7 Ways to Stop Dipping Into Your Savings Account

Man taking money out of wallet
••• When you are using cash only for your spending, it takes a lot more work to overspend. Tetra Images/Getty Images

When money is tight, it is easy to dip into your savings account to help you over the rough spots during the month. However, you may find that your savings is not actually growing, and it can be difficult to see any progress. Usually, this means you are having issues with your budget or planning. Here are seven ways you can stop dipping into your savings account each month.

Set Up an Emergency Fund

If you have a separate emergency fund to handle unexpected expenses, then you will no longer need to dip into your savings account to cover things like car repairs. Although it may seem like you are dipping into savings, you really are not because you have earmarked these funds ahead of time to cover these expenses.

Switch to Cash Only

Identify your problem categories and switch to cash only to pay for the majority of your expenses. Your bank may automatically transfer money over to cover expenses from a cash reserve or savings account, which makes it easier to be lax about sticking to your budget. When you are using cash only for your spending, it takes a lot more work to overspend since you have to actually take the money out of the bank.

Move Your Savings to Another Bank

If you put your money in a different bank or open an online savings account, it slows down how quickly you can access the money. This can help curb impulse purchases, and you will still have access to the money if you need it. You can have your money automatically transferred into this account each month. It makes it easier to allow the money to grow instead of relying on it to cover your spending.

Adjust Your Budget

If you are consistently dipping into your savings, this is a sign that there is something wrong with your budget. You may find that you need to adjust your spending in your grocery category or other areas to cover increasing costs in utility bills. Taking the time to write down your budget and to track it each month will make a big difference in how much you can effectively save each month. You may be surprised at how much the small daily expenses are really costing you

Find Additional Income

It may be that you are not making enough to cover your expenses each month. If you are dipping in to cover your basic expenses each month and not to cover emergencies or overspending, you will need to find additional sources of income or look for a new job. Increasing your income can make it easier to save. Picking up a second job that allows you to earn tips can also help you cash flow any smaller emergencies that may come up.

Find Ways to Cut Your Other Expenses

If you are regularly dipping into your savings, it may be that you took on too many other responsibilities such as buying a car or house that you cannot afford. This can really cut into your ability to cover your necessities or feel like you are enjoying life. You may need to cut extras like cable television or your gym membership to make ends meet and work toward your financial goals. Additionally, you may need to take more drastic actions like selling your home or car and downsizing to something that you really can afford.

Reward Yourself for Milestones

If you respond well to extrinsic awards, you may want to reward yourself as you hit each milestone. Start with smaller rewards close together to help you build momentum, and then space them further apart and give yourself bigger rewards as you reach your goals. For example, for your first $1,000 saved, you may rewards yourself with a video game or a new pair of shoes. Once you reach $10,000, you can reward yourself with something a bit nicer like a weekend vacation or something similar.