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Saving Money

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Do any of you have creative ways to save money? I am trying to think of ways to put money back for retirement and a rainy day. I spend a lot of money (hence my over draft twice yesterday) and need a way to save money so I don't really miss it. I know I can set up a savings account that they take like 3% out of my check each week or whatever but I will miss that money. I know exactly how much my check should be to the penny! Maybe buying groceries with coupons on store brand items and tracking how much I save and then putting that amount of money into a savings since I would have spent it on groceries anyway?

How do you all do it?!
post #2 of 25
honestly the taking the money directly out of your paycheck is the best option, you'll know its not there, but if its already gone you don't have a chance to spend it that's my problem, if I have money it goes right out the window. My suggestion with that too? get a savings account with another bank, cause what I ended up doing was transferring the money from my savings into my checking over the internet that totally defeated the purpose also buying generics (they are almost always very similar, in fact I like some generics better!), using coupons, but only using coupons for the stuff you need, or must have of name brand, that's the problem with coupons, they're always for name brands and even with the coupon the generic was probably cheaper hmmm, what else.... brown bag your lunch, its VERY expensive to eat out all week, what you'd spend on one lunch is probably what it would cost to buy a loaf of bread, lunchmeat and a case of soda. ya know, why is it that I always have advice on how to save money, but i don't save money??? oh that's right, I have 13 cats
post #3 of 25
Don't spend any change. Every bit of change you get, put in a jar. Once a month, count and roll the coins (they sell the rolls at the Dollar Stores) and see what you have. It really adds up!
post #4 of 25
bf's mum has told me a few excellent ways to save, and it works for them but i dont know if it does for me?
She watches what she buys, she will only buy things that are on sale. Every week we get advertisements for our supermarkets, and she has given me tips how the food will last longer as well.
like Occasionally they will have a 10 kilo bag of potatoes at this one store, she told me to put it in the basement because its always dark down there and the potatoes last for over two months! I couldnt believe it when i heard it!

Save on heating, wear extra clothes this winter, so your bills are lower.

So apart from going to discount supermarkets, i now work at a big supermarket and the food isnt cheap but there is one brand.

Box of salt 19 cents
box of porrige 25 cents
Soda from 29 cents onwards
Water 19 cents per bottle.
Flour 25 cents
bottle of tomato sauce 30 cents!
Lunch meats 99 cents.
THese are just some examples, If i only bought this brand product, I could eat very nicely for 4 weeks for only 25 euros! and thats about the equivalent to 20 dollars
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
Don't spend any change. Every bit of change you get, put in a jar. Once a month, count and roll the coins (they sell the rolls at the Dollar Stores) and see what you have. It really adds up!

I do this too, except i dont open it untill the end of the year, i put it in those money boxes that are closed. adn you need a can opener to open it
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I guess i need to quit being a brand snob! It will be much easier to save money when Lee is gone cause I eat a lot more stuff that Lee does so I can buy what is on sale.
post #7 of 25
We purchased our first home at the age of 24. So both Rob and I have had a mortgage for a long time and had to start a budget early on. Since purchasing this house, we've had to save even more money so we can place that towards our renovations. We never purchase any new item or start a renovation unless we saved half the purchase price first.

*Cut up the credit card and only use cash. With credit and debit, you don't actually see the money leaving your account so you're more likely to spend more (ie: out of sight out of mind).

*Agree with Katie. Get a specified amount to be withdrawn directly from your paycheque. You can go to your bank to do this.

*Track all your purchases for at least a month. Buy a small journal or start a spreadsheet on the computer and before going to bed note everything you bought from a package of gum to a sweater. Once you have noted where your extra cash is going you can start to budget.

*Once you have a budget, at the beginning of each week, take out the amount you have allocated for each purchase (ie: food, clothes, entertainment, transit money) and place each amount in a jar. Only use this money and once the jar is empty you can't purchase anything until the following week. Again, it gets you away from the 'out of sight, out of mind' principle and forces you to visually see the money leaving. It's tough for some people to go back to using cash, rather than debit, but it works.

