1. Save bills that have a specific number on them.
“My mom always keeps bills that have a 7 in their note number. So for example, is she has a $20 bill that has ‘G7’ on it, she will not spend it. Note numbers go up to the number 12 I believe, with letters going up to L.”
—Dee Rubio, Facebook
3. Get a digital coin bank that’ll show you exactly how much you’re saving.
5. Put increasing (or decreasing) amounts of money in a piggy bank every week.
“Get a piggy bank and put it on a high shelf that you can reach. Start with $1, next week put $2, then $3… Write it on your calendar. After a year you will have $1,405!”
This also works the other way around if you start by putting $52 the first week, $51 the second week, and so on. That way the savings will be easier on your budget towards the holidays.
6. Open up separate accounts for bills and spending.
“I have one bank account for savings, one for bills, and one for spending. My paycheck gets disposited and I have a plan that automatically puts the money into each correct account. I never spend more than I have now.”
—Shannon Ri Zen Small, Facebook
7. Or have two checking accounts: one where you know the pin number and one where you don’t.
“I have two checking accounts: one that I use, and a second that I don’t use. I don’t remember the PIN number and my ATM card isn’t activated, so I can’t even use it or transfer money from that account, only into it.”
8. When possible, use cash over credit cards.
“My husband and I discovered that we spend less when it’s in cash. We pay the bills, then take whatever’s left over for two weeks out of the bank, and we don’t touch our debit cards until it’s time to pay bills again. When you see your money, you wanna hoard it.”
9. Pull out the exact amount you want to spend for the week in cash.
“Pull out cash at the beginning of every week and use only the cash you have for your every day instead of swiping your card. You become more aware of how much you’re spending every day.”
10. Just hide your credit cards.
“I ‘hide’ my credit cards and only use them on the thing that’s most rewarding. So right now I get 5% cash back at gas stations. So I will use my credit card to fill up my tank once a week and then stash my cards back in my closet. This way if I’m ever tempted to spend $150 on article of clothing or something I’ll only have my debit card. For me personally this usually stops my unneeded purchasing, because I don’t want all that money taken out of my account at once.”
11. Get paid to work out with the Pact app.
“I signed up with my health insurance’s wellness program for free (most large providers have one), which lets me earn points for being active and learning about wellness. I also use Pact, which lets me earn actual money for working out and eating my fruits and veg.”
13. Before making an expensive lifestyle change, test-drive your expected budget.
“When you decide you need to save money for an apartment or a new car or whatever it may be, save the amount of extra money you will need to pay for it every month to see how it feels. So if I was getting an apt for $550/mo I would save $550 every month (less the amount of my current rent). This way I can see how the costs will affect my money and I can actually save for a deposit in the process.”
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
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