Most of the personal finance books and blogs talk of saving money by being a smart and frugal shopper by using coupons, buying one get one free, perusing sales circulars or checking in to the merchants phone apps; but I have yet to read any advice on what to actually do with the amount of money that you save.
If I just merely acknowledged that I saved half-off retail price on a pair of sneakers which is about a $ 40 savings then that's one thing, but that just keeps the balance on my checking account higher by $ 40. I would probably just find another item to spend that $ 40 on since it is technically free right? Get more retail bang for my buck so to speak.
Instead my hack strategy recommendation is to discipline yourself to sweep that $ 40 you save into your savings account.
Here is an example, I just saved close to $ 23 on my last trip to the grocery store via coupons, store sales and using the grocery stores club card. The amount that I saved is right on my receipt $ 22.84. I use my rewards credit card to capitalize on getting some travelers miles which I will pay off as soon as possible when I get home. But while at the grocery store I use my phone to transfer that $ 22.84 that I would have spent had I paid full retail and that goes fright from my checking account to my savings account.
I make it a habit to earmark these savings whether I save $ 2.25 or $ 100 + when it comes to money and savings, small amounts no matter how small you may think will eventually add up to tangible results. This strategy has enabled me to really "beef up" my savings account and it is a painless way to save as well.
To be able to do this you will need
1. A checking account as well as a linked savings account preferably from the same bank or credit union
2. Your bank or credit union must have online banking so you may transfer money from your checking to your savings. Ideally if your bank has a phone app that allows transfers then that is even better. You do not want to wait that long to make your savings transfer; do it while the feeling of victory of saving money is still fresh.
Think of it as a score-card for showing how much you save on purchases.