We all want to save money, but the fact remains that many Americans are one or two paychecks away from serious financial ruin. What if you lost your job? What if you or someone in your immediate family had a prolonged hospital stay? These two and many other scenarios could wreck your financial picture. We don’t want to think about these kinds of eventualities, but isn’t it better to be able to be ready for them?
Living in America, we all have the tendency to want to “keep up with the Jones'”, right? At Christmas time, we spend like no other time of the year. Many of us, myself included, tend to be pretty irresponsible in our spending habits. Fact is, we can’t take it with us when we leave this earth, so what are we leaving behind? Stuff. Stuff for our family to fight over. Stuff that will disposed of at an estate sale. Stuff that will be thrown away. Fact is, many times when we spend our money, we are just postponing the inevitable, because we are just throwing our money away.
So, what do you do about it? Save! Save, save, and save some more. A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Don’t we feel better when we SAVE money than when we spend it? The security of saving lasts a lot longer than the initial thrill of buying that thing that we just “had to have.”
Luckily, resources are boundless when it comes to HOW to save money. How do rich people get rich, and more importantly, STAY rich? By saving. By being frugal. I came across a cool little article from CNBC quoting Mark Cuban on 3 Ways to Save More Money in 2018. These are some great common sense tips, like pay OFF your credit cards and DON’T use them unless you can pay off the balance each month. Or, watch your spending. Clip coupons. Stock up big time when stores have deals on things you use everyday. That kind of thing.
To those, I’ll add 3 MORE Ways To Save This Year:
1/Save and Stash Every Day. Set aside $1 a day, working your way up throughout the week—so on Sunday, you save $1, $2 on Monday, $3 on Tuesday, and continue on until Saturday, when you put aside $7. Then, every Sunday, start over at the $1 mark. That’s a total of $28 per week, or $112 per month. If you do it for the full 52 weeks, you’ll have $1,456 saved up by the end of the year!
2/Keep a Cash Jar. This may sound silly and old fashioned, but it works.
Some people feel more productive, savings-wise, if they use cash. If that’s you, and you’d prefer to physically put a dollar (or however many you’re supposed to put aside depending on which day of the week it is) aside every day, try keeping a money jar in a place you’ll remember to drop cash into every day, like on top of your dresser—you’ll see it when you’re getting ready, so you won’t forget. At the end of the week (or month, if you prefer), just deposit the cash into your savings account.
3/Use a Money App.If you’d rather keep things digital (or, if like me, you rarely carry cash on you) a money app like Qapital—or Acorns, if you want to invest your money-can be your best friend. Qapital lets you set up automatic transfers in the same dollar amount every day, every week, or every month, and has the traditional 52 Week Challenge transfer rule.
If you don’t mind remembering to put aside money every day, you can simply transfer the dollar amount for that day into your account with your preferred app—think of it like a digital cash jar, no deposits required. Or, if you’d rather set it and forget it, you can simply set up a recurring automatic weekly transfer of $28, and let your money basically save itself. That’s well over $1,500 a year saved with minimal effort.
However, you do it, you should at a MINIMUM, have a $1,000 emergency fund (in case of emergencies) that won’t charge you interest like a credit card. After that, you should try to save enough for 6 months wages, so you are set if financial disaster strikes.
BONUS: Once you’ve cleared those savings hurdles, strive like there’s no tomorrow to accomplish Dave Ramsey’s “7 Baby Steps to Financial Peace”….two of which I just listed. Once you accomplish those, then you can have some serious financial security!
You Can Do It!!