*If you need to purchase an expensive item, save up half the purchase price first before buying it. It won't be hard then to pay the other half off and you're ahead of the game. Again, that's hard for people to do because they are in the "NOW" generation. I want it NOW!! But that thinking is only going to place you in debt if you're not careful.

*Start cooking big batches of food at once. On the weekend I'll make at least one stew/soup and one other big batch food (ie: pasta sauce, butter chicken) and then individually freeze these in take out containers. It's easy during the week to just grab your lunch out of the freezer and off to work.

*How much do you use your car in a typical week? Start realizing that gas is expensive and start doing only one trip a week to pick up groceries rather than running out several times a week to pick up odds and ends. It adds up! ***Also, increase your deductable on your car insurance and this will greatly reduce your insurance payments.

*Do you pay for your heat/water/electricity? Visit Home Depot and pick up some energy saving items (ie:programmable thermostat, weather stripping for windows/doors, energy efficient light bulbs). Do you own your own home and rent a water heater. Purchase a water heater and it will save you $$$ in the long run.

*This will test you. Try going one whole month without buying any extras. No clothes, no take out food, no magazines, no cosmetics, etc. This will really show you how much you can save and how much 'extra' spending you are using and literally throwing your money away.

*It really doesn't matter how much money you make right now. What happens if you became sick/disabled? Or if you lost your job? Every paycheque today should be used to ward off any unexpected event in the future. Save as much as you can today since you don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Ok, my fingers are tired from typing. Hope this helps!
post #8 of 25
Can't top what Russian Blue has said. Just a couple of things I've learned about budgeting.

Any financial planner will say - pay yourself first (which means do the auto-transfer of the savings account). Even though you know the money is there, it helps to look at what is left. Maybe consider it a personal tax on yourself. You actually get paid $xxxx, but because taxes are taken out, you always use $yyyy to determine your spending allowance.

Figure out a budget in % and then look at the dollar amount. Then don't spend more than what you've budgeted for the category.

For example,

25% will be for rent
10% for the car
15% for food
5% will be for Starbucks or chocolate or whatever your favorite.
etc.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Any financial planner will say - pay yourself first
There is a book called The Richest Man In Babylon that goes over this, it's a really neat book... you can pick that up at the library while you're getting 401(k) for Dummies
post #10 of 25
I can only put aside $50 a month in savings and I don't have a 401K at work (company is too small) so I opened up an ING Direct account, and am getting close to 5% interest on it. I have $25 taken directly from my checking account 2x per month, and I have it on my budget like a bill I pay twice a month.

It isn't much, but it's something!

I also invested in a few stocks a while back - I bought one share of each of them on OneShare.com after researching if they have dividend reinvestment programs, and over the last few years have built up a very small portfolio - again, it's something!

I now own about 25 shares of Harley-Davidson, and when the stock price drops, that makes me happy, because then I can send them more money and buy new shares. When it's high like it is now (almost $70 per share) then I just sit on it and watch my investment grow. It's a long-term strategy, I do not do any trading.

I also invested in GE, Walgreens and Wrigley. Wrigley sends their shareholders some free packs of gum once a year - it's cool!
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I can only put aside $50 a month in savings and I don't have a 401K at work (company is too small) so I opened up an ING Direct account, and am getting close to 5% interest on it. I have $25 taken directly from my checking account 2x per month, and I have it on my budget like a bill I pay twice a month.
Is that basically like an internet savings account? I have been considering doing that because I have heard that you get much higher interest that way
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
Is that basically like an internet savings account? I have been considering doing that because I have heard that you get much higher interest that way
Yes, exactly, and I love it. It makes it so easy - plus they have introductory specials where they will give you $25 in your account just for opening an account with them.

