"A penny saved is a penny earned," said Benjamin Franklin. However, what good is a penny saved if it's spent on something else? Think of it like this: if you purchase a pair of pants on sale for $6 off the ticket price, where does the $6 go? Does it stay in your wallet only to be spent on something else, or does it go in a savings fund to pay for something more enjoyable like a vacation or new TV? Why not turn the saved money into something great by doing the obvious - save it. Today Franklin's maxim should read, "A penny saved is a penny spent on something else."
The easiest way to save money is to save real money and not the abstract idea of money represented by plastic cards. Shop with cash. When that pair of pants rings up $6 less, put the $6 in a separate divider in your wallet. At the end of the day, empty the "saved" section into a larger savings at home or even a separate bank account.
It's easy to come home from a day of shopping and claim to have saved nearly one hundred dollars, but to actually see the money is something else entirely. Usually what happens is that a shopper saves money on a few items only to spend it on others. This seems productive, but what was purchased which was really needed? If sweaters are on sale for 20% off, do we really need three or will one suffice? Do you ever really see the 20% savings or hold it in your hands. Shopping is more powerful if you do the holding rather than the imagining.
Some trips can be prosperous to the "savings" account. Weekly trips to the grocery store can equal $10 or more in coupon savings. Markdowns at large chain stores can also add to the final total of savings. Upon returning from the grocery store or another larger shopping trip, tally the savings from the sales receipt. Then, write a check or deposit cash in the amount of the savings into the "savings" account. Don't round either; we tend to round down when it comes to putting money away rather than round up.
Now comes the best part - enjoying the savings. You'd be surprised how quickly your sum of saved money grows. Plan what you want to do with the money ahead of time; it will motivate you to save even more. Aim high and save for a year or more to reward yourself. Buy a new TV for the family room or take a weekend getaway with someone special. Encourage the children to help you to save and allow them to help to choose the reward. In the end it is teaching good savings habits with a concrete reward.
I never thought of 'actually' saving my savings. But how true this is: I do spend my 'savings' on other things. I did it just yesterday, bought a bunch of reduced price meat for my freezer and spent my 'savings' on two other things I wouldn't normally buy...and I do this all the time. I think I will try to actually "save my savings" next time and make a habit of it. Thanks for this wonderful advice!
A "trick" I've used - any "found" money - i.e. money unexpected such as a refund - is physically saved. It's amazing how much will total over time. Include your income tax return-- don't let it get spent!
Another trick a friend used. She would put all $1 bills in her "savings" -
I figure any method that works - is good! Good luck.
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