To many of us, saving money can really feel like a chore. We want to go out and spend it on new items and new experiences. Choosing to save a chunk of money each month and not get tempted by spending can really take some will power.
I was always a spender, but I’ve started saving more money over the past couple of years and we now have a good chunk saved in an emergency fund. We’re also managing to save into our children’s savings accounts each month so they will have a lump sum of cash from us when they hit adulthood.
If you’re looking to increase your savings easily, then you’re in the right place. Today I am going to share with you three effective tips on how to save money without feeling like you’re even trying!
The 3 hacks I use to put more cash in my savings account each month
Here are three money saving hacks to help you increase your savings. I’ve been doing these three things and they really do help to boost that savings balance.
1. Good old fashioned piggy bank
I think throughout my adult life I’ve always had a loose change pot or a piggy bank. It’s surprising how quickly the cash adds up. Now we have two children we put the money saved in money boxes into the children’s savings accounts. We currently have two piggy banks and all small change goes into them; so this includes 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p coins.
It’s so easy to change at our Natwest branch, and possibly your own bank, as they have a change counting machine in the bank. The kids love to tip in all the coins and see the total add up!
Last time we took two full money boxes I predicted £30-£40. We actually had just over £100 – wow!
We add the small change from our wallets each week and we really don’t miss this money or notice it’s gone.
It’s a really easy way to start saving some money and lightening your wallet from all that loose change.
My top tip is to only cash out when you can’t fit any more coins in the money box. Simply forget about this cash and you’ll be surprised how much money you can save. If you don’t have a money box then simply salvage a jar or pot from your recycling and start saving.
2. Rounding down (skimming)
I started doing this last year I believe and it was actually questioned on our recent mortgage application! I round down our main bank account every time a bill or payment goes out, so the number is even.
For example, if we have £215.76 in our account then I’ll pop 76p into our savings to round our account balance down to £215. If I’m feeling particularly flush then I might pop £5.76 or even £15.76 into our savings.
Mostly I round down by the pence each time I check our bank account balance. It only takes a second and it’s like a digital version of a loose change pot!
I also like seeing a round amount in our current account, so it’s become a bit of an obsession.
It’s really surprising how quickly these small regular payments add up in the savings. I usually check our account every day and so there can sometimes be a lot of these small payments to our savings. This is what my mortgage adviser and potential lender queried and I had to show statements from our savings to show that’s where these many transactions were going!
As many of us don’t get actual cash out, this is a great way to save that loose change that your real money box is missing out on.
I started doing this automatically last year without having read anything about it. I’ve since seen that other money bloggers do this and the official name for it is ‘skimming’.
My top tip is to only ‘skim’ or round down to what you can afford. If it’s only the odd pence then that’s fine. It will begin to add up. If you’re weird like me, then you’ll also get a small kick out of a nice round figure in your main account too!
3. Treat your monthly savings goal like a bill payment
I think many of us are, or have been, guilty of spending all month with the aim of saving anything that’s left. In my experience this has never worked. If the money is sat there then I tend to spend it.
I’ve flipped this on its head and we now save before we spend.
We treat our savings account like a bill at the start of the month when all of our other household direct debits go out.
We have a standing order for a set amount to our savings account. We treat it like a bill. It goes out to our savings on the first of every month and we leave it there. We do this to our savings account (Benjamin and I) and also to each of our children’s savings accounts.
We then budget as a family for the rest of the month without this money.
My top tip is to stick to your guns and leave this money in your savings account. Truly treat it like a bill. Once it’s gone out of your main account, it’s gone. The money is not yours to spend anymore. Just make sure you are not leaving yourself short and that your leftover budget is going to last the rest of the month without struggling.
These are the three savings hacks I use to ensure we are saving money into our joint savings account each month and for our children. They are simple ways to save money without really trying and sometimes without even noticing!