Your piggy-bank may look different, but if you follow these steps, you will have $