Everyone knows they need to save for a rainy day but many people still ignore the advice.  CNN reports that nearly 6 in 10 Americans have less than $500 in the bank.  Contrary to popular belief, saving money doesn’t have to be difficult.  In fact, we have four easy ways to beef up savings.

Set a savings goal

How much money do you want to save and by when?  Many people claim they want to save more but are fuzzy about the details.  Having a clear-cut plan shows that you mean business and allows you to track your progress.  Instead of simply vowing to save more, be specific about the amount and set a deadline.  Let’s say you want to save $600 in the next 3 months.  You’ll need to find a way to set aside $200 each month to achieve your savings goal.  Keeping this in mind, it will be a lot easier to come up with a game plan.  We recommend going through your budget and getting rid of unnecessary expenses to free up some extra cash.  It’s also helpful to automate your savings whenever you get paid.

Save your tax refund

As soon as the tax season begins, many people race to tax providers like ezTaxReturn.com to quickly e-file and claim their refund.  Last year, the IRS issued more than 111 million refunds with the average check being $2,860.  If you’re one of the lucky taxpayers getting a refund this year, commit to saving at least half.  Sure, saving isn’t as fun as going on a shopping spree but neither is going into debt because you don’t have enough cash to cover an emergency.

Start a $5 savings challenge

Add more cash to your stash by saving every $5 bill you come across.  This amount is small enough to not feel the pinch but big enough to add up quickly.  Store the money in a jar and see how much you can save by the beginning of summer (June 21st).  For additional savings, throw in your loose change at the end of each day.  Once the challenge is over, deposit the money from the jar into your bank account.

Click the unsubscribe button

Companies have a lot of tricks to get you to subscribe to their mailing lists.  The most popular is promising to take a percentage off your first order when you sign up.  We all want to save money when we can.  So of course we take the bait.  The problem is many of us forget to unsubscribe so the emails never stop coming.  This leads to us spending more money every time there’s a decent sale.  Resist the urge to splurge by clicking the unsubscribe button located at the bottom of the email.