Financially, 2020 sucked for me and my family. It seemed as though every penny we made had to be spent on different things. Each week we would have to budget just to make sure we had money for gas and food and bills.
By the time Christmas rolled around, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. Since there was not a lot of money to spend, buying Christmas presents was almost out of the question which took away any Christmas spirit I had.
I was miserable.
If you look up different ways to save money, there are so many out there, but for someone who doesn’t have a large expendable income, there are a few that I have found work well for me.
Give Yourself An Allowance
I figured out how much money I would need to get from one paycheck to the next. I could survive on $20 a day so every paycheck I get, I pull $300 out of the account and put it in an envelope. This gives me a $20 buffer in case something comes up.
From what is left, bills are paid and $100 goes into savings. This leaves me very little in my checking account which means I know I don’t have money to spend on extra stuff.
Plastic Baggie Method
At the end of every day, whatever bills I have left, I split into different baggies. Now, what these Ziplock bags are for will change for everyone. For me, I have three. One is for Christmas so that I won’t have to worry about having money to buy presents. One is our emergency fund, or what I call our hurricane fund. Whenever there’s a bad storm and power goes down, in order to buy gas or groceries you have to pay in cash. This way, when that happens, we won’t be worried about having it on hand. The last one I have is for projects. We have a lot of things we want to get done around the house so this way we can save money to put towards those things.
Using cash on a daily basis means that at the end of every day, there’s always a handful of change jingling around the pocket of my purse. Before I go to bed, I dump those coins into a container. As of right now, I’m not sure if I will end up putting that money into my savings account at the end of the year, or put that towards projects around the house. Either way though, it will be extra money that I hadn’t counted on having.
These three ways of saving money won’t make me rich, but they will take the pressure off me. Not only that, but it will make me focus more on what is important and needed versus what is unnecessary and frivolous. By the end of the year, not only will my savings account have a little padding, but along the way the stress of not having enough will be lessened.
What savings plans do you use to help you pad your accounts? I’d love to hear about what works for you, or if you plan on trying one of the three ways I’m saving.