For my readers who don’t want anything as formal as additional savings accounts but still want to save for a goal like a vacation or your next unforeseen emergency, here are some other tried and true suggestions:
4. Make savings part of your spending plan. Most people don’t budget for savings and that can be a mistake. Emergencies happen, usually at the worst possible time when you are least prepared. Having a cushion of any amount will make a world of difference the next time a tire blows out or Fluffy needs to see the vet unexpectedly.
5. Estimate what you’ll need to save in a year and divide by 12. That’s the monthly amount you need to include in your spending plan. If you don’t have that much to allocate to savings, you can either spend less in another area or increase your income with some part time earnings, or you can rearrange your goals.
6. Consider a grown-up version of a piggy bank. No, you don’t need a huge adult-sized porcine pocketbook. A technique that helps me make the most of my spare pennies is to roll change. Not pretending that I’m someone else, but to place my leftover change in those cute little tubes you get (for free) at the bank.
For guys, this is as easy as picking up the change that falls out of your trousers when you hang them up. Ladies will not only save money but also save the cost of physical therapy from damage caused by purses weighted down with pounds of coins. Expect this exercise to yield about $200 a year per person.
7. Another way to find money to save is to use your credit cards less. Paying with cash helps reinforce the link between spending, earning and the cost of what you’re shelling out cash for. Plus when your roll is nearly gone, you may find yourself thinking twice about your next purchase.
8. You can give yourself a raise by bagging your lunch. Going out for lunch every day literally costs you thousands. Do the math. With 260 business days in a year a $10 lunch special becomes $15 by the time you add tax, tip and gas to get there and back. That’s $3,900 a year. If you pay 25% federal income tax, 7% state income tax and 7% social security tax, you need to earn $6,400 to take home $3,900. The same math works for other meals too!