Simple Ways To Save Money

Simple Ways To Save Money

Face it; we all know the value of saving money. Read any financial advice column and you’ll hear the familiar mantra: “Put your money into IRA’s.” “Invest your money in the stock market.” “Set aside a nest egg for your children’s education.” “Save for a rainy day.”

Without denying the importance of stashing away some green for a brighter tomorrow, for many of us it can be hard to read these headlines without our rolling our eyes. ”Absolutely, it is a good idea to save, but with what money?” say most of us who are struggling to live paycheck-to-paycheck. “If I had an ‘extra’ $500 a month, of course I’d put it in an IRA, but right now, I just don’t have the bucks. Saving money is just for the rich,” we say to ourselves bitterly.

But the good news is you don’t have to start out saving in large amounts. In fact, deciding you will one day go from no savings to contributing $500 a month to an IRA isn’t realistic, and may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Building a large nest egg starts not in one broad stroke, but in many small, incremental steps. Little things do add up.

Try these simple things you can do to start saving no matter your budget. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the savings add up:


  • Save that change. Every time you pay with cash, stash the change. Keep the change in separate jar at home, and periodically deposit the coins into your savings account. You’ll probably end up with an extra $500 annually.
  • Avoid ATM surcharges. Speaking of cash, don’t pay money to get it. Unless you are using your bank’s ATMs, you probably getting charged at least $1.50 on each transaction. That might not seem like a lot, but if you go to the cash machine two times a week (a conservative estimate for some) you’ll end up paying $150 in a year. Go a little out of your way to your bank’s ATM or get cash back when using your debit card at your local retailer.
  • Bring your lunch to work. Going for fast food over your lunch break? Even if you eat off the “value menu, you’re probably spending at least $5 a day. That amounts to a whopping $1,300 a year. Brown bag it or bring leftovers from the night before and save.
  • Become a smart grocery shopper. Clip coupons, but only for products you already use. Even then, compare the coupon “savings” with the everyday savings on generic products. Even with the 50-cent coupon, the name-brand cereal might still be more expensive than the generic equivalent.

This is just a small, partial list of everyday savings. But you’ll quickly realize that these small and easy ways to save dough will quickly amount to a nice windfall. You’ll be energized to find more ways to save the green.

After a few months, you’ll have enough to make regular contributions to your IRA, and be able to watch your money earn interest and grow, just like it does for those rich folk.


By David Plowman


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