As we know, money unfortunately doesn’t grow on trees. No matter where you are on the financial ladder, making a conscious effort to keep track of those pennies and nickels can be beneficial. While doing so may not change the numbers on your bank statement by a huge margin right away, implementing a few of these simple money saving steps can make quite a difference over time.

Avoid Instant Gratification

It’s easier to buy things today than it ever has been thanks to the internet and credit cards. Curbing instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting several weeks to make a big purchase can prevent unnecessary dollars spent. Thinking on a purchase will put into perspective if it was really worth the investment in the first place. Remember, small purchases that seem harmless can also create a dent in your bank account. To step things up a notch, remove all of your credit card information you have stored on your favorite shopping sites; this will make it easier to just say no.

Create a Visual Debt Reminder

It’s easy to forget about your debt and put it on the backburner for a later date. These are expenses that can blindside you, meaning you need to give them a little extra attention. To put your debt into visual terms that are easy to comprehend, make a graph that starts with the amount of debt you have and ends with zero. Fill in the graph by increments every time you make a payment. Keep this reminder handy and use it regularly as it will help keep your finances in check and allow you to see your progress.

Set Savings Goals

Are you interested in purchasing that fuel-efficient car you’ve had your eye on? Maybe a home? A much needed vacation? These purchases need to be a part of a savings plan that you can work your way toward achieving. To do that, you must determine how much money you want to put away and for how long.

For short term goals, consider a simple savings account. Long term goals may be better carried out with shares and bonds.

Record Your Expenses

While you may be thinking, “Online banking keeps track of all my purchases for me!,” expenses can sometimes still be missed. For example, if you have a payment that comes out of your account automatically, it can easily be forgotten. For a month, save all of your receipts, track automatic withdrawals, and record everything you purchase, no matter how minute. By doing this, you can look over your reports and begin cutting unnecessary costs, taking financial responsibility, and minimizing the risk of account overdraft.

Use Technology to Save

Recurring transfer is a banking service that automatically allows you to transfer money from your checking account to your savings account. Consider picking a day every month to make the transfer, but don’t forget to record it!

Mobile banking is a cell phone app that most banks have. Having your financial information at your fingertips at any time of the day will prove more convenient. Not only can you deposit checks with the click of a button, but you can check your balance on the go and transfer money as needed.

Budgeting apps are useful when you need a little extra help with organization. There are budgeting apps that will consolidate all of your information into one place including your mortgage, car payment, student loans, investments, and credit cards. It can also be setup to analyze your spending and determine helpful solutions, provide bill payment reminders, and help with savings goals.