Saving money for a ‘rainy day’ as my mom used to say, is a perfect way to feel gratified. Having funds to buy a home, a car, get out of debt, gifts, unforeseen expenses, emergencies, or whatever reason you may have, will make life just that much easier. And…it’s easier than you think, even for those who think it’s impossible.
1. Make ‘ME’ a bill.
This means to pay yourself first. The ME bill, like your rent or mortgage payment, must be taken seriously and must be paid on time every month. The ME bill doesn’t have to be a large amount; it can be $5, $10 or $100, just make sure it’s an amount that will fit easily into your budget.
You will need a special place to keep the ME bill money; I suggest you use something that is not transparent, like an old shoebox, or perhaps a coffee can. If you’re using a shoebox, make sure to cut a slit in the top to put the money in and tape the top to the bottom so that access to the money is not easy. Make a pledge to pay this bill on time for one year and come back and let me know if you were successful. I can’t wait to hear your story.
2. Rakuten (formally eBates)
You can start earning cashback on a lot of those online purchases at no extra cost to you. I just earned $84.00 this month from purchasing things I would have purchased anyway. Just imagine how happy I was when I received an email from PayPal telling me Rakuten sent me $84.00. Just go to rakuten.com and sign up. Now the tricky part is to remember to go to Rakuten before purchasing.
If you use browser extensions, like the ones you’ll find on Chrome or Firefox, you can set it up so that a Rakuten icon will appear on your computer screen once you’re on the store’s website. This helped me tremendously.
3. Save part of your income tax refund
So, you just got a ton of money back from the IRS and you’re ready to purchase that gift, give some away to family and pay off some debt. All of the aforementioned are actually great things to do, but this large amount of money may only cross your fingers once a year so that makes it a great opportunity for saving. May I suggest starting a ‘My Tax Refund Savings Account’? In it, each year you will put 20% of your tax refund. This is a great way to save for things down the road, such as a car, house, vacation, education, retirement.
4. Just say no to date night
This may be a hard one, but if you’re serious about saving money, it could be a really big boost to that savings. Okay, so it’s date night, or girls’ night out, or whatever you call it, and you’ve waited all week to partay and here’s someone telling you not to go. The nerve. I’m not saying don’t ever go, what I am saying is to cut date night in half. If you go out once a week, then go out twice a month. Take the money you would have spent clubbing, eating, drinking and don’t forget the tips and add that to your savings. If you were going to use a credit card or debit card, then transfer that on over to cash (cash app) and keep it separate from all other money.
5. Slow down on fast foods
Fast foods are a great way to spend money fast. 10 dollars here, 15 dollars there. Who’s gonna notice? Right?…Wrong! Not only can you save money by slowing down on the fast-food lines but you can also become healthier. How much money do you spend on eating out each week? Cut out one of those nights and add the funds to a savings account.