I suck at drawing even the simplest one… Not only that, I also suck at handling my finances. The truth is, I love spending money and I always do. And when it comes to saving money, I don’t have the special skill to do that. If there are people who were born to be saver, I am the complete opposite of it. I’m a spender at heart.
Saving money has always been a bit of a challenge to me. Especially now that I am trying to pay off debt. It’s even discouraging to see my bank account that gets depleted every month without even putting a dollar aside. However, saving money is possible as long as you’re willing to do it.
Whether you want to build an emergency fund, save for a house down payment, or travel – the success of saving money is having a clear purpose to why you’re doing it. In the past, I saved without any purpose and in no time I kept on depleting my savings account. Another reason why I failed is that I save money is that my savings was too general. I should made every saving specific and separate. I didn’t know that you can actually set up more that 3 separate savings account in your bank.
This time around, I made sure I have a purpose and goal for every savings I created. But how do we save money? There are different ways in which you can save money and I bet you’ve tried some of those already if not all.
Below are ways to save money without breaking a sweat:
- Autopilot your savings. This is the most common way of saving money without breaking a sweat. This is done by setting it up with your bank. You call them and say you want to put a certain amount of dollar in your savings at a specific date of the month.
- Set up an automatic transfer of a certain amount every time to you use your debit card. This is almost the same as the first one because they’re being deducted automatically. However, this is done every time you use your debit card to make a transaction like withdrawing cash at an atm machine and purchasing with your debit card online and in-store. Also, you set the amount of dollar that will be transferred to your savings for every transaction that you make. This in one of the easiest to save without even noticing it.
- Save your loose change. Are you a cash spender? If you are, then this is perfect for you. When my husband and I decided to start cash spending, I started to put our coins in a jar that I have recycled You can also use this coin jar. Whenever I receive change from every purchase we make, I put them in the jar then roll it up in a paper when I have enough so I won’t be tempted spending it.
- Do the $5 savings challenge. This is done by tucking every $5 bill that you come across with. Use an envelope that has a label on it ( $5 savings challenge ), keep it somewhere safe and deposit it to your savings account every month.
- If you’re a cash spender ( cash envelopes/clip system ), at the end of each month, you take all the leftover money from all your envelopes and deposit it to your savings account. For us, most of our leftovers were being deposited in our emergency fund. We are currently on our way to building our one month worth of expenses.
- If you’re using debit card for groceries, ask the cashier for a certain amount of cash back. Let’s say $10 for weekly grocery shopping. Use an envelope to store the money that you save every grocery trip.
- Transfer an equal amount of money to your savings every time you impulse buy. This is another way to build up your savings fast plus you’re also trying to curb your bad spending habit at the same time.
The ways of saving money I have mentioned above may not work for everyone. Therefore, here are some other ways where you can save money.
- Pack your own food to work. This is the most common reason why people go over their budget on food. They simply buy lunches and snacks every single day. You may say it’s only $10 but if you’re spending that amount per day that will add up to $200 a month or even more.
- Brew your own coffee. A lot of people were so used to grabbing their coffee on the way to work without realizing how much money their wasting. At Tim Horton’s, where I used to work before, we serve coffee 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. If you’re spending $3 every morning for 7 days then that’s almost $100 a month.
- Do a No-Spending weekend challenge. This challenge can be done by not spending money on a weekend . For example, the weekend is where most people have days off which could mean having brunch with your family, a movie with a girlfriend or strolling in the mall. Instead of doing that, you might want to do something like that but not spending money. Instead of eating out, just have brunch at home or invite your girlfriend over for a movie marathon at Netflix. And so on!
- Grocery saving tips.
- Shop with a list – grocery shopping without a list leads you to overspending. You tend to forget some of the necessary stuff that you need which results to another grocery trip.
- Shop less often – we switched from grocery shopping weekly to bi-weekly. We used to spend a minimum $100/week on groceries. Now, our grocery ranges from $150 – $175 the most especially when we’re out of household items.
- Take advantage of the 15% off your groceries if you spend a minimum amount of $50 at Safeway every Tuesday. Here in Calgary where I live, Safeway has this good offer. You might want to check with your grocery stores what offer they have.
- Buy generic brand – generic brand are mostly cheaper that the branded product but the quality are most likely the same.
- Look for sales or deals – always check your flyers for great deals but sometimes you have to ask yourself if you really need those instead of buying it because it’s on sale.
- Always compare prices and asks stores if they can do price match. This is a very good way to save money.
- Don’t buy pre-cut vegetables or meat – have you noticed that pre-packed salads, pre-cut vegetables and meats are more expensive? I personally don’t buy those unless the price is good.
- Download the apps like Flipp – shows you where the good deals can found, Checkout51 – this app is used to collect rebates for item that you buy, Caddle-is also another rebate app for Costco members( use my PROMO CODE SHERYL79851), last and my favorite among them is PC Optimum – where you collect points that can be converted to a cash value that can be used to pay your groceries.
- Substitute disposable items to a longer lasting product. In my quest to saving money, I came a cross to a product that is better than the ones that I am already using. a) As a woman, tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners are necessities every month. And they are expensive especially if they’re not on sale. In our family, I have two teenage girl who uses the same products and we buy them often. Therefore, I made my research and came across to a menstrual cup ( Blossom cup ) that is reusable and environment friendly. Another product that I have discovered are cloth panty liners. What I love about these products is that they’re washable and they don’t cause irritation to the skin. Unlike disposable panty liners, they cause irritation and rash if you don’t change them often. b) I discovered also that the use of dryer balls is better than a dryer sheet. This saved us money and has helped us eliminate static electricity. c) Replaced laundry detergent with laundry balls.
- Stop buying things you don’t need or avoid your spending triggers. This one is hardest especially to a spender like me. I love buying stuffs even I don’t need them. And each time I go to a store randomly and I began to wander on each aisle of the store, I would end up leaving the store with one or 2 unplanned items. This is the very reason why I end up racking some debts. Because I equated wants as needs. In all honesty, I don’t need 3 winter boots or 5 runners. I just want them and in the end they will keep on collecting dust somewhere around the house.
- Cancel your subscriptions. Do you have subscriptions that you don’t use? Check your bank statements, maybe you have a subscription that your forgot to cancel. Or maybe, it’s time to review your subscription if it’s still worth canceling than keeping.
- Shop at second- hand store. When money is tight and buying new clothes or furniture doesn’t fit your budget, a second-hand or thrift store is a good place to go. However, you have to be very careful when it comes to shopping thrift store because you may end up buying way too many because the deal was so good.
- Unsubscribe, unfollow, and uninstall. One of the best ways to save money is to avoid your spending triggers. If you signed up for some store newsletters that sends you email often regarding their deals, then it’s time to unsubscribe. I would also advise you to unfollow some of those Facebook or Instagram accounts that promotes products. And uninstall some apps where your spending can be triggered.
- Utilize free resources
- Use your local library for books, e-books, audio books and etc.
- If local library is too much of a hassle to go, download the app Libby and Hoopla. All you need is a library card and you can start reading books on your electronic device such as phone, tablet, and iPad. What’s cool about this apps is that you can keep on listening to an audio book or reading e-book without wi-fi connection.
- Take advantage of free memberships like Amazon Prime
- Explore your free local tourist attraction in your area
- Enjoy free trial work outs in some gyms at your areas or use free workout resources at YouTube channel.
How about you? What are your money saving tips that you tried that works really well? Can you share them too?
I do hope that you find these money saving tips that I have mentioned. Again, some of them if not all, may not work for everyone because our circumstances are not the same. That’s why you do what you gotta do.