In short, the psychological factors involved with saving money matter — a lot. So it might seem like a fairly daunting task to simply keep your checking account above water so that you can pay bills and cover the necessary monthly expenses. The good news is that even when you're in a situation like this, there are some things you can do to essentially force yourself to save and increase your cash flow. If you sit down and add up all of your monthly expenses, then subtract that from your monthly take-home pay, you might be surprised at how much discretionary income you actually have.
Most people don't even do the math, so it just feels like things are tight, when in reality, they have a lot of extra money that they're just not managing well. See also: Money Management in 5 Minutes a Day. Map it all out so that you know exactly what has to go out on a monthly basis, then give your best guess for things that fluctuate like gas and groceries. A lot of people are under the impression that "saving money" means setting aside a high percentage of their weekly pay, which usually isn't something they can afford.
That thought alone is enough to frustrate someone to digress into an attitude of "since I can't save a lot, I just won't save any at all.
Here are 20 easy ways to save some money every day
Before you go into a savings plan, recognize that saving money is often just one small step at a time. In fact, financial advisors will tell you that the earlier you start saving for retirement, the less you need to put away every week. The longer you wait, the bigger that weekly number gets and the less time your money has to grow. It can still be done, but the pressure gets higher. The key is to get started as soon as possible, no matter how small the amount you have to contribute.
You don't necessarily need to cut into the excess income that you already enjoy; instead, find an area where you can cut costs. A fairly typical recommendation is coffee; so instead of getting coffee four times a week, get it once. Better yet, make it at home for about 10 cents per cup. See also: The Top 5 Coffeemakers. If you can put that away, there's your weekly retirement savings.
Almost all online banking systems have functions that allow you to set up automatic transfers that will send a certain amount of money every week from one account to another. In this case, it would be sending money from your checking account to your savings account. Or, sign up for a service like SavedPlus , which will automatically redirect a percentage of everything you spend into a savings account.
It's a good thing to put in place and then forget about for several months. If you can afford more per week, and you're comfortable sending it over to savings, the higher that weekly number is, the better. Just keep in mind that it doesn't really need to be high.
It will all depend on your budget. If your employer provides a k retirement plan, you'll be able to give either a percentage or dollar amount that they take out of each check. Many employers will match up to eight percent, so if you're able to do without that money, a matched k is a good place for it.
Plus, it will force you to wait to take it out until retirement age. Even if you just consider a smaller percentage, it adds up big over time, so set an amount and forget that you even make that money. In a few years, you'll be impressed with how much you've saved. On a more practical note, the more time you're at home, the less of an opportunity you'll have to go out and spend money that doesn't need to be spent. It doesn't mean that you have to lock yourself away and avoid going out, but if you can find productive and engaging things to do at home, you'll likely have more money in your pocket at the end of every week that can be socked away into your savings account.
Take, for example, restaurants. There are few things in this life that drain money from our wallets like paying for restaurant food. Sure, it's fun and totally fine to do occasionally; but don't get into the habit of always relying on restaurants for your food, because the cost compared to cooking at home is exorbitant. Try to eat most of your meals in your home and allow for the occasional splurge with friends or family. Programs like Quicken usually cost a good bit of money, but Mint. Keeping track of your finances as you go can help to keep your checkbook balanced, and it can also motivate you to actually save money and put some away at the end of the week.
The bottom line is that if you have to watch your money go out, you'll be more careful with it as it's coming in. If you've been carrying a balance on your credit card, now is the time to pay it down and eliminate your monthly payment.
5 Chores You Can Do Yourself To Save Money
Not only will the monthly payment be off the table, but the interest you're paying on what you owe will be a thing of the past as well. If you can afford to, pay it all off at once and leave the credit card alone unless it's an emergency. If you're able to do that, you'll save money every month by default, simply because you don't have to worry about those payments. Take that sum whatever it might be and put it in a short or long term savings account.
We tend to live near the ceiling of whatever we make, staying close to the maximum amount of spending that our income can handle. If it were lower, we'd make do. If you go out for a drink once or twice a week and drink more than one beer, perhaps two or three, stick to one drink and pocket the savings.
- The Mahabharata Book 13 Anushasana Parva;
- Art Specialty Co; 92-1227 04/05/94!
- Comfortably Numb (The Musings of Anya Book 1).
- Save Money, Add Value!
- How to start saving money;
Put the extra cash in a jar, or keep a spreadsheet with a total if you make all your purchases through a debit card. Erica, you can make your own by baking your baking soda. Take your bag of baking soda, spread it all out on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven at degrees for one hour. Homemade washing soda. Thank you Leslie. I wonder if it is cheaper to by it or use the electricity to heat the oven degrees for an hour. How thick can the baking soda be on the baking sheet? I read that it can be purchased at a store stocked with pool maitainance items sodium carbonate. I love this article!
For now, I think you can rule the world with coconut oil, baking soda and vinegar…at least your own little world!! Thanks for the encouraging article!
I have switched to using vinegar and castile soap to clean most surfaces. I live in New York City and it is very helpful to be able to save on household products. I use that coupon to buy Dr. Bronners pure castile soap, which does not go on sale, in bulk. I have switched to using vinegar to clean most surfaces throughout my house. It feels so good not having to breathe in these harmful chemicals.
50 Nifty Tricks for Big DIY Savings
Also, I love how inexpensive it is to purchase. I am able to get a oz. I live in New York City and it helps being able to save on household products by buying in bulk. Can Baking Soda be purchased in larger than 1 boxes such as the ones I purchase in the baking supplies aisle of the grocery store?
My daughter has a 13 lb! I also get the giant bag from Costco. Also, stores that have bulk buying sections will typically have baking soda, too. You should be able to get a 40 bag of baking soda from a rural feed store. People who have goats generally offer baking soda to avoid bloat.
Excellent for cleaning, definitely not for baking! My 11 year old granddaughter walked down the grocery aisle where all the cleaners and detergents were. Her eyes started watering and her face broke out in hives. Talk about dangerous chemicals! Thank goodness for DIY! I have made laundry soap for her.
I have a bunch of recipes for DIY stuff I want to try saved. For instance, my deodorant and snack bites and soap all contain coconut oil. My soap and muscle salve and dinner all contain olive oil. I have finished my first batch of homemade laundry detergent and loooooooooooooooove it. The fresh laundry smell is so good and the clothes come out softer than with purchased stuff. The idea of making it for gifts is a wonderful one and that is my next project. Thank you for sharing and this wonderful blog. The Kitchen Koach.
A few words: Recycle, Renew, Reuse! Most all my projects are made from rejects, thrift stores and salvaged materials. A great place to start is with what you already have or someone else is throwing away! A fairly recent opponent to the credo comes in the guise of our local dumps. They have become self conscious enough to believe that garbage is big money.
Things that one used to be able to forage parts from or restore in general.
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The metal pile now gets turned into new consumer items rather than used to repair perfectly serviceable old ones. Ah well, at least its getting recycled. Additionally, freecycle. I am from Ontario and there are active freecycle chapters everywhere. Just google freecycle X where x is your town…and sign up. Cheers, and giggles.