Creative Ways to Save Money That Aren’t Hard
Need some creative ways to save money? It seems there is always less money than there are expenses each month but in many cases, it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s time to start living below your means and use some creative ways to save money!
Did you know that fifty-five million Americans don’t have any kind of savings, and only 29% of Americans have at least six months of savings to live on if needed?
Where is the Money Going?
The very first step toward starting to save is to figure out exactly where all your money is going. This means bills, foods, and everyday items you may not think about, like that morning cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Make and Use a Budget
It’s easy to make a budget and it doesn’t have to be so awful you can’t stick to it. Be reasonable because once you learn how to cut certain expenses you find there is more money available than you thought.
Make Your Savings a Monthly Item on Your Budget
You may not know what your savings amount is going to be until after you cut some expenses but after a couple of months on a budget, you will know how much can go into savings. Treat your savings amount the same as you would any other bill. It has to be paid each and every month without fail.
Once you’ve been cutting expenses about four months you may be able to also add an emergency fund to go along with the savings account. This way your savings can grow but you still have some money for car repairs, etc.
Pay As You Go
Do not charge anything you can’t either pay off at the end of the month or at least in less than three months. That’s a rule I have and live by and it’s really helped me keep my debts under control.
If there is something you want, like a new appliance for the kitchen then put the money you would have spent on credit card payments and save it up so you can pay cash for the item. This way you will not only save money by not paying any interest, but you will also feel a sense of accomplishment!
The Dave Ramsey Envelope Method
Using the envelope method may also help you save money. I have written an article about the envelope method, so after you finish this article come back and click the following link
One of the main reasons this system may help you save money is that when you know you only have so much money in an envelope to last you the entire month you think twice about wasting any of it.
Shop with a Purpose & Saving in Mind
Be prepared before going shopping. If you are grocery shopping be sure you’ve made a menu and made your grocery list from the menu. You can read how to do that here. I saved hundreds per month by using a menu and list.
For regular shopping use coupons, sales, thrift stores, and dollar stores whenever possible.
Avoid Late Charges & Bank Overdrafts
Late charges and overdrafts are the same as throwing your hard earned money out the window of a moving car! Stop it! Pay your bills on time and live on what you have in your account (or envelopes if using that method). This one thing could save you hundreds each year.
Once your savings gets over $2000 you should start learning about making some investments. My husband got tired of the pittance he was receiving on his savings to he started investing in silver coins. The return on investment when he sells, later on, will be thousands, not hundreds of dollars.
There is also real estate, should you save up at least $10,000 and invest. You can find all the information you need either online or with an investment counselor when the time comes.
Be Utility Conscious
Small things like turning off lights and the TV can make a huge impact on your electric bills. Also bundling things like the Internet, phone, etc. can also save you a lot. Read how I saved $275 the first month after I quit my job. Since then I’ve accumulated even more savings per month.
Sell Items You Don’t Use Anymore
To bring in some extra cash right away you can sell things you have around the house on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook marketplace. Or, you can gather everything up and have a huge yard sale. Either way, you clean out your home a bit and make some money. Watch a video on what I sell on eBay.
Easy and Cheap Gift Giving
Making your own gifts is not only cheaper, but it’s also a lot easier than you think. I’ve been making earrings for people for years for gifts and last year learned how easy it is to put together a gift basket.
Lately, my newest addition to making gifts I learned from watching YouTube videos where people take items from the Dollar Tree and make really nice gifts. Everything at the Dollar Tree is a dollar and usually, all you need is a glue gun with glue and that’s under $6.
One of my favorite YouTube channels to watch is Kelly Barlow. She takes items from the Dollar Tree and makes wonderful home décor and gifts. Here is a link to her YouTube Channel. Kelly Barlow Creations
Get Your Music & Movies & Books for Free
Your public library is a great place to get music, reading material, and movies to watch. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever buy your favorite artist, but you can save a lot by using this resource every month. This resource is also great for children. It keeps them busy but they can be learning at the same time.
Cutting Back on Stress Spending
You may not have a problem with shopping when bored, or stressed, but some people do. I have found more women have this problem than men. When you first start living on a budget and you are trying to save you may start to feel like you can’t go anywhere or buy anything. This is far from the truth but you are more aware of your spending and probably won’t be doing as much in the beginning.
If you really need to get out and buy something then go to the Dollar store and pick up a couple of $1 items. Sometimes I also go to a yard sale or thrift store. I can spend under $5 and yet still get that same great feeling that I always got when I shopped and spent more. I even found I started feeling better about the bargains I was getting for such a low price!
Save Pocket Change
Most people already know this last tip but it’s really very useful. By dropping your change into a jar every day you will find you are saving even more. This fund can be used for anything but for most families it’s more of a “Fun Jar”. The money can be used to save for tickets to Six Flag, or camping, or some movie passes. Having fun makes living on a budget quite easy.
There are a lot more ways to save money but I’ve only listed these for today. There are other blog posts in the Family Dollar Stretcher archives if you want to find even more ways to put more money in your pocket at the end of the month.
The most important thing is to just start now and quit procrastinating. Start by finding out where all your money is going, like listed at the beginning of this post. It will be quite an eye-opener as you see how much you are spending on tiny incidental things.
Leave more tips in the comments section and help others with creative ways to save money.