When saving more money is one of your goals—and the most important skill to master—is patience. After all, it can take time to increase your savings account balance as you work towards specific savings goals. There's no secret trick for how to save money fast. It all comes down to making small changes that have a big impact on your overall savings.
The first rule in saving more money is committing to doing it regularly and having a clear goal in mind. Once you've got that down, you can put these savings tips to work:
1. Automate Savings Transfers Each Payday
If you're struggling with the savings habit, scheduling automatic transfers to savings can be a huge help. When money is moving from checking to savings automatically each payday, there's less temptation to spend it and you can easily watch your savings balance grow over time.
Review your budget and choose an amount that you can commit to regularly, then put your savings on autopilot. For maximum savings growth, choose a savings account that offers a combination of the best interest rates and the fewest fees.
2. Pay Your Bills Automatically
While you're setting up automatic savings transfers, schedule automatic payments for your bills. This can help you avoid any late fees, which can you a lot of money on late fees and protect your credit rating. Late payments can ding your credit score in a major way, which could result in higher interest rates when you borrow. Paying your bills on time and keeping your score in good shape can yield additional savings if you're eligible for the best rates on loans or credit cards.
3. Put Credit Card, Checking, & Loyalty Rewards to Work
If you're spending money, why not get some of it back? Using rewards checking account or rewards credit card, or signing up for loyalty programs offered by your favorite restaurants and retailers is an easy way to save more money.
You can use your debit or credit card to earn cashback rewards on purchases and double dip with loyalty program rewards. That's effectively like getting a discount on everything you spend. Just remember to keep your budget firmly in mind so you're not tempted to overspend to earn more rewards, as that could counteract your savings efforts.
4. Use Apps and Online Tools to Score Savings
In addition to loyalty reward programs, there is a slew of apps and websites that can offer cashback rewards when you spend. Ibotta, for instance, allows you to earn cash back on groceries while sites like Rakuten rewards you with cash back rebates when you shop online. You can use these sites and apps in conjunction with your rewards debit or credit card and loyalty programs to increase your savings even further just by spending and shopping as you normally would.
5. Go Cash Only If You're Tempted to Overspend on Credit
While your credit card can put cash rewards in your pocket, it could also lead you into debt which is the last thing you want when you're trying to save. As you master how to save money fast, consider temporarily switching to cash-only if you're worried about being able to control credit card spending.
6. Round up Your Transactions
In addition to automatic savings transfers, you can give your savings another boost by rounding up your purchases. If you spend $25.73 at the movies, for example, round it up to $26 in your checkbook and send the other $0.27 to your savings account. You could increase the roundup amount to the next $5 or $10 mark if you're more ambitious and really want to gain some traction with your savings quickly. For example, instead of rounding to $26, you could round to $30 and save $4.26.
7. Eliminate One Small Monthly Expense
When it comes to budgeting, it's often the little things that do us in. To carve out more savings fast, consider ditching one smaller monthly expense, such as that $10 subscription to the newspaper you don't read or the $8 you spend at the car wash every other week. Then, park that money in your savings account. Chances are, you won't even miss not spending that money and you'll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make to your savings long-term.
8. Negotiate Your Bills
While some of your bills, such as your rent or mortgage payment, can be non-negotiable, you may have some wiggle room with others. For example, you might be able to find a better deal on your car insurance or your cell phone service. Doing some comparison shopping to find better rates can be a little time-consuming but it can be time well spent if it helps you to save more money each month.
9. Transfer a Balance
Paying off your credit card balances can instantly improve your ability to save if you're no longer making payments to the debt each month, but that's not always practical. Getting a lower rate on your balances can help you pay the debt off faster while saving money on interest. Look around for 0 percent introductory APR balance transfer offers to make your debt more affordable. And to save even more money, aim for one that doesn't come with a stiff balance transfer fee.