Do you want to learn how to stop dipping into your savings account? Well, you’re not the only one. For most people, resisting the temptation to spend their savings is one of the hardest financial disciplines to adopt.
But here’s the thing, just because it’s normal, doesn’t make it ok.
In fact, learning to let your money sit in savings or investments, untouched, is one of the most important things you can do for your long-term financial well-being.
But let’s be honest, that’s much easier said than done.
I mean, if kicking the habit of dipping into your savings was easy, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this post in the first place. Am I right?
The good news is that there are quite a few tips and techniques you can employ in order to fight this destructive habit. And that’s exactly what I’m going to be discussing for the rest of this guide.
So, if you’re ready to set yourself up for success, and stop stealing money from your financial future, here are 10 ways to stop dipping into your savings account.
1. Move Your Savings To A Different Bank
If you want to reduce your temptation to dip into savings, then the very first thing you should do is hide it in a savings account at a different bank than your checking account.
Well, as the saying goes… “out of sight, out of mind.”
In other words, the less you interact with your savings account, the less tempted you will be to transfer money out of it. Not only that, but when your savings is sitting at a different bank than your checking account, transfers take more time; which can help restrict your ability to spend your savings on an impulse.
Think about it like this, when you’re on a diet, the best ways to avoid eating junk food is to never purchase it in the first place. That way, you aren’t tempted to eat it every time you open your fridge. Additionally, in the event that you do want to eat said junk food, you have to drive to the store and purchase it before you can indulge your craving — which is much less convenient.
The same goes for your savings. By moving it to a different bank than your checking account, you will reduce your temptation to spend it, and add an extra layer of inconvenience when you do consider pulling money out of it.
Of all the saving techniques I have ever implemented in my own financial life, this one has had one of the most positive impacts. And if you want to stop spending your hard-earned savings, I truly believe this is one of the first things you should do.
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2. Know Your Spending Triggers
Another great way to stop dipping into your savings is to figure out what, exactly, causes you to do it in the first place. In other words, figure out which moments or situations in your life usually lead you to pull money from savings.
For instance, one of my biggest spending triggers is home improvement stores. I’m not sure what it is, but whenever I walk into a Home Depot, I almost always end up buying something I don’t really need. This was a hard truth for me to face, but once I addressed it, my savings saw a massive benefit.
And if you want to stop dipping into your savings accounts, you should take an honest look at your spending habits and figure out what your spending triggers are as well.
To get you started, here are a few common examples of spending triggers:
- Driving past a particular restaurant on your way home from work
- Grocery shopping on an empty stomach
- Getting emails from your favorite retail stores
- Being influenced certain friends or family members
- Social Media
3. Get On A Written Budget
If you looked at the name of this website, you probably figured I’d end up talking about budgeting somewhere in this article. And you’d be right!
Because, plain and simple, budgeting is one of the most important financial habits you can adopt.
Not only does it help you keep track of your spending, but it allows you to work backwards from all your savings goals and determine exactly what you need to save every time you earn a paycheck.
Essentially, it is the map for achieving any financial goal you ever set for yourself.
And when you have a well-planned budget, it becomes much harder to justify your desire to pull money out of savings.
Similar to a Catcher on a baseball team that can see the whole field, when you live on a budget, it’s easy to see how every financial decision affects the rest of your financial life. And when your decisions carry that much weight, you will have more of a desire to make the right ones.
Want to learn more about budgeting? Check out these posts:
- 21 Simple Tips To Make Budgeting Easy
- How To Stick To Your Budget: 21 Simple Tips
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- How Much Should I Budget For Food?
4. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
If you constantly find yourself dipping into your savings account, then chances are, you’re overspending in other areas of life. Whether you’re spending too much on food, recreation, or even your living expenses, until you start living within your means, you will struggle to avoid dipping into savings.
So, what should you do?
Cut, or reduce, every unnecessary expense you can find in your budget. And when I say unnecessary, I really mean it.
