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Tricking Yourself into Saving Money: 3 Scarily Easy Ways

Oct 19, 2020

Tricking Yourself into SavingThere are many different ways to start saving money—setting both short- and long-term financial goals, creating challenges, buying bulk, cutting back on spending—but sometimes we forget that saving can be as easy as just keeping your money out of sight and out of mind. Because saving money can sometimes feel overwhelming when life is moving a million miles a minute, we’ve compiled three easy ways you can save money mindlessly.

Stash your cash and change

If you pay with cash and get change back, stash any bills lower than $10 in an envelope and any coins in a jar. You can do this if you’re saving up for something specific, but you can also use this as an emergency cash fund for a rainy day.

Be sure to hide the envelope and jar somewhere no one else will be able to find them, and don’t tell anyone about them or where you keep them. While keeping your money out of sight can help reduce any temptation you may feel to dip into it, put it somewhere you’ll be able to find it, like a locked safe, so that it doesn’t get lost or accidentally thrown away. The envelope and jar should be easily identifiable to you so they don’t get mixed up with others, but don’t write something like “extra cash,” “loose change,” or the amount of money inside on the outside in case anyone stumbles upon them.

Once a month, you should bring your stash to your local credit union branch or bank to see how much you’ve collected. Many credit unions and banks will give you cash in return for coins, but be sure to do some research before you go, as many banks charge for this service. Several PFCU branches offer free coin machines for members, so take advantage of this! You can either cash it out or conveniently deposit it into your savings or checking account on the spot.

You’ll surprise yourself with how much extra cash and change you’ve saved, and if you don’t need to spend the money just yet, deposit it into a higher yield savings account so that it has the chance to grow while you work on filling up your next envelope/jar!

Set up an automatic transfer

To truly save money mindlessly, put your savings on autopilot and set up a recurring automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. Calculate how much money you have left over after all monthly bills and other necessary payments. From there, you can determine an amount of money you feel comfortable with deducting each month. If after a few months, you’re noticing that you’re feeling a pinch, reduce the amount moving forward—saving even $5 each month can make a difference! Or, if you still have extra money at the end of the month, consider upping your transfer amount by a few dollars.

Save your raise

When you get promoted, a lateral raise, a holiday bonus, or your annual tax return, try your best to save it—or at least a large chunk of it—unless you really need it for a time-sensitive repair or purchase. While it seems difficult, letting this extra money grow in a higher yield savings account can give you a nice cushion when you need it most.

With these tips and a high-interest savings account that best fits your financial needs, your money can grow while you work, play, and live your life!


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union

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