We all want to save money and have a backup. We all struggle when it comes to expenses. We are all happy when we receive our salary and turn sour when we are faced with payments of all kind every day and every month. I know and understand all those mixed feelings as I have been there, done that.
What I am going to tell you is how I do to save up some money each day or each couple of days. My advice won't make you rich, that's a given, but it will help you have a small stash of emergency money.
You will wonder how to do that or if it is even possible. I asked myself that question and was laughing on the then "stupid" idea I came up with. I thought that it isn't possible to save money when I don't even have enough money to pay for all the monthly necessities.
Well, my dear ones, it's all about economy and logic. To be rational and to dictate yourself that you spent money, but you haven't as a matter of fact. Sounds crazy? It does. But, it's something that I have been experimenting for the last two weeks or so and the outcome was a "delicious" surprise!
Let me share with you how I do and maybe you can practice the same and who knows what the level of satisfaction with be to you too! For me it was a high level of satisfaction and I am continuing to do so!
When you want to go out, but you are too tired or too lazy to do so...
One awesome way to save money is when you want to go out with friends or family, but you are too tired or too lazy to go. What I mean is that you didn't go out because you couldn't afford, but because you had other personal issues. Consider the money you would have spent by going out with them, like gas, ticket to a movie, a meal or any other expenses you would have spent that day, but you didn't by not going out. Let's say you would have spent around 20 bucks. (I am not going to be precise with numbers, I am just giving examples.) Now, the catch is that you will consider those money that you spent them. That you went out and paid for your share. This is what you are going to tell your mind. I went out and spent those money. Next step is to choose a hidden place in your house that won't be always before your eyes to remember about it. Take a bag, a box, whatever you want, should be something small and flexible were you can put your "spent" money in.
Take a piece of paper, it should be a small one, or fold an A4 one in four, and write the date and the amount of money you put inside. Next time, you will do the same, you will write down the next date when you add money and at the amount of money you write the final sum that you have. For example, you first put inside 20$ and next time you can put 1$. On the second date, you will not write 1$, you will write the sum between the first deposit and the second deposit. So, the sum will be 21$. And so on for the next times. Continue to add as small or as much as you can, each day, every other day or whenever you can during a week.
The secret is that those money are "spent" money, they are not your money anymore. So, after each adding, just forget about them. It will be itchy at the beginning to put your hand on them and use it, but control yourself and tell yourself that those are not your money, those are not money, those are money that you have already spent on X occasion. For example, you start doing this in July. Decide yourself a date when the "spent" money will become money "to be spent". Let's say you decide not to use them and add money for the next six months. That means you will be able to use them starting from January next year. Of course, if you have an emergency during those six months, make use of them. But that emergency has to be an "EMERGENCY". To use them on vital stuff, not on pleasures or vices, like cigarettes or something else that you can control yourself and wait for a few more days. Ideal is to not touch them at all for those six months. The only actions you need to take is to add more money and note down on the paper. Hide them again and forget about it until next adding.
When you are a smoker and smoke more than one packet of cigarettes...
If you are a smoker and smoke more than one packet of cigarettes, well, you can save a lot of money in a month. But, sacrifices should be made unfortunately. It's not going to be easy, but it's doable, with efforts.
Set yourself to actually limit yourself to one packet of cigarettes per day. It's going to be harsh at the beginning, but you will be able to do it in due time. You only need ambition and motivation. Motivation for you will be the amount of money you will save at the end of each month. Let's say a packet of cigarettes costs around 4.60$. You spend each day that amount. In 30 days you will spend about 138$. Those are spent money.
Each day put the 4.60$ in the "spent" money hidden box and add it on the paper.
For those who smoke about one packet of cigarettes per day, use the "forget" method. The "forget" method is one that I use. "Forget" to smoke for a day. Tell yourself that you bought and smoked the packet of cigarettes. Those are spent money. The "spent" money, take them and add them to the "spent" money box.
For the smokers, it will be hard to apply this, but you can do it. Just think about the big picture. Don't burn your hard earned money. "Spend" them in your mind and add them to the "spent" money box for later.
When you go to shopping and buy more than you need...
Nowadays we tend to spend on stuff more than we really need. Make a list of strict items that you really need at home and also calculate the budget for it. If you are not sure about the prices for the items, make an approximation and then add some more to the final sum with about 10-15%. Place the budget in another side of your wallet to know where those money are not to mix them with your other money. Then go for shopping. After you finished shopping, leave the remaining money from the budget and the change in the same side of your wallet.. When you reach home, take those money, that are "spent" money and place them in the "spent" money box and write on that paper. Forget about them until the next adding.
It doesn't matter how much you have remained. Be it 1$, be it 10$ or more, just add them there to the "spent" money box.
When you forget to take or don't take the change in coins....
This is something that we never realize, the power of change received in coins. Take a jar, a small one or a medium one. A clean one. Place it in your kitchen, somewhere where you can see or hide it too. It's your own choice. Now, every time when you spend money and receive change in coins take them. Don't let them behind anymore considering they are not really of value. They are really small money. Take them and at home place them into the jar. Do this every time until you fill up the jar. When the jar is filled up and there's no room for more coins, take the coins and count them. See how much money is there and turn them into paper money at a nearby grocery store or supermarket. They are always in need of small change. The coins that couldn't be turned in dollar notes or your currency paper money, just leave them in the jar and continue to add and repeat the process each time the jar is filled up. An advice is to make a list of types of coins how many coins you have each and the amount for each type of coin in terms of money than draw a line and make a total. When you go to change them into paper money it will be easier for the person who gives you the paper money in exchange to coins to follow and calculate them. Just a tip. But, you can just count them and know the final amount of money to be received in paper money. After you receive the paper money, put them to the "spent" money hidden box and add them on the paper.
You know, when you look at the change for each shopping, you say "Hmm! I can't do anything with this money." It's true. But when you count for a number of shopping bills they add to an amount that you have things to buy with them. I did that and with a small jar of coins I turned them into about 8.75$. I turned coins into paper money for the amount of 8$ and for the 0.75$ I left them in the jar. Can you say that with 8$ you cannot do anything? No. You can buy stuff necessary for your life. But, better add them to the "spent" money hidden box, and "forget" about them for the next six months or so.
Always consider what can you give up on spending for a day or for each couple of days. It doesn't have to be big, even for a couple of dollars. Some days you can save 1 dollar, some days maybe 20$, other days even more. It doesn't have to be a fixed amount of money to become a pressure.
Consider those money "spent" money. See yourself when you "spent" them. Add them to your "spent" money hidden box and write down each time date and new final amount of money that are in the box. Trust me, when you will see money pilling up and bigger numbers added on the paper you will have motivation to continue doing so. In my first two weeks of experimenting this, I had "spent" money in the amount of about 130$. I don't know about you, but I consider they are quite a sum. It is rewarding, and I didn't have to work more for them, I just had to "spend" them in my mind and in fact not doing the act of spending them on things that I could control myself not buying.
There are many ways in which you can save money. In this article I offered just a few. I shared with you the strategy and some ways. Now, if you think you want to try it too, take up the information from this article and be creative in making your own ways of saving "spent" money. At the end of the day, you are the one that knows where your income goes and from where you can create savings of "spent" money in a hidden box and let them be "cooked" for about six months or so. Create your little treasure and map your way towards it during a six months period of adventures! 🙂
Hope you liked this article and found it useful my friends!
Leave a comment with your opinion about the article and/or with more ways of saving "spent" money!
Your true friend as always,