So you are planning to go on a trip, for a big event,or just need some extra cash as a nest egg. Well I have laid out some easy ways for you to start saving money. There is something that I want you to do first, create a financial goal for yourself. Nothing to crazy, it has to be a number that is achievable and within reason.
I want you to envision yourself achieving your financial goal, how does it feel? Do you feel ecstatic,or like you have achieved something that you thought was impossible? Whatever the feeling, I know that it is a good one. Remember this feeling, because every time the road gets hard or you are unsure about a purchase, I want you to come back to that place.
Know the numbers– seperate bill and all other money for expenses. Then plan a budget from there. In order to start saving money you will have to have an idea of what you can and cannot afford after all of your bills are paid. You will do this every time you get paid. If there are no bills to pay, than the more you will be able to save that week.
Start with a small amount and create a savings plan that tells you how much you have to save each day. I want you to do a little math exercise with me . How much money would you have if you save .25 cents a day, you will save $91.25 at the end of the year. It’s not a lot of money, but it is interesting to know that you will have $91 if you save just a quarter a day. What about if you saved 50 cents, $1, $2 or even $5 a day. There is a way that you can save a little and end up with a decent amount if you let it accumulate without touching it. Maybe you can do the can try this easy 10 day savings method.
1st day- save $1
2nd day-save $2
For this method you will keep saving until the 10th day. At the end of the cycle you can go back to one, start with $11, you decide. Maybe start a similar plan of your own. But you must create a plan.
Save your change. I saw you make that face. Don’t scoff at pennies, nickels, and quarters because they add up quite nicely when saved for a period of time. To be honest with you, it is wise to look through your change anyway. You never know what you may find. Some coins are worth more than dollars, like quarters that were made between the years of 1932 and 1964. They were made of 90% silver and 10% copper. Not sure of the exact value but I know that some coins are worth enough money to check out when you have a whole lot of change. So break out your piggy banks and water bottles and get to saving.
Take a few dollars out of your paycheck and put it in a bank account that you do not touch until a set date. For this example, you would have to go shopping for a bank account. Preferably one that does not charge monthly fees , has a decent interest rate, and no hidden fees. Remember, that you will not be making any withdrawals from this bank account, only deposits. If possible look for a smaller bank or a credit union. These banks are not as big and sophisticated as larger banks and will be more willing to give loans. They also tell you about other programs that may benefit you down the line. This will be a good relationship to build if you are planning on buying a home, car, or making any big purchase.So, get in good with your local banker.
In order for this to work, you have to have will power . That is why setting up direct deposit at your job, would probably be better. You will not see the money, so it will not affect you. Out of sight, out of mind right!
Only open accounts credit cards that benefit you. I don’t recommend getting a credit card when you are on a budget, but there definitely are ways to stick to your goal and let loose. If you have credit cards or are thinking about getting one, make sure that the card has great benefits. Good credit card companies offer:
Low interest rates
Incentive miles on trips for each dollar you spend
Incentive points for purchases on groceries, gas, and other things you may need.
When using this method, you have to be able to pay the minimum off right away. Remember you are on a budget, so you are trying to save a little more of the cash you have on hand. On this budget, you are only allowed to use you credits card if you have a little something to put toward the bill. No of course, you don’t have to pay it entirely but you do have to keep a close eye on bills that have a tendency to build up, uncontrollably. So remember, stay on top of those credit card purchases.
Create a realistic budget for special occasions and nights out – Every time you plan on going out or you know that you are going to spend money, plan how much you are going to spend ahead of time and do not go outside of that number. This is important because any side money that you are spending cuts into your savings. It is very easy to spend too much when you are having fun, so be very aware of what you spend and why. You might want to cut back on using your credit cards on some of these outings. Some restaurants and lounges have a mandatory 18% gratuity fee, so be aware of that when charging it.
Look for daily deals – These should be your bestees right now. You know what you are going to need ahead of time, most of the time, so look for daily deals that will shave those costs down. There are many coupon and daily deal sites. RetailMeNot, Coupons.com, Groupon and Brads Deals are a few popular ones, so get to know them well. Take advantage of coupon codes. Always be aware of when the sale ends and makes sure you know exactly where and how to use the coupon or deal. There is nothing worse than reading the coupon more closely and discovering that you cannot use it.
Cut down on leisure shopping, unless it is within your budget and on sale- This is one of the unwritten rules of budget shopping and kind of ties into number 7. Learn to make your shopping experience fun and economical. If you have a shopping itch and just cannot help yourself, join one of the sites that pay you to shop.You might as well get paid while binging. Sites like Swagbucks, Mobee, Ibotta and Shopkick are popular. I am pretty sure that one of those sites will suit you.
Eat out less, and cook more– Eating out every night is convenient, but it can put a serious dent in your wallet if done too often. I know that it is hard to cook after working a long day, but cooking at home is cheaper and healthier for you. If cooking is hard for you, then gradually change your routine to cooking a couple of nights a week. Implementing this strategy , should reduce costs amazingly so break out your pots and pans.
Buy things in bulk and scan dollar stores– Things like personal hygiene items and things that you use daily should be brought in bulk, if you can. There are wholesale stores like BJs and Costcos that sell family sized packages of lots of products. The only drawback to this is the membership fee, but they have one day passes or you could ask a friend or family member. In some cases, if a family member has a card they will let you use it.
If you don’t have a membership to one of these places. Always look in dollar stores. They have name brand deodorants, soap, and lotion, for very reasonable prices. I bought 6 deodorants for less than $10 at Dollar General, so there are definitely some good deals in there.
Stay committed, focused and remember what you are trying to achieve. Starting a new financial plan is an uphill battle. Old habits die hard, so remember that when you slip a little bit. Always try to remember the feeling you felt when you envisioned achieving it, because this will help you stay focused. Happy saving!