As much as 47 percent of Americans have no money in savings and would be challenged to pay for an emergency that cost more than $400, according to a 2015 report published by the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs.

In the many families living paycheck to paycheck, the idea of saving even a few dollars can seem out of reach. However, there are a few things people can do to learn how to save money fast and build up a savings account.

Here's a game plan:

• Set up automatic payments. With busy lives and busy schedules, it’s common for people to forget to pay some bills on time. One of the easy ways to save money is to simply pay your bills when they’re due. This will ensure your bills are paid on time and that you avoid late fees. Make sure to keep an eye on your bank balance to avoid overdraft fees.

• Switch banks. If you pay monthly fees for a checking or savings account, it’s time to switch banks. There are several banks that offer free accounts, and some that will even give you money just for opening an account. Move your money to a new account and stop paying fees to the bigger banks.

• Sign up for loyalty programs. There’s a good chance that you already have discount cards for grocery stores and drugstores in your area. If you don’t, sign up for immediate savings on food, household supplies and other goods you use on a daily basis.

• Buy with cash instead of credit. You can trick your brain into saving money every time you got to the store by using cash instead of a credit card to make a purchase. If you have $100 in cash, that’s your limit.

• Don't pay for convenience. It’s the American way to pay for convenience. People are willing to pay $5 for a taco they can make at home for less than $1. They pay $6 for a cup of coffee at a local cafe rather than brew an entire pot of coffee at home for a few pennies. Taking a little extra time out of your day to make your own food, brew your own coffee or clean and repair things around the house can fatten up your bank account quickly.