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  • We use ING to do this. We have different savings accounts labeled for different purposes and then we have contributions to them deducted automatically from our accounts. It makes it so we don’t even see the money. It really works well.

    • John says:

      I’ve heard great things about using ING. We do similar things through USAA, but it requires us to have separate accounts. I love being able to set up the automatic deductions and not “feeling” the money movements.

  • Jason @ WSL says:

    We’re currently trying to save a down payment for our next house. We’re not quite sure how much we’ll profit when we sell our current one, so we’ve set a goal to make sure we have enough cash to cover a 5% down payment. We don’t automate savings, but with the way we budget, we do close out each month and designate any “extra” cash towards our goal.

    • John says:

      That sounds great on working towards a down payment, especially when you don’t know what you’ll take away from your current home. I’ve heard about that budgeting/saving method and know that it works good as well.

  • We budget in our savings so we know pretty much what will be going into our emergency savings every month. I also hear the same thing, we don’t have enough, make enough etc etc. We have a mate who says just that and works for $10 an hour at a popular coffee shop. There is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t have 3-4 xl coffees from this shop. Are we getting the picture here? All that money can be saved, make coffee at home. Some people are NOT willing to give up in order to get ahead so they will continue to struggle and whine but no one will hear them. It’s up to the individual to set goals, budget and make the first steps even if small, meaning saving $5 a month. That will add up over the course of a year and then you will have some money set aside. Great post. Mr.CBB

    • John says:

      I agree Mr. CBB, some just don’t see the big picture when it comes down to saving and don’t realize that a few small decisions can really add up. The coffees are a great example. My wife loves lattes, and I do as well from time to time. We bought a machine for maybe $70 3-4 years ago so we can make them at home instead. Someday I should do the math and see how much we’ve saved just by making that decision.

  • I like the plan you laid out in this post: set an initial savings goal, reach it, and then set another one. All the small goals add up!

    • John says:

      I agree DC…just like you said in your post last week. I find that by having smaller goals it can help make the process of attaining that goal less insurmountable. It’s just too overwhelming to say ok, I am going to save money for a house, or I am going save money for retirement, etc. Taking small steps will make the big ones easier and help you reach your overall goal.

  • My wife and I tried automating our savings once, andI guess we overdid it. We automated all our bills and savings and thought it would help us save and save us time. We only eneded up overspending anyway and overwithdrawing from accounts. 🙁 That was a long time ago. We’ve learned now that for us, we can’t automate anything. We need to look at each dollar that comes in and make a decision each month about what will happen with it.

  • John says:

    I can see how that would be a problem TB! You’ve gotta go with what works for you in my opinion. As long as it helps you stay within your means, then go with what works for you.

  • These are all great tips! Maybe I am a loser but I love getting paid and seeing how much I can transfer to savings. It turns me on.

    • John says:

      Well, if you’re a loser Holly then so am I. 😉 I still like to move a chunk of money over to savings, I feel great after doing so. I just like automation because I won’t forget about it and it frees me from having to do it manually.

  • Savvy Scot says:

    I think automation is absolutely critical to reach savings goals. Out of sight, out of mind! I always ensure that transfers are made the day after my pay goes into bank to mitigate the risk of temptations!!

    • John says:

      I totally agree! I know that I have it set up and I really don’t feel it because I know it’s being taken out. Plus, with each one I know that gets me one step closer to my goal.

  • I agree for the most part, but as a freelancer it’s more complicated. I’d talk about it more but it takes a lot of explanation. Believe me, when I get a full time job this will be priority #1. Until then I have to saver percentages as I get paid on projects.

  • John says:

    I hear you on the freelancing. My wife and I run our own business so I know it can be difficult. I know it can be difficult to automate savings when you’re not getting a known paycheck every two weeks. Saving a percentage is a great step that I am sure will help you get to your goal as you secure full time work.

  • I love automatic savings. My retirement comes right out of the paycheck and I set up an account with ING this year and put some other savings in there. I find that not having it in my main local bank, I don’t always remember it’s there. When I do remember to check, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how much is there. We will use this for vacation next year.

  • John says:

    That’s great you have that set up Kim. I have a similar situation with a non local bank and at times forget it’s even there. Then, I take a look from time to time and I am always pleasantly surprised at the savings we have there.

  • Now that we are retired and no longer have taxes deducted from salary, our savings goals revolve around saving up to pay estimated income tax – does that suck or what!

  • John says:

    That does suck! I can feel your pain, to a certain extent, as my wife and I have to do the same very thing as we run our own business. I always hate having to write that check each quarter.

  • Jason Clayton | frugal habits says:

    I think rewarding yourself is huge and highly agree. Personally I save by using “automatic” draft that comes out when I get paid and is transferred to various savings accounts. This works the best for me, because I just learn to live on what’s left. (same with retirement)

  • John says:

    You’re right on Jason. I think rewarding yourself along the way can really help breed success. Tht’s awesome you’re doing it with retirement saving as well.

  • Great advice John. I started making my own money when I was 25, and since I am a single parent, prioritizing needs from wants became natural. I became more responsible with handling the budget and was more careful saving for future expenses. But in agreement to what Jason had said, I still see to it that I reward myself once in a while. It’s less depressing that way.

  • I hate automating savings, or any bill for that matter. I like paying bills and more importantly I LOVE making that transfer from my checking account to my Vanguard account every month. I budget down to almost the last penny, so any mess-ups could severely impact my checking account.

    • John says:

      That’s great that you love doing it & for someone that loves doing it manually this is not really an issue. My point was a larger one that many people use some sort of an excuse as to why they’re not saving. By automating it and even starting out small they can develop that discipline of saving.

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