“By definition, saving – for anything – requires us to not get things now so we can get bigger things later.” –Jean Chatzky
My Top 10 Tips + Tricks to Saving Money & Budgeting This Year
- Keep that spare change. This is one of the oldest, tried and true tricks to saving money. Spare change may not seem like a lot, but it adds up fast! Whenever I go through a drive-thru and use cash, I keep the change I get back in the center console of my car. Once it’s full, I empty my center console into a jar in my house and then when the jar is full, I take it to my local CoinStar and turn those shiny coins into dolla’ dolla’ bills.
- 10% is for savings. I can’t remember where I learned this trick, but years ago I read it somewhere. The tip is, put away 10% of every paycheck (or any income) into your savings. It doesn’t seem like a lot, and you likely won’t miss it, but it adds up quickly! Especially if you’re paid bi-weekly. It may also benefit you to look into the idea of compound interest. You may not be familiar with it initially, but when it comes to saving effectively, this may be something worth knowing. In this vein, you could also consider investing some money into cryptocurrencies, some of my friends made a bunch of money through Bitcoin. They did it through paypal to bitcoin.
- Cash back whenever possible. Find a bank that offers cash back and take advantage of it! I use Bank of America and love that they offer cash back on purchases for both my debit and credit card. My credit card is a cash back card and I love redeeming the cash whenever I can- plus they offer an extra percentage of cash back (on top of the existing cash back amount) if you deposit it into a checking account you have with them… win win. They also have a list of companies you can shop at to get cash back from purchases made with your debit card. Side note: another great thing Bank of America offers is a budgeting assistant. They make it easy to set up goals and budgets on their website and help you keep track of them all from your own computer.
- Digit. Digit is an app that saves money for you. It works similarly to tip #2 because it takes money from your checking account and puts it away to a savings. The amount of money it takes is different every day and is based on your recent deposits and spending habits. The algorithm creates such seamless transactions and you won’t notice the money is gone. I have been using digit since June 2016 and have saved over $60 so far! I love it so much because it’s an added amount of money being saved on top of the 10% I am already putting away myself. Digit is awesome for saving money to put towards a big purchase too, since it is so effortless. You will be surprised how much you have saved in Digit when you check back after forgetting about it for a few months! Read more about it here.
- Ebates. Ebates is a website you can shop through to get cash back on purchases. They offer cash back on purchases made from over 2,000 online retailers such as, Express, Guess, Nordstrom, and so many more!
- Keep the Change. I’m not sure if all banks offer this. But, Bank of America has a program called keep the change and is like tip #1 but works with your debit card. For example, if you spend $2.35 on your debit card, it will round the purchase up to $3.00 and put the extra 65 cents into your savings. Read more about the program here.
- Do it yourself. Otherwise known as DIY. Not only does doing things yourself save you loads of cash, it allows for you to gain new skill. Broken sprinkler? Need something hemmed? Get out your handy smart phone and google search the fix! There are so many things that we hire people to do that we can easily fix ourselves (or get a friend to fix for us free of charge).
- Sell back your old clothes. Cleaning out your closet and ridding it of clothes you no longer need, use, or fit in, is not just good for the soul… it’s good for the wallet, too. If you have items you can’t justify donating (maybe, a designer something or a piece that is still really on trend), sell it! There are so many ways to go about this, but a couple of my favorites are Poshmark and Buffalo Exchange. I know sometimes churches even buy gently used items to sell! Do your research. Then, the money you make can be put into savings, or put towards other purchases so you don’t end up dipping into savings to go on a shopping spree.
- Rewards cards and coupons. If a store offers a rewards program, use it! Especially if you shop there often. I love rewards programs. But, be careful that they don’t temp you to spend more than you would just to get the reward… it defeats the purpose. Shop how you normally would and then be surprised when you are offered a free item or a discount!
- Keep your credit card at home. If you know you are going out to the mall, etc. and you know you don’t want to add to your existing debt or spend more than a certain amount, leave your credit cards at home and just bring a set amount of cash. This limits you to a certain amount you are able to spend and leaves the temptations of your credit card at home. It will also help you get into the habit of budgeting when you’re out shopping, since you have to make critical decisions on purchases if you want to have enough cash to last your entire day. Now, do you really need those $100 shoes when your stomach is growling for a burger? Can you go for the two $20 tops instead of the $75 one? These are crucial questions when all you have is $200 in your wallet. If you can’t resist shopping for clothes, then you should think of compromises you could make in order to afford those items. One way to do this might be to use comparison sites for things like car insurance. Money Expert might be a good starting point, to help you afford a few extra luxuries.
Below is a super cool and easy way to save $1,000 in one year! Click the image to read more about finance on the blog I found this awesome savings plan on… thanks Pinterest! 😉
Thanks so much for taking your time to read this post! I hope that I introduced you to at least one new idea for saving money this year! This post was actually inspired by one of my blogging friends, Jamie, from The Blonder Life. She just wrote a similar post and I loved it! Check it out here. I also love this article with 94 ways to save money… it covers everything!