Everyone needs an emergency fund. More than that, you will eventually need retirement savings, a new car, a big-screen TV, or maybe just a new kidney. Whatever the reason, one day, have a comfortable savings account will make your life easier.
But, Jason, you say, it’s hard to save money! How can I start saving when I can’t make ends meet? I’ve got rent, 9 kids, and a DVD addiction that won’t quit. My mortgage is underwater, my Mercedes still has 8 years on the loan, and the Shoe-of-the-Month Club only carries Christian Louboutin’s. What can I do?
Well, I’ll reply, since I am Jason and you asked for me by name, you need to find a way to make it happen. I’d never recommend someone give up their diamond-studded kicks, but something’s gotta give. In the meantime, there are some ways you can save money without feeling the sting of delayed gratification.
1. Save your raise. When you get your next raise, pretend you didn’t. Set up an automatic transfer to stick that new 5% straight into a savings account. Don’t give yourself an opportunity to spend it.
2. Find it, hide it. When your Aunt Gertrude dies and leaves your her extensive collection of California Raisins figurines, sell them and save the money. If you find a $20 bill on the ground, throw it right into your savings account. When your 30th lottery ticket of the week gives you a $10 prize, save it! Don’t waste found money on luxuries. Use it to build your future.
3. Let it lapse. Do you have magazine subscriptions you never read? Or a gym membership you haven’t used since last winter? Panty-of-the-Month? Crack dealer who delivers? Stop paying them! Let those wasted services fall to the wayside and put the money to better use. I don’t mean flipping QVC products on eBay, either. Save the money.
4. Jar of 1s. Roughly once a week, I dig through my pockets and my money clip looking for one dollar bills. Any that I find go in a box to be forgotten. I use that box as walking-around money for our annual vacation, but it could easily get repurposed as a temporary holding tank for money I haven’t gotten to the bank, yet.
5. Round it up. Do you balance your checkbook? If you don’t, start. If you do, start doing it wrong. Round up all of your entries to the nearest dollar. $1.10 gets recorded as $2. $25.75 goes in as $26. If you use your checkbook or debit card 100 times a month, that’s going to be close to $75 saved with absolutely no effort. It even makes recording your spending easier.
There you have it, 5 easy ways to save money that won’t cause you a moment’s pain.
Do you have any tricks to help you save money?
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