Saving money no matter what age can always be a challenge. If you are like me you’ve tried to set yourself up for success by creating a monthly budget, but somewhere around June you get off track and realize you aren’t saving the amount of money you intended to. Or maybe you realize that your social budget has increased, but you have adjusted your monthly budget accordingly. Either way I’ve come up with 10 money saving tips that are so easy you won’t even notice your saving money.
This one is pretty easy and you can start it at any time. Get an old shoe box and label it High 5’s, if you’re crafty you can decorate it, however it’s not necessary. Every Time you have a $5 in your wallet or purse take it out and put it in this box. Do it for a few months and let the $5’s add up! It’s best to forget about the box in between putting the money away. You will be surprised how quickly this adds up. Mark this money as a rainy day fund or a vacation fund. Trust me you won’t even miss the money in your daily life.
This cost savings exercise takes about 5 minutes to set up and will last a whole year. The idea is to save a small amount of money each day starting with 10 cents. Each day of the year will have a number associated with it, for example January 1 is 1, January 2 is 2 next so on, with February 1 being 32, you get the gist of it. To get the value you should save that day you simply multiply the number associated with the day times 10 cents. So January 1 you save 10 cents (1 x 0.10) and February 1 (numbered day 32) you save $3.20 (32 x 0.10). You basically increase the daily savings by 10 cents each day. Tuck that money away each day and at the end of the year you will have saved $6,679! It’s very easy in the beginning, however it does get harder later in year. I’ve been doing this for 2 years now and it’s amazing to see how much you can save in a year. You can also do this with 1 cent, you won’t save as much, but you can get into the swing of things. This daily money saving activity has paid for multiple European vacations!
This system is straight from the 8th grade and its works. When I was little and saving for a bike my mom told me to save money in an envelope. This way I could see my money and count it to understand how much I saved. Perfect for a small child, but also perfect for an adult. It’s easy to put money into the bank and say “oh that’s for this trip or that purse”, but when it comes time to take the money out I always feel guilty because I’m taking from my savings and in my mind savings should be for large purchases like cars and houses. I use the envelope system to save up for semi large purchases. For instance my Burberry Purse. I saw this purse in Nieman Marcus and had to have it, however the price tag indicated I should wait. I couldn’t in my right mind go out and drop that amount of money on one purse, so what did I do, I saved for it. I channeled my 8th grade self and got an envelope, marked it “Burberry Purse” and saved for it, the good old fashion way. It took me a while and I sacrificed eating lunch out or a Starbucks Friday here and there and over time I got my purse. I love the purse because it’s beautiful and timeless, but I think I love it so much because I worked hard to save the money for it.
$20 Weekly Savings
This one is pretty simple, but you need to make a conscious effort to do it. Simply stash away a $20 bill every week at the start of each week. Maybe give up eating out lunch twice a week to have the extra cash. The sacrifice will be worth it because at the end of the year you will have an extras $1,040!
Get an App
Did you know there is an app to help you save money? It’s called Digit. This app monitors your income and spending habits to see how much you can potentially save. The app will automatically move money from your checking to Digit savings accounts that is FDIC insured up to $250,000, so you know its safe.
Renegotiate Service Contracts
Start with your cell phone, can you get a cheaper plan, maybe you aren’t using as much data as your package allows and you can downgrade your plan. With your TV cable, do you really need the premium channels you watch once every 3 months? Get rid of them and just rent a movie on demand when you need it. Tiny savings can add up.
Revisit Insurance Rates
Have your home, rental and car insurance rates been creeping up on you? If so, call up your representative and see if you can get a lower rate. I do this annually and sure enough they always find a lower rate for me somehow. You just have to ask for it.
Get Something in Return for Spending Money
Get a credit card that rewards you for spending money. Whether its cash back or miles you should get something in return for spending money. I use my credit card for just about everything these days because I get airline miles in return. Racking up these miles all year long has gotten me many first class flights to Europe. (Link to Paris post) That’s a huge savings and a fun treat when vacationing.
Ditch Cabs and Ubers
I know it’s so easy to hail a cab or arrange a ride on your phone, but save the money and walk or take public transportation. It’s cheaper, it will keep more money in your wallet and it’s fun to walk around and explore the city.
Check for Restaurant Specials
I love to eat out, its actually a bit of a problem too. I always check for specials at my favorite restaurants. Whether its half price apps or $5 burger night I’ll find the special and eat out on those days. Or check out Groupon or Gilt City beforehand to see if there is a deal being offered for one of the places you like to frequent.
Saving money isn’t always easy, but I have to say saving money is fun. Challenging yourself to save more and more is rewarding. Money makes the world go round so why not save a little extra for a rainy day or that purse you’ve been dying to have. What are you currently saving for, what tips or tricks do you have to get you to the finish line quicker? Are you going to incorporate these money saving tips into your life?