U.S. DollarCredit: Wikimedia CommonsSaving money - we all want to do it, but we often find it difficult to accomplish. We make plans to sock away a little bit extra each month but then find ourselves unable to do so. The money we are able to put in a savings account does not stay in there long before we end up spending it. Whatever the reason, we find that our savings balance never grows.

Much of our difficulty with setting money aside, however, is due to the fact that we may not be aware of the best ways to save money, nor do we know how to use them. These easy- to-follow steps are offered in the hope that they will help you find success as you attempt to save money.

Use Automatic Transfers

Set up an automatic transfer between your checking and savings account each month. Saving money is often easiest when you do not have to think about it, and such automatic transfers make it simple to put money in your savings account consistently.

Pay Yourself First

This is an adage that is often heard when financial planners are encouraging people to put money in their retirement plans. Having money taken out of your paycheck and put into a 401k or 403b plan is one of the best ways to save money because employers will often match your contribution and you will get some tax advantages.

Develop a Budget

Get on a written budget. Perhaps the most important of all the money saving tips is the call to be on a written budget, for not having a category assigned to every dollar is an easy way to overspend. Your budget can include a savings category, which if treated like a monthly bill, will guarantee that your savings add up.

Watch Those Discretionary Expenses

Cut back on discretionary expenses. Instead of going out to a movie or restaurant, for example, cook at home more often and rent a DVD. These options are much cheaper than the alternative and can leave you with more money left over at the end of the month.

Further Tips

• Try not to deprive yourself too much. Although cutting back on entertainment expenses is one of the best ways to save money, not allowing yourself any funds for this category can doom your savings attempts to failure.

• Beware of companies and individuals who want to charge you a fee to give you the best way to save money. Much of the time these offers are scams or they do not work any better than all the free tips that are out there.