Sometimes, trying to save money is a daunting task. Okay, well always! Especially if you are the non-budgeting one of the relationship, then trying to get a savings fund is just a great excuse for creating guilt to your life. Who needs that? So, let’s make it easier. I have come up with 11 truly brilliant ways to save money that are actually easy to remember.
Our first set of savings options is for those that use the cash system for budgeting (learn more about that in this book). Basically, you only pay bills out of your account, and everything that is household/spending/gas/food/pet/going out budget is put in envelopes as cash each month. Once it is gone, you have no more in that category, this really helps rewrite your brain wiring to living within the budget you have set. Here are 3 ways to grow your savings within the cash system method –
ANY Extra Money Goes In Savings
So at the end of the money, instead of intentionally spending that extra $3 in pet fund and that extra $18 in the food budget, you will take ANY AND ALL leftover money and deposit it directly in the savings account.
All CHANGE Is Saved
This is the least painful method of saving money. It doesn’t add up as fast, but we have a gallon jug for change and I raided it this week and found $20 in quarters alone. I didn’t bother to count the other coins. The last time we filled it all the way up, it was about $110 – that can be a nice addition to any savings account. Warning – watch out for fake coins, laundry coins and Peter Piper Pizza coins have no value so don’t add them to the coin jar, that is a post all in its own!
ANY $5 or $1 Bills Are Saved
I know a lady who saved every single $1 she received and had saved over $1000 in a year, without even realizing she was saving money. Another lady I know saved every single $5 from a certain bill series (I think it was the series that started with a “K”), this method turned it into a game where she had to search for the right bills to save. The same idea for the change works for this method too – you just don’t spend it. The change or $1 or $5 are treated as if they are fake money, so you never get to spend it.
The second way to create a savings account is to do it directly from the paycheck. This means that part of your income goes directly into the savings account and you don’t even get it in your regular bank account. This is the method that worked the best for us, because we always use up our money if it is in the account. This way we made the savings fund a priority and protected it from being used. Here are 4 ways to make it come directly from the paycheck –
USE Your Auto-Deposit
Most direct deposit paychecks have the choice of depositing into 2 accounts instead of just 1. So, deposit $25 or $50 per paycheck into your savings. You literally won’t notice it missing, but in just a few months, you will have enough money to buy new tires.
CASH Income Is Saved
This is for those of us in the hustle world or if you do some part-time work that can be paid in cash. The cash goes in savings, the auto-deposit or regular job income is used for budgeting. If you get paid completely in cash, read #7 below.
1 ENTIRE income (or paycheck) is saved
I know – this is really hard if you are already struggling to make ends meet, but if it is possible, you always want to create a budget based off of only 50% of what you actually bring home. This helps in case 1 of you lose your job or if you have to take a pay cut from what you currently make.
Save A Day’s Pay A Week
This is the one that takes the MOST discipline, but it is a great method! Really the best method for people who don’t have vacation/sick days or who work unpredictable shifts/pay, hourly or for cash. What you do is you budget as if you are working 1 day less than you actually do work. For instance, you are like my husband and you drive for LYFT (use this link to get a $350 bonus as a new LYFT driver) 6 days a week making $150 a day. You need to budget as if you only work 5 days a week. Within 6 weeks you have enough money saved up to take 6 days off, because you have a full week’s pay in the savings already. This method also helps decrease the unpredictable-pay-stress, since you aren’t living ‘paycheck to paycheck.’
Third and lastly, I have some ideas for creating a savings based off of lifestyle choices. This one I think is more fun, but it would only work if everyone involved is on the same page about your savings fund being rewards/punishments. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, it will only cause stress, but if you can, it can make life a little more fun.
Splurging = Savings Fund
This could be one of you going out to eat and spent $12… so now they have to add $12 to the savings fund. This could be overspending on the household budget by $3 this month, so now $3 has to go into the savings fund. In essence – every splurge is doubled! That will either create a massive savings really fast or fix the splurging issues really quick. And remember – savings is not to be put back in the budget, if you over spent it, you save it until you need tires.
Reaching Goals = Savings Fund
Instead of rewarding yourself with a cheat day for reaching your fitness or weight goals, why not reward yourself by adding money into your savings so that you can go on that vacation you have been wanting? So if you workout every day this week or eat yucky Kale two times this month, give yourself a financial reward in a way that your future stressed self will appreciate.
Coupons Used = Savings Fund
Okay, we all like shop deals and coupons, right? Even if it takes us 4 hours to go through the weekly ads and requires us to visit 3 different stores, we STILL like trying to save some money. At the bottom of your receipts it usually will say ‘how much you saved.’ Whatever that amount is, put it in the savings account. This week I went to Safeway and had a savings of $11.76 and another trip to Fry’s showed I got the items on sale for $5.13 less than normal price, so a total of $16.89 would go into the savings account.
Using Debit Card = Savings Fund
My bank had the option of adding $1 to my savings account every time I use my card. Again it is a small amount, but it adds up pretty quickly. I like that the bank transfers it for me (and bonus – setting it up this way cut out the $7 monthly account fee!)
So there you have it – which one is going to work best for you? Leave a comment and let me know which method will be your new way to make a savings!
Do you want more information on family budgeting? Check out these great blogs for more tips and ideas to get your finances under control…
Yes, I include affiliate links in all my blogs. I get paid a little each time you click and buy from the included links, but I only recommend products that I use myself. Thanks for helping our dream of being a full-time blogger come true! ~ Lydia Y-S.