It’s a terrible feeling to see a zero in your bank account at the end of the month. When you’re financially stressed, it’s extremely difficult to focus on anything else. Wouldn’t you like to know how to automatically save money easily? This sure would help alleviate some of that pressure.
Money is now equated to survival, your #1 goal as a human being. So when you don’t have it, it’s all you can think about. Other important pillars of your life like health, relationships, and growth all fall to the wayside.
Let’s talk about some of the quick wins to save money, so you can start feeling happier and more secure.
1. IT ALL STARTS WITH AUTOMATIC BUDGETING TO PLUG SPENDING LEAKS
We’re not ignorant: some individuals and families have gotten such a terrible hand of cards to play in life that they are in the red every month just to pay the bills. We’re still going to challenge you: can you save just $5 every month?
If you want to know how to automatically save money, it all starts with budgeting. The easier and more detailed your budgeting system is, the more effective it will be.
Sign up for Mint right now. It will sync with your debt card, and attempt to auto-categorize all your transactions (keep cash spending to a minimum with this system for the best results).
You can set budgets for categories like groceries, car, restaurants, health, personal care, and home. The more budgets you can break down the better, because you may realize you’ve spent $50 on fast food instead of groceries, an easily fixable expense.
Every week and especially at the end of the month you have to actually check your budgets. Make this a game to try and pinch every penny. You’d be surprised at what simply paying attention can accomplish.
Stop and set up Mint.
2. SIGN UP FOR AUTOMATIC BANK TRANSFERS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH
Every bank has the ability to set up automatic transfers. This is the easiest thing you can do when you’re learning how to save money. As you budget, you’ll be able to discover how much you can put away each month.
This has to happen at the beginning of the month. As the days go by and you watch your bank account, you may subconsciously think that you’re doing so well with budgeting you deserve some extra clothes or date nights. This will wipe you out faster than anything.
Go to your bank website right now and set up a monthly transfer for $20, before you’ve even worked your budget for a while. Increase that number as soon as you can. Your “take-home-income” is now your paycheck minus your first savings deposit, just like another tax.
Stop and set up automatic transfers.
3. AUTOMATICALLY ROUND UP EVERY PURCHASE AND PUT IT AWAY IN YOUR SAVINGS
You have a few cool apps to help you with this. One is called Qapital, which you sync with your bank account and set savings rules. For instance, you can round up every purchase to the nearest dollar (or two dollars, or three dollars…) and put that small amount into your savings account.
Even though this might add up to more than $20 a month, it’s usually mentally easier to save this way when there’s no lump-sum being taken away from you immediately.
Another app option is called Acorn, which will use the same process but deposit your funds into an investment account. Each app can also help you with automatic bank transfers every month, or setting savings goals to keep you motivated.
Stop and set up a automatic savings app.
4. PUT A PORTION OF SAVINGS IN AN INVESTMENT ACCOUNT TO AUTOMATICALLY MAKE FREE MONEY
Investing can seem like such a daunting process, or only for the already-rich. Don’t fall for this! Investing is for you, and you might be surprised at how quickly the returns can stack up.
If you use an app like Acorn or Robinhood to make easy investments, great! However, you probably want to establish a relationship with a larger organization for more options.
We recommend Vanguard. You get 25 free transactions per year (many firms will charge you every time you want to move money around). Plus, they offer something called ETFs. Pick a company or app and link your bank account right now. Put in a few hundred dollars if you can spare it.
You may have heard of mutual funds, large collections of stocks meant to give you a balanced portfolio of investments over time. Here’s a scary statistic: 49% of mutual fund managers don’t invest in their own fund!
The fees are too high, and the returns are either on par or less than simply investing in the S&P (the overall market as a whole).
ETF’s don’t promise incredible returns, but they do have drastically lower fees than funds in other organizations. Pick an ETF like “Large Cap Growth” and instantly invest in dozens of companies like Google, Apple, and Lockheed Martin.
Investing is a “set it and forget it” activity. Make monthly or yearly deposits, and don’t watch the market. Check in a few years down the line, and you’ll be happy to see a few thousand dollars available, absolutely free! This will motivate you to keep investing.
(Don’t put all of your savings in investments. First, stack up three months of expenses for an “emergency fund” and keep that in your savings account).
Stop and set up an investment account.
We’ve encouraged you to take action immediately with this post. It might take all of 20 minutes to create this system, and just a few more to organize your budget when you have the time. Open a new tab, take care of these things, and celebrate!
Next, we have a mission for you: Save 10% of your income this month (and the next, of course). This is the real magic number that makes savings such a huge benefit to you. We promise you can hit this mark, and hopefully this has given you some great ideas on how to automatically save money!
Create or log in to your Conquer account and start the challenge. After the month, come back and tell us how well you did.
PS: If you’re not ready for budgeting software, you can use our free downloadable spreadsheet, “Resources.”
+ Constantly monitor your profit and loss
+ Discover money “leaks” to save more cash
+ Keep yourself accountable and grow wealth
Download that below!