20 Easy Ways to Increase Your Savings

23 Savings Tips

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I recently read in a magazine a plan to get your finances back in line and to save money at the same time. It is called the 50, 30, 20 plan.

The 50 part is 50% of your pay goes towards things you absolutely need such as food, medicine and electricity. The 30 is 30% of your pay goes towards things you want like a cell phone, cable television, and internet usage. The 20 is 20% of your pay goes towards savings.


I have begun to limit using what money we have left over from the "have to have" list and the "want list". I have started banking the 20% in my savings account. It is really easier than you think. Neither my husband nor I are paid an exorbitant amount each month, but we do spend money on things we do not need. Since the checks come in at different times, I have found it is easier to take the 20% off the top before I pay the bills. If push came to shove, I could always go into the savings account and take the money out.

There are many good aspects to this plan. It opens your eyes to see what you are really spending your money on and what you really do not need to spend your money on. Also the added benefit of having some savings really does make you rest a little more comfortable. After paying all the bills this month, I actually had money left over which is very unusual. I am looking forward to honestly see what I can delete in my billing and not really miss the loss. I have found it very useful and I hope you do as well. A little nest egg really can make a big difference.

By gem from VA

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I was taught the 10% rule and still do this to this day! No matter how much you make a week or bi-weekly, always put 10% of it in your savings account, "out of sight, out of mind". You will be surprised how much you can save and in such a short period of time.

For example, if you earned $250 a week in take home pay, you would put $25 of it in your savings. What's the measly little amount going to accomplish, you might think? Well, if you did this weekly for 1 year, you would have $1300 a year in your savings account, earning interest for you. If you did that amount each week for 60 months, which would add up to 5 years, you would have $6500, not counting the interest.

I know this works and we still do it to this day. I am now in my 50's with a paid for home (2 bedrooms 2 baths). A 2005 Crown Victoria car and a 2002 Dodge Ram short bed pick up truck and still have money in the bank. When it comes to saving money, remember the 10% rule in all that you earn! Remember to always pay yourself first - the rest will follow in time.

By Paula Jo from Mebane, NC

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I always keep a log of everything we spend and I always round up the total. For example: if I spent $1.25, I always round it up to $2.00. It sounds small, but after awhile, it really adds up. I never have too worry about being overdrawn.

Source: Dave Ramsey's Talk show

By Vickie Simpson from Norfolk, VA

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September 14, 2007

"I want to start saving some money each month, but don't know where to start. What do you suggest?" Here are answers from the ThriftyFun community.

Track Where The Money Is Going

What my family did was track every single expense we had in a month. We listed by category. At the end of the month my husband and I sat down and totaled up the many purchases. We learned that we were spending the same amount on take-out that we did on groceries! I also learned that my eBay addiction was on its way out of control. We made goals accordingly. I still track all of our expenses, because it holds us both accountable.

By Janna

Eliminate Extras

I have just started with this particular problem as well and everywhere I read they suggest keeping track of EVERY THING you spend money on for a month and then eliminate what you can after. For example for me, it's the extra trips to the grocery store that have added up to a lot of money. Most of the stuff I may have needed but if I was more organized on my bi-weekly shopping trips, I wouldn't have to make the EXTRA trips I am forced to pay the higher prices so organization and coupons are a big help for me. Planning my menus around what's on sale helps a lot. God Bless.

By Diane Foster

Save Your Change

I empty all the loose change from my car and purse every few days and put it into a bank that is not transparent. If I have any singles in my pockets when I get ready for bed, they go in, too. This is my play money that I use for spending money when I vacation. I usually wind up with $300-$400 a year that I roll and convert into travelers checks (at AAA where there is no fee) to take on vacation.

By Linda

Round Up

One painless way is to round out your check book. Say you have to write a check for $5.54 - just enter $6.00. Do this for each check written and by the end of the month you will have saved some $ after reconciling your checkbook.

By Toni K.

Drawbacks of Rounding Up

I know Toni K means well, but if I recorded a different amount in my checkbook than was on the written check, my poor (meticulous) husband would take me out back and have me shot

By Doggy

Round Up Checks

In response to Toni K's. post, I've started trying to remember when I'm writing the checks out at local businesses, instead of writing the check for the amount they say, such as $46.49. I write it for $50.00 and get back the difference. It does make it easier for balancing the checkbook! Hubby suggested it, works for me!

By badwater

Round Up and Save

How about doing the same thing that the credit card companies are doing? Round up your purchases and place the change into a separate savings account.


Pay Yourselves First

We have direct deposit and our credit union will automatically transfer a set amount of money each pay period to our savings account. At first it hurt a little but now we don't even think about it. It's like another bill we pay except it's to ourselves!

