Saving money isn’t nearly as fun as spending it, which is why so many of us need tools to keep us on track.
One simple trick for getting out of your own way is simply automating the process. Online banking platforms let you schedule regular transfers, meaning you can set an amount to be taken from your checking account and put into your savings without having to think about it.
I started doing this about a year ago and have saved up $4,400 since. (I'm guilty of dipping into it for a trip to Norway I took last fall.) It's a great start, but I still have a ways to go if I want a sufficient emergency fund, or about three to six months worth of living expenses, according to personal finance experts. For me, the high end of that range adds up to a considerable sum of roughly $10,000.
Most Americans have nowhere near that. Only 39 percent say they have enough saved up to cover a $1,000 emergency, a Bankrate survey recently found. Meanwhile, 20 percent say they aren't saving at all.