When you think about saving money and living on a budget, it might stress you out, it might make you feel sad and it might actually make you feel like you are suffocating. But I did want to tell you guys that you can definitely save money without those side effects! Here are some ways you can sort of trick yourself into saving money this year.
Try putting together a swear jar. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be when you actually swear. Think of a bad habit you have or something you’d like to change in your life. Then set an amount that you contribute when you break your goal. Growing up we apparently said the word “fart” to many times so every time someone said the word they’d have to contribute a quarter to the jar. Let me say…it adds up fast.
Save your bonus or raise. I know it sounds hard but you’ve been living without that money so you know you can make it work. Say you make 40K a year and you get a raise to $45K a year. Your cost of living won’t increase but your income has so you can put that money aside to save. My dad has taught me that any raise you receive should be contributed to your 401K or some type or retirement account. If you still want to have a little fun with the extra money plan on saving 50% of the raise. But whatever you do, save some of it.
Keep your savings separate, even at a different bank. If you can’t see it, you’ll forget it’s there. It might even be a great idea to set up direct deposit with a set amount coming out of your paycheck and going into this other savings account. It’s forcing you to save even the smallest amount each time your paycheck comes in.
Race your friends. Try talking with a friend who want to save the same amount as yourself and see who can get there first. It gives you more motivation…kind of like going to the gym. It’s easier when you have a buddy right by your side cheering you on. You could even save money to go on a future trip together, make it fun.
Don’t add more stuff to what you already have. Make sure you’re thinking hard about each purchase you make. Do you really NEED that new dress or shoes? You’re going to want new things and that’s ok, just get rid of the old and maybe even try to make a little money off of it. Or donation your items and write it off on next year’s taxes.
So if you’re trying to save for a big trip, a down payment on a house or just to find more financial freedom, try one of these ways to saving money.