By Beth Kobliner, REDBOOK
When I wanted to lose five pounds, a looming high school reunion motivated the weight right off me. Having a saving goal-something meaningful you're socking away money for-works the same way. Here are three ideas:
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1. Use a money-management app or site: Mint Goals, a new tool on the free money-management site mint.com, calculates how much you'll need to set aside for a specific dream (such as a home down payment). It tracks your progress with each deposit (yay!) and registers the negative impact of each splurge.
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2. The proven no-tech method: Divide the cost of the item by the realistic number of months you'll need to save for it. Then open a new bank account strictly dedicated to reaching that goal, and have money automatically deposited from your paycheck each month.
Related: How to Ask for a Raise
3. Request an offline account: No more withdrawing on a whim; in order to take out the money, you'd have to pick up the phone or visit in person. You know you're too lazy to do either, which is a good thing!
REDBOOK's money expert, Beth Kobliner, is the author of Get a Financial Life.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.