Isn't it funny how when you're studying or researching on a particular subject, information that you've never noticed just seems to start popping up everywhere? That's the way it's been for me since beginning to write the material for this challenge. Little quotes and savings tidbits are really jumping out at me. In reviewing my book, 8 (Really Creative) Ways to Save, one concept stood out to me this past week and I came up with a new way of wording it. Here it is:
By participating in the act of saving, and doing it at the beginning of your paycheck, not at the end, you are effectively paying yourself. Now, please don't misunderstand me, I don't want you to go around shirking your responsibilities for your rent or mortgage, electricity, clothing, transportation, and childcare and tell everybody you're just paying yourself first. You are still responsible for funding your life and your family's basic necessities. When you start out saving first, it may be a small number, but you are doing it, and that's what counts. One of my favorite role models, Holly Rigsby, has a great quote that says, "Little by little, a little becomes a lot." This is just as true with your money as it is with anything else. Exercise, laundry, chocolate...
Keep all of this in mind throughout the challenge. Even if it looks small now, your savings will grow if you keep adding to it. And even a little bit more money trumps no money, every time!
That's enough preaching from me! Let's get to the remaining 4 tips, shall we?
Ways to Save
- Christmas in June Savings (Chapter 7): I originally wrote this chapter in my book to detail how you can begin to stockpile savings in the summer to have plenty of cash to fund Christmas by the time Black Friday rolls around. However, I also address what to do when January arrives. You keep using this method and save up for an event or large purchase in June. Let's say you're planning a vacation in June and would like to have $300 in spending money by that time. You simply take that number and divide it by the number of months from now to June (six) and you end up with $50, the amount you need to set aside each month for the next six months. Then, when June rolls around, you start again and save in the same manner for another event in December (could be Christmas or something else).
- Buy It Used (Chapter 8): With this savings method, you pick a category where you don't mind buying used items, but you save up the full amount needed to purchase the items. Then, you purchase the item(s) and put the difference into your savings. In the book, I use the example of buying used books. I get books at thrift stores all the time that are so cheap. When I pick up a book that is normally $10 or more, but I pay $1 for it, I could use this savings method by paying the difference of $9 into my savings. You can save even more by choosing a different category, such as furniture. The important part is to make sure you're saving the difference.
- The $5 Ban (Chapter 9): This one is really fun, but also requires some willpower to accomplish. Basically, you set aside every $5 bill that comes into your hands. You don't spend them, but put them in savings instead. I did some research on Pinterest and found several examples of people who followed this "ban" over the course of a year. Their savings at the end of a year ranged from $1300- $3000! You can save so much using this technique!
- Pantry Raid-n-Save (Chapter 10): This method works best when you have food in the house that needs to be used or you have a pantry that needs to be cleared. What you do is raid your own kitchen for ingredients to put together simple meals, and skip out on grocery shopping for a week or so. Instead, you save that money you would have spent on groceries for the week. I know that right now, I could probably do this in my own kitchen. We've got plenty of frozen foods on hand, as well as some lean meats like chicken, ready to be used in recipes. And we're a big egg family around here. Just last night, my husband made some egg "cupcakes" with some fresh mushrooms that needed to be used and some shredded cheddar. I know they were delicious because I ended up eating 3 for dinner!
It's time to make some decisions. Which methods are you going to try during the Saving More Challenge? That's what I want you to decide today.
Week 2, Task 2: Read this post and read or review the previous post, which includes 4 other methods of saving. Decide on 2-3 methods that will work for you and your family, and tweak them as needed. Once you've decided, comment, comment, comment (!) below and let us know what you've decided. I'll be posting my choices in the comments, as well.
One other thing: get started with these as soon as possible! Once you've got your plan of action, you might as well begin to execute it!
I know I've covered a lot of information in these last two posts, and now you've got some work to do. It's time to SAVE! More encouragement coming your way next week, but for now, I'll leave you with this cool quote I found by a famous person. You may have heard of him:
"Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left AFTER SAVING." - Warren Buffet