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Top 5 Simple Ways to Get Serious About Saving

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Saving money can be a real challenge when your budget is tight – an unexpected expense here, another there; and oops there's no money left to save. If you're tired of having to put off saving, then this is for you! Here are five ways to get serious about saving--and none of them are painful.

1. Set Up Auto-Draft

Keep saving simple by taking yourself out of the equation. Use your bank's auto-draft feature to schedule regular transfers from your checking account to your savings account. Then, sit back; and let the bank handle all of the details for you.

2. Hang onto Your Change

Saving change is far from a new idea, but there's a reason for that: it works. Make a habit of emptying all of your change into a jar each night. Then, deposit the money into a savings account whenever the jar is full.

To boost your savings even further, make a game out of looking for coins in parking lots. It's even more fun to save, when you're saving someone else's money.

3. Save Your Rebates

Do you participate in a lot of rebate offers? If so, consider depositing all of your rebate checks into a savings account. You aren't likely to miss the money, but you are likely to enjoy getting those savings statements in the mail.

4. Bank Your Raise

Receive a raise at work? Try not to think of it as an opportunity to super-size your lifestyle, but an opportunity to super-size your savings. Increase your 401(k) savings by the amount of your raise, or set up an auto-draft to do the same. Then, keep trucking on with your current lifestyle.

5. Hide Your Money

Accessible money is money that's likely to get spent. Keep your savings out of reach by depositing it at a different bank than your checking account--the extra hassle will make you think twice about spending it.

Certificates of Deposit and savings bonds are also good savings tools for keeping money out of sight.

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