I was a little leary about it at first, but they are FDIC insured just like a regular bank.

Because I "pay" it like a bill on my budget, it is almost out of sight, out of mind, and it grows and grows.

I wish I could put more than $50 in a month, but I figure, $50 is better than $0, and the more I put in the more it will earn. I do not plan to touch it, EVER unless it is a dire emergency, this is the barest beginnings of a nest egg savings for me.

I started saving really, really late, but better late than never!
post #13 of 25
When we get our check we only write in a lower amount in the check book
for example if out check is $745 we only write that our check was $700 that way we have $45 to save and it wont be spent.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinmom828 View Post
When we get our check we only write in a lower amount in the check book
for example if out check is $745 we only write that our check was $700 that way we have $45 to save and it wont be spent.
But is your checking account an interest bearing one? If not, you are cheating yourself out of the opportunity to grow that money.

I do the same with my checking account, but I do it with the monthly fee. Mine is only $1 per month, but I write down $20, that way I know there will always be extra in there and I will never bounce a check. It works great!
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Yes, exactly, and I love it. It makes it so easy - plus they have introductory specials where they will give you $25 in your account just for opening an account with them.

I was a little leary about it at first, but they are FDIC insured just like a regular bank.

Because I "pay" it like a bill on my budget, it is almost out of sight, out of mind, and it grows and grows.

I wish I could put more than $50 in a month, but I figure, $50 is better than $0, and the more I put in the more it will earn. I do not plan to touch it, EVER unless it is a dire emergency, this is the barest beginnings of a nest egg savings for me.

I started saving really, really late, but better late than never!
I think I will definitely look into this, I could probably only save about $50 a month also, but like you said, its something! I put $90 a check into my 401 (k) so that's growing nicely too I'm almost thirty so I've really got to get cracking now.... if only I knew then what I know now
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well you are bestowing your knowlege on a "youngster" now so you are helping us young 'ens out!! Atleast the ones reading this thread!

Just so you all know I just opened a savings account! :claps: It hasa $300 minimum balance or you are charged and will provide me with overdraft protection (which I so badly needed) and if I do overdraft its only $10 ins of $35! So I will set up an amount that I have to have in there for me and anything over that I will invest in CD's or stocks or something that is more risky but will earn me moer money!
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom View Post
Well you are bestowing your knowlege on a "youngster" now so you are helping us young 'ens out!! Atleast the ones reading this thread!

Just so you all know I just opened a savings account! :claps: It hasa $300 minimum balance or you are charged and will provide me with overdraft protection (which I so badly needed) and if I do overdraft its only $10 ins of $35! So I will set up an amount that I have to have in there for me and anything over that I will invest in CD's or stocks or something that is more risky but will earn me moer money!
You wanna share your returns with me then?
That's great Brandi! Seriously though, you start saving now versus in 10 years it is astronomical the difference in the amount you'll have in 30 years.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am just hoping I earn enough to comfortably retire on and maybe be able to travel some on! 10 years is a lot of time to be saving and earning! I heard on the radio one day about a guy my age that had already earned 1 million dollars through investing! 1 million at 21 through investing! I wish I had that kind of knowledge about the stock market to earn that much money!
post #19 of 25
We save alot of money. Dh gets paid once/month-our "bills", electric bill, phone bill (cellphone is my business expense), occasional magazine subscription. No mrtge, no auto pymts presently. Home equity line of credit (for land purchase).
Thats it. I budget about $50/week for food-I shop the food ads in the paper and stock up on deals. Toiletries-$30/month unless sale of course. Gas is big expense can be $75/week. I allocate an allowance for us along with some other possible expenses. We of course will have a CC bill which we pay in full each month. So we keep about $600 in checking acct after bills and send the rest to our money fund. Some years we have saved (including the 15% of paycheck that has gone into 401Ks/Roths Ira's over $50,000.
It can be done-you have to decide what's important to you.
I read alot -get books at goodwill or check from library.
I buy some store brand grocery items I used coupons and shop the loss leaders pretty heavy at the stores.
You can do it!!!
post #20 of 25
Are you planning on opening a 401k/403b at work? You should do so as soon as possible - you need the years to add to it.

