3. Forget the Raise
Got a raise? Congratulations! Before you start spending this windfall, increase your automatic transfer to your savings account to reflect that pay increase. If it’s an annual cost-of living increase, you’ve likely already adjusted to higher prices, and if it’s a promotion-related raise, you won’t miss the money.
Instead of spending your extra pay, put it towards something that’s important to you, like retirement savings or a family vacation. (There are many ways your employer can make your job more pleasant, even when money is tight.
4. Keep the Habit
It took you years, but you finally paid off your car. Instead of being tempted to spend the extra cash you now have each month, pretend you’re still making that payment, but make it to yourself instead. You can set up an automatic transfer to savings for the payment amount; if you’re really looking ahead, you can set the money aside until it’s time to replace your car. Imagine going to the dealership years from now and paying cash for your next car – now there’s some motivation to keep those payments going into savings.
5. Finders Keepers
We all run into the occasional found money: that rebate check you forgot about, the $20 in your winter jacket from last year or that larger-than-usual tax refund. Instead of blowing this money at your local store of choice, put it into savings. You won’t miss the money, and it’ll get you closer to your goal if you put it in your savings account, accruing interest.
If you’re having a hard time resisting temptation and want to have some fun now with your extra money, consider splitting the amount in two: half into savings, half fun money. This way, you can feel good about investing in your future, but still have a little fun today. (This year, find out how to stretch these dollars further to strengthen your future.