Putting away that Emergency Fund is just ONE step towards managing your finances – although it might be a difficult venture for some of you to commit to, it’s actually the easiest way to put away $1,400 in just a year’s time.
Putting away in savings is daunting for most – because they can’t see a smaller picture. Though it might be HARD to envision an Emergency Fund of $1,500 – $2,000… it’s easily done if you get a better handle on the smaller spending you do daily.
For most people, it’s the little, unnecessary expenses that add up quickly.
A stop at Starbucks, a Redbox you forget to take back, a Cable Bill for $50 that you could have reduced… it all adds up faster than you think – and if you are diligent and disciplined, that can mean a nice chunk of money within months, if not a one year period.
My mind always trying to find NEW ways to save — but what it boils down to is commitment – From making phone calls to going without the things we really want, to doing our toe nails at home, I’m hoping these suggestions inspire you to make a few changes enough to tuck away a little more into the bank.
Round Up your purchases
Do you write checks? Or … do you use a debit card? If you do… round ALL of your purchases put to the FULL dollar and stash away the difference into a savings account. Keep a tally of that amount so you can actually DO that and not forget!
Change one of your Habits
Instead of stopping by the Drive through for Starbucks, McDonalds or Sonic, drive right by. It’s those little expenses that can add up to costing more in the long haul.
Keep that change
Although I don’t make a point of spending each day, when we do, we always keep our change – and we toss it in a jar at home. We have one in 3 rooms of the house (one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen & one in the bedroom…) .. you’d be surprised how quickly that spare change adds up, and it won’t be rolling around in your purse.
Get rid of items you don’t use…
Think about Clothing, large items in the garage, or even small household items. Use Ebay, ThredUp, Twice, or even Schoola to score a little money back for those that are high quality. Tuck the money away into your bank account -after all, it’s money that wasn’t expected.
Skip the Non-Necessaries that you do each month
(Is that even a term?! If not, well then I just invented it!)
Do you visit a nail salon? Skip – put that money in the bank. If you have money to visit the salon once a week, or month, then you should at least put the money you spent and match that to your savings. Even better, skip out completely and do your nails at home. Take a relaxing bath and find other ways to indulge yourself.
Deposit your Grocery Savings
If you coupon, chances are you use a loyalty card at the store. Make a habit once a month, if not each time, of taking that money saved and dropping it into your savings account. Reference the bottom of the receipt for that money saved – be diligent. You may think you can’t afford to do that, but if you manage to do that 1-2 times each month, you may not even realize you’re missing it.
Set up an Automatic Draft to your Savings account
I did this back in ’97-98 – with my retirement account. I started with $25 in my Savings, and $50 in my Retirement. Of course I have raised the bar since then quite bit.. but the most important thing is that I have continued to save.
As the years have passed, I haven’t even missed it – with each pay raise I raised the draft – looking back it was one of the smartest moves I have taken.
Match your Personal “Treat” spending
If you can’t crack that Starbucks habit, keep it – but match the money spent and put in your savings. Did you spend $4.50? Then that evening, transfer or write a check for $4.50 to yourself for your savings account. That may make you think twice about stopping to get that coffee on your way to work.
Call your Cable Company
Chances are .. if you have been with them for a long period of time, they don’t want to lose having you as a customer.
Read our tips to kick Cable to the Curb... you might even tell them your intention and gauge their response. They may reduce your rate – DISH dropped us from $140 to TEN Dollars – for a 24 month run – same channels.
All because we had paid our bill ON time – and they didn’t want to lose us…. That’s $130 savings that I scored from making a simple phone call that was 25 minutes. (That would never have happened had Dave made the call…)
REMOVE your credit or debit card from online accounts
If you shop online from home often, chances are you have your card number stored … remove it. It’s far more difficult to stop what you are doing and look for your card than clicking through to buying an item. That time it takes to get your card may make you think twice about the purchase.
Follow a Meal Plan…
This is probably one of the easiest ways to cut your spending, and eliminate those nights that you waste money by eating out. Follow ours on the blog or make your own – read our tips to putting a meal plan together. It takes discipline to plan ahead, but you will see results within the same week.
Eat from your Pantry
Join our Savings Challenge
Participate in the 12 month Savings Challenge have here on the blog – even better, ADD to that challenge & see what you can give up to have an even BIGGER grand total.
Use cash cash and get your spouse on board
Your chances of actually moving mountains to cutting your spending and saving for your emergency fund (or .. retirements, child’s college fund) will NOT happen unless BOTH of you are equally as committed to your goals.
There are so many ways to save more money from electricity, to cell phones, automotive, and family fun, but these 14 ways will truly HELP you the each week.
I think the most important thing you can do is START — somewhere. The BEST place to start is opening an account and taking the initial step to set up that bank draft. Because … guess what? Without THAT step, nothing else happens.
Wait for the kids to go to bed, hop on the computer, find your favorite bank online, and open it up TONIGHT. I promise: No matter what you THINK is impossible to afford, IS affordable.
Start with $25, and commit to that bank draft. You won’t even miss it.