Here it is, one quick trick that helps you save more… and we’re not talking skipping lattes.
Quick backstory- I was in college but heading to Italy to run a marathon with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I had done lots of fundraising to get my trip covered, but needed to save money for my bills while I was gone, as well as have spending money while I was traveling.
In my apartment closet, I had various envelopes for each bill and goal and would tuck money into those envelopes each night after work. An interesting habit I formed was putting an odd amount of money in the envelopes. $27 in one, $17 in another, $13 in a third and so on. The next installment rule was I had to round it up to a round number. So, the next time I had a shift at the restaurant, I’d invest $13 on the $27, $23 in the $17, and $17 in the $13… this really worked!
What I learned was, it was easier to add $13 or $23 then say 10 or 25. $10 didn’t seem like enough and $25 too much for one envelope. But what made the money seem to grow faster was if I added $13 to the $27 envelope, suddenly I had $40.
On one hand, many might say, “Oh thats easy when you have cash in your hand every night. But I challenge you, having cash in your hand every night also made it VERY VERY easy to spend. I also had to budget for the month I was living in with that same cash, so I very much had to save just as if I was making a paycheck. My roommates also were great tempters in wanting me to go out to have a good time.
So how does this translate to saving this days? Especially, when no one carries cash nearly as much.
First stop, your bank. Many have online envelop systems that you can set up and move money around to meet your various goals. Online banking like Capital One or Ally also have free online banking which allows you to create savings accounts that you can connect to your main bank. Here you can set up auto-deposits and savings “rules” that will help you meet your goal.
I know everyone has heard to start small, but it ABSOLUTELY bears repeating. Start with the $13 you won’t miss and move it into a savings account. Next payday, add $23… set yourself up to move a little here and there that won’t be missed when you go to pay your bills and budget. If $23 felt too much, drop it to $17. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.
Have you written down your goal? Check out our Free Resource Library and download our FREE Goals Journal.
Write it down and start working on just 1 thing.
Do you have an income shortage? This is probably the most challenging situation when I coach people. The stuck in the middle, every dollar is accounted for and where do we trim expenses to start saving. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard a million ideas from cut back on your lattes to cutting cable.
In an effort to help at a realistic level, here’s a list of budget lifters.
- 1) Check in with a car/home insurance broker versus an agent. Depending on your situation, a broker might be able to get you a better insurance rate and package. Put the savings into a specific goals savings account, just to get started.
2) Do a budget check on how many paid apps you have for entertainment. Hulu, Peacock, Paramount, Netflix, Disney…. you name it and it all adds up. Can you scale down by 1 or 2? I mean no one needs to watch that much TV anyway, am I right? Cutting back 1 or 2 could save you $8-$20 a month depending. If you put that $20 plus what you save from car insurance each month, you might already be at $50/month! Not too bad, right?
Not sure where you spend your money? Check out our 30 Day Spend Log here.
This spend tracker will help you see where money might be lost in your everyday habits. This tool was a life-safer for me when I finally saw where I money actually went, versus where I wanted it to go.
3) I went back to going to the library versus buying new books.
4) Bought my kids clothes at consignment versus new. This is a huge money saver and consignment shops have come a long way. I find items with tags still on and at significant savings.
5) Hit up the Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, TJMaxx when clothing is absolutely needed. We often buy not because we need, but because we want.
6.) Learn the THIS or THAT theory… Would you rather, this new item or to buy cash and have savings for THAT (goal) you’ve been working toward.
7.) Delete shopping apps that get you sucked into spending money. I will only use Amazon Prime on my laptop so that I don’t overspend by scrolling on my phone and making more “spontaneous” purchases.
8.) Have you researched cutting cable? Everyone has difference TV viewing habits. This one isn’t for the TV guru, but if you can live off of Netflix and Disney, have at it!
9.) It takes a phone call, but many credit card companies that you are in good standing with will lower an interest rate. Its worth a shot!
Quick trick savings can add up! It takes a few phone calls, but worth the time. I don’t want to pay big conglomerate companies any more than I have to for the hard earned money I make. Make sure you are keeping yours too. Tell us what worked for you on the list above! I love hearing the little wins that will add up over time.
If the income shortage is overwhelming and you are dodging collection calls, it might be time to grab an extra shift at work or a 2nd job. Just one extra shift a week somewhere might be the bump or boost you need and the job market is ripe for grabbing a job somewhere. Its not forever and if it alleviates stress it could be extremely helpful.
Take a job that isn’t stressful. Maybe you like people so waiting tables will work. You’ll make more friends, learn more skills and climb out of debt. Explore an area you have an interest in. Maybe its grabbing a Sunday afternoon shift at a movie theater or gas station because you don’t want to have to overthink before another work week starts. Get creative and think of fun things. I often thought making flower bouquets would be relaxing. Check your local grocery market floral department. Who knows what could blossom!
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