By Cheryl from Missouri

Save 10% First

The best way to start is to have your paycheck go into direct deposit and split off some of it to automatically go in your savings account. Preferably 10% but if you can't swing that, go for 5% or even 3% and increase accordingly as you get used to it. Make sure that you do not have debit card access to this account, or any other way to access it - like over the internet transfers. You will be amazingly surprised how you will adjust your spending to make up the difference and you will never miss it. This is the only way to ensure that you will always pay yourself first. Next, pick up a copy of a book called "The Automatic Millionaire" by David Bach and follow his principles. He has several books but this is one of the first ones. You need to maximize your earnings, make your money work for you and make it automatic. Trust me, this really works ... I speak from experience!

By Mary

Debt Consolidation Programs

Be careful about Debt Consolidation programs, some are good but others are charging you extra for paying your bills or a set up fee. Watch the fine print! I joined Ameridebt in 2000 and it wound up costing me in money and my credit scores for years. Most credit cards have a program for people with debt problems. I know that Bank of America would have lowered my interest rate and my monthly payments just for asking. If you set up direct payments out of your paycheck every month, it can have the same effect. You could even set up a separate "bill" bank account for that and deposit money directly in there for those bills. Just be sure to STOP using credit so they stay paid off.


Small Amounts Add Up

If you can put even $10. a month away, in a savings account you will be surprised how fast it grows. Sit down and figure out what all you spend on in a month, stop doing things that are such a waste of money, Don't buy kids a toy every time u shop, or junk food, that will save u a lot of money, Cook meals at home, watch for bargin for things u really need, shop at yard sales , good buy there, good luck

By marieaa65

Guard Against Vampire Appliances

A pal told me to unplug any appliance that I'm not using at the time. When I need to use it, then plug it in. I've just started this, I've unplugged my blender, toaster, electric calculators, electric can opener (we tend to use the manual can opener more), etc. I'm hoping this will help on next month's power bill, we'll see.

By badwater

Saving Money

I have a water jug (from the cooler type system) that has a lid on it, there is a tiny little hole (with a cap on it) on that lid and if it is removed dimes fit nicely into it. I super glued the lid on and poked that hole out... every dime I come across goes into that hole and can't come out. You'd be surprised how fast those little things add up! I also take all of my dollar bills and roll them up to shove in there too.

We also put ourselves on a tight budget. Any cash left over from the previous payday goes into my jug! You wouldn't believe how fast you can save.

Good Luck!

By Katie


Be sure to check out ThriftyFun's budget and finance section regularly for more tips on saving money.

Budget and Finance

Also, if you have a specific questions about saving money or starting a budget, submit it here:

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April 26, 2006

My health has been getting worse for years. Not only have we lost my income, but the medical bills are through the ceiling. We spent everything that we had saved for our retirement, and were flat broke. To my husband's credit, he has never held it against me. He has stood by me through thick and thin.

I asked the Lord if He would support us if I put everything "extra" into savings. That would be rebates, pennies found on the street, aluminum cans, gifts, whatever. It turns out that there are a hundred ways to save a few cents or a few dollars.

For whatever reason, and I'll bet you know what I think, the money just started adding up. I exhibited homemade things in the fair, used coupons, cooked from my husband's garden, and did whatever I could to scrape up a dollar.

By the end of the year, we had accumulated $2,000. Since our normal annual income is around $9,000, that was a significant amount.

Of course, at the end of the year I fell and shattered my ankle, and that used up most of the savings. But I'm doing it again, and we're up to $1300 already this year.

To me, this just shows how easy it is to waste money. In the past, we had not had money left over. That year didn't have any miracle windfalls in it. We just didn't spend it when it came in.

I'm working on my fair projects today!

Coreen from Rupert, ID

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here:

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December 9, 2009

Savings Bonds are now paying over 3% for the next few months. The only catch, they change interest rates every May and Nov. and you must hold them 5 years or pay 3 months of interest.

By Jon from Reedsburg, WI

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For years, we have had a leaky roof. Every summer my husband puts another coat of sealer on it (it's a mobile home) and every winter we put buckets under the leaks. I have determined that we will have a good roof before the snow flies! We have been saving with the "windfall" method.

I bought a heifer 18 months ago. By September she will be ready to calve, and we will hopefully sell her for about $1500. We are also selling our food concession.

Today I received a gift card to Walmart, earned on a website that has me look at ads and take surveys. It's for $50. I could just spend it on fun stuff, but this time I will use it on my grocery bill. Then I will take the $50 from my grocery money envelope and put it into savings.

Last week there was a great sale at Albertson's. Buy 5 Oscar Mayer products and get $4.00 back. The regularly $2.99 packages were marked $1.00 or 10 for $10.00. I bought twenty packages, five at a time. I spent $21.20, but I got back $16.00 to use on next orders. Naturally, I used my $4.00 off on the second order of $5.00. Ditto for the third and fourth orders. There was no limit. Our freezer has a good supply of deli ham for sandwiches and casseroles. I put my grocery money in an envelope. When I run out of money, I quit. BUT if I have some left over, I put it in savings for our new roof.

