Clever ways to save

Woman celebrates reaching her savings goal.
June 28, 2018 | Katie Pins

When it comes to tips for saving more, we’ve all heard the same things: Start small. Set up automatic transfers. Save your tax refund. So, we at Alliant were thinking, are there other ways to save? Whether it’s for an emergency fund, your retirement or a new car, we all could use a fresh way to save. Here are some ways that you can expedite your savings.

Put a positive spin on savings

Saving money can feel like a chore. Especially when spending is a lot more fun. You could go on a vacation, buy those beautiful wireless headphones you’ve been eyeing, or put your money in a savings account. The latter sounds a lot less fun because the reward is delayed. To combat your want for immediate gratification, put a positive spin on your savings goals.

Remind yourself why you’re saving. Name your supplemental savings account so that it is specific to your goal. Say you name your account “My Dream Car”.  Now, each time you transfer money to your account, you’ll be reminded that you’re closer to that goal. You’ll visualize your windows open as you cruise to your destination, instead of seeing a couple hundred dollars move from one account to another.

You can also play a game called Tip Yourself. (There’s even an app.) Any time you do something great, such as go to the gym or land a big client, tip yourself. All you do is transfer money from your checking to your savings as a reward just for you. By relating an accomplishment to a cash “prize,” you recognize your good deed while preparing yourself for the future. Suddenly, you’ll trick yourself into saving more and you’ll remind yourself to celebrate those small or big wins. As some would say, it’s a win-win.

Speaking of celebrating, no matter if you’re a stay-at-home parent or an executive, celebrate each time you transfer money into your savings. Even if you have automatic transfers set up, do a dance, raise your hands up high, or give yourself a pat on the back. When you associate your savings with a positive experience, you’ll begin to seek out more ways to save.

Think about spending in hours, not money

Time is money. A new trend is to think, how many hours did I have to work to afford this item? Here’s how to put that into practice. Break your salary into how much you make a day (after taxes). Then when you go to purchase the latest plasma screen TV, think: Is this item worth two days of my life?

This kind of thinking can put your purchases in perspective. You’re more likely to stick to your financial goals. It will also encourage you to save for the things that matter most to you. If that television IS worth two days of your life because it symbolizes your hard work, go for it! If it’s not worth that time, save for something that is. An early retirement or a home you can call your own may be worth your time.

If you’re unsure about whether or not something is worth your time, sleep on it. 20 percent of our income should go to savings and debt repayments, so it helps when you spend smarter to save more.

Save your shopping cart discounts

Have you rocked Amazon Prime Day or used a dozen Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and saved big? It’s always fun to see that total savings number in your cart or at the checkout, but what have you done with those savings? For the longest time, I did nothing. Then I came across a really smart tip. Put that exact amount of “savings” into your savings account. Transferring these funds is easy with a few taps of your finger in the Alliant Mobile Banking App.  This method is definitely something you can do on the go.

The savings you accumulate will add up quickly and can be put to good use. I like to put it into a supplemental savings account that contains just my shopping cart discounts. You can see how great a shopper you are over time this way. Plus, if your account accumulates interest, the discounts you earned can start earning you more money.


Saving doesn’t need to feel like a chore. Try out these fun and rewarding ways of saving to see if you can reach your goals quicker. I hope that some of these tips will help you take your savings to the next level.

Other ways to help you save:

How can a minimalist mindset save you money?

Boost your savings or reduce your debt by an entire paycheck – painlessly!

Four ways to stick to your financial goals

Early retirement could come down to simple math

Katie Pins is a marketer fascinated with finance. Whether the topic is about the psychology of money, investment strategies or simply how to spend better, Katie enjoys diving in and sharing all the details with family, friends and Money Mentor readers. Money management needs to be simplified and Katie hopes she accomplishes that for our readers. The saying goes, "Knowledge is Power", and she hopes you feel empowered after reading Money Mentor.

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