Strategies to help people save money. Post your ideas.
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I am a terrible saver. Just the other day, at the drive through, I realized just how much lunch was costing me each day. So I made a plan - I will go to the bank each Monday and get 5 $5 bills and put them in a special envelope. Then I go to the grocery store and buy some healthy food (deli turkey, fruit etc.) I take this to work and for each day that I don't eat fast-food I reward myself with $5 (which is a good estimate of what it was costing me to eat out.) I take one of the $5 bills out of the envelope and take it home and put in my "piggy bank."
If there are days that I have to buy lunch, any change left from one of the 5's goes into my piggy bank. Imagine - this small savings adds up - as much as $1300 a year and I'm not missing it. I am also eating healthy at the same time! It's a lot of fun to watch the money add up!
By Robin McDonald
Just this afternoon at the grocery store I almost bought a bakery package of 6 cinnamon rolls for $2.79. But then I noticed the refigerator cinnamon rolls (in the packages like Pillsbury biscuits) were on sale for $1.66 each. So for $3.32 I bought two packages which will make 16 cinnamon rolls.
And that's because I was being lazy! Usually I buy cake mix on sale for $1 a box or less and bake 24 cupcakes (no frosting) which are good with a cup of tea for a snack, or I bake 5-6 dozen cake mix cookies.
This saves us at least $4-$9 weekly for cheap-to-on-sale store-bought cookies. Well, maybe I am lazy! But even I can't figure out how to bake 5 dozen cookies for about $1.20 (including oil and eggs) totally from scratch. And when you count in the time saved using the mix, then it's definitely a deal.
By making my husband's lunch every day and baking instead of buying snacks from the store, I save more than $35 a week than if he bought lunch and we bought snacks. We don't put that money in the bank though. When we figure out how to change our lifestyle so we spend less, we choose to work less so we can have more time rather than more money.
Money saving can really be part of creating a richer life.
The best way of learning to save money has been to do this.
I am a teacher and get paid once a month. When my check arrives, in my checkbook, I subtract the amount I want to save that month, say $300. On the back page of my check register I list how much I "subtracted" so that I can keep up with how much I save each month.
For that month, I try to get by without adding the $300 back in. It's there should I have an emergency but I do my BEST not to touch it.
I know this sounds so simple you might not try it, but believe me!
It certainly was a good feeling to simply "add" $800 "back" to my account to pay for this laptop that I bought with 6 months no interest/no finance charge! It almost felt like a free computer!
If you do not make long distance phone calls, ask your phone company to remove the long distance service from your phone. I rarely, if ever, make long distance phone calls & one day I looked at my phone bill & noticed I was being charged around $7 a month just to have long distance service on my line. Now I am saving $84 a year. If I need to make a long distance call, I use phone cards. The cheapest place to buy phone cards is at Sam's Club & you can add minutes on the cards. Last time I checked, I think their phone cards equal 3 cents/minute.
This tip is certainly not original with me, but I have claimed it as my "own" ever since I realized how incredible the results are!
We began by saving every bit of our change and rolling in paper wrappers. We made it a habit to bank each week's coin savings in our savings account without fail once a week. On average, that turned out to be between $10 and $12.50 a week. At the end of six months, we had added another $292.55 to our account just in coins.
After several months of seeing how much more was added to our savings account beyond our regular savings amount, we then ventured up to saving all the $1 bills that came our way. Before we even began, we promised each other we would NEVER spend a dollar bill but rather each night put the ones in a zippered bank bag we had. It bowled us over to realize that on average we were banking between $20 and $25 at end's week just in one dollar bills. At the end of six months, we had added ANOTHER $572 to the savings account.
Between the coins and the $1 bills, we added an additional $864.55 to our account and it was really painless! We've never missed those coins or $1 bills, and it is a joy to have "lightened up" our wallets.
This subject could cover a whole series of books but since I am a true believer in supplementing my diet with a variety of healthy supplements, I often buy supplements in bulk powder form and put them into a healthy breakfast shake. For instance, calcium citrate in bulk powder form can be purchased from http://www.bulkfoods.com for $6.67 for eighteen ounces and one teaspoon yields 700 mg. calcium. I also wait for the Puritan's Pride http://www.puritanspride.com 3-for-1 sale (going on right now) and stock up on vitamins then.
My Hubby saves all of change & singles year round= then come Nov. 1- he gives them to me for xmas shopping!! Adds up to $800 + dollars, or more!! Some years it was $1,000!! + almost Free money!!
& the stores Love the Change & Singles!!
YOU CAN CERTAINLY PAINLESSLY ADD TO IT BY WRITING A CHECK FOR THE TOTAL GROCERIES AND THEN TURNING IN THE COUPONS. THEY'LL GIVE YOU THE COUPON MONEY IN CASH AND YOU CAN REALLY TELL THE DIFFERANCE. IN 1 YEAR I WAS ABLE TO PAINT MY HOME.
HOPE THIS HELPS
We are on a great debt elimination program. NO MORE Mortgage has been great. We are saving a lot in interest! You would not believe how much you are paying the bankers and credit card companies when you could be keeping that money. Check out their site: http://www.NoDebt4u.org
There are a couple of ways to look at this. You can either bank what your raise is (or even in addition to this idea). I have always been a very poor saver. (Right now I am disabled so haven't been able to do this and miss it terribly.) While I was working and single it was a struggle for me to ever have anything extra. I even worked for a bank! Well, I got paid every 2 weeks. I would always save at least $7 and some odd cents at least every paycheck...if I had a windfall or felt better off that paycheck I would deposit more to my special savings account that I had started. ( A brand new one.) I did this because I intended to never touch that account no matter how tight it got some weeks unless there was some dire emergency. Well, I lucked out and that dire emergency never happened...or even if things got a bit tight, I still left the account alone. The account was drawing the big 1% interest, lol. A couple of different times I needed small loans. So, I had my savings account secured as collateral and they did the loan for 2% over the savings account interest rate. One time I needed $700 for example, so my loan interest was like a big $10..so I repaid like $710. I thought that was great!! I was newly divorced and needed to build a credit rating anyway, and got my money by having a secured loan. Finally after 2 years I moved out of state....that nest egg that I had saved (over $1,500) became the down payment on the trailer we moved into!! When I get my social security disability approved you can bet I will go back to this methodology of saving. Also, I used to buy the 2 dollar bills when they came in the bank and they added up slowly...well over $1,300. It's had to be used for repairs, etc since my husband is the only one working. I also will start saving the 2 dollar bills again ASAP. Get you a nice hiding spot, like a locked sentry box, and put them in there. Good luck every one.
I save all the "unplanned" money that comes in. It's harder now with gas prices up, but aluminum can money, cash rebates on groceries, birthday gifts, and yard sale money all get plunked in my savings. The first year I did this, I also inherited mineral rights to some oil land from my father's estate. It's not a lot, but with everything, I saved $2,000. Came in handy when I broke my ankle. I building it up again. I even started some plum pits in a flower pot that won't be blooming over winter anyway. I hope to sell baby plum trees in the spring and add some cash to my stash! Also, since we have a pasture, I buy a calf every year and raise it to sell. We have a cow to give milk, and my husband feeds the calf grain when he feeds his calves grain. At the end of 2 years, a heifer can be worth over $2,000 and a bull about $850 on the hoof for beef. I don't mind taking money out of my savings to buy a $150-$400 calf when it's going to pay such good interest.
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