How do you save money?

I heard a story the other day about a family that managed to save $12,000 in 3 years by saving $5 dollar bills every time they received one as change. If you think about it, that’s pretty impressive. It got me thinking about other creative ways people have of saving money.

There is the old standby of simply taking any coinage you receive as change from a purchase and putting it in a jar; which is basically the same concept as the $5 bill method. That method was obviously effective for one family; but in this digital age, cash is being used less and less.

Another creative way of saving money (without using cash) is to keep a log of all debit card or check purchases rounding the amount up to the nearest dollar. Then at the end of the month, you reconcile your log with your bank statements (using the actual dollar amount of the purchases) and put all the remaining ‘change’ into a savings account. Some banks will actually do this for you.

Some people find the best way to save money is to cut a ‘luxury’ from their normal monthly budget and save the money they normally would have spent on themselves. I have seen it work with people cutting out coffee, soda, tobacco, etc.

The key to any great creative method of saving money really is to begin with a goal in mind. Without a goal, your willpower won’t last that long. Studies have actually been done that prove how effective having a goal can be. And don’t ask me why, but apparently, those that write their goals down have even more willpower than those that just thought up the goal but didn’t write it down. It’s science and I am not going to argue with science.

So, what’s your creative way of saving money?

3 thoughts on “How do you save money?

  1. I don’t know how creative it is but I just try to make it as automatic as possible. Contribute to the 401(k) from the get go so you never miss the money. Increase the amount you contribute when your employer is good enough to give you a raise so you never miss the money. Build your non retirement savings the same way with automatic transfers that you set up yourself w/ your bank or w/ your employer to direct a portion of every check to a savings account, so you never miss the money.

  2. This isn’t really that creative, but I have my paycheck direct deposited to my bank. Then out of each week check a certain amount is transferred automatically to my savings from my checking. I also do the change in a jar, as a savings account for my son, and it really has added up over the years. I do like the idea (and just might try it) of putting away $5 bills. I can add them to the pocket change jar.

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