Thursday, September 4, 2008

You really can save money quick 5-Steps

So Ive talked about how to save money, even pennies at a time. Never really talked exactly how you can so here you go. This is a short term way of saving. By doing frugal things like I do on a daily basis, you can save slowly. You don't really see the savings until you look at your account later and see that you still actually have left over money. Its so fun to see that. Well here are a few steps in saving money more quickly.

Pick a goal
You need to have a specific, realistic and measurable goal in mind. Something like "I'm gonna save $200 in five months." This can be pretty easy to do. Transfer $10 a week into a savings account. If that's too much, cut that in half. Many experts say you need to have a stash just for emergencies. This would of came in handy when our vet bill came up last week. My lesson learned. I will be starting a plan along with you to save money. We can do this together.
Need some motivation. Try to hang a picture of the item your trying to save for. Or maybe just works like "penny by penny you will get there" or "$200 isn't that far away". Something along those lines. You would be amazed how much more you will think about saving money just by reminding yourself.

Go for it!
This might not be something you will want to hear, its not something I want to hear but its needed. You need to pay yourself first. Before you pay your bills, food, anything. You need to put aside how much exactly you put a goal for every week. Put it away, out of sight and out of mind. That way you wont have any excuse not to put any money away. Its all done and you can think about other things.

Watch and have fun
Once you start stashing your money, its fun to watch it grow. I would recommend getting a savings account or setting up a certain account for this. You can check online, or go to the bank. Its just fun to see how little by little you saved money.

Easy and immediate ways to save money
1. Sell it! Ebay, Craigs List, Freecycle, Garage Sale-Go through every single inch of your home. If you ha vent touched it in months, changes are your not going to. Remember : One mans junk is another mans treasure. Have a garage sale. If you don't think you have enough for your own, ask the neighbors, friends and family. If you get enough people you can make signs for Multifamily Garage Sale. People will flock in to rummage through your junk. Try online sales. If its something rare, worth money, or something brand new just try to sell it online. Some are free, or some are just charging change. Its super easy and fun to do.
2. Cut back-I know its hard but just do it. You know what I'm talking about. Those fancy coffee drinks, cigarettes, sweets, bottled drinks, or just junk food. Saving an average of $3 a day by not getting that fancy coffee will save you $1095 a year. Crazy huh? So even if you cant cut it out completely, just try to only do it once in a while. I cut out coffee drinks almost completely when I moved into this small town. I have a coffee machine/espresso (Xmas gift) so I can just make myself a drink at home. I was just lazy and was working part time so it was easy for me to justify a drink here and there. Then it turned into almost everyday. I saved over a thousand a year just by not buying fancy drinks. Now I make and pack my own. And it was a lot easier not to get them when I stopped working and became a full time mommy.
3. Fuel-Think about where your going to drive for the week, try to consolidate things into one day. If I'm going to the bread store, I will hit up Fred Meyers for their mark downs, and if I need veggies I will hit up the farmers market all in one trip. Saves me tons of fuel. We don't think about it when we just "run up to the store real quick". All those "real quick" runs will use up a ton of gas. Or sometimes my neighbor will ask me if I need anything from a store. "yes yes yes". Don't feel bad, you will do the same for them. Saves you both gas. Try letting your kids ride the bus. That alone will save you gas. Or walk them to school. You get healthy and cut back on gas. Drive behind semi trucks. They cut the wind for you, in return saving you fuel cost. The TV show "Myth busters" did a whole episode on if it really helped gas mileage. They saved an average of 10-15% increase in fuel economy. Now I'm like a truck leech. Where there's trucks, I'm usually behind them. There are many ways you can save on fuel cost. I now walk, bike or jog anywhere I need to go within 2 miles of my home. Saves us big time.
4. The 3 r's Your children learn this in school and you should know it by now.
Reduce-buy bulk. Less packaging, the less you pay. Buy less junk food saves you money. Reduce the amount of fast food you buy or just even stop buying it all together.
Reuse-We use reusable containers for my girls school lunch's. I reuse plastic containers that we get food in. We use them in crafts too. I reuse my fabric sheets several times. They are biodegradable ones that done smell and they stop static cling several times over. Saves me money and Eco friendly. I buy 99% of the time used. All clothes are used except for undergarments. This saves us a ton. And everything is handed down. Shoe's are bought used as well. We buy a new pair of athletic shoe's for the new school year but buy used for play shoe's.
Recycle-If you have a large trash can, you can recycle and cut down your garbage. In return you can request a smaller can and pay less on your garbage bill. If you start a compost bin (drill holes in a trash can with lid) and you have less waste plus great compost for your garden.
All these idea's help the environment and help your wallet.
4.No Plastic- Stop using your credit cards, pay them off and cut them up. Not only are you buying things when you don't have the money for them, your paying more in the long run with interest. If you pay late, theirs late fee's. They are bad all around. I have to admit we have 1 card for just in case. I too will need to learn this lesson. Keep telling myself plastic is bad. It really is in the environment but also bad for my pocket.
5. No payment time- You know those times that banks or credit cards say you can skip a payment? My bank has this option every year around November to help out people at Christmas time. Well how about just taking that payment you were gonna pay, and put it in savings? No out of pocket savings there! Or if you payed off some bill or product. Like furniture or a car. When you pay it off, still set aside that money in savings. You would be amazed how much you would save up.
So these are a few ways to save money with quick results. Keep checking back because I have lots of other ways of saving money. but a little at a time.

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