5 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money
Let's face it: We don't all have what it takes to live like the folks on Extreme Cheapskates. If reusing paper plates, peeing in bottles, and skipping showers isn't in your game plan, then maybe it's time to think of other ways you can save a few dollars. Thankfully, we've got some less extreme tips for you.
Pay With Cash: Cash is easier to keep track of that credit cards, which we often swipe with abandon without thinking of their true cost. Plastic doesn't feel as real as cash, so we tend to spend and spend, swipe and swipe, without really thinking about what we're doing. So put down the bank card and put yourself on a cash diet.
Make Your Savings Automatic: The easiest way to save is when you don't even know you're doing it. So set aside a portion of each of your paychecks to go directly into your savings account or a separate account. It'll hurt less if you don't have to do it manually — you won't even miss the money. It doesn't matter how much money you choose to set aside, just as long as you put it aside. Even if it's $100 a paycheck, it really adds up.
Put Down The Starbucks Cup: Yes, we know, you can't live without your coffee. But a week of fancy coffee drinks can cost upwards of $25. That's more than a hundred dollars a month, which is well over a thousand dollars a year. On coffee. When you think about it like that, it's easy to reconsider cutting some if not all of your coffee habit out. If you really love the feeling of a fancy coffee in the morning, consider purchasing an at-home milk steamer for $25. Do-it-yourself, and save tons of money!
Check Your Subscriptions: Are you paying for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Do you and your roommates or spouse all have subscriptions, even though your all living under the same roof? Why? Figure out what services you're using that overlap or offer similar enough features so that you can streamline your usage. That goes for magazines, newspapers, film and cable services, and club memberships, too.
Try Keeping The Change: Keep the Change is a Bank of America where they round up your purchase to the next dollar and transfer the amount from your checking to your savings account. But even if you're not a Bank of America customer, you can institute a similar program for yourself, simply by being diligent about transferring the change you have — including small bills — into a savings account. It won't yield huge results, but it will create a small and steady stream of savings that will add up over time. And it'll show you the value of saving.
Tell us: What are your favorite tips for saving?
And don't forget to watch the new season of Extreme Cheapskates, Wednesdays at 9/8 c.