Finding Money to Save
We all have reasons to save money – whether it is for a Rainy Day Emergency Fund, large purchases, for retirement, or building wealth. Whatever our reasons might be, sometimes it seems impossible to get started which is why most of us don’t even try.
“How in the world can I find extra money to save?”
One really important step to saving money is simply defining your savings goal so you know where you are going and what you need to do. Also, knowing your goal keeps you going and heading in the right direction. Your goal is the carrot that you keep dangling in front of you. In other words, begin with the end in mind.
You’ve heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? Well, one bite at a time of course!” and that is exactly how you start finding money to save. Here are some great tips to help you get started:
Pay “yourself” first – Instead of trying to save money after all of your bills are paid, make saving a priority by paying yourself first before paying bills simply by setting up direct deposit from your paycheck to your savings account. Also, use tax refunds, raises, and bonuses to build your savings.
Sell stuff – Look around your home at how many items you no longer need or use, and convert those items into cash by selling them. Have your kids outgrown clothes, toys, baby items? Do you have kitchen gadgets or power tools you no longer use and are collecting dust? Have a yard sale with friends or neighbors, or sell through social media sites. Have some fun, make some money all while cleaning out your house – win-win!
Side jobs or other one-time income opportunities - For a short time to start beefing up your savings, care for a neighbor’s pet when they are out of town, babysit, clean a house, mow a lawn or two, rake some leaves, organize someone’s kitchen or garage, cut some fire wood and sell it. Are you crafty? Make items and sell them online. Love to blog? Learn how to make money blogging. Love to drive? Try driving in your spare time for Uber or Lyft delivering food or people to their destinations.
Shop insurance – Get a quote from an independent agent like First United Insurance Solutions to see if you can get a better rate with comparable or even better coverage. Independent agents can shop for better rates and coverage often times because they are not tied to any one company.
Make simple cuts to your budget - Most of us find that we have to make choices about cutting back on one expense (and maybe even more than one expense) to have the money to save to meet our savings goal. Sometimes making small incisions to your spending can be easier to do than one really big cut. Some small “incisions” you could start with are:
- Save on utilities by changing the thermostat a degree or two depending on the time of year.
- Clip some coupons or price match on groceries.
- Make a list before going to the grocery store to lessen the urge to impulse purchase.
- Try eating out less by carrying lunch a few times per week, or putting something in the slow cooker for dinner before leaving for the day.
- “Cut the cord” – cut out cable and use your internet for Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming sites
Save your spare change - At the end of each day, empty the change from your purse or pockets and put into a jar or piggybank. Bring it to the bank, and let us count and deposit into your savings account. You might be amazed at how quickly the change adds up. Remember a penny saved is a penny earned!
Have a “No Spend” month – This is a month where you spend no other money - outside of your bills (like rent/mortgage, utilities, debt payments), your transportation and groceries. To find out more on what a “No Spend” month is and how it works, check out real life budget blogger, Jessi Fearon’s article, “How to save a $1,000 in a month – the No Spend Month secret”
These are just a few ideas to help you get started tackling that elephant. Remember, small bites will eventually make that elephant disappear. You will look up one day and be pleased with the money you have saved, realizing that the small bites and decreases in your spending were well worth it.
To learn more about Building Emergency Savings, click here to view one of the many free Financial Well-Being courses on our website.