Use direct depositThe best savings secret is using direct deposit from your paycheck into a savings account.
I also have direct deposit to an additional savings account at a bank that I don't frequent very often for my vacation and Christmas fund. Even small amounts add up if you leave it alone.
Leverage automatic savingsThe key in our household is automatic deposits. Here are some examples:
1. Every month we have a set amount taken out of our checking account and put into our two children's college savings plans -- $50 each.
In this way we are setting aside $600 per year for each child for their college education. At $600 each year for 18 years we will have a lot more than I, or my parents, had saved for my college education. They will be expected to work, apply for scholarships and take out loans if necessary to help fund their education.
2. Part of our paychecks goes to various savings accounts automatically:
A. Savings accounts for each of our children (both are under age 8) to buy them clothes or other necessary items. We save $10 per month for each, so that is $120 per year for each child, plus birthday and Christmas money they receive from relatives helps toward clothing expenses.
B. A money market fund for future vacations to the tune of $50 every two weeks, which turns out to be $1,300 per year. We usually take a big vacation every two years, so we have at least $2,600. Any money not spent on a previous vacation is left in the account.
C. A money market fund for the down payment on our next vehicle. Whenever we pay off a vehicle, that money gets set aside instead of spent, currently $150 every two weeks, which turns out to be $3,900 per year. We try to go at least two to four years after paying off a vehicle before replacing it.
D. A savings account for Christmas spending; we save $80 per month, or $960 total, to put toward Christmas presents for family and friends.
3. We fund our 401(k)s directly through our employer, taken out of our paychecks pretax. Paying for our retirement comes first.
By having our money moving automatically around to various savings accounts or into the college funds or 401(k) plans, there is no way not to have that money available for those reasons.
-- Jen Richardson
Don't touch the moneyI have a certain amount allotted to a bank account each payday that I do not use to pay bills, nor do I withdraw that account. I never miss the money because it is allotted before my pay is deposited.