Always keep your change
Bank of America’s Keep the Change program was first introduced a few years ago and I tried it out while I was still a customer. I am not someone who can easily save money because I love to spend it, but there are small ways to trick yourself into saving when you still have easy access to your money.
This method works because it’s the equivalent of a change jar at home, except with your checking account. When recording transactions in your check register or spreadsheet, round up to the next whole dollar. At the end of the week or month, move the money you’ve accumulated to its new, permanent home in your savings account.
In addition to your digital change, keep a regular change jar. After purchasing something with cash, keep the coins for your jar at home. If you rarely use cash, this won’t build up as fast, but every penny helps. Always pick up change on the ground as well. Many banks will count your coins for free if you’re a customer, but Coinstar will give you a gift certificate to retailers such as Amazon or iTunes without charging you a fee.
Another way to save money is to charge yourself a fee like a bank would. For every deposit, charge yourself $1, $2, or even a small percentage. Move the savings into another account for safekeeping. You won’t miss the money, but it will help you save. If you want to go the extra mile, charge yourself a small fee for everything. Anytime you withdraw money or use your card, charge yourself $1. If we’ve learned anything from Office Space, it’s that small amounts will add up.