One of the hardest things for me to get really good at was saving. As a child I would save, but only in the context of getting something. Like saving for a stereo or computer. In high school, I tried to save, but owning a car was expensive and took a significant cash out lay for gas, insurance, and maintenance. In college, I would try to save what I made at my two jobs, only to have my rent increase or something break on my car. It seemed like I might never get this saving thing down. That coupled with a mountain of student debt, credit card debt, and a variety of other loans, made me feel like it was downright impossible!
While, we still have some debt in our lives, through trial and error, we found some great ways to help save money. The best part is that with these ideas you do not have to put a ton of thought in. Those ideas are the best, because it can be super hard to set up new habits and especially when it comes to money.
8 Easy Ways To Save Without Even Thinking About It
Put it On Auto Pilot
By this I mean that you make saving something that is done automatically. When your paycheck comes in, have a portion of it automatically sent to a savings account at a different bank. It is not at your main bank then you will be less tempted to tap the funds.
Also, it becomes an automatic habit to live with a different amount of funds. Stretched too thin? Start small, $25.00/pay period. That is where i started, then i worked up to bigger amounts. Now I have small amounts regularly being transferred to cover all different savings plans we have in place.
Pay off credit cards in full each month
This is a BIG one. If you always pay your credit card(s) in full each month you will never pay interest! That is a free short-term loan as you bought the items and did not pay for up to 30 days later.
Forgoing interest payments means you are saving a TON. Average interest rates for Credit Cards as of 9/20/17 are 16.15% APR nationally, an all time high according to CreditCards.com for new card offers.
I know if you are under a mountain of credit card debt and making only the minimum required payment that this one is not obtainable at the current moment. But, it can be in the future! I recommend Dave Ramsey’s 7-baby steps for this, you can find it here: https://www.daveramsey.com/baby-steps
Put your bills on auto pay
This one is a no brainer, I put my payments that I can on bill pay through my bank or auto pay though the institution being paid. This will keep you from getting charged a late fee. Those can really cost you, late fees on credit cards are usually around $27.00 for the first and upwards of $39.00 for offences afterwards.
Why give up your hard-earned money on fees? One note for doing the auto pay is to remember to always check your statements for fraudulent or unexplained charges. You would not want to pay those. So check your statement online or when in comes in the mail before your payment is due!
Stick to water
This was a tough habit for me to break. You go out to eat and what do you order to drink? Soda or Iced Tea at over $3! That really added up quickly. I learned to drink water out and put the extra savings into an account as well. In the end both your pocket-book and potentially your waistline will thank you.
Save any windfalls or bonuses
This one is pretty self explanatory. If you get a tax refund or a bonus from your employer. Rather than spending it all put some into a savings account or invest it. You can do that by Micro investing.
Line dry your clothes
I love this tip. In the summer you can put your clothes on a line outside and I had hubby install a line in our basement for the winter. It saves a lot on both electricity and makes your clothes last significantly longer. This by some estimates can save over $140 a year. It also is better for the environment.\
If you cannot bear to line dry, or just don’t have an easy way to do it. Then I would recommend making Wool Dryer Balls, they make great gifts, but they are also awesome gifts for your wallet.
Capitalize on employers 401K match
If you have a job that offers a 401K program with an employer match it makes sense to at a minimum save the amount that your employer will match. For example at my company they match up to 6%. So I would want to always set my 401K savings amount to at least that percentage.
Please note that most financial advisers recommend savings of at least 20% of your gross salary including employer match. This is not feasible for everyone, so at least receiving the incentive money provided by your employer is a good start! Work your way up to a higher amount by increasing your percentage each year.
If you do not have a 401K (or other employer sponsored savings vehicle) then check out Stash. They have an IRA account which you can open with as little as $5.00.
Master the 30-day rule
This rules premise is pretty simple. If you see something that you really want to buy (notice I did not say NEED to buy), rather than purchasing the item in question you put it back and leave the store.
Then you write it on a note on the fridge and think every day for a month on whether you really want the item.
Once you have hit the 30 day mark if the urge to buy this item is still there and very strong, then you should consider purchasing it. You will be surprised at how many items you really decide you do not need to purchase using this method.
Saving Money Feels Good
Using these ideas to save money in your every day life will feel great and hopefully it will provide you incentive to find other ways to start saving more money!
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