It can be difficult to save money. Most of us have struggled with this for our entire lives. Here are 10 things you can try in order to save some cash. You CAN save money!!
#1 Pay Yourself First.
The most successful way to save is to get rid of your money before you have a chance to spend it. The key is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account into a savings account literally the day after you get paid. Try starting with $50 per paycheck and increase it over time. Eventually, you won’t miss this money because you don’t ever see it.
#2 Save your 3rd paycheck.
If you get paid every 2 weeks, there will be two times each year when you will be paid three times in a month. Commit now to never spend this money! Instead place this into emergency savings. If you budget your spending for only two paychecks each month, this is an easy way to find some extra cash.
#3 Save your coupon savings.
If you use a coupon, don’t let that saved money get spent. For example, if you use a coupon for $1.00 OFF a box of cereal, don’t buy a dollar of more food. Instead, put this saved dollar into your savings account. This could turn into quite a sum over a year's time. Every dollar adds up.
#4 Track your spending.
Know where each and every dollar you spend goes. Categorize it. I have found that many of my clients when doing this for the first time, make different spending decisions. They usually spend less just by knowing where their money is going.
#5 Use the library.
As teachers, many of us love to read books. Ask yourself what you usually do with the books you purchase. If they usually just sit on a bookshelf for years, then was it worth buying instead of renting for free? Next time you go to the bookstore, write down the titles that you want to buy and go to the library to get them. You can even ask the library to order newer titles if they currently don’t have the book you want. Now save the amount you normally spend on books. For many of you, this can turn into quite a pile of cash.
#6 Match your habit.
If you have a habit of buying non-essential items (mine is Mountain Dew), for every dollar spent on that habit each week, save the same amount into your savings account. If you can’t afford the match, you can’t afford the habit!
#7 Go on a spending fast.
Once in awhile, don’t spend money on non-essential things for an entire week. No going out to eat; no snacks at the convenience store; no new clothes; no movies or activities that cost money. Save the money you would normally have spent that week. Replace these activities with free alternatives with your family. Go on walks or to a park. Play board games. Read a book. (From the library!) You will probably have just as much enjoyment as if you had spent the money.
#8 Shop around for at least one service.
Call your cable company and see if you can get your price lowered. Check other insurance companies and have them run quotes on what your current coverages would cost. Contact your current insurance agent and see if there are discounts you are not taking. Shop around for a cheaper cell phone plan. The small time it takes to shop around could save you money every month to re-direct to your savings.
#9 Take the 52-week savings challenge.
During week 1, save $1.00. For week 2, save $2.00. Week 3 you add $3.00. Keep this going week after week and finally, in week 52 you will save $52.00. At the end of one year, you will have saved $1,378! Click HERE if you want a pdf of how this works.
#10 Go and execute number one on this list!
Seriously, paying yourself first is the best way! So don’t delay! If you try to spend first and save second, it won’t happen. If you don’t make it automatic, it won’t happen.