Thursday, January 6, 2011

Easy Ways To Save Money

Everyone needs to save money for something at least once in your lifetime.  Whether it is for something big, small or even for your future, saving money sometimes seems like more of a chore. Especially, for those of us that are on a tight budget.  

Right now, I am trying to save some money for a few things.  In February, my family is taking a trip to visit family and friends in Washington and then in May, my husband and I are going to Vegas.  I am also trying to build my savings account back up.  

Here are a few of the ways that I have found to be easy for me to save money.  And a few ways that have worked for others.  

1.  The $5 Project - This by far is my favorite way to save money.  It works a lot faster and better if you use cash more than your bank card.  It is a very easy concept.  Every $5 bill that you receive, you put away.  You will be surprised how many $5 bills you get.  Last year, I did this and in about 4 months, I had a little over $400 saved.  That is $100, a month.  Not too bad.  You can also change the amount to $1, $10, whatever works for you.

2.  Recycle - If you are lucky enough to have a recycling center near you, you can take your plastic bottles, newspaper and cans to the center.  Some places will even have coupons available that give you more money for them.  This is such an easy thing to do and it helps the environment.  Put out some bins, label them and start saving.  Take them to the center and save all the money that you get.  Easy as pie.

3.  Save Your Change - What do you do with your change?  I put mine in a jar and save it.  This is a method that I have used since I was a kid.  Change adds up quickly.  I usually wind up throwing mine in my purse when I get it and once my purse becomes too heavy for me to carry, I clean it out.  Most of the time it is a crap load of change weighing it down.  I empty it out into my jar and I am usually surprised at how much I have in a short amount of time.  You can take it to the bank (if you are lucky enough to have a bank that still accepts change) or to your local Coinstar.  

4.  Pay Yourself First -  Make your savings like a bill.  Every month or paycheck, whichever is easier for you, put a certain amount of money into your savings first.  Before you pay any bills, pay yourself first.  I know, this one is hard.  I have a hard time doing this one myself, but once you are doing it for awhile, it gets easier.  Set an amount that you feel comfortable with putting aside and save that.  

5.  When Shopping, Put The Saved Amount Away - Once again, this one is very hard for me, but such a great way to build up your savings.  If you are shopping and the original total comes out to be $75, and you have $25, in coupons, so your new total is $50, you take the $25, and put that into savings.  Do this with every purchase that you make, you will have saved so much money.  You can also do this with bills that you have payed off.  For instance, if you have a car payment that is $200, and it is now payed off, you continue to pay that $200, but instead you put it into savings.  It is kind of like the concept of "paying yourself first".  You can also do this with bills that you have lowered, like a cable or phone bill.  

6.  Rebates or Refunds - When you get a rebate or refund, put that money into savings.  I see it as money that was already spent, so depositing it into savings is very easy to do.  Oh, and take advantage of rebate offers.  Most stores and companies make these very easy to do online now, and they usually come quickly.

7.  Sell Your Stuff - Get rid of all that old crap you have laying around and put that money into savings.  You know what they say, "One mans trash is another mans treasure."  Once again, that money was spent a long time ago, so the money can be easily saved.  

8.  Give Up Expensive Habits - Do you buy coffee every morning or lunch every afternoon?  Start bringing your own and take that money that you would normally spend and save it.  A quick, easy and painless way to add to your savings.

9.  Make Money Off Of A Hobby Or A Skill - OK, I'm not telling you to go out and start hookin' on the street corner.  If you sew, good at fixing computers, can type up resumes, paint, whatever.  Use those talents and make some extra money.  All the money you make from your special talents can go into savings.

10.  This really isn't a tip, lol.  I just really wanted 10 things, but couldn't for the life of me think of anything else.  I'm sure I will after I post this.  If there are any things that you can think of, let me know.  I would love to hear them.

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