Easy Ways to Save Money
(NO MATTER YOUR BUDGET)
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HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a great start to 2023.
We spent our New Year’s Eve at my parents’ house where my husband and my dad set off some crazy fireworks, dangerously close to our rooftops 🤪. Don’t worry nothing happened, just some good ole family fun.
I have set myself some very important personal goals for 2023, since after all, this is the year I turn 40 and I want to make the most of it. And while I have a really positive outlook at how things are going to for me this year, there are some realities that I don’t ignore.
Lately, it seems that things are just getting more and more expensive and if you have been feeling its effects on your day to day life, then you are not alone.
Because of this, I thought I would start the year with a post that will hopefully help at least one of you with a goal you may have for this year.
Being a stay at home mom for the majority of my marriage (I still am) has required me to become savvy in regards to the way we use our funds (which is also why home decor on a budget has been a passion of mine). Now that I have a successful work from home business things are a little different, but I still like to be conscious with our spending and I like to be able to have funds for special occasions like family vacations or perhaps a higher ticket item that I have been eyeing.
This is actually something I used to do every single year. I stopped the past couple of years because I was able to build funds through my FB Marketplace sales in addition to what I brought home on a monthly basis. So that kind of replaced this for a bit.
However, since this year we are in the middle of a move and I won’t be able to “flip” furniture or trade things in and out of my house like I usually do, I will be going back to my original method of building a “special” savings.
THERE ARE 2 MAIN METHODS I LIKE TO USE:
*If you find that you have the funds to do the 52 Week Challenge I would suggest to start with this one. However, I understand that this may not be easy for everyone so I have a second option below.
This is the 52 Week Challenge and here is how it works. For each week of the year you will assign each week a number: Week #1, Week #2, Week #3 and so on… For each week you will put away the dollar amount for that week number. So for week #1 you will save $1, for week #2 you will save $2, for week 3 you will save $3.
Sounds easy enough right?
Well it is, but keep in mind that by the time you reach the end you will need to save $52 for the last week of the year which is week #52. At first it doesn’t seem like you are saving much, but as the weeks progress, your funds will grown exponentially, resulting in the final savings of $1,378.00.
That’s a pretty good savings challenge if you ask me.
The good thing about this challenge is that it starts off easy because you don’t have to save so much at first, so you can ease into it. And even if you can afford to put more in, I would suggest you don’t pull those funds to savings (but don’t use them either!) because you will need them more as you progress throughout the year and need to put more funds aside each week.
For example, the last month of the year (Weeks #49-52 you will need to put away $202.00 total vs. the first month where you only put away $10 for Weeks #1-4).
Hope that make sense!
You can download my template for the 52 Week Money Challenge tracker from my Free Printables Library here.
Now let’s say you like the idea of a challenge, but can’t put away that much right now. That’s totally fine and I have a great option for you as well.
It’s the 365 Day Penny Challenge. In this you assign each DAY of the year a number such as Day #1, Day #2, Day #3 up to Date #365. For each day of the year you save the penny amount for that number assigned to that day. So for Day #1 you save $0.01, Day #2 you save $0.02, Day #53 you save $0.53 and so on.
By the end of the first week you would have saved $0.28.
By the end of the 26th week you would have saved a total of $166.53. Again it grows exponentially.
Continue this and by the end of the year you will have saved $667.95!
Now, let’s talk practicality.
We don’t have pennies lying around and it will be burdensome doing this each and every day with your bank account online, so I made it really easy for you by doing that math for you for each week and making a weekly tracker for the daily penny challenge.
You can download my template for the 365 Day Penny Challenge tracker from my Free Printables Library here as well.
I made a separate savings account for when I do these challenges so I don’t mix these funds up with my regular savings account. Some savings accounts can be opened with just a small amount of money. This was the best option for me.
However, if you can’t do this, just be sure you keep track of these funds so you don’t pull from them if you need to withdraw from your savings.
Now, if you are feeling really adventurous and want to do BOTH at the same time (which is what I do), that is an additional $2,045.95 you will have saved by the end of the year! I don’t know about you, but I like that number so I strive to reach this goal.
Looking for more ideas?
If you don’t think that is enough, here are a couple of other things you can apply that won’t require weekly reminders or as much effort:
ROUND UP TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR METHOD
Some banks like Bank of America allow you to round up to the nearest dollar on every debit card transaction you make and will automatically transfer it to your savings account at the end of each business day. So if you make a purchase for $30.45, the bank will take the additional $0.55 cents and place it in your savings.
This little method is usually just a click to get it set up and won’t require you to have to keep up with it. Before you know it, you can accumulate hundreds of dollars by the end of the year with no effort at all!
CHECKBOOK BALANCE HACK
The next approach is something my mom taught me since I began making my own money and that is to NEVER let zero be zero in your checking account. Always keep your zero at a balance that will keep you afloat if you come into an unexpected expense that month.
Let’s say you have $500 that you don’t need to spend, keep it, DON”T SPEND IT and leave it in your checking account to use as your “zero balance” but don’t account for it in your checking account. And when you balance your account (if you still do, I know I do!) instead of having the $687.00 it says you do for example, you actually have $1,187.00. Make sense?
Then if you get a flat tire or have to pay for some emergency expense you’re covered and won’t have to dip into your savings that you worked so hard to put away.
I would, however, suggest you build it up again if you do end up using it for an emergency, that way you will be covered for the next unexpected expense. And it doesn’t have to be $500. It could be $100 or $1,000 – whatever you can afford at this time.
I really hope this helps…
Some of these things you might have already heard of and others maybe not, but I hope I was able to help someone out there who was thinking of saving some money this year, but thought it was next to impossible. Believe me it’s not!
It is easier than you think! And with the challenge trackers, the process is as simple for you as can be.
If you still need a little extra help in the money saving/budgeting world, I recommend the following books by Ruth Soukup. These are inexpensive and may give you a different outlook and mindset.
(Just click on the image):
Happy saving and best wishes to you on this New Year!
And as always be sure to share this with someone who would appreciate saving a little money this year!