by Matt B

As you have probably already read, my online savings account is with ING direct. Although rates have been dropping like a rock lately, they still destroy the national savings average and make everything very easy. From opening to funding to transferring to accounts in other institutions. I have implemented a system to “trick” myself into saving.

Every payday, like many, I used to have my entire check deposited into my checking account. I would then pare down the once decent deposit to a matter of pennies. I realized that I would spend whatever I had. Whether my check was $100 or $1000, I would always end up with nothing. I have always made at least meager contributions to my 401k accounts and never missed the money, because I never saw it.

That is how I decided to “trick” myself into saving. I figured that if I never missed the 401k contribution I made every pay period, I probably wouldn’t miss any savings contributions that I make either. What did I have to lose? Worst case scenario would be that I have to wait 2 days for the transfer to come from my savings account back into checking. So off I was!! Trying to decide how much do drop in savings was probably my hardest decision. After some deliberation, I decided to put roughly 10% of my take-home pay. I was absolutely right. I didn’t miss a penny. I love watching my savings grow.

This is commonly referred to as the “pay yourself first” method. It has been hugely successful for me and hope it is (or has been) for you.

As I started saving, I was in credit card debt. I still am, but not at the level I was when I started. It feels amazing to have a nice backup in this account while I continue to pay off debts. It is always good to know that I am no longer using credit as my emergency money. That alone gives me great motivation and confidence to pay these debts even quicker.

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