We’ve all seen the coveted 52 week money-saving challenge. However, I have a problem with this model of saving. Logically someone can afford $1 a week and even logically up to $20 or $30 a week depending on your financial situation. This savings plan however accounts for you to put one more dollar away weekly. Personally I don’t find the 52 week challenge to be the best option for saving. Here are some of my ideas on how to save without using this “method”.
1. Spare Change Jar
Everyone has spare change. Chances are there’s a cup in your car or a your purse is weighing more and more every day from the change inside.
Get yourself a jar. Doesn’t really matter if the jar is huge or medium. Throw your spare change in the jar and when you’re done get old-fashioned and roll the change up and take to the bank to deposit. You could use coin star but they have a surcharge for counting the money. Stick this spare change money in your savings account and over time and quite quickly you might be shocked at how much is put away. Example my husband and I have a huge jar in our closet. The jar could probably hold a couple hundred in change if we filled it to the top. Currently it’s about 1/8 of the way full and there is almost $50 in there from CHANGE. We started putting change in the jar one MONTH ago. So get a jar, put your change in it.
2. Keep your 5’s
This option requires you to use cash for transactions on a regular basis. Every time you get change back from a store and there is a $5 dollar bill stick that away in savings. A few years ago when my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, went to Vegas for the weekend I used literally all the 5’s I had saved over 6 months to pay for my portion of the hotel and my play money while we were there. I didn’t touch any of my pay check’s at all, just the 5’s. Between this and the jar of change you are going to save a bunch quickly!
3. Envelope system
The envelope system has been created and promoted mainly by Dave Ramsey. Check out his website: http://www.daveramsey.com/home/
How does this work quick overview. Decide how much is needed for bills during a pay period withdraw that money from your bank account and place in envelopes properly named. Example: Food Shopping, Gas, Electric, Savings, and entertainment. These are just examples you should label your envelopes based on what your families needs are. If you have bills that get automatically taken from your bank account leave enough in the account to cover those like your car payment and car insurance. This will make you accountable for every dollar your spending. How easy is swiping your card at a store and not thinking about it? Easy, too easy. If you are watching what you’re spending by using cash, chances are you’re going to spend less and save more.
4. Pay off your Debt.
Seems simple enough. Start small and build up. Pay off the smallest balances first and work your way up to the larger ones. Once you’ve paid off a handful of small ones you can feel somewhat victorious! This debt payoff method keeps up the positive momentum to continue paying them off. Once you’ve paid off the debt like credit cards take those monthly payments you used to make to them and instead stick that money in your savings account.
5. Pack your Lunch
The average person spends $8-$10 a day for lunch eating out. If you’re eating out 5 days a week spending $9 a day you’re spending $45 a week and $2,340 a year in eating lunch out during the work week. NOW I am NOT saying thou shall never eat lunch out again or you must always every day pack your lunch. What I am saying is instead of spending $9 a day try spending $6 a day and cut it back to eating out for lunch 2 days a week in stead you went from $2,340 a year to $624 a year by only eating lunch out 2 days a week and for $3 less a day. This is possible, you can do this. When you’re food shopping and cooking dinner make enough left overs for lunch the next day or pack your lunch the night before. Not only that but heck this is certainly a healthier option.
Hope these tips are helpful in how to pay off your debt and save money honey!