1. Set up a second checking account for all your non-essential expenses.
“I set up a second checking account with its own debit card. That’s my ‘fun’ money, for anything that I don’t want to have to justify to my husband — morning coffee, eating out, subscription boxes, as well as bigger ticket items.”
A checking account reserved exclusively for extraneous purchases will force you to stick to your budget — since you can’t spend money once the account is empty. It’ll also help you better understand where all your money is going, and ultimately, budget your life.
2. Get the Acorns app and watch your change transform into hundreds of dollars.
“I downloaded the Acorns app and linked my bank account, PayPal, and credit cards. I’ve saved over $500 of ‘spare change’ so far in just one year.”
The app — which costs just $1 a month — basically works by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar, and using the extra change to invest in a variety of bonds and stocks.
3. If ever you’re paid more than twice a month, deposit the extra money into your savings account.
“Whenever I get three paychecks in one month (I get paid biweekly) or any type of bonus, that extra money goes into my savings. I think of it as paying my future self off.”
4. Roll those coins.
“I saved up all my coins for about a year, rolled them, and exchanged the rolls at my bank (if you have an account with the bank where you are exchanging they won’t take a percentage). I was able to save about $160.”
6. Quit your vices.
“I quit smoking! I estimated that I was spending $10 a day on cigarettes, whatever snack I picked up in the gas stations, and the extra gas I used driving around so I could finish my cig. I put $10 a day in a big jar and a few weeks after my last cig I had enough saved up to make a deposit and sign up for a mission trip to South Africa next year. For the first time in my life I have money saved up and I’m not struggling paycheck to paycheck. I really couldn’t afford to smoke anyway so now that I’ve quit it’s amazing how much money I save.”
7. Do the 52-week money saving challenge.
“We did the 52-week money challenge and decided when we started that with the money saved we would get a new bed. We now have a brand new king-size bed and it’s amazing. We are doing it again this year and using the money for a hot tub.”
This plan has different versions, but the basic premise is that you deposit a select amount of money (either a progressively increasing or decreasing amount) into your account every week until the end of the year.
8. Keep larger bills in your wallet.
“I keep the same amount of money in my purse, but try and opt for larger bills. For example, I’ll keep one 20 with me instead of four 5’s — the larger bills make me reconsider if I really need what I’m about to buy.”
10. At the end of every day, put all the cash you find in your pocket in a designated container.
“When I find cash in my pockets (usually a couple bucks I forgot to put in my wallet), I put it in a sock. After two months (and adding a little padding here and there at the end of the pay periods), I have saved $200!”
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