3 Clever Ways To Grow Your Savings Account

3 Clever Ways To Grow Your Savings Account
By Dave Freeman
Last updated: January 16th, 2017

We all know we should save more money. But the truth is, we don't. The statistics are shocking, too.

For example, according to a recent Federal Reserve report, nearly half of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency without borrowing, using a credit card, or selling something. And according to stock and financial website Motley Fool, 30% of Americans have no savings at all.

These are very sobering statistics, and should ring alarm bells for many. Because having no savings is no way to live. As an old TV commercial once said, there's nothing like the feeling of money in the bank.

It's Hard to Save Money

The reason for this is simple: it's hard to save money. People living paycheck to paycheck simply do not have the resources to put aside money every week.

We understand. That's why I want to point out three clever ways to save money, and build up that savings account. Not everyone will be able to do all three of these, but just about everybody can do at least one of them.

Savings Trick #1 – Remove all $5 Bills and Put Them Away

I confess this is not my idea – I saw it on Facebook, and thought it was brilliant, so I'm sharing it here so a wider audience sees it.

It's a simple process. Every time you get a $5 bill, either in change, in a birthday card, or whatever, you put it aside. Then when you get home, you put it in a box, a drawer, or something similar. Whatever you choose, just drop the fives in there. Don't count them, and don't even look at them. Just take every $5 bill you get and put it in the box.

Why a $5 bill? Because you'll never miss a $5 bill, and you'll never have that many at once (no cashier ever gives more than one $5 bill in change). So it's not going to hurt your wallet in any way.

I have found that this becomes a fun little game. You can't wait to get that $5 and squirrel it away. And at the end of the year, deposit them into savings. You'll likely have a few hundred bucks. Nice.

Savings Trick #2 – Round Up for Debit Cards and Checks

You keep track of your debit card spending and (if you are old school) checks, right? So when you make your entry, ROUND THE AMOUNT UP. If you spent $43.17 on gas, enter $44 into your checkbook or register. This will make reconciling at month's end a little "off", but as long as you keep rounding up, you'll always be in the black. In our example above, you just saved 83 cents. Do that day after day, week after week.

What this does is it silently and slowly builds a solid reserve in your account. At the end of the year, do a "real" reconciliation, and deposit that overage into a savings account.

Savings Trick #3 – Keep Buying That Coffee or Similar, But Not Really

Many of us have that little junk food thing we buy almost daily. Be it soda, coffee, latte, chips, a buttered roll, whatever… almost all of us spends a few dollars daily on something to eat or drink. I'm going to tell you to learn to live without it, but still "buy" it by putting that money aside, every single day.

This can be simple, and you don't have to suffer. Just choose ONE thing. For example, learn to have a glass of ice water with lemon with your lunch instead of that soda (you'll be surprised how easy you'll adapt to this, too). Put that $1.50 in a jar instead. It adds up.

There. Three simple, very-doable tips to help you save money. Yes, they are basic, but are you doing any of them now? And what's your bank account look like? Do any one of these and it'll look better at this time next year, I promise.

Happy Saving!