I don’t know about you but I am always looking for ways to save money (usually so I can spend it elsewhere…LOL).
I found that people are usually "tightening the purse strings" when they have an end goal in mind, like:
To save money for a down payment on a home or pay down/pay off a mortgage.
To pay off Credit Card/student loan debts
To save for a vacation
To save for College
Now regardless of your reason, as my Mom always said “you work hard for your money, so don’t give it away”. Thanks Mom, so true.
You might have heard these before but there is one step that is crucial that everyone forgets, so keep reading.
For starters make your coffee at home and brown bag your lunch. Let’s say on average you Spend $15 a day on both of these items. For a 5 day work week that’s: $75 a week, $300 a month and $3,600 a year! Heck if you are in NY, your costs could even be higher especially if you buy coffee from Starbucks. Now here is the crucial mistake most people make, they never take that money and put it aside. So it just gets spent elsewhere and never makes it to savings account. If you are use to spending $15 a day, set up an automatic withdraw from your checking to move $75 a week over to your savings that you are not allowed to touch!!
Stop buying bottle water. If you don’t like your tap water you can buy a Brita filter or something similar and fill a reusable water bottle. Now the saving might not be huge but every bit counts. If you only save $5 a week that adds up to $240 a year and you are also helping to save the plant! Less plastic in the landfills and the oceans.
Skip eating out. Maybe every Friday night you order pizza…instead make it at home! Remember this isn’t permanent , you are just cutting out extras to get your goal. Keep that goal in front of you at all times.
You can also make money. Sell clothes and housewares online, like Facebook Market Place, Craigslist or sell it at a consignment store. You can even shop at consignment stores. I know there 2 here in Warwick and some of the clothes still have new tags on them. If you are local to Warwick, NY to can check out Reclaimed Consignment Boutique or My Savvy Chic Consignment Boutique.
Want a challenge? For the month of February pay yourself each day. Starting Feb 1st pay yourself a dollar, on Feb 2nd, pay yourself $2, so on and so on. By the end of the month you will have saved $406. You can do this any month.
Get yourself a change jar, trust me it adds up!! You can empty your pockets each day (I empty my husbands, but don’t tell him!) or have a contest. Whomever uses a cuss word (do people still use that term) they owe 50 cents or trying to watch what you eat? Anytime you cheat on your diet, you pay!
In todays' totally digital age you can ditch cable and go with amazon prime, Netflix and/orYou Tube TV. And if you don’t need a land line that’s another savings just remember to pay yourself the savings.
Most food stores offer online shopping. You place your order online and can have it delivered or you pick it up. Why does this help you save money? Because you will not be tempted to add extras in your cart you don’t need and you will save the time! I have a friend who figured out besides the hour and ½ she would spend shopping she saves on average $30-40 a week.
If you are saving money to pay off credit card debt you should try the debt snowball method. I learned this in a Dave Ramsey class. List all of your credit cards and pay off the smallest one first. Why? So you can taste victory! Trust me, it feels really good to pay off that first one, and you are likely keep going.
Here is how it works: Say you have 3 major cards. One has $500 balance and the others $1500 and 2500. Let’s say from all the money you are saving each month on not buying coffee, lunch and cable you have figured out you have an extra $250 a month. You will pay the minimum on the $1500-$2500. It will take you two months to pay off the first card with the $500 balance. Now month 3 you have the $1500 and the $2500 left that you have been paying minimum payments on. Then you take that $250 plus the minimum you were paying $1500 card (let’s say that was $75), so you are paying $325 and starting chipping away at that bill until paid off….you get the picture. Note to self, you are not allow to use the credit cards during this time, but I think you knew that.
If you have a family get everyone involved. Make a game out of it for kids. Especially if you are saving for a house or a family vacation. They will get excited especially once they start to see the money grow. It must be visual. Just like when you set a goal to eat better and loose weight, you want to see the scale move. And if loosing weight is a goal ,eating at home and brown bagging will help you do that and save money too!
Whatever you goal is, always make it visual and track it!!
For Jacqueline (Jacque) Kraszewski, the road to a career in real estate was not a direct route. After graduating from Ramapo College with a BA in Communications, Jacque went on to a successful career ....