When you’re young and living paycheck to paycheck, savings or savings accounts are not things that even cross your mind. But hopefully, now that we’ve all grown up a bit.. we should start putting some money away. It could be for a vacation, a car, a home, or even an emergency fund.. just in case. I have had a savings account since I was old enough to bank.. most months the account had a cent in it, just to keep it open. But after reading an article about how to save $1,000 in one month, my account is starting to fill up! I didn’t take all the advise in that article to heart, everyone is different and I definetly am not and never will be frugle about money, nor will I be a coupon clipper. Below are the 2 ways I saved some cash, its definitely not $1,000 a month but its more than what I started with a year ago!
The first step,
Create a budget: Budgeting not only helps you save, it also helps you see how much money you’re wasting on certain things. There are apps that will help you keep track of your hard earned cash by tracking your spending. The best one I have found is The Mint Budgeting App, it connects to you bank account and tracks what money you spend. When you get an idea of where all that cash is going, it can help you decide what you need to cut out. The app also gives you some tips and tricks to make the most of your money.. while saving you bucks.
The second step,
Once you’ve created a budget, it’s time to get into the “nitty gritty”. When I started budgeting my money, I realized how unnecessary most of my purchases were! Now, I love certain indulgences and I definitely couldn’t live without my Starbucks coffee.. but when I added up the money I was spending on take out, coffee, and random target trips (to name a few of my unnecessary purchases) I realized that I could be saving that money to go towards something much bigger and more important than a coffee or a cute top.
I also looked at my recurring purchases.. the money a company takes out of my account every month. Gym memberships, Netflix, credit card payments, insurance and car payments.. they are all recurring and should be analyzed in your budget as well. Evaluate whether you need that gym membership, because if you’re like me.. I had one but NEVER went. Just be honest with yourself.. how much do you use Netflix? For me that was something I couldn’t get rid of, because I cut out cable (& I love movies!). I went online and got new insurance quotes for my car and home and I now pay a lower price for both. Its not a crazy amazing savings, but it adds up when you look at the savings in the long run.
My advise… decide what you want the your savings to go towards, make it something important to you. Even if you end up having to use it for an emergency, at least it will be there. Also, when you’re deciding whether to spend $5 on a mocha, think about that thing you’re saving towards.. it will make it a lot easier to make your coffee at home.
Here’s a few tips to get you started: (Click on the tip to get some more info)
- Tip #1: Pack lunches for the rest of the week
- Tip #2: Turn your thermostat down 3 degrees
- Tip #3: Sell something on eBay today
- Tip #4: Involve your friends in your savings challenge
- Tip #5: Optimize your cellphone bill
- Tip #6: Use gas prices to become your own hedge fund
- Tip #7: Create a “No Spending” day once a week
- Tip #8: Implement the A La Carte Method
- Tip #9: Only buy new things when replacing something old
- Tip #10: Use the free rewards from your credit card, car insurance, and workplace
- Tip #11: Never pay full retail price for clothes or eyeglasses again
- Tip #12: How to negotiate your car insurance
- Tip #13: Use self-persuasion to share how much you’ve saved so far
- Tip #14: Forget going to a bar — ask people over for dinner
- Tip #15: Cancel any large purchase this month
- Tip #16: Buy generic for the stuff you don’t care about
- Tip #17: No Christmas gifts this year
- Tip #18: Save Money, Eat Well and Look Hot in Less Than an Hour
- Tip #19: Change the date of Christmas
- Tip #20: Save thousands by pre-paying your debt
- Tip #21: Go cash only for 15 to 30 days
- Tip #22: Cut your commute expenses by 40%
- Tip #23: Gardender? Cleaning lady? DIY instead
- Tip #24: Use barriers to prevent yourself from spending money
- Tip #25: Use price-protection guarantees to always get the lowest price