Creative Ways to Save Money This Year

Saving money can be a real pain but these tips will help make it a little more enjoyable.

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Meet Your Financial Goals

Whether you’re trying to save money for a big vacation or just pay off debt, there are creative ways to reach your goals. It can be easy to get bogged down with worries of how far you have to go if you’re trying to save a substantial amount, but we’ve rounded up some apps and solutions that will help you forget about it. TLCme spoke with Katherine Salisbury, the co-founder of the Qapital app, to find out what advice she has for people hoping to save more this year.

Make it Fun!

Salisbury explained that the Qapital app helps make savings as fun as possible. “When it comes to saving, the more you can make it fun, the easier it’ll be for you to keep saving,” she said. “For example, Qapital has rules you can set up for saving—like saving every time Trump tweets or when you splurge on a guilty pleasure.”

Set Specific Goals

If you know exactly how much you need to take that dream vacation or buy those killer shoes, you’re more likely to hit the goal.

“Another positive way to save is to set specific goals for what you’re saving for, like that vacation you’ve been eyeing or a big purchase,” Salisbury said. “The more positively you feel about saving, the more likely it is you’ll keep saving.”

Don’t Unnecessarily Restrict Yourself

Similar to dieting, consistently focusing on your limitations will make it harder to set up a sustainable method of progress.

“Restricting yourself from habits or purchases that bring you joy creates a negative association with saving money,” Salisbury said. “Instead, focus on spending on what makes you happy, and then reward yourself when you do spend less on what you don’t really need.”

Reward Yourself When You Hit Goals

Whether your goal is to hit a certain number in your savings account or to stop calling Uber as often, you should reward yourself with something you like when your goal is reached. Try to identify rewards in your life that don’t involve spending money, like taking a hot bath, reading your favorite book or watching your favorite show or movie.

Call in the Apps!

While Qapital is great, there are lots of apps that you can use to help you invest and save money. For Qapital specifically, you can choose to round up to the nearest one, two or three dollars with each purchase and have that change placed in a savings account. Acorn does something similar, except it invests the change. With Qapital, you can also have percentages taken out of incoming payments, which is good for freelancers or people who need a percentage of their income taxed.

Look Closely at Your Budget

Sometimes taking a closer look at your budget can reveal places where you’re spending exorbitant amounts of money that you didn't even notice. Do you get a coffee every day? Even if it's the cheapest drink on the menu, it could be adding up.

Use Your Tax Refund to Start a New Savings Account

Starting off with a good base is motivational and it could make you excited to continue saving toward a certain goal. Consider putting your tax refund in a savings account, even if it’s an account you have in mind for a certain goal. The added boost will probably give you even more confidence and help you want to work toward your goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

If you’re able to do this by setting up reminders and alerts on your phone, great. Otherwise, find a financial counselor you can share your goals and interests with. Accountability is always a motivating factor in success!

Compare Prices with Your Staple Products

Is there something you’ve been buying at the grocery store each week that you could be getting online for a fraction of the price? I recently came to this realization with the granola bars that I love, and it’s resulted in me being more mindful of all of the food and toiletry items that I purchase regularly.

Put Unexpected Income Aside

Even if it’s just a little bit of money, try setting it aside in a place where you have to go through some sort of effort in order to access it. Whether that’s through an investment or in an app that will take time to transfer the money back to your bank account, all of it will make you take a moment to really consider where you’re going to spend.

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