For instance, if you’re dipping into savings every month because you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, then there’s no reason you should be paying for things like: cable, streaming services, music subscriptions, or even dining out at restaurants.
Necessary expenses are things like: water, shelter, food, heat, electricity, internet, and insurance. Beyond that though, you should start cutting until you’ve built some financial margin into your life.
The more room you have between your monthly income and your monthly expenses, the easier it will be for you to stop dipping into savings.
5. Increase Your Income With A Side Hustle
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve cut your expenses to the bone and you still can’t stop dipping into savings, then you might need to boost your income.
Whether that means getting a part-time job or starting your own side business, earning a better income is one of the best ways to stop pulling money from savings.
6. Figure Out Your Financial Purpose
When it comes to saving money, or really any other area of life, if you don’t figure out an inspiring purpose that drives every decision you make, it will be incredibly difficult to achieve any goal you set.
In particular, if you can’t seem to resist the urge to dip into your savings, then you might just be lacking a sense of purpose.
Seriously, have you ever even asked yourself why you’re saving money?
From what I have observed in my time as a personal finance blogger, most people just save money because they know it’s a smart thing to do. And, while that’s true, it lacks inspiration. And without any kind of inspiration, what reason do you have NOT to dip into savings?
If you want to stop dipping into your hard-earned savings, you need to make it your business to find a financial purpose so inspiring that you wouldn’t dream of dipping into your savings.
For instance, your goal could be to build up enough savings to escape a job you hate. Maybe you’ve been dreaming about starting your own business, and having a nice big pile of savings is the best way to fund it. Or maybe, you just want to save enough money to travel the world and not have to worry about making ends meet.
Whatever it is, just find a financial purpose that inspires you. You’d be amazed how much of a positive impact this can have on your savings account.
7. Stay Away From Debt
Along the same lines as cutting expenses, if you want to take some of the pressure off of your savings account, then reducing (or completely eliminating) your debt is one of the smartest things you can do.
No only does this improve your financial margin, but it also simplifies your entire financial situation. That, in turn, makes budgeting less of a hassle, saving money easier, and achieving your financial goals a much faster process.
To put it simply, the less debt you owe, the more of your hard-earned money you get to keep. And the more money you get to keep, the less likely you will be to dip into your savings account.
Debt is a savings-eating monster. And the sooner you kick it to the curb, the better off your finances will be.
8. Set Up An Emergency Fund
There’s a great saying I once heard, that has stuck with me, and it goes like this: “the only thing predictable about life, is that it is unpredictable.” And when it comes to personal finance, that statement couldn’t be more accurate.
You see, in your financial life, there are going to be expenses that come out of nowhere. Things like medical bills, car repairs and home repairs can be lurking around every corner. And while you might not be able to predict each expense, you can prepare for them by saving an emergency fund.
That way, when an unexpected expense does rear its head, you can use your emergency fund to pay for it rather than going into debt, or pulling money from your other savings goals.
9. Find An Accountability Partner
One of the things that makes personal finance such a difficult subject is that very few people are willing to talk about it. Because of that, the majority of those people operate their financial lives without any sort of accountability.
Similar to finding a workout partner that holds you accountable to hitting the gym every day, finding a financial accountability partner can make a massive difference in your ability to save.
The key here is to find somebody with whom you can be completely honest. Whether that’s your spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a trusted friend, building some accountability into your finances can help you stop dipping into your savings account.
10. Work With A Financial Coach Or Advisor
If you really want to put your foot down and stop pulling from savings, then working with a financial coach or advisor is a phenomenal option. In fact, this is a great option for anybody looking to improve their financial habits.
Not only does this give you access to somebody with a ton of financial knowledge, but it also adds an extra layer of accountability to your finances. And that, as I mentioned, can have a really positive effect on your financial well-being.
In theory, putting money into savings and letting it sit there shouldn’t be too difficult. But we all know it just isn’t that simple.
So, rather than beat yourself up about it, the best thing you can do is just try to get better each day. And I really hope this article has provided you with some strategies to do just that.
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