Start with a few bucks. When you don't miss it anymore, increase the amount a little. Work slowly, giving yourself time to adjust.
Honest, it works. "Once you see what you've accomplished, you're more disciplined. You don't want to see that money diminish," says Taylor, whose Smart Kidz Money Matters program targets secondary-school students.
If you're a hands-on type, make sure the first item on your list of bills to pay each payday is savings.
Financial planner Paul Tran of Focal Point Financial goes a step further, sending his clients monthly invoices for their long-term goals, such as "Your Dream Home."
"They're in that mentality of rounding up all invoices to pay them. There's momentum in that," says Tran, of Irvine, Calif.
A few more stealth saving tactics
Yes, it's hard to save. Do it anyway. Don't give in to what Richard Barrington of MoneyRates.com calls the "misery-loves-company trap."
"The fact that your neighbor or your fishing buddy or your brother is in the same boat isn't going to make your financial hardship any easier," Barrington says. "At the end of the day, you're responsible for your savings."
Some additional strategies:
- Set up direct deposit for a flexible spending account and/or work-related reimbursements. If you need those funds to pay bills, try to leave at least $5 of each reimbursement in the bank.
- Get symbolic. Want to retire at 65? Start depositing $65 each month or week. Indiana resident Marc Allan makes weekly deposits equal to his two daughters' ages. "It's an easy way to save, and since it only goes up $1 a year per child, it's not difficult to maintain," Allan says.
- Ask for help. Why not start a savings support group, either online or with friends?
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
One way I save is having my Social Security check directly invested in high paying div. stocks every month. I don't ever see the check so I don't miss it. I still work and earn the maximum allowed. I'm lucky in that I'm able to live on my part time jobs income plus several apartments I own.
I think the biggest single thing any retiree can do to help them live better is try to eliminate as much of their debt s as possible, especially credit card debt.
Some bills will always be there, utilities,food, transportation expenses, housing. If you can get rid of most credit card monthly payments your life will be much better.
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