Saving money has always been important, especially in these rough times. Many “money gurus” have silly suggestions, like cutting out your morning latte. This is fine for those who take part in those luxuries already, but what about the larger percentage of Americans? For us, saving money isn’t about cutting luxuries. It’s about making what little money we have stretch further. Here are six simple steps for saving the money you make.
6 Secret Ways to Save Money
Save all of your loose change. Throw it in a jar, bottle or vase. After every shopping trip, check your pockets, and empty them into the container. If you want to change your coins, wrap them
up and take them to a bank. Don’t use commercial coin counting machines, because they will charge you a percentage.
Recycling cans, plastic bottles and glass can really help your money go farther. Think about it. Every time you buy a beverage, you can get 5 or 10 cents back. This is also good for the environment and a good way to teach your kids great values. If you can’t afford to pay your kids allowance anymore, tell your kids that they can have as much money as they’d like that comes from recycling.
3. Magic Number
Make a commitment not to spend bills of a certain “magic number.” For instance, if you select ten as your “magic number,” any time you get a ten dollar bill, whether it’s in a birthday card or in change at the checkout, you are not allowed to spend it. I use tens because the count is easy to keep track of. You can do the math in your head. For instance, a thousand single ten dollar bills equal ten thousand dollars. With ones and fives, once I reach a hundred dollars, I change them into ten dollar bills so I am not tempted to spend them. If you have a large bill, and you think you may be tempted to spend it, change it into your magic number. Then, you will be less tempted.
Creating a spreadsheet can help you keep track of your spending. Knowing where your money goes every month will help you see areas that you can cut back on. If you are not a computer person, an old fashion tablet works. Simply make a chart that allows enough room to add notes, and write in pencil (or buy white out)!
When balancing your checkbook, round it up to the nearest dollar. Those small bits of change really add up over time. The next time you get paid, take the remaining balance from your checking and bump it to your savings, or withdraw it and add it to your home savings. Just make sure all checks and payments have cleared first. Having internet access to your bank account makes it easy to track payments. Just don’t forget to round up.
Where and how you save cash is as important as saving the cash in the first place. If you feel you will be tempted to use your saved up money on your way out of the house, I recommend you use a bank. If you can save without touching it, then you can save at home with a piggy bank. Ensuring you put your saved money in the safe as soon as you get home will make it more difficult for you to indulge in impulse buys when you are away from home.