One of the most important things to financial peace is having a savings account with funds available for emergencies. But, there are bills to pay and unexpected expenses and kids who eat you out of house and home.
It’s so hard to break the cycle and get to the point of having money to put away. Most experts will tell you to “pay yourself first,” meaning add to your savings before you even pay bills or spend any money.
That sounds like a great idea, in theory. But if money is already tight every month, it is just not going to be realistic. Instead, try to find simple ways to save just a little bit every week.
Here are 5 sneaky ways to save money you’ll barely miss:
- The Round-Up: For each purchase you make, round up to the nearest dollar in your check register. You may only be saving pennies at a time, but it gives the checkbook easier math and adds up over time. At the end of each day, week, or month, you can transfer the money to your savings account. Some banks even have special checking accounts that will do this for you automatically.
- The Impulse Savings Plan: Whenever you make an impulse purchase, transfer the same amount to your savings account. This impulse savings plan can help your budget in two ways. Not only are you adding to your savings account with each impulse purchase, but you may find yourself spending less money if your impulse buy isn’t actually worth double. Another idea would be to put the money into savings every time you stop yourself from making an unplanned purchase.
- Coupon Savings: If you’re using coupons at the grocery store, consider writing your check or running your debit card for the full amount of your purchase before the coupons are deducted. The change you get back can be added to your savings account instead. This is exactly how I started couponing in college — the extra money was my entertainment budget each week.
- The $5 Savings Jar: Every time you find yourself with a $5 bill, add it to your $5 savings jar. Just based on the number of times I find $5 bills misplaced in a purse or pocket, this could add up quickly. It’s a small twist on a change jar that can make a huge difference for your savings plan.
- 52-Week Savings Plan: You’ve probably seen the chart out there from Kassondra Perry-Moreland that starts with saving $1, then adds $1 each week until you have saved over $1378 in a year. The 52-Week Savings Plan is a great way to see how saving just a little money can add up quickly. Carrie from Pocket Your Dollars also suggests trying it in reverse so you see immediate results and don’t lose steam throughout the year.
How do you add to your savings account each week?
Photo Credit: Tax Credits