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Trick Your Way To More Savings

With these tips, it's more fun to save money than to spend it

  • Penny pinchers: The Nickel Builder
    Jason Schneider

    The Nickel Builder

    Begin saving 5 cents on the first day, and increase the amount you set aside by a nickel each day: a dime, then 15 cents and so on for a year. The most you'll put aside is $18.25 on day 365. By then your pot will have grown to $3,339.75.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Lincoln Logger
    Jason Schneider

    The Lincoln Logger

    Set aside every $5 bill you receive as change in an envelope stashed away at home. Raye Scott, a real estate agent in San Diego, says she saves about $1,400 a year that way — then spends it on something like artwork or jewelry.

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  • Penny pinchers: The College Rewind
    Jason Schneider

    The College Rewind

    Try to spend exactly like you did in college for one week every three months. Don't buy anything you couldn't afford then, and don't use credit cards. Seek out free entertainment; eat ramen noodles and simple salads. Put away the money you save.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Perpetual Payoff
    Jason Schneider

    The Perpetual Payoff

    After paying off a car loan, credit card debt or a lingering student loan, don't stop. Continue making those monthly payments — but put the money into a savings account instead. You'll build a nest egg without having to change your lifestyle.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Bank Hideaway
    Jason Schneider

    The Bank Hideaway

    Directly deposit part of your paycheck into a savings account — but not just at any bank or credit union. Make sure it's one that you normally don't use and for which you don't have an ATM card, so that pulling money out won't be so easy.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Bonus Diversion
    Jason Schneider

    The Bonus Diversion

    Direct any bonus or bump in pay you get at work directly into a savings account. Because you never had it to spend anyway, you won't miss it. Similarly, investors can transfer quarterly stock dividends into a savings account, growing savings painlessly.

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  • Grow nest egg
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    AARP Offer: Protect your money, grow your nest egg

    Take advantage of great information and tools and subscribe to AARP's Money Newsletter to help build your future and prevent your money from going down the drain. Join AARP and start saving for your dreams today.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Double Deal
    Jason Schneider

    The Double Deal

    Devote a day or two to negotiating better deals on all your recurring expenses, such as cable TV, phone service, gym membership and car insurance. Keep track of how much you reduce expenses, then move that amount each month into your savings account.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Change Keepers
    Jason Schneider

    The Change Keepers

    Bank of America's Keep the Change program will round up a customer's debit-card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer this extra change into savings. So a $3.50 cup of coffee is rounded up to $4, and the extra 50 cents is directed into savings.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Savings Shuffle
    Jason Schneider

    The Savings Shuffle

    Some banks and credit unions allow you to open multiple accounts, giving each a name for a specific goal, such as a cruise or kitchen remodel. You set them up so that money from your paycheck or checking account is automatically deposited into these subaccounts.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Coupon Coup
    Jason Schneider

    The Coupon Coup

    Each time you use coupons, put the amount you save in the bank. Don't like using coupons? You can do the same thing if you belong to a supermarket's loyalty program. When you get a tally at the register of how much you saved, set aside that amount for savings.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Coin Competition
    Jason Schneider

    The Coin Competition

    Create a contest among friends or family members on who can save the most money in coins over a period of time. When done, put the money into savings. As an incentive for family members, combine all the savings for a year and use the money for a family outing.

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  • Penny pinchers: The Money Transfer
    Jason Schneider

    The Money Transfer

    Tech-savvy savers can boost savings with Acorns, an app that connects to your debit and credit cards. When you make purchases, Acorns rounds the price up to the nearest dollar and invests the extra change in a portfolio of stocks and bonds — for a $1 monthly fee.

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