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One of the most popular financial resolutions each year is to “save more”. Considering that the personal savings rate in the United States is about the lowest rate of any industrialized country, according to MoneySKILL®, we agree that this is a crucial area of your finances to focus on. The trouble with having “save more money” as a financial resolution is that it can be intimidating to some. You may think that you don’t make enough money to save after your necessary expenses, or that you have to start with a formal approach to saving like setting up an Individual Retirement Account or a 401k. These are both great tools that we advocate! But, if you’re feeling like these aren’t realistic for you quite yet, you don’t have to worry. There are several easy ways to start saving that you can implement today—no planning or tracking required!

1. When paying cash, pay with whole dollar amounts and then put the change in a jar.

This trick has withstood the test of time for a reason—it works! If you are paying your grocery bill and it is $85.49, then pay with $86.00 even and move the 51 cents into your jar. At the end of the year, deposit this money into your savings accounts. Programs like Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” Savings Program automatically do this for you when you use your debit card.

2. Take the 52 week challenge.

savingsThis popular method builds your savings account over the course of one year. It is easy to follow, and again, requires no formal planning. Here’s how it works: for every week of the year, save that week’s number in dollars. The first week of the year you save one dollar, the second week of the year you set aside two dollars, the third week move three into savings, and so on. Playing catch up?

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • January 4-10- $1 into savings
  • January 11-17- $2 into savings
  • January 18-24- $3 into savings


It may be easy for you to map it out on a calendar so you don’t get confused. Stick to this program, and the most you will ever put aside a week is $52, yet it will yield $1,378 in your saving’s account at the end of the year.

3. Approach saving oppositely

Many people set aside money to save in roughly this order:
1. Pay bills
2. Spend money on other non-essential items
3. Put extra money into savings

However, we advise you to approach it like another bill. That is, calculate how much you can save per month, whether it is a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your incoming revenue, and make it just like a bill that you pay. When you treat saving like an essential line item, you are more likely to save. The easiest way to do this is direct deposit part of your pay check into your savings account.

4. Sleep on it

Impulse PurchasingOne of the biggest deterrents to saving is impulse purchases. We’ve all been there, in the aisle of a shoe store or browsing through video games when the urge to spend overtakes our reasonable, financial side. In this case, follow the 30-day rule. Set the item back down or empty your electronic shopping cart, wait thirty days, and if you still want it, purchase it. Some people advise writing it down with a date somewhere obvious so you will remember. We advise against that and say, the memory itself can be significant of whether you really need the object. For instance, if you put down a new winter coat, and in thirty days you pull out your old winter coat and think, “I really need to update,” go ahead and purchase. If you put down a new fragrance and in thirty days have completely forgotten about it when getting dressed, then you probably never needed it. In this case, a post-it with a date would just fuel you to spend when you otherwise would have never remembered. Thirty days sound like an eternity? If you’re a compulsive buyer, even a little will help. Try a week to start.

5. Keep making payments after something is paid off

Like number three, this little mental trick can pay off big time. Come to the end of a loan you had on furniture? Keep paying that monthly payment to your savings account. It’s easy—because you’re used to never having the money, it won’t be something you have to part with.

6. Don’t spend a raise

savingsLike number five, this mental trick works because it takes advantage of your behaviors now. Meaning, you don’t have to adjust your life to start saving (it’s always harder to introduce a new habit than continue an old one).

Did you just receive a raise at work? The first thing most of us do is start spending the money on excess items we don’t need or adjust our living accordingly. However, if you were managing to pay all of your bills before the raise, keep acting as if you didn’t have the raise, and put the extra money into savings. It is especially important that you do this if you have not been a habitual saver and need to start a savings account.

Clearly, beginning to save doesn’t take rigorous planning or in-depth research. There are little, manageable things you can start today to build a better financial future for yourself. If you do find yourself in a jam in the meantime though, and you need extra funds to get you through if your savings account won’t do it—call Mariner Finance. We can help get you the funds you need to fix those one-off, unplanned things that unexpectedly arise!

Blog posts are for informational purposes only.

†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.


To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. As a result, under our customer identification program, we must ask for your name, street address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents.


For any stated annual percentage rate (“APR”), the APR represents the cost of credit as a yearly rate and will be determined based upon an applicant’s credit at the time of application, subject to state law limits. A range of APR’s may be applicable, subject to state law limits and individual underwriting. Not all applicants will qualify for a lower rate. APR’s are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle, and the lowest rates typically apply to the most creditworthy borrowers. All terms and conditions of a loan offer, including the APR, will be disclosed during the application process. As an example, with an amount financed of $5,000.00 the borrower receives $5,000.00 at an APR of 29.99% and an interest rate of 28.77% which includes a finance charge of $3,640.96. Under these terms, the borrower would make 48 monthly payments of $180.02, for a total of payments of $8,640.96. The amount financed may not be the net proceeds paid if charges other than interest are included in the loan.


*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.



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VA Residents – Mariner Finance of Virginia, LLC, Licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Consumer Finance Company License No. CFI-114.


Mariner Finance, LLC, NMLS No. 166564 (
8211 Town Center Drive, Nottingham, MD 21236. Telephone Number 877-310-2373.

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