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Living From One Check To The Next And Need To Save Money? Easy Tips To Get You Started
Do you live paycheck to paycheck like more than 50% of all Americans? Do you feel like you have just enough money to pay your bills, take care of a few essentials, and maybe go out and have a little fun? Saving money sounds like a wonderful idea, but there just isn’t the extra to save. This means that you may want to reevaluate your budget or your expenses. Planning makes saving very easy. Let’s look at some ideas that can help you manage your money.
- Here’s a quick and easy tip to get you started. Maybe you wrote a budget and found it to be negative every month. Small change is king. Don’t hate all those coins in your pockets or at the bottom of your purse. Turn loose change into a nice savings plan. Get a large jar or can and deposit all loose change daily. Be sure to hide the tin can so that the money in it does not become cash.
- Set a goal of around $1.50 per day or the cost of a soft drink which is $45.00 per month. If it’s too big, scale it down and start with just $25 a month, or just 0.83 cents a day. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. This money is for you. Consider having the money deducted directly from your check or bank account. Make these payments to the savings account automatic. By making your payments automatic you will be consistent and you will not be tempted to spend it.
- Open a savings account that is not easily accessible. If the goal is to save money, it cannot be an account with debit card or ATM access. This allows the account to grow before you delete it.
- Try not to use a debit card. Use cash only. Debit cards give you a false sense of security and often overspend.
- Reduce the number of times you eat out. Track dollars spent at restaurants each month. If you normally spend $300.00 a month at restaurants, try spending $200.00 a month and take the extra $100.00 and open a savings account.
- Finally, create a budget. I know it sounds old fashioned and boring, but it works! I asked a friend to help me with this example. I asked her how much she paid each month in bills, she said “a lot”. I asked her if she could save $150.00 a month and she told me it was only possible on a budget.
My friend’s name is Beverly. She is a single mother of a handsome 14 year old boy. She lives in a 2-bedroom apartment, drives a 2005 Ford Focus and has an ex-husband who actively supports her financially and emotionally. Her son is a typical young adult who enjoys sports. His favorite sports are basketball and golf. Here’s how we saved him $150.00 a month
Beverly earns about $50,000 a year before taxes and receives about $5,000 a year through child support. Let’s look at his bills and see if we can meet our goal of saving $150.00 per month.
Beverly saves 5% of her gross earnings through her 401k job plan. Her monthly bills are $2,647.00 before her savings goal of $150.00 per month, her savings being calculated in the total monthly bills she spends $2,747.00. His bill is broken down below. Beverly brings home $3246.00 per month. This number includes $400.00 a month from her ex-husband and $1,423 paid twice a month from her job. That leaves Beverly with $499 a month to enjoy. Another way to look at it is that Beverly can spend $116.43 a week on whatever she wants.
Here are Beverly’s monthly expenses:
- $965.00 – Rent
- $50.00 Electricity
- $60.00 Telephone
- $75.00 Cable
- $89.00 Mobile phone
- $100.00 per month in gasoline for his car
- $80.00 laundry and dry cleaning
- $300.00 per month for groceries
- $336.00 car ticket
- $67.00 car insurance
- $100.00 credit cards
- $100.00 per month for fun money
- $275.00 per month for tithes and offerings
- Savings goal of $150.00 per month
Create a budget by understanding where your money is spent each month and how much is left to use for fun. This should take less than 30 minutes. Don’t overlook any monthly bills. Using a budget is the most effective way to save money.
If you happen to spend all the money you’ve saved, don’t dwell on it. Start over immediately. Over time, you will be very proud of the results.
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