Maybe you’ve had a recent emergency and had to take out a payday loan to make ends meet and it’s got you thinking about saving money for the “next” time. If so, you aren’t alone. Many people find that saving money is more difficult than they imagined. Rather than trying to put large chunks of cash away, utilize these unique ways to steadily build a great savings account.
1. Carry Large Bills
It used to be that people would come home at the end of the day and empty the change in their pockets into a coin jar. While this is still a good idea, your savings will grow more quickly if you carry large bills. Rather than stuffing ones into your wallet, carry fives and tens. At the end of the day, separate your bills and coins. Put the coins in your coin jar and the cash in an envelope but don’t count it. At the end of the week, head to the bank to make a deposit. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve saved.
2. Charge Yourself
Do you need to wash clothes? It will cost you a dollar. Need to make a phone call? That’s a quarter. Have fun charging yourself for little things around the house and add that money to your weekly deposit. Think of other things that you can do at home that you’d pay money for elsewhere. Washing the car? Drinking a coffee? Get creative and make it a game.
3. Keep the Difference
If you lower your cable subscription, change cell phone plans or pay off a credit card, put the money that you were previously spending into your savings account. For instance, if you were making $25 minimum monthly payments on three credit cards and have managed to pay them off, put that $75 into your savings account. You were taking it out of your budget anyway; it won’t be missed.
4. Open a Fund
We all have things that we know we’ll be spending money on: birthdays, pets and even Christmas. If, like everyone else, you find yourself stressing out when it comes time to shell over money for these things, start a fund. Putting even $10 a week into a pet fund, for example, will net you $400 a year; more than enough for Fido’s annual check-up.
5. Trick Your Checking
When you balance your checkbook, round up your purchases to the next whole dollar amount. At the end of the month, transfer what you’ve saved into your savings account. For example, if you write a check for $18.30, subtract $19.00 from your account. You’ll have “saved” $0.70.
There are a myriad of unique ways you can use to save your money if you find it difficult to do so. By turning saving into a game, you’re likely to save more and even be spurred on to find new ways to save. So get to it and have fun; you’ll have a substantial savings account before you know it!
Author Thomas Hathaway is a financial consultant and suggests there are times when pay day loans may come in handy when you have financial urgency prior to your regular pay date.
Image: Images_of_Money / Flickr