Why? Not because you didn’t try, but because you’re doing it all wrong.
You need to pay yourself first.
Paying yourself first is just another way of saying that setting money aside is something you do before you pay anything else, even before you pay the bills. But how is it possible to achieve this when money is often so tight?
Here are 4 ways to pay yourself first, without making so much as a dent in your budget:
Save With Your Debit Card
Have at least 1$ transferred to your savings account every time you use your debit card. Most banks offer this automated savings service for free, as an incentive for putting money in their bank.
So, say you use your debit card an average of five times a week, at the end of the month, you will have saved 20$, and at the end of the year, you should have added 240$ to your savings account.
Split Your Paycheck
Rather than depositing your paycheck as a whole into your checking account, ask your bank to put a small portion of it into your savings account. Using a bi-monthly pay as an example, this means that if you skim 20$ off every paycheck and have that put into your savings account, every month, you will be saving an additional 40$, for a total of 520$ a year.
Don’t Spend Change
Whenever you use cash instead of your debit card, don’t spend the change. As soon as you get home, remove it from your wallet and place it into a container. Once a month count it, use coin rolls if necessary, and bring your earnings to the bank.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how fast it all adds up.
Important Savings at Work
Do you buy a cup of joe every morning on your way to work? At a minimum of 2$ per cup, for five days a week, this seemingly innocuous little habit can easily cost you $40 a month.
Instead, invest in a thermal cup and brew your own coffee before you leave for work. Doing this will save you about $500 a year, which you can instead use to fatten up your savings account.
While you’re at it, why not try brown bagging? If you presently purchase one meal every day, at for example 5$ each, for five days a week, you’re spending at least 100$ a month on lunches. This means that by preparing it yourself instead, you will have saved at least 1200$ in one year.
Do the Math
So, there you have it. By using these 4 tips, you’ll be paying yourself first, and it won’t hurt a bit. Quite the contrary, if you start now, by this time next year should have at least 2000$ more in your savings account.
How great is that?