Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to save money. Our bills pull us one way and the stores are constantly pushing our wallet another. The end of the month comes by yet again and your savings are looking no better than before. Fear not, we have below four ideas that will help you trick yourself into saving some extra money.
Save Your Change
One way to very quickly save money if you use a lot of cash, is to save your change. Grab any old jar to be your savings jar. At the end of every day simply drop all your coins in. This process is simple and it can add up big if you pay for even a little in cash.
Now here in Canada you can do this full throttle, half throttle or the slow snail way. Full throttle would include adding all loonies, toonies and all change to the jar. Half throttle means adding all loonies and other change. The slow snail method would mean keeping your loonies and toonies out of the picture and waiting for a very long time for the smaller coins to add up.
Bill It To Yourself
Every month when the paycheques hit the bank, I automatically move a set amount from my chequing to my savings. I do this transfer as part of my bill paying routine every month. Every month I watch my savings grow. It feels good watching that account grow.
If you are not sure you will have the willpower to move the money over consistently, try automating the transfer through your online banking. Just like paying bills every month can avoid late fees, automating means you are always paying yourself too without missing the deadline. You do not need to lift a finger once the automation is set up. Simply watch your savings grow every month. I personally prefer physically transferring the money myself for the satisfaction.
Save Little Bits
We all know when you are on a tight budget, it can be difficult to save. If you have kids, the thought of shelling out for even more extras when they get older can be exhausting. Here is a neat little plan I discovered from Single Mom Income that will save $7,976 without much effort. Simply take your child’s age and save that amount once a week. So in the first year when your child is one year old, you save one dollar per week. Down the road when your child is fifteen, you save $15 per week. If you start when your child is first born (or play a little catch up) by the time your kid is eighteen you will have saved $7,976. That does not include any interest should you put that money into a bank account or invest it and let it grow a little bit.
This same technique could also be used to save for something for yourself, save for something specific or even save for vacation. Save every week using your own age and that cash will add up fast. For instance, let us pretend I am 32. If we multiple that age by 52 weeks in a year, I will have saved $1,664 by the end of the year.
We all receive extra windfall money we are not expecting. Maybe you found $20 you forgot in your coat from last spring. Perhaps you pulled out some change for your garage sale from the bank and never put it back into your account. Maybe Grandma sent you some birthday money. All of these things have happened to me in the last 12 months, lucky me!
Take that windfall money and save it instead of splurging it at the coffee shop or on a brand new electronic gadget. I have a little stash I keep just for this occasion. I call it my granny stash.
My husband’s granny was from a different era then I. When my husband and I went to help her move, she had money stashed all over the house “just in case" and was pretty distrustful of banks. The total we found while helping her move was well over several thousand dollars. A family member who had moved into the house later called us to let us know that a cheque worth over $1000 was headed in the mail to granny. That was just the leftovers from the granny stashes we missed when we helped clean out her stuff.
While I am not from a generation that is distrustful that my money will disappear in a bank, I still use the same concept. Any windfall money I have I tuck away in my granny stash. When it reaches $500, I deposit it into my savings so I can earn some interest. More than once in my early university years my granny stash paid the cost of a moving truck to help me change apartments. It also covered pizza and beers for my friends who helped lug my stuff into my new apartment.
Bargainmoosers do you have any tips for tricking yourself into saving money?
(Image Credit: Alan Cleaver)