your account and thinks to yourself “wow! look at all that money I have – I can totally afford to splurge this weekend!” then I strongly urge you to consider setting up automatic transfers. What is an automatic transfer? An automatic transfer is a really awesome tool that you should easily be able to set up by logging into your bank account online. Basically, it is just as it sounds – money is automatically transferred from one bank account to another on a specific schedule. If you have never transferred money from one account to another (within the same bank) then first you will need to figure out how your bank lets you transfer money. If you only have one bank account, then I highly recommend reading my post about how multiple bank accounts can help your finances.
Before you start setting up automatic transfers, you are probably going to wonder why this is so important. The best way to not miss the money that you allocate to save for an emergency, new car, Christmas, a house, etc is to just keep it out of “reach”. If you never have a chance to spend it, then it won’t hurt so much! As soon as your paycheck hits your account, the money that is allocated for whatever your savings goals may be should be automatically removed from temptation. You will also feel a small rush of joy after each paycheck as you see your savings accounts increase without any “work”.
This trick is really helpful if you are implementing a budgeting strategy of saving for periodic or annual expenses each month or creating funds for things such as car expenses, Christmas, etc. Even if this is not a budgeting method that you are using, it is great just to have in place for a singular savings account.
Our family has automatic transfers set up so that each time a paycheck is deposited, a specific amount of money is automatically transferred to our other accounts. There is no surprise and scramble for money in the budget if I put a set amount of money aside each month in anticipation for those expenses. And if you do not have a budget set up yet, that should be your first step. Check out my easy steps for starting a budget.
This also give you peace of mind to know how much money you really have to go out to eat or buy that new clothing item and once the budgeted money is gone, it is gone!
Have you ever used automatic transfers to help boost your savings?
FREE 5-Step Budget Workbook!
If you are ready to take control of your finances, subscribe to my budgeting newsletter and also receive this workbook for free!