Karen Kusek

Broker, ABR, CNE, CRS, e-Pro, PMN

By Barbara Pronin

You’ve heard it before: a great way to save money is to have ten percent of every paycheck automatically deposited into savings. Maybe you do that, and maybe you don’t – and if you don’t do it yet, perhaps you will decide to start.

For the die-hard resisters, there are some other good ways to build up your scanty savings. From a panel of consumers in Brea, California, here are five ways to get you started:

Fill a jar with fives – Filling a piggy bank with loose change is nice, but it will never make you rich. Try this: Every time you get a $5 bill in change, stuff it into a jar – right out in the open, where you can see it every day. Chances are, you won’t miss the fives in your wallet, but you may be surprised at how quickly the jar fills up. When it’s full, put the contents into the highest interest savings account you can find – and start stuffing the jar again.

Start by saving for the short-term – Got your eye on a new iPad – or some other indulgence you know you can’t really afford? Start saving spare nickels, dimes and dollars with an eye toward that single purchase, Reward yourself when you reach goal, and now that you’re in the habit, keep saving and bank it for the long-term.

Save your coupon savings – If you’re at all frugal, you are probably clipping and using grocery coupons. Add up the amount you are saving on each week’s grocery bill – then put that amount into savings.

Cut your personal expenses – Can you make do with a cheaper cell phone plan? Brew your own morning coffee? Give up magazines you don’t need, or cable stations you don’t watch? Make a list of your monthly personal expenses. Pare it ruthlessly, and put your savings into the bank.

Watch out for bank charges – Banks these days are charging fees for ‘inactive’ accounts, not meeting a minimum balance, or ‘services’ you didn’t know or forgot about. Check monthly statements and be aware if your savings are being slowly siphoned off. If fees are eating into your balance, move the account elsewhere.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.