Three painless ways to save money
Easy ways to save money
I have to admit that I do tend to envy people who have savings accounts at the bank and who are able to add money to them regularly. I also have to admit that it's a luxury I can't afford! I guess many people are like me in that respect these days. But I have three methods I use to save small amounts of cash. Even on the most minuscule budget, there are still ways to save and they all work.
On some days, I can only afford to do one of these at a time. Other weeks, I can manage all three.
I was brought up to 'look after the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves'. Well, today, it's dollars and cents and even tiny amounts can build up into a healthy cash bonus. If you're a millionaire or have just won the lottery - read no further. But if you're on a small budget and would like to know my ideas about saving, read on!
A dollar a day
I have a goal of saving just one dollar every day. Some days I can manage this easily and at other times I just can't, but every single day, I put at least a few cents aside. On good days - and really great days - I put more than a dollar into my secret cash stash. Sometimes, I'm lucky. The other day I found a dollar bill on the street (always watch where you walk!) and as I use a communal laundry room, I sometimes find quarters or other coins that people who are richer than me have left in their pockets when doing the weekly wash. Sometimes, odd coins are in the dryer too. The laundry room always yields at least a quarter.
I have a daily routine - every morning, after I've made the bed, I look through the house for coins. And it's surprising how many loose coins turn up thanks to my very careless family :)
I find that by having this daily routine, I'm usually able to end the year with about $500 that I wouldn't have had without that minute-a-day, simple savings plan.
A meaningful change jar
We probably all have change jars in our homes to collect pocket change but I like to make sure that mine has a purpose. I like to give my change jar a specific goal. I determine a time period for achieving that goal. For example, recently I wanted to buy a specific book that cost $19.99. I decided to allow myself three weeks to save so made sure that I put exactly 96 cents a day into my special targeted change jar.
Sometimes, my 'dollar-a-day' stash has to suffer! But it's great knowing that I'm saving just a few cents a day towards a specific purpose. In fact, it made the purchase all the more enjoyable knowing that I'd painlessly saved specifically for it. I suppose it was a minor sense of achievement but the point is that I would have never allowed myself to spend $19.99 on a book without this method. It's my way of giving myself small luxuries that I wouldn't normally buy. I've also used this method to save for household equipment and other goods too. If a savings goal is broken down into bite-sized chunks, it's so much easier.
Live free for a week
I saved my favorite until last. Decide that a week has eight days.
Let's say that I spend $200 in cash every week - at the grocery store and for other weekly cash purchases such as gas and so on. I simply start the week with $200 cash in my purse that has to last me seven days. I know I can afford that and that it's my weekly budget. But then, I decide that my week is actually going to be eight days. Here's how it works.
Week one. Withdraw $200 from the bank on Monday
Week two. Withdraw $200 from the bank on Tuesday.
Week three. Withdraw $200 from the bank on Wednesday ... and so on. By the time Monday comes along again, I have a 'free' $200 still in the bank!
If you receive a weekly paycheck, try to cash it one day later every week - making each paycheck last for eight days instead of seven. One day, I'll manage to extend this idea to a five-week month!
There's a lot of help available these days for those of us who want to save money. Sometimes the simplest tips can change your life, financially.
Get help and advice from experts with this helpful book.
Although I wouldn't go and rifle in someone's closet or chest of drawers looking for money they had left in their pockets, I feel differently about 'certain people' who have simply left their jeans on the bedroom floor. I mean, if I just happen to be clearing up and moving them, then just happen to turn them upside down in the process and then some coins or even a dollar bill just happen to fall out ... I think that's fair, don't you? :)
Keep your eyes open. I recently found $12 in the road!
When choosing containers for your cash stash, don't pick a piggy bank or a similar item that gives the game away. Disguise your savings!
Disguise your cash stash
I'm not going to tell you where I keep my cash stash - of course. But I bet that if you came to my house and searched for it, you wouldn't find it!
The funniest money saving tip I have ever heard!
Someone suggested this, truly.
He said that he had trained his bowels (sorry!) so that when he needed to 'go' he did so at work.
This meant that he was using his employer's time, his employer's water supply AND his employer's toilet paper!
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