Not having enough money can stress anyone out. Living paycheck to paycheck is like living under a dark cloud with no umbrella and not knowing when it'll pour down raining. I've done a lot of window shopping, turned down fun times with family and friends simply because I didn't have the money. I can even remember times when I didn't have money to eat at work all week because I had less than $5 in my bank account. It doesn't matter if you're married, single, have children or no children saving money can be very hard to do as an adult.
Here are 9 tips that have helped me save over the years:
1. Start LOW: You can easily get caught up in wanting to save the maximum amount but sometimes (MOST times) this just results in you dipping back in your savings to get the extra money you need. If you're like me once you dip you'll either dip again or take it all out now that your monthly goal has been compromised. I'm more encouraged to keep saving when my savings hasn't been touched and I can visually see the growth. Start by saving the lowest amount that you can spare whether it be $20, $25, or $50 every time you get paid.
2. Open up Second Savings Account: Find a reputable bank across town that you can open a savings account with. Use this bank to deposit your savings but do not request a DEBIT CARD. Having a savings account further away without a linked debit card in your purse will make it harder to have instant access to your saved money.
3. Enroll in a Savings Program with your bank: I bank with State Employees Credit Union and I'm currently enrolled in their "Holiday Cash Club". This Holiday Cash Club account allows members to save money throughout the year in anticipation of holiday shopping! Deposits can be made to the account through October. On the last business day in October, the balance of this account will be automatically transferred to your checking, regular share or money market account (whichever you prefer). Listen...The first year I enrolled I saved $70 per paycheck and on the first day in November $1,500 was transferred to my checking account that morning! I was so excited! For once I had more than enough Christmas money to spend BEFORE CHRISTMAS even on black Friday! I was able to shop for my family guilt-free, bill-free and worry-free because I had Christmas money. They also have a summer cash account for your summer vacations!
4. Get a Change Jar or Huge Piggy Bank: This may be old-fashioned but it works!!! Commit to placing all your loose change in your piggy bank for a year! My husband and I did this the second year of living in our new home! Every day we made sure we placed all of our loose change into the jars, some days we would place a dollar or two if we felt rich lol. When we finally cashed out at the end of the year we had almost $500. Our goal now is to fill up our huge Coca Cola bottle bank.
5. Savings Chart: These are so cool! Just make sure you find one that your budget will allow. I completed one last year and I was so proud of myself! Even if you don't save every week or get thrown off your game for a while pick up where you left off and continue to do your best to save. Click the image for a printable version.
6. Re-evaluate your Expenses: Sit down and write out all of your bills, expenses and their due dates. Call your providers and eliminate or downgrade your services to obtain a cheaper bill. Be sure to modify your due dates to compliment your paydays. Spread your bills out evenly so that you can have money left over after paying bills. This will help you avoid going in the hole by spending your entire check on bills. I personally downgraded the services on our cable bill and my cell phone bill. I found cheaper car insurance and I canceled certain subscriptions that I didn't need like Apple Music and Pic Monkey picture editing for my blog. I even made fewer trips to the nail salon and stayed out of Target and Walgreens to avoid miscellaneous shopping.
7. Coupon, Cook & Go Generic: Couponing saves money period! Before you go shopping grab a local newspaper or look online and check out those coupons! Trust me, couponing is never a lost cause. Next, limit the amount that you spend eating out! Sis! Have you checked your bank statement and actually looked to see how much you spend on fast food? Whew Chile, I was embarrassed! Go grocery shopping, buy your food in family packs, freezer bag your meats and thank me later! You can feed your family for two nights with a home cooked meal that was less than $20 vs picking up fast food for $30 or more. Lastly, we all have our favorite must-have brands for cooking, snacking, or personal and household items. My only advice for this is to go generic on what you can! Lots of times the generic brands are the EXACT SAME as the name brands!
8. Budget! Budget! Budget!: Write out all of your expenses, what you plan to save and give yourself a spending limit on whatever money is left after. Do not go over this limit! For example, let's say you have $300 left after paying bills, your expenses and saving $50. Give yourself a $150-$200 limit to spend on whatever else may be needed or wanted. On your next payday, the remaining money from your $300 should be deposited into your savings account across town.
9. Get Digit!: This app has been amazing!!! Digit analyzes your spending and automatically saves the perfect amount every day, so you don't have to think about it. In the pic below you can see how I've saved over $250 in two months. I couldn't believe how easy it was saving money for me SO FAST!! Daily savings without lifting a finger! This app is genius! I told all of my family and friends about it and they love it!!! Check it out for yourself and jump start your savings with $5 from me by clicking the pic or link below to download.
Saving money can be a challenge but never stop trying! If you get knocked off your game just pick up where you left off! Living paycheck to paycheck is not a norm that you have to accept if you have the funds and the discipline to save! I hope this was very informative and helpful! Don't forget to like, comment, share and tag me if you try any of these tips! I love connecting with you all and reading your feedback! Good luck and happy savings!