There’s no doubt about it — saving money can be challenging, even when you have a specific goal in mind. Challenging, but not impossible. And the easier you make it, the more likely you are to be successful. Here are a few suggestions that may help.
Put the Brakes on Temptation
Don’t let the money you’re saving for emergencies just sit in your checking account. Consider depositing those funds in a short-term savings vehicle you won’t be tempted to access without a good reason. These accounts are generally very liquid, so you’ll be able to get your money out quickly whenever you do need it.
Save It Before You See It
Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. Arrange for a portion of each paycheck to be automatically deposited in your savings or investment account. If you’re not used to having that money to spend, you probably won’t miss it.
Make It Personal
An abstract “pot of money” or a brand-new car — which goal is more likely to hold your interest and keep you saving? Having a concrete goal can help you stay on track with your savings plan. Even a major goal — like saving for retirement — can be personalized if you think about it in concrete terms, such as having money to buy a retirement home on the water or travel around the country in an RV.
Think about behaviors that are apt to lead you astray and avoid them. Don’t go to the mall or visit your favorite shopping sites on the web if you know you can’t resist making a purchase. Find other things to do with your leisure time so you won’t be tempted to shop out of boredom.