When you have a lot of competing money needs, it’s understandable to feel like you’re unable to save for a special goal, a rainy day or the future. But it’s possible to build savings from any starting point — and it’s easier than you think. Here’s a collection of simple, time-tested strategies and new tricks to discover how to start saving money and help spark a savings habit that really works for you.

Keep it Separate 

Give savings its own special home

Keeping your savings apart from your everyday spending account draws a physical line between the two purposes. Establish a separate savings account so that money earmarked for savings doesn’t get mixed in with money in a checking account that’s intended for day-to-day expenses.

Designate your dollars

Piggybacking on the advice of giving your savings a job, you can also open a savings account for each goal in order to make your special purposes distinct and easier to track. Some financial institutions offer savings accounts that let you name each goal and divvy up your savings between them. Others even allow you to set up separate, or sub-savings categories within one account using different “buckets” that you label.

Pick the right bank account

To help your savings grow faster, stash them in a high-yield savings account that pays a higher rate of interest than traditional savings accounts. The national average interest rate for regular savings accounts is currently 0.06%, but some high-yield savings accounts may earn as much as eight times that rate.

Try New Tricks 

Round up spending to the next dollar and put the extra in savings

For an easy way to create savings, round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put the spare change in savings. For example, if you pay $35.07 for groceries, 93 cents would go into savings. This “microsaving” idea might not seem like much, but doing it consistently will have a noticeable impact. And you’ll be regularly adding to savings without the pressure of trying to tuck away a big amount of money all at once.

Earmark rebates, gifts or other “found” money into savings

Instead of spending extra money you receive from product discounts, items you return, or money gifts from relatives, direct that cash into savings. Another great source of instant savings: your income tax refund. Over the last five years, the average individual income tax refund among taxpayers who filed amounted to more than $2,600. Putting some or all of that into your savings account could significantly boost an emergency fund or other goal.

Match the cost of small, nonessential splurges in savings

There’s nothing wrong with an occasional splurge. At the same time you’re treating yourself, give to your savings account, too. Say you grabbed a croissant and a latte at the coffee shop or bought a new purse that you loved. Save that receipt and put the same amount of money into your savings account.

Create Cash 

Audit and eliminate unnecessary monthly expenses

Review your spending on living expenses and ask yourself if there’s anything you can trim. Check bank and credit card statements to spot areas of overspending or avoidable costs. Could you save money by committing to eating out one less time per month? Cut out magazine subscriptions and view them online instead? Make a list and prioritize your actions by how much it could save you.

Buy budget brands and optimize sales

Trading brand-name goods for store or private-label brands (think Amazon’s recently launched house brand “Aplenty” and Target’s “Favorite Day”) saves money that you can direct toward savings. In fact, their growth is outpacing name brands, and a growing number of Americans say store brands have equal quality for less cost.

And rather than pay full price, step up price comparison on what you need to buy, using sales, coupons and discount codes to find the most competitive value. Just be aware that research shows sales shopping and couponing can lead to overspending.

Monetize hobbies, sell stuff, take on gig work

Think of quick ways to create cash that can help you start saving money. Could you land some gig work, make money off a side hustle tied to a hobby or sell things you no longer use? Turn a portion of those extra funds into instant savings. For example, you could earmark what you earn for one shift a month of gig work for your savings account. Or, allocate the money you make from your crafting hobby toward saving for a future purchase.

Stay Motivated and Get Support 

Plan purchases and visualize goals

To stay on budget and strengthen a savings mindset, plan financial decisions one at a time and wait a few days or weeks before you make the purchase. Letting some time pass allows you to consider your bigger money goals and focus on whether it’s really a necessary buy — now or later. You may find you’ll let it pass — or decide you’re ready to save up for it. Similarly, visualizing what you want your savings to do for you can be motivating, too. Hope to take your kids to Disney World next year? Make a photo of the Magic Kingdom your laptop’s background theme.

Recruit a savings buddy

Just like it can help to have an exercise buddy when trying to stick to a fitness routine, it can help to enlist an accountability partner when it comes to reaching financial goals. To start saving money, try recruiting a friend or relative with similar money goals. That way, they can celebrate your wins with you, keep you motivated and learn and compare progress together.

Launch a savings club

Gather some close family and like-minded friends to focus on saving — using the motivational benefits of strength in numbers. For example, each person commits to regularly saving a specific amount for a period of time. Make it fun by creating a savings challenge or seeing how many of you can pull off a no-spend day.

Taking the savings club idea one step further is a lending circle. A group of friends or family saves together, agreeing on a monthly amount that each member contributes to a combined pot. Every month, one person receives the pot of savings until everyone in the circle gets a chance. For example, say you and three friends each put in $25 a month. Every fourth month, you would get $100. There’s strength in numbers with this strategy, too: The bigger the group and/or each person’s contribution, the bigger the payout will be for everyone.

Start Small, Think Big 

When it comes to finding the best way to start saving money, it’s important to remember that any amount counts. No matter what you’re saving for, everyone begins at zero and works their way toward the goals they choose. By creating a reasonable savings plan and recognizing where you are in your financial journey, you’ll be on your way toward the savings purposes you want to set — whether it’s building a rainy day fund, buying a pet or saving for a down payment on a house. Use these tips to your advantage and start saving money today.