It was hard for me to do when I was young and broke in an expensive city, but I started with 1% of my income, then each year when I get a raise I automatically jack up the witholding and my net stays the same. If I dont *see* it I dont really have "extra" money. Anyway, I worked up to 10% then 12% that way. My present employer matches up to 10% so I've got more than $200k since I've been feeding it for 20 years. (It will never be enough I always think..but I keep adding to it).

Thanks poster for that tip on OneShare - I'm checking it out.
post #21 of 25
When I get paid, I leave $200 in my account for 2 weeks for groceries or whatever..and the rest after bills goes into savings..I TRY not to need any money from the savings...but I sometimes give in

And I have seperate RRSP's that I put $50/ month into.
post #22 of 25
I usually have no money to save. I get alot saved up and then something happens. Mostly vet bills and its all gone again. I usually allow myself 40 dollars to spen every other week on anythin I want. I save usually about 50 every other week. But I onyl have 60 in the bank right now and just got paid today! I have 40 though with me.
post #23 of 25
1) Don't use credit cards.
2) Don't buy it if you can't pay cash.
3) See if repairing is cheaper than replacing.
4) Don't accumulate "stuff."
5) Talk to your bank's financial advisor to start saving.

Cheers, from
SwampWitch

p.s. Russian Blue, you are so smart! You are dead on right, IMHO.

p.p.s. We've been saving for a down payment for a house. The average house price (for an average, nothing special house) here is $545,000 CDN ($487,000 US). Yikes.
post #24 of 25
One of the best things I ever did to save money was to go to a "cash only" mode for everything. I do not use credit, Period, Ever. I do have a debit card which draws directly from my checking account and I use this for everything. I also have a savings account at the same bank as my checking account. What I do is at the end of each day, I go through all of my debit card receipts and I round up each purchase and deposit the difference directly into my savings account. Here is an example of a day's receipts and what I do with them:

WalMart - $23.58 Round to $24.00 Deposit $0.42 to savings
Food Lion - $56.73 Round to $57.00 Deposit $0.27 to savings
CVS Pharmacy - $13.18 Round to $14.00 Deposit $0.82 to savings

At the end of that particular day, I deposited a total of $1.51 to my savings account. Doesn't sound like much, does it? Well, here is an example of a week's receipts and the resulting deposit to savings:

Monday - $1.51 to savings
Tuesday - $.62 to savings
Wednesday - $2.13 to savings
Thursday - $.23 to savings
Friday - $1.13 to savings
Saturday - $.97 to savings
Sunday - $.67 to savings for a total of $7.26 to savings

Still doesn't sound like much, does it? Well, OK, here is a month's worth ...

Week One - $7.26 to savings
Week Two - $10.15 to savings
Week Three - $8.99 to savings
Week Four - $9.35 to savings for a total of $35.75 to savings

I have been doing this for a little over 7 months now and have saved nearly $250 which I would not have saved otherwise. I also dump any gifts of money (like for birthdays or whatever) I receive into my savings. I clean out the pockets of my clothes (where I am prone to stash change and one's) and I keep a change jar to put anything I find in so I can deposit that periodically too. I have a yard sale once per year and I deposit everything I make from that into savings. I clean out my closets, cabinets and the attic and get rid of anything I haven't touched in a year. Most of the better stuff I sell on Ebay and for the rest, I do the yard sale or donate it.
post #25 of 25
When I write checks, I always round up 5 dollars in my check ledger. This really works! I saved over 900 dollars in a year! It was a great little suprise! When things are tight I still round up a couple dollars each check in ledger! Even if you rounded up 1 dollar each check, after 1000 checks you would have a 1k savings.
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