5 Painless Ways to Increase Your Savings
Today I’m privileged to be participating in a guest post swap with one of the most inspiring Personal Finance Bloggers around, Laurie from The Frugal Farmer. If you’re interested in submitting a guest post please contact me.
Are you struggling with making your savings account larger? Looking to increase that nest egg or emergency fund? As a family of six on a tight budget, we’ve found that saving money is often a struggle, but there are ways to increase your savings account which you might find relatively painless.
1. The Old Coin Jar. Nearly every household has one. It’s that little jar, the one you can put your spare change in when you come home after a long day. Those pennies and quarters can easily add up to a few hundred dollars a year if you’ll commit to using them as a savings tool. We also look for ways to bring more coin into the house as well, further increasing our savings rate. If something costs $1.10, instead of digging in my purse for a dime, I’ll gladly hand the cashier $2, so that I can have 90 more cents to put into the coin jar. It becomes a bit of a challenge, almost, to see how many coins I can collect throughout the month.
2. Use grocery savings. When grocery shopping, use money saving tips like buying generic brands, and then put the difference into your savings account. For instance, if you normally spend $150 a month on groceries, use coupons, buy generic, and shop sales to lower that grocery bill, and then put the difference into your savings account. You’ll likely not even notice the missing cash because the numbers still all add up to the same amount. It’s just that instead of spending the full amount on groceries, you’re putting a minimal percentage into savings.
3. Sell Stuff. Get rid of all of the “stuff” laying around your house that you no longer use. Have a garage sale, or sell it on an Ebay or Craigslist type of a site, and commit to putting the cash you’ve made into your savings account. Again, because this is extra money, it won’t put a strain on your budget, and thus you’re creating “painless” savings.
4. Cut extras. Can you do without cable/digital TV or the upgraded phone service? If so, cut back and put the money you would’ve spent on these items into your savings account. Again, because you’re used to seeing this money go out the door on technical stuff, you’ll not notice it’s gone when it goes to your savings account instead. We cancelled our cable bill nearly a year ago, and honestly, we don’t miss it a bit. This is another way to painlessly add to your savings account, and you’ll have more time for other fun activities like hiking or biking, since you likely won’t be spending as much time in front of the TV. J What extras can you cut to get your hands on more money for savings?
5. Borrow or buy used. Case in point: We recently needed a large, 28 ft. ladder to do some work on our barn. After searching our friends and relatives, and finding no one had a ladder that big, we did some online shopping and found new 28 foot ladders were running for roughly $300 U.S. dollars. Then we checked Craigslist and found a great used ladder for $145. We offered the guy $125, he counter-offered $140, and we were on our way home with a great new-to-us ladder and $160 extra in our pockets. By putting this extra money into savings, we are again creating a painless way to save money, since we would’ve spent the $300 on a new ladder because it was a true need. If it was an item we wouldn’t have used very much, renting it would’ve been another way to save a bundle of cash. Many home improvement stores will rent ladders and such for $20 and up.
When looking to increase your savings accounts, there are lots of ways it can be done that don’t make a dent in your budget. It just takes a little creativity and sacrifice.
Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.