- Direct Deposit : Have a portion of your paycheck go directly into a savings account for an emergency fund. Most employers will have the option to deposit a portion of your paycheck into different accounts. Start off small, like $10/check, and go up from there. Make it be a part of your monthly budget routine.
- Let your bank (or credit union) help you: Most banks are now offering programs to assist in helping you save money. My bank deposits $1.00 from my checking account into a savings every time a swipe my debit card. I know other banks have a “keep the change” method where if you spend $2.20, the bank will round up to $3.00 and deposit $.80 in your savings. Hey, this form of saving may not be a part of your normal budget scheme, but it helps!
- Negotiate: Call and negotiate prices for all services you have. This would include your cable, phone service, credit cards, internet- anybody! You may want to do a little research first to see what competitors are offering. Once you have that, you have a better chance at negotiating a lower price for services. Save the difference! This can really boost up your emergency fund! I negotiated with my cell phone company and I now get a $20 credit monthly taken off of my bill- that’s $240 a year!
- Coupons- use them: Think you don’t have time to clip coupons? You probably can’t afford NOT to! According to the President of Coupons.com, Steven Boal, Americans save between 3 and 3.4 BILLION dollars a year through the use of coupons. That’s a lot of zeros that you don’t have time to not be a part of!! Buy a paper this Sunday ($2.00) and start clipping away! Put your savings (because you will save, believe me!) towards your emergency fund.
- Sell, sell, sell: Look around your home and find things that are no longer in use, or something you can do without, and sell them! Go to websites like Ebay or Craigslist to sell those items you don’t need. Again, put the proceeds towards your emergency fund and enjoy the less cluttered living space
- No eating out….just for a month: Try it. Yes, take it completely out of your budget. Go one full month without eating out. Americans spend billions of dollars a year eating out at restaurants. When I ask people where they think their most wasteful spending comes from, most times it’s from eating out! Go just one month and see how much you can save when you avoid this form of wasteful spending.
- Overtime/2nd job: I know, I know some of you guys feel like you barely have time with just one job, let alone picking up more hours or getting another job. Be more open minded with me. Wouldn’t it be nice to include an additional stream of income to your monthly budget to pay off debt and fund the emergency fund? If you pick up some hours or get another job, your savings can increase at a much faster rate. Things worthwhile come with sacrifice. Even think about things you can do from home. Capitalize on a hobby. You can do this- and watch how fast your savings will grow!
- Biweekly paycheckers: For those of you who are paid bi-weekly, we always come across an “extra” paycheck a couple of times a year. I hear all the time that that third paycheck in the month goes towards bills. Why is that? It’s because we do not budget correctly. If you get paid $1,000 every two weeks, that’s $2,000 per month. During most months, you can live off of that. Now comes the month that has the additional paycheck and instead of $2,000 during that month you get $3,000. Your bills stay the same. Be honest! Instead of blowing that money (because that’s what you’re doing), save it!!
- Taxes, taxes: We look forward in receiving a refund from our taxes due to the government taking too much during the year from our paychecks. Instead of loaning the government money interest free (because that’s what’s going on!), increase your deduction amount to the point where you don’t receive a tax refund. Why not receive the money during the year and place it in an interest bearing account rather than let the government hold on to it for a year with no interest? It just makes sense!
These are just a few of my favorite ways to save money. Comment and let me know what methods you use to save.