Money Saving Mind Tricks

Money Saving Mind Tricks andthenwesaved.com

This is a fun post by guest writer, Melanie! xo. Anna

I don’t own a leather duster, a wand or a top hat. I won’t be performing in Vegas or even Reno any time soon. You definitely won’t see me hanging out in a Plexiglas case, encased in ice or buried alive, but I can teach you a few mind tricks to help you save money. And really that’s better than any magic trick.

13 Money Saving Mind Tricks..

1. Automatically Draft Money Into Savings

This is by far the best mind trick I have for saving money. Set up an automatic draft to pull money from your checking account into your savings account every month. You get extra points if you set up the draft to pull to a savings account with another bank or an account is more difficult to access. You won’t even miss the money. Maaaaaaagic.

2. Never Spend Change

If you operate on cash, always break a bill instead of fishing into your change purse. Empty your change each night and gradually you’ll have a small savings. This trick is particularly useful for smaller, nonessential savings like gas money for that road trip you’ve been planning. If you don’t operate on cash, you can still replicate this process. Some banks will round your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit that money into a savings account. If your bank doesn’t offer that service, you can easily add up the change on your purchases and move that change to a separate account. Doing the math yourself is a little a little less magical, but it works.

3. Windfalls and Unexpected Money

Those taxes returns you just got back, yeah, you worked hard for that money, but that’s no reason to run wildly to the nearest mall and blow it on a bunch of nothing. Windfalls, tax returns and unexpected money can make a great start to a rainy day savings account.

4. Freeze Your Credit Cards

Are you an impulse spender? We’ve all been there. We’re tired, hungry or stressed so we make an impulse buy. An effective and fun trick to play on yourself is to freeze your credit cards– literally. Place them in a bowl of water and put them in the freezer. Next time you want to make an impulse buy, you’ll have to wait for the water to melt along with the impulse!

5. Tape a Picture of What You Want Your Credit Card

I’ve been saving for a trip to Key West this summer. I can’t tell you what a guilt trip it is to see a picture of your long-term goal when I’m about to make an impulse buy. By wrapping my credit card and debit card in a picture of my end savings goal, I’m constantly reminding myself that afternoon trip to the vending machine won’t get me closer to my saving goal.

6. Tax Yourself

Before you make any purchase that is a “want” not a “need” implement a self-tax. Take the same amount that you’ll spend on your wanted item and transfer it to your savings account. I wouldn’t advise this as a long-term savings plan, but it the tax may defer you from making large, unnecessary purchases.

7. Pin it or Put it on Your ‘To Buy Later’ List

Sometimes just pinning that too cute bathing suit or writing down the item you want on a “Buy It Later”  list is enough of shopping rush. You’ll delay the purchase and you may even forget about it entirely. That’s magical, dude.

8. Ask for a Discount

You don’t have to play mind games with service people to get discounts. Sometimes simply asking for discounts will help you to receive a discount. Anna recently was able to cut $50 a month in expenses for ten minutes worth of phone calls!

9. Don’t Grocery Shop at Super Stores

This tip is kind of an anti-mind trick. Big box stores can trick you into spending money. You think, “Hey, I’ll just run in for bananas”, and end up with a cart full of god knows what. By shopping at a store that only sells the category of the thing that you need you’ll avoid the temptation of that new bag and the scarf… and hat… and shoes. Don’t let superstores hypnotize you!

10. Unsubscribe

Just as those pesky superstores can trick you into spending money when you are inside the store, retailers can do the same outside of the store. To avoid those ever-so-tempting online rebates, unsubscribe to retailer emails through Unroll Me. You can also avoid receiving snail mail offers through the service, Catalog Choice. These services take away the temptation before it even happens! It’s also a great tip to keep down clutter. Magic at it’s finest, folks.

11. Make it a Game

Set up a challenge between you and your spouse or you and your friends or family members. See who can save more money in a month. Award bonus points for making money on the weekends or coming up with free family activities.

12. Keep Making Payments After You Pay Off a Loan

Did you just pay off a loan? Awesome! You should be so proud of yourself. But don’t get ahead of yourself either. When people get a raise or suddenly have more money they inflate their lifestyle to match. So instead of making those student loan repayments, consider putting the same amount of money into a retirement fund. It’s making payments to your future, yo!

13. Visualize Yourself as a Wealthy Person

Athletes and top performers often cite the powers of visualization. Don’t discount the powers of visualization and affirmations just because you feel a bit silly doing it. Try visualizing yourself as a wealthy person. What does it look like? Where do you live? How do you look? What do you eat? Then work your way up to affirmations. Say your affirmations in the mirror each day. It seems so ridiculous, but after a while you’ll begin to believe. Mind magic!

 

What other kinds of mind tricks do you use to save money? Let me know in the comments!

Melanie is a recently married librarian living in an Airstream with her husband. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. Find out more about their life at Love Library.

10 comments

in Paying Off Debt

10 Comments

  1. renee shuman // April 11, 2014

    Great tips. I practice a number of these tips already, and they really help. My fiancee and have fun competing at saving money (he’s like the ice man, though — I almost never win! Thankfully, by saving we both win).

    I just used Unroll Me to unsubscribe from all of the email subscriptions I’ve signed up for over the years. I don’t often buy online, but I spend a mad amount of time drooling at all of the stuff on my favorite fashion and home goods websites. Thanks for the tip! I was so close to impulse buying some gorgeous strappy wedge heels for too much money and this post reminded me to SNAP OUT OF IT. I definitely don’t need $150 summer shoes.

  2. Blaise // April 11, 2014

    One ‘mind trick’ that I do is play ‘Price is Right’ when I’m consider buying a ‘want’ item. If I find something I like in a store, I decide how much I would be willing to pay for it before looking at the tag. 9 times out of 10, the price is more than I’m willing to pay, and I move along. If I don’t do this, I end up convincing myself that it’s WORTH the money, when otherwise, to me, it totally isn’t.

    • melanie // April 16, 2014

      Blaise, I love that trick! And the fact that you call it “Price is Right.” lol.

    • Free To Pursue // April 18, 2014

      Blaise, I do something similar. I decide how much I am willing to pay in the future and wait until it gets to that price. By then, 80% of the time, I don’t want/need it anymore.

      Another mind trick for me is to consider the stock market my shopping mall. Once in a while, stocks go on sale and I always want to make sure I saved up to go stock shopping. It’s a better rush than buying a pair of Jimmy Choos!

  3. Melinda DiOrio // April 11, 2014

    I love suggestion #5! I may try that one.

  4. Pieliekamais // April 14, 2014

    Some really good ones here!

  5. Kathy // April 18, 2014

    I never spend change either. I always give whole dollars when paying cash. The change goes into our piggy bank (pink of course) at the end of the day. Once or twice a year we pump his stomach and take the change to our bank who graciously puts it through their coin counter. We usually end up with a couple hundred $$ each time. Such a painless and easy way to increase the savings account.

  6. Watson // April 18, 2014

    A variation on #1: Direct deposit to savings. Transfer your spending money periodically (again, ideally to another credit union or bank). If putting money into your spending pool is the conscious effort, vs. putting it into savings, it’s surprising what you’ll accomplish. And, yes, that means all spending–from utilities to the fun stuff.

  7. Noah // July 18, 2014

    These are great tricks! Another trick that I recommend is playing “salesman” every three months. Since we tend to pile junk into our garage consistently, we forget about those items that just occupy space and devaluate over time. Every three months I do a “junk inventory” and start selling things online. Keeps the home clean and spacious.

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