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  • I think having a savings goal and automating savings are the two best ways to streamline savings. We just set up an auto-transfer from our checking to savings and I can only imagine it’s something we will continue for years and years to come.

  • Automation is key! We automate our entire budget and it makes it very low stress! The bi-weekly paycheck automatically gets split into savings, long term expenses, short term expenses and fun money.

    This automation makes saving and budgeting a breeze!

  • I’d like to think we are somewhat balanced when it comes to savings. Even though we save, scour discount racks etc we also know how to live a little. I think by budgeting our money and our projected expenses such as “fun times”” it makes living so much easier. Life is too short to watch the money and not live a little. Great post Alexa.

    • Alexa says:

      Thank you! I think it’s so important to remember to have fun with your money. when you get in savings mode it can be hard to spend money on yourself.

  • Having a saving goal can really help. It’s one of the things that you can use to measure your progress and serve as a motivation for you as well. Very helpful post for those having troubles saving their hard-earned money. 🙂

  • Great tips, Alexa. I totally agree about making money hard to access. When I make my monthly zero sum budget, I always transfer any excess money right away. Out of sight, out of mind!

  • cashrebel says:

    A while back I created a detailed goal, and then automated the steps to get there. Now it just rolls like a well oiled machine. Great advice!

  • Great post, Alexa! I love the part about having a goal for your savings too; I think that really helps increase your ability to keep the money in savings. Excellent!

  • Matt Becker says:

    These are all great tips and all things I’ve implemented myself. Though I would probably put setting a goal as #1 and starting with the amount you need to save to reach that goal. I think it’s helpful to start somewhere concrete rather than just saving what you can. But automation is definitely huge, as is the advice to let yourself live a little. You could even automate some of your paycheck to an account dedicated to “fun”, so that you have money you can spend without guilt.

  • Very good point about having a goal. If you’ve never saved before, I would set the goal pretty low. Saying you need $5000 might be overwhelming, but $200 is not. I also think your savings needs to “almost hurt”, meaning that if you don’t miss it all when it goes into the account, maybe you need to raise the limit a bit. Before you know it, you’ve reached your goal.

    • Alexa says:

      I like that. That’s great advice to make the goal “almost hurt” And working toward small numbers when you are starting out will help to build momentum.

  • I think the savings goal is the most important part. It can be hard to keep saving, even automatically, if there isn’t a tangible goal in sight. I have this problem at the moment because I’m saving for the upcoming payment for upcoming wedding expenses but after that, I don’t have any major goals so I need to get started on a plan.

  • Love the tip about not linking a debit card or checks to your savings. I’m ashamed to save I JUST set up a savings account (it’s a long story) and when my bank asked if I wanted a debit card it took my by surprise. I assumed they wouldn’t even offer so you’d be forced to go through transferring from savings into checking. I’m really goal oriented about money and have mental check points of how much I want by certain points in my life, it helps keep me motivated to always save a chunk of my paycheck and focus on the bigger financial picture. I do forgo small indulgences, but I also don’t forget to live a little!

    • Alexa says:

      I made the huge mistake of getting a debit card when I first set up my savings account. When my checking account was running low the savings debit card was so tempting. I eventually just cut it up so I would stop using it.

  • Great tips and I follow all of them! Automation is very important because you can set it up and not worry about it. It is also important to have a savings goal to keep yourself motivated. Same with rule #5. Hard to stay motivated in saving if you don’t get a little reward.

    • Alexa says:

      When you are trying to reach your savings goals spending fun money can make you feel a little guilty but I think it’s almost necessary so that you keep your balance and motivation.

  • Love the tips! Number 2 is may favorite, as I am very lazy. 🙂

  • Automate saving is the way to go. That’s why I love the 401k plan.
    It’s especially important when you’re starting out and need to learn some discipline. Now that I’m older, I find that I can save even without the automation.

  • E.M. says:

    I am a natural saver and sometimes I’m guilty of not letting myself live a little. My boyfriend has been helping in this area as he doesn’t believe in penny pinching or going to the extremes that I do (he’s not much of a spender, though). I do automate my savings – I have weekly transfers set up. My goal right now is to pay off my student loan debt, and then save up for travel and retirement.

  • Great tips, Alexa. I love goal-setting and find when I have concrete goals that I am excited to achieve, then saving is easy. Of course, automation keeps me honest 🙂 but I don’t mind putting aside money now that know what I’m working towards. If anything, I’m actually fussier about the money I spend because it could go towards my goals instead. When I work with people who have been struggling to save, many times they don’t have goals or specific goals which makes it very easy for them to spend more money than they should have. We can be very, very good at rationalizing our behavior. Not that I’ve ever done that, of course. 🙂

  • Automating is definitely the least painful way to do it! We try to have an “entertainment” portion of our budget, too, so it’s not all bills and savings.

  • I find automating our transfer of money into an ING account is the best way to protect our savings. ING doesn’t have any local branches and it always takes a couple days to move the money anywhere usable. While sometimes I get frustrated with how slow things can be for when I do need the money, overall it’s the best system for us. Thanks for the tips!

  • pauline says:

    I am messy and disorganized so I just automate and forget about it. Plus a quarterly or so review to update the amounts and that is about it.

  • Huh, “make your money hard to access.” That’s a new thought that I have yet to consider!

  • I like that you also talk about living a little too. I sometimes forget to live a little and want to save everything I make. But that’s not healthy either.

  • Great post Alexa! We have goals for all our saving money. Makes the saving process more focused and the spending process (when you reach the goal) very enjoyable.

  • These are great tips. I do almost all of them. I have a few type of savings. One type has a defined goal or purpose – usually saving for expenses which are inevitable and come on annual basis, such as insurance, HOA taxes, membership dues, car repairs, etc. The second type of my savings is an emergency account and the third one is retirement savings.
    And now I only need more cash available to save more. If you guys know about a great source of great cash for lazy people who want to do nothing, do not post it anywhere. Send me an email!

  • I am somewhere in between. I like saving, but I am not a nut about it, but I also like living a little. I automate my savings, by creating a “bill” for it. It helps me keep accountable for paying the bill on time!

  • I try to automate everything. Bill payments, and especially saving. It’s part of my “paying myself first” strategy.

  • Derek Chamberlain with MoneyAhoy.com says:

    Great tips. I think automating savings and having a goal are the two keys to success for most people!

    I spin my savings in a slightly different way – I like to pay all bills manually so that I really get a feel for how much money is outgoing. Everything incoming is all automated. It helps me keep track of how much I’m saving.

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