Tips on How to Save Money Regularly Each Month
What Are Some Ways to Save Money?
Basically, people save money by not over-spending, living below their means, and even doing without. Yet so many folks seem to be unable to save at all and continue living from paycheck to paycheck, often with more debt than they can ever pay off.
Let me put out a disclaimer. I am well aware that there are those who are unable to save due to legitimate reasons. There are the poorest poor, the unemployed, the homeless, the single parents with four children, and more reasons that I’m not even aware of.
Still, if you are asking this question of “How do You Save Money?” which someone recently did, then I know that you’re serious about looking at your own situation and may be serious about saving money—at least looking at the possibility.
Just save twenty bucks!
Save Money Out of Every Paycheck
You’ve probably heard that you should try to aim for saving ten percent of each paycheck. It your expenses don’t allow for that, then try for 5%. Or try even saving $20.
I used to have a friend who would occasionally borrow just a couple hundred dollars for a car repair or tires. I would tell her that if she would save $20 per month, then she would have $240 in the bank after a year for emergency expenses—at least the smaller ones. She just couldn’t seem to get into it, didn’t seem to care enough to attempt it.
Some people think that just a little at a time doesn’t get them anywhere; they don’t see enough progress, as they want immediate gratification. But you can’t start a savings program and suddenly have $5,000 in the bank. You have to start somewhere. How can people even hope for immediate gratification when it comes to saving money, unless they are lucky enough to win the lottery or have some other lucky break fall in their laps? Saving money requires some amount of common sense, along with a realistic plan.
Live Below Your Means
Even if you can afford the more expensive apartment, rent one that costs less, if you want to save for a house of your own down the road. Sacrifice in order to be able to save money for when you really need it. Drive that old car until the cost of fixing it costs more than buying a decent used one. Forego brand name clothing or even new clothing. Instead, shop sale racks, visit thrift stores and resale shops.
I find great bargains at yard sales! You can save several hundred dollars every year by cutting clothing costs. Don’t spend your extra money eating out. Instead, eat inexpensive meals at home. Sock away that extra 100, 50, or even 10 bucks a month. Eventually, it will add up. Do the math.
Examples of Ways I Have Saved
I’ve been a saver all my life. My parents started three brothers and me in “The Squirrels Club” when we were little, a program sponsored by the local bank wherein we would "squirrel" away our coins in slots in a little book.
At 15, I took a part-time job to start saving money for college. I made it through college with taking out only a small loan that I quickly repaid. The summer after graduating, I didn’t have a job right away, but I was asked to babysit three kids that summer. I liked the family, so I agreed to do it for the paltry $200 per month. I had to live cheaply. I moved into a house with three other girls, where we could split the rent and bills. I made it through the summer, even managing to "squirrel" away a few of the dollars I was making.
Later, while working at my first low-paying social work job, I lived in an old house that was divided into studio-type apartments for really cheap rent and utilities. I stayed five years in those cramped quarters! It took a while to save, but I finally saved enough money for a small down payment for my first little 800 square foot house. I was ecstatic.
Commit Yourself to Take that First Step
It feels good to reach goals after saving money to get there. If you have extra money each month to spend on clothing,,eating out, and entertainment, then you have the means to save money. Find ways to cut back in these and other areas.
Start a savings account and commit to saving a certain amount of your income every month. You have to start somewhere. Saving money can be hard work as it requires commitment and discipline, but you will feel so good in knowing that you have taken positive steps to secure good things for your future.