Who doesn’t like to save money? How would you feel to get to the end of the year and have $5000 or $6000 saved?
No, really think about it. I know for some it will seem impossible because of the crap pay or the fact that you live paycheck to paycheck or maybe you’re a single parent. None of that should be an excuse why you cannot save money even with minimum or irregular wages. Don’t say you can’t save because then you really won’t.
I don’t say that to be mean or snobby. I say this because I’ve been there and I know exactly how hard it is. Seems impossible to save money when you can hardly pay the bills right?
My very first job was a veryyyyy low paying job and I had a shit load of bills to pay (I lived in Manhattan where cost of living is WOW) and student loan payments to be made as well. To say I was 21 and not financially smart is an understatement.
I was lucky to receive personal finance tips and advice from a regular guest, who taught me the art of saving. He told me to always find ways to make and save money 💵. And find ways to make and save money I did.
The first thing to do is:
- Pay Yourself– no questions asked no doubt about it, pay yourself first. If you have a regular savings account, start automating a percentage of your wages. Start with as little as you can afford or is comfortable with. Even if it is $10 per check, you’re saving something. If you do not have a regular savings my personal advice is to open a High Yielding Savings Account. Banks that offer those accounts give you a percent of your total savings in interest. FREE MONEY. I personally call that passive income. You’re earning just for saving. Barclays, Capital One, Synchrony and Ally Bank offer higher than 1% interest APY on their savings account.
- Refinance Your Loan– leaving med school I had $47,000 in student loan debt and the best thing I ever did was refinance my student loan. If I didnt, 5 years later I would still be paying my loan but I am now debt free. There are many great companies that refinance student loans for FREE and I was lucky to have Citizens Bank who offered an interest rate lower than 3%. I ended up saving almost $8000 in payments and boy was I overjoyed. You have to shop around to get the best quotes or rates for refinancing your loan. The company that is good for me isn’t necessarily the one that will be good for you. Let LendEDU do it for you. They are FREE, EASY AND FAST so why not right? Get an idea of your rates here.
- Use Cash Back Rewards– I know you probably see this all over the internet but it is honestly amazing. Especially when holidays or birthdays come around and even though money is tight, you just have to buy gifts for the children. You can use either cash back credit cards or rebate programs such as Ebates and TopCashBack. Ebates is one of the largest cash back programs right now. Thousands of retailers are available on there for you to shop. While many may refer to this as making money online, to me it is a guaranteed discount on online purchases.
TopCashBack is perfect to save money on travel plans, sports and fitness. They also offer 10% cash back on select payout methods and have numerous giveaways from money to gift cards.
- Wants Versus Needs– we sometimes tend to prioritze our wants as needs. It might not be comfortable but think about living frugally for a while. Our great grandparents lived without a lot in their days, we can too. Do not purchase your wants; only the things you need. Minimalistic lifestyle isn’t favorable to everyone, but until you are on steadier financial grounds, you might have to start living the lifestyle. Get a cheaper cellphone plan if you have to, stop driving and take the bus or train. Whatever small means you can save money. Focus on saving rather than spending. If you can do live without something for a while, do without it.
- Negotiate– utility companies are sympathetic if you explain your situations with them. It has been done where people called in and renegotiated their bills and they end up with lower monthly payments. Do not be too proud or ashamed to make the call. If you can shave $20 off one bill, that’s a $20 you can save towards something else.
- Last but not least make more money– the first thing I would advice before trying side hustles, is to ask for a raise if it is an option. The worse is you get a no. It is the same as trying a side hustle that end up not working out. Either way, always find small means and ways to make money. It doesn’t have to be a constant job, it could be something that you do once in a while. While it is easy for me to say, try new hustles, it isn’t for others as I do not have children and I am no longer married, so my time is my own. It is sometimes much harder when you have a family who is depending on you.
If you can sacrifice the time, there are many things you an try:
sell babies old clothes
drive for uber/lyft
and the list goes on.
Loves believe me when I say I know how hard it is to save sometimes. I’ve lived it and now I see it with my friends who are living paycheck to paycheck or who are single moms struggling to make ends meet. It is never an easy road, but it can be a road that we trek together if we try.
Grab these printables!
Printable sheets to track debt and other expenses! Bonus saving challenge sheet included!