One of my favorite things to do on an everyday basis is save money. I love to save money and I save money all kinds of ways everyday. My favorite way of saving money is having a bunch of different savings. I have a short-term saving fund, a long-term saving fund, I have a vacation fund, I have an emergency fund and then I have a “I want this fund” (usually if I want something a little pricey, I’d do this). That’s 5 different saving funds, and don’t think that’s too much! Or maybe you’re wondering why so many.. Having it broken down like this to me seems easier to save rather than just having one saving fund.
Saving is easier said than done and do not believe you can not save while paying off debt. You definitely can and definitely should! I don’t care if it’s only $10.00 a week you are saving, my goal here is to make saving become a habit for you. Check out my favorite ways to save and make saving a habit!
Pay Yourself First
Might sound crazy to some, especially when you have debt and bills to pay. You’re probably thinking, now why would I pay myself first before my bills? I don’t want you to not pay your bills but when laying out your money, have paying yourself as a bill! Some people like to use the 50/30/20 budget. You can but I’m not a big fan of it. The 50/30/20 rule budget is a simple way to budget that doesn’t involve detailed budgeting categories. Instead, you spend 50% of your after-tax pay on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings or paying off debt. With this method, I would treat it as 50% on bills & debt, 25% on life necessities and 25% on saving and if I can save more money than I will. Knowing your income is key with this strategy and what you are saving each week or bi-weekly should never lower, if anything only increase! Do not get discouraged with the amount you can afford to save in the beginning, I started with $15 a week and while I only saved $300 in 5 months when I counted my money it felt good to have a random $300.00. I was 16 years old, I did not know what I was saving for, I did not have a goal (you should have a goal). I just wanted to be rich one day and I knew one day had to start with some day saving my money. Start small, Think BIG!
Invest Your Money
Invest your money is something you may hear all the time, that’s because in 2020 it’s becoming an income to many people in America. My #1 reason to investing money is I want to GROW MY MONEY! Who doesn’t want their money to grow? Investing your money can prepare you for retirement, help you reach financial goals, save for your children’s future or even reduce taxable income. As an investor, you can reduce your taxable income by investing pre-tax dollars into a 401(k) and if you generate a loss from an investment, you may be able to apply that loss against any gains from other investments, which lowers the amount of your taxable income. Who knew! My best advice before officially investing your money is learning about where you will be investing your money. Knowing where you will be investing your money is important, you want to make sure in the long run you will in fact make money!
Save Your Coins
No, literally. Save your coins! Another way I find myself saving everyday is by simply saving my coins. Growing up my best friend/sister grandmother would always tell her a penny turns into a dollar, a dollar turns into $100 and $100 turns into a million. With that being said, I’ve always appreciated a penny. Many people would walk over a penny on the ground, I would simply pick it up. Get yourself a mason jar or a piggy bank and begin to save all your coins at the end of each day. I have a mason jar, everyday I empty my pockets and put my coins in there. It usually takes about 5 months for my jar to fill up half way but when I exchange the coins for dollars I usually get $75-100 back! Imagine if I were to let the mason jar fill to the top. Want to challenge yourself a little more? Get a few jars and separate your coins, one jar for quarters, pennies, nickles, and dimes. You’d be surprised how many dimes a mason jar can hold alone.
Do a Cash Diet for Two Weeks
I probably do this saving strategy all the time! Sounds crazy but I think it is truly one of the best saving tactics and if you truly want to save, this won’t be hard. Cash diet is simply having cash on hand and spending just that! Give yourself a cash limit, I give myself a cash spending limit of $100 each week. If you get paid bi-weekly I would probably give myself a cash limit of $250 for two weeks. You want to keep in mind, the goal is to save. You may be able to spend more money but you don’t want too, the goal is to SAVE. Once you’ve given yourself a cash spending limit, you go on about your week but once you’ve spent all of your cash, you are BROKE. Do not go to the bank and withdraw more money, you simply tell yourself you do not have any more money. You should now think about what you did to spend all of your money and what you can do different the following week to allow your money to last longer. My favorite is brown paper-bagging your lunch! Easiest way to save money during the week.
Another cash strategy I used in the past was a $20 a day challenge. I challenged myself to only spend $20.00 a day for a week, the goal was to end the day with as much of the $20.00 that I can and whatever is left over at the end of day would go towards a saving jar. I gave myself the usual $100 a week spending limit but challenged myself by limiting what I spend per day. At the end of the week with this strategy, I saved $37.65 out of my $100.00. Not bad! I could have saved even more but I chose to go to Happy-hour! (These are normal challenges you may face, when you can pass on happy hour without regrets you’ve officially become a smart spender! I’m working on this but sometimes a girl just needs three rounds of an apple martini LOL) Try it! Challenge yourself to spend only $20.00 a day and let me know how you enjoyed this challenge!
Spend To Save
It’s exactly how it sounds, start spending to save! Try spending the least amount of money when out purchasing things. I like to look for deals when grocery shopping, ShopRite always has deals on their snacks. Also, do not be afraid of using coupons! Coupons will become your best friend once you learn how much a simple coupon can save you. They are there for you to use them! If you live in New Jersey, the Sunday paper always has a section filled with that weeks valid coupons. Try uber-pooling when riding if you use uber, yes it may make your ride longer now that you are sharing but wouldn’t you rather pay $14 than $22 for a ride just by simply picking another person up? & guess what? Sometimes you won’t even have another person in the car with you. Shop smart!
Pack Your Lunch
Bring lunch from home! Okay, I get it. You may not be able to bring lunch from home everyday because like me you don’t have time to make lunch for the next day the next before but make time! Even if you bring lunch from home three days out of the week, you are decreasing the amount of money you spend each day simply by not purchasing lunch or breakfast. I challenge you to do this for an entire week, everyday you write down how much you’ve spent on lunch and/or breakfast that day. At the end of the week, I want you to add it up. See how much you spend on lunch and/or breakfast. The following week pack your lunch and/or breakfast and compare how much you’ve saved by simply making your own lunch!
If you are a smoker, do not panic but let me break this down to you. Whether you smoke cigarettes or smoke weed, you are spending a lot of money on a bad habit that can go towards something else. It’s definitely not an easy thing to just go completely cold turkey but if you smoke a pack a day, that’s roughly $3,000.00 a year you spend on smoking alone. Simply cutting back on smoking can help you save money as well! Now I mention marijuana because while recreational smoking is becoming legal in several states, the state tax they are charging in some states for it is insane!
Get A Side Hustle
With today’s generation a side hustle is easy to do! It is just time consuming but for extra money, you wouldn’t spend time? There are so many side hustles today and online! You can look into babysitting, being a dog-walker or a pet sitter, deliver food with Uber Eats or Doordash, even become an Uber driver! If you interested in a part-time job, look for something that involves tips! Download saving apps, such as Ibotta. I love Ibotta! It’s a free app dedicated to helping you save money by simply taking pictures of your receipts and getting cash back! That’s all you ever have to do and you will receive cash back for your receipts.
Check out my link, here’s a free $5.00 just for signing up and posting your first receipt https://ibotta.com/r/xhwfgmq
Good luck Saving!