Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finding ways to save

When you are living on a limited income, it is sometimes hard to find ways to save money. One thing to remember, every little bit counts. All to often we think big, however every little bit does add up! Our family chooses not to use credit cards, if there is something we want, we pay cash for it, this means needing to have a fund to pay for those things. We have found a few painless ways to stash some cash.
  1. Use direct deposit of your paycheck if you can. My husband's employer will deposit into several accounts. We have an account set up for us, and one for each of the kids. We automatically have money put into each account with each paycheck. We have $5 put into each of the kids accounts with each paycheck & that is what we use to pay for their summer activities.
  2. Save your change, instead of spending it. For example, when you are at the store & your total is $5.57, give them $6. We have one of those large crayon banks, it takes quite a bit to fill it up & we have had up to $250 in change in there. We generally use that money for a weekend vacation.
  3. Round up your checks that you write, if you write a check for $12.39, write it in your register for $13.
  4. If you are the type of person who puts all or even some of Christmas on a credit card, what about opening up a Christmas Club account. Most banks have these. You choose the amount you put into it each week & they will mail you a check in November.
  5. When you get a raise, save that money. It is money you have not lived off of before that, so why not save it?
  6. Each year, up the amount you put into your retirement account by at least 1%.

If you don't already save, it can be scary to start the process. I suggest starting out small, rather than not at all. Just put aside $10-$20 out of each paycheck. Start with a regular savings account, once you are comfortable with that, add in the Christmas club & so on. We have an account that we usually clean out every couple of months to purchase something that is needed. However, if we didn't put money into that account, we wouldn't have the money when we need it.

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