Saving money is difficult. It’s a fact of life. There are always things out there that you need to spend money on, and then there are countless other things that you want to spend money on. The key, of course, is being able to separate the needs from the wants.

There’s no magic trick that will make this difficult and painful process easy. But there are some smart things you can do that won’t just help you make better decisions, they’ll force you to make better decisions. Now, we’ve come across a great little life hack that gives you a remarkably simple but surprisingly effective way to save your money.

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Everyone has different reasons for wanting to save money, but it’s never easy. Sometimes you’d rather order takeout than cook. Sometimes you’d rather take a cab or an Uber than a bus or train. Sometimes you’d rather splurge on a new TV than keep watching on the crummy 4-year-old television that’s currently in your bedroom.

We understand, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you have to enjoy yourself, and that often involves spending a little money on things that aren’t necessities. But a simple trick we came across in a recent article on The Motley Fool (via Lifehacker) will give you no choice but to save money as long as you have enough will power to stick with it.

Here’s all you need to do: anytime you make an impulse buy or splurge on something that really isn’t a necessity, put the same amount you spend on your purchase into a savings account. That’s it. So anytime you buy a fun gadget, or a new pair of boots when your old ones are still in great shape, or a new bag you don’t really need, transfer the same amount of money that purchase cost you into savings.

The beauty of this trick is that you can’t lose. If you abide by the rule and you decide to splurge on something anyway, you end up moving a nice chunk of change over to your savings account. And if the idea of doubling the hit your checking account will take if you make that purchase is too unsettling, you’ll skip the unnecessary purchase and save money anyway. It really is a win-win.

The Motley Fool presents this idea as a good way to save toward a down payment on a new home, but you can apply it to anything or just to life in general. As long as you stick with it, it will be impossible to not save money.

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