How many times have you read articles telling you how to save money and invest, but they throw around numbers you’ve never even seen!
Unless maybe you’re counting pennies.
All you can hope is that some day you’ll be earning a fraction of that money they’re talking about so you’ll be able to make some investments.
There are still some practical ways to save even when you feel like you’re flat broke. And don’t worry, I’ve met flat broke we’ve been acquainted in the past. When you’re barely making ends meet it’s hard to see where you’re going to find money to invest with. When it seems like you’re drowning in bills and loans that’s when it’s most important to take control of every last penny.
Here is a list of ways to help you climb out of debt:
1. Pay cash for what you can. There’s something painful about handing over cash to a cashier. It makes you think as you purchase things. If I use a debit card, I can buy all sorts of stuff. But if I’m carrying cash I’m extra careful about how I spend it.
The other perk to paying cash is that you don’t get yourself further in debt. When you start paying cash for things you begin to stabilize your budget and it gives you good ground to move forward on.
2. $5 savings method. At the end of the day you take out any five dollar bills that are in your wallet and put them in a jar. You can do this for however long you want but you may be surprised at how much you can set aside in just a few short months. You can do this with dollar bills, lose change, or whatever you decide. Heck, save your $20 bills if possible.
3. DIY. Another way to save money is to make stuff yourself. WARNING: Not all DIY’s are frugal, with certain projects you’ll find that you’ll spend more money on the materials to make it than you actually would on the product. But if you find yourself tight on money there are some things that ARE cheaper to make yourself. For example, cleaning products, shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, bread, kitchen mixes, yogurt, etc. Just don’t try and make your soap products at the same time as your homemade food…..
4. Cut back on utilities. This is a great way to free up any money you have to save. Say you budget $100 a month for your electric bill, but it happens to only be $70 that month. Take that extra $30 and put it in savings. Anytime you have leftover money from your bills do this and you will see a nice bump in your savings. Check out this list of ways to cut back on utilities.
5. Budget in savings. When you budget in savings, you’ll be amazed to see how much money you’ll have saved at the end of the year. Money has a way of vanishing into thin air when you don’t direct it. For some reason, extra money likes to grow legs and run off real quick like and you never are quite sure where it went. Once you have your budget planned out for the month, immediately put your savings amount into your savings account. By doing this you remove the temptation to spend this “extra” money, and it can be there to help pay off debt or as an emergency fund. The set amount is up to you. Even if you’re only able to save $50 a month this adds up to $600 a year. Whether you save more or less it will help give you a little more cushion between our old and horrible friend “flat broke.”
Hopefully, these are some helpful tips that can encourage you that there is still hope when you’re not sure how to save!
Shameless plug for an awesome resource (affiliate link): Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University DVD Home Study Kit (9 Week Course) 2012 Release