Little Tricks You can Use to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money


Sometimes I trick my kids into doing what I want them to do by lying to them, leading them to believe things that might not be the whole truth and by being a total rock star. I’m not ashamed; I have four kids, and I lie to them pretty regularly to keep the peace and, you know, get them out the door in time for school. As a mother and a grown adult, I also lie to myself at times. It’s not lying so much as it is trickery. I can convince myself I have to do this, that or the other so that it gets done and I’m not a raging lunatic when things are not done.

Yes; I lie to my kids, and to myself, and sometimes to my husband (what? I’m not about to hurt his feelings when he brings me chocolate on his way home and I secretly wish he had not). That’s all right, though, because lying is good for us when we use it for good. How about lying to trick yourself into saving money and becoming wealthier? I like it. Let’s do it.

Transfer Your Savings

When you go into any store and receive a receipt with a big circle at the bottom that says, “You saved X amount of dollars,” on your purchase, send that money over into your savings account. That’s a good way to trick yourself into saving some money. It’s like you spent it, but you didn’t.

Create a Definite Budget

You should already have a budget, but we’re talking about one that has your spending money, your gas money, your grocery money and all your other money in it, too. We want you to take that money and put it into your checking account and we want you to put anything that’s left over into savings. Whatever you did not need to transfer into your budget account, put into savings. Any other money you earn or receive throughout the month, put it into your personal banking or savings account, too.

Make a Bet With Yourself

When someone makes a bet with me, I’ll do anything (legal) to win that bet. I will do it. So when my husband said to me one month that he bet I could not go one week without buying anything but the necessities for our household, I went the entire week without buying anything, period. Nothing; I didn’t even go to the store. I was really surprised how creative I was that week when I would usually spend $100 at the supermarket to pick up one container of caper otherwise we would not be able to eat dinner that night – I was a rock star. If I can do that, you can do that.

Give Yourself a Day

When you want to buy something, put it in your cart and then walk away (obviously I’m talking about online shopping). If you still need it or want it desperately in 24 hours, get it. If not, ignore it. You will be surprised how often something that you think you have to have is something you no longer want after you’ve had some time to think about it.

Put All Additional Money Away

Get a raise? Don’t rely on it; save it. Get an unexpected refund from your homeowner’s insurance policy because you paid too much in your escrow account last year? Put it away. Get a side job doing something for someone? Put it away. These things are designed to help you lie to yourself by tricking yourself into saving, and they really work.

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