With opportunities like this, there will be money for savings. Two friends in construction have offered to give us bids and possibly trade their labor for our food concession. There are lots of possibilities. If we get our new roof this year, next year we hope to add solar panels. Wahoo!

By Coreen Hart

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June 5, 2007

If you have money in an ordinary statement or passbook savings account, you are probably getting about 3% less then if you put in CD's (certificate of deposits). CD's range from 6 month to years so get one that fits your needs and you'll be making more money each month in interest.

By Carol from Massachusetts

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Our bank offers a "Keep the Change" program. A painless way to save $. Every time you use your debit card, the bank rounds it up to the next higher dollar. Works great, and it goes directly into your savings account.

By eileen from Northern, CA

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February 14, 2006

Always put money aside out of your paycheck away in a separate account to save for rainy days. Even the poorest of people can afford 5% especially if they do that from their first paycheck. I recommend 10%, but for someone making $200 a week, $20 is a lot of money. $10 is more doable in those situations.

By Becky from Essex, MD

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Before I retired, I used to use what was called a "Bohemian" savings plan. Why Bohemian, I don't know. It involved, if you get paid on a Friday, for instance, you would put your check in the bank or enter the deposit in your checkbook on Saturday the first week. You would do this on Sunday the second week, and so on. By the time you get to Friday again, you have 2 paychecks. Easy to do too!

Source: A Chicago newspaper about 45 years ago.

By Shrink from Redlands, CA

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March 12, 2007

Make saving a fixed part of your budget. Determine a reasonable amount of money each month and have it automatically deposited into a savings account. Deposit the money into a federally insured online savings account and you can earn as much as 5% on your money.

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
April 1, 2006

Today is pay day and it's time to dole out the allowances. Remember those youthful days of the weekly allowance? Whoever said you can't be young again? Today on allowance day I have two envelopes - one for me and one for my husband.

Where Did It All Go?

It started when we balanced the checkbook one month and noticed how many withdrawals were made with our debit cards. With the convenience of debit cards comes their nomenclature - debit. It's easy to produce the card when the mood strikes, and it's dangerous. Not only does it make balancing a checkbook more of a task, but it allows instant access to your cash - all of it. By doing the math my husband and I realized that each of us was spending nearly $200 a month on unessential items.

Self Restraint

Self restraint is difficult. Instead of relying upon the debit card, we allotted a weekly allowance to ourselves. Each week I would make a trip to the bank and withdraw exactly how much we needed. Bills still came out of the checkbook, as did groceries and other necessary purchases such as gas. Like the allowances of our youth, our adult ones were to be used for non-essential items.


Initially, we kept the budget tight. We budgeted our weekly needs and allowed only a small portion of money for spending. Then, on top of that we added $10 to the total. That $10 was our weekly allowance. Anything that didn't qualify as a necessity was to be paid for using the $10, and neither one of us could comment on how the other spent his/her money.

The first week was rough. Since our allowances were so small, it forced us to save two weeks for something we really wanted. Although I tried to argue that the collectable for sale on eBay was a necessity because I may never see it again, my husband didn't cave nor did he "advance" me next week's funds. If it sold for $10, I could buy it; anything over that amount was off limits.

A Lesson Learned

Although a few of our friends worried that we were in financial crisis, the allowances put a new value on items. Was I heartbroken that I hadn't purchased that collectible for sale? Not at all. In fact, I learned that if I saved part of my allowance each week I had a large amount of "fun money" by the end of the month. It got to the point where I could look in my wallet and actually see money in there.

In the end the allowance did its job. We realized how foolish we were with our money. Now, I'm not so strict with the allowance as I had been a few months ago because I don't see the kind of crazy spending I sawbefore we tried it. Our mothers and fathers knew this years ago: allowances teach responsibility.

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July 5, 2005

You can save a lot of money if you recently paid off a vehicle. Put the money you would have paid for the car payment in a savings account every month. If you've spent a couple years making the payment anyway, a couple more can't hurt. And you'd be surprised at how quickly it adds up!

By Sarah

Editor's Note: You also can reduce your car insurance coverage and save quite a bit of money.

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I recently realized I need to save the pre tax savings on our medical savings account. They do an auto deduction every two weeks out of my husband's check which is $40 , which is about 9.20 savings for his check. I will start saving this on his first check of the new year on the 13th, from here on out.

Also, I plan on saving the medical money as it is used (like getting prescriptions filled) and will save that in a special account. At the end of the year, we will have $1,040 in that new account. Whenever we are out shopping or dining out, I bank the discounts that we get. My Smartypig vacation account is 30% funded now for the trip next summer because of all my found savings.

I've never been a saver and am just now getting the hang of it at my ancient age, lol. My new mantra is "save what you saved or else you have dropped the ball". Good luck and happy saving.

By lori macDonaldfrom near Memphis

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