Ways to Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Better Saver
This week is America Saves Week, a campaign organized by nonprofit, government and private groups to encourage financial literacy. Let's help each other out, here. We've got tips for you, but share your favorite tricks with us! http://wapo.st/1p5hb46
- •Play the lottery — with a twist.Love the risk part of playing the lottery, but hate the whole losing money part? GOOD. This is for you. Perhaps look into a prize-linked savings account. You feel like you're playing the lottery, but the money doesn't go anywhere but in your pocket. In "Save to Win," the largest of these programs in the U.S., putting away cash can win you a jackpot ranging from $25 to $5,000.
- •Get your pals involved.Look into lending clubs. Joining a lending club can put the pressure of knowing that other people are counting on you. Accountability! Accountability is good when you're trying to save.
- •Make it a competition.Winners save. Contests and competitions such as a 52-week savings challenge can make saving seem more approachable by breaking a larger goal down into small weekly sums. Challenge your friends. Challenge yourself. Be a winner.
- •Pick up those pennies.Make a habit of grabbing the loose change and singles out of your pocket or the bottom of your purse at the end of the week and put it away. Are you a plastic-only spender? You can still do this! For example, Bank of America offers a Keep the Change savings program that rounds each purchase up to the nearest dollar amount and transfers the difference into a savings account.
- •There's an app for that.Look into apps such as Acorn or Digit. Acorn (which charges a small fee) takes your change from everyday purchases and puts it in a portfolio that invests in exchange-traded funds. Digit (which is free) studies your income flow and spending habits and puts away an appropriate amount for your financial situation. You won't even notice the money's "missing."
- •Save as you go!Wells Fargo has a function where it puts a dollar in your savings account each time you swipe your debit card.Suggested by @natienat3693