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May 16, 2021

How do you trick yourself into saving?

As consumers, we trick ourselves into a lot of things: that we’ll wear those pants we just have to have; that Facebook isn’t taking over our lives; that it’s a good idea to teach people how to Dougie.

866605_piggy_bank_1 But when it comes to saving, there’s real value in finding ways to fool ourselves into cutting back.

Such as this. The blog 27 and Frugal recently highlighted a common method of self-discipline at the grocery store – avoiding a cart or basket so we only buy what we can carry. Legitimate? Definitely, but what other methods can we use to stop from spending ourselves dry?

For it’s case – and you might do this yourself – 27 and Frugal recommends imagining you always have to walk home from the grocery store, car keys in your pocket or not.

This way, the thinking goes, you won’t load up on items you don’t need (bulk, sale and otherwise) and can save by fooling yourself into grabbing only the necessities.

It’s a simple trick, but it’s hardly the first such tactic we use.

Automatic savings bank accounts, of course, are the most famous “eliminate the psychological hurdle of saving” method, though consumers do the same thing in a number of ways.

There’s the “Gift card layaway” system, via LifeHacker.com, whereby shoppers buy gift cards for items they’re looking to buy. So, if you want that new plasma TV, buy gift cards for Best Buy or wherever as you save money to ensure that cash stays focused and isn’t spent frivolously.

Or, some people – in a bid to remember their intentions to save – rubber-band a photo or advertisement to their wallets to keep such frugal initiatives fresh in the mind. So, if you’re trying to save for junior’s education fund, keep a photo of the kid attached to your wallet as a means to resist the urge to splurge.

What methods do you use to trick yourself into saving?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...