I transfer money to my savings account then pretend it doesn’t exist


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  • My savings strategy is simple: I transfer money from my checking account to an online savings account with a higher rate of return and then pretend it doesn’t exist.
  • I learned this strategy when I was working full time and taxes, insurance, and retirement savings were coming out of my paycheque before I even saw the money.
  • Now I have been able to finance trips abroad, cover expensive car repairs, and build a solid emergency fund by pretending I have no money.
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To save money, I pretend I don’t have any.

It may sound strange. Let me explain. First, I like to save money. As a child, I had my own little bank in the shape of a letterbox. I remember it was a gift from my grandfather, who had worked for the United States Postal Service. I slipped coins into the shiny letterbox and grew up learning that it was important to have my own money so that I can take care of myself.

Like an adult, I have set savings goals like traveling and have an emergency fund. The savings strategy that has always worked for me is where I transfer money from my checking account, put it in a separate account, online savings account with a higher rate of return – and then pretend my hiding place doesn’t exist.

I then repeat these steps until my savings account get to where I want it to be.

How I learned this savings strategy

Having a relief fund has become even more important now that I work independently as a writer, speaker, and coach. But I realized that my saving habit was inspired, in part, by my old workplace. retirement accounts.

When I had staff jobs, get a percentage of my salary taken before I could spend it, it was something I had gotten used to. It seemed normal to me – after deducting taxes, other expenses, and pension contributions – not to have access to my money all at once.

In fact, when I used to receive these paychecks, I would often take an extra percentage and transfer it to my savings account. I even did automatic transfers at one point, which was effective because I never saw the money in my checking account, so I never really missed it.

I would then pay bills, like housing bills, into my checking account. And since I put a lot of entertainment and other expenses on a credit card (I’m all about the points, all of you), I would use my checking account to pay for this card, in full, every month.

If there was anything left, sometimes I would add more to my savings. And if I had any cravings after that, well, I would look at my checking account balance and think I don’t have the extra money.

For me, living below my means was a priority to be able to finance my savings and my investments. While it wasn’t always fun to feel like I had no money, I loved watching my savings account grow. And although I know not everyone works like this, I’m used to it.

My father often finds my methods funny. When he and I talk about expensive things I want to buy, I sometimes say piteously, “But I can not. I have no money. And I mean it sincerely. Sort of. But he is aware of my hiding place and thinks my claims are hilarious. laugh… because he’s right.

When I have to dip into my savings, I always pay myself back

Now there is some exceptions to my amnesia. If I’m working toward a bigger goal, like traveling abroad, investing in improving myself, or putting a certain amount in the market, I will occasionally borrow money from my savings to pay for it. Or if I have an unforeseen expense, like a crazy maintenance bill for my car – Why does this happen? – I also took out savings.

For example, I embarked on a $ 4,000 trip to Europe in 2016 using my savings, and had $ 3,200 on hand to cover the cost of a major auto repair in 2017.

But over time, I work to pay myself back. Sometimes I take additional freelance work to do this. Or I reduce my expenses, by planning cheaper outings or fewer races.

Today I know how much I want to have in my savings account. (Usually several months of living expenses.) Once I have that, I can spend and invest the rest.

As I prepare to fatten my savings account now that the economy is in recession, I will continue to use this strategy of “hiding” money. And borrow from myself if need be.

There it is. Sometimes I am my own lender. And apparently an actress too. Of course, there is no Oscar for this kind of pretending. I guess my savings will have to do the trick.

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