Saving money can be like going to the gym. Hard to get started, hard to maintain, but reaps huge rewards.
What’s that? You don’t have any money to spare for a savings account? You need every cent? You can’t possibly save more money?
Think about it this way. What if someone near and dear to your heart was gravely ill. You’d find some way to help them or be there for them, right? I know I would.
It should be the same for our savings. We should be willing to try unconventional methods, hoard loose change, pinch pennies, whatever in order to watch our savings grow.
This list of 25 to save more more money will do just that, help you save more money. Whether it be for a home improvement project, new car, retirement, whatever!
25 Ways To Save More Money
- Pay yourself first. Treat your savings account like any other bill. Every pay check, set aside at least a few bucks to deposit.
- Collect coins. Grab an empty jar and collect all the coins you can. Change from fast food restaurants, pennies on the sidewalk, etc. Take the jar full of change to deposit at the end of every month. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can add up.
- Deposit your refunds. If you receive a refund on a product you’ve purchases (like a lot of couponers do), just deposit the check right away.
- Continue making payments. Are you paying off a loan or bill and it’s almost paid off? Once it’s paid, keep making the same payments, but into your savings account instead. You’ll wallet will hardly know the difference.
- Stop expensive habits. Are you buying breakfast everyday? Starbucks or Dunkin? Stop it and deposit into savings the amount you would’ve spent. If you’re getting a small vanilla coolatte every morning before work, that could easily add up to $15 more in your savings each week.
- Increase your earnings by investing. Rather than a savings account with a 4% yield, invest in a longterm CD, treasury bill or savings bond.
- Join a credit union. Couple of reasons: better rates and lower fees, personal service by other account holders, and tons of other financial services.
- Buy a U.S. Savings Bond. Invest $25 and get back $50 in 5 years, so best for long term goals. Many employers also offer a payroll deduction program in conjunction with purchasing bonds.
- Take advantage of direct deposit. If you aren’t and you’re paying to cash checks, that’s money in someone else’s pocket. Literally. Set up direct deposit to automatically divvy up into each of your accounts. Making sure to set a percentage or dollar amount to deposit into savings.
- Join your employers’ Thrift Plan. A compound earnings program for civil service employees.
- Get Uncle Sam to save for you. While overwithholding is not the best savings tactic (you’re basically loaning interest free money to the government that you have to apply to receive back), it can work to withhold a few dollars extra each check. Come tax refund time, you’ll get a bigger refund and can make a bigger deposit into savings.
- Start or join a Christmas/Vacation Club. A special short term savings account offered by many banks. Deposits can be as low as $2-$5 per week and offer most of the same benefits a typical savings account would.
- Bank a lump sum. If you’ve received a big lump sum (i.e. inheritance, retirement, refund) it’s easy to want to spend it all on something nice, but big sums of money should be immediately invested.
- Do a no spend month. Have a short term goal in mind? Don’t buy anything unnecessary all month and instead put it in savings. Once you’ve met your goal either set a new one or go back to your original budget.
- Fund IRAs one week at a time. Try to set aside $40 per week to fund the initial investment. By the end of the year you’ll have $2000 invested.
- Participate in a 401k. If you’re a corporate employee, you can opt of a payroll deduction to automatically contribute. If your employer matches any amount, set it up for the maximum the match. So if they match up to 4%, opt for a deduction of 4%. It’s free money!
- Participate in a 403b. For teachers, college professors and nonprofit employees, this is similar to a 401k. Payment deduction that is before tax and offers choice of investments.
- Participate in Government Employees’ Retirement Savings Plan. Another before tax savings plan, offered to government workers.
- Save your “extra” pay checks. You know those months when there’s an extra payday? Deposit the whole thing into savings.
- Save expense account reimbursements. If you have to travel for work and get reimbursed, just deposit the money rather than spending.
- Borrow to save. This one requires discipline. It can work when you borrow at a lower interest rate and save at a higher interest rate. More info about how, here.
- Reinvest interest and dividends automatically. When setting up any type of savings or investment product, arrange to have the interest and dividends reinvested rather than taking the money out and spending it.
- Keep checking account balances to a minimum. Ideally, your checking account balance should be just higher than your monthly expenses. Checking accounts don’t earn interest, so put the extra money in savings instead.
- Take advantage of float. These are situations when the presenter of a check is granted use of funds until the check has cleared. On accounts where you are earning interest, this keeps the money earning interest as long as possible. Here is more info on how check float works.
- Pay off debt. Would you like to earn 17 to 20% on your money? Pay off a credit card!
I hope this list of 25 ways to save more money is helpful for you and gets your gears turning. Financial planning isn’t easy and it doesn’t just happen. Someone has to initiate the process, and now is as good a time as ever. So get to it!