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9 strategies to help you boost your finances


“Pay yourself first” and “automate your savings” are two of the most common pieces of financial wisdom. And it’s great advice.

You should put money away in savings first by routing it directly from your paycheck into your bank account to reduce temptation.

But sometimes you might want to save just a little bit more, and just feel like you can’t. Or maybe it’s that you find yourself raiding your piggy bank. Whatever the reason, here are nine ways you can up your savings game today. 

It’s best to set a percentage to automate directly from your paycheck into savings, but then you can also challenge yourself to save a little bit more.

“I gamify savings by trying a different challenge each month,” says Natalie Graham, founder of Go From Broke. Graham has done a no-spend challenge, in which you don’t spend money outside the essentials for a period of time, and a keep-the-change challenge where you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar (there are apps for this too).

“It’s not always easy, but knowing it’s just for the month keeps me motivated,” says Graham, who saved over $4,000 last year with her gamification strategies.

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An upward-pointing arrow made of grass sticking up out of dirt inside a glass piggy bank.

Make savings a game

Another way to gamify your savings is with cash. 

“Every time I go to the grocery store or Target I will get $20 cashback,” says Blair M. Scott, an oncology nurse. “I tuck that away in a drawer and use it for vacation fun or bigger purchases like my annual ski pass.”

Personally, I’ve used the five-dollar cash challenge. Anytime I got a five dollar back with change after making a purchase, I had to put it in a jar at home. That method gave me an extra $1,000 in savings in 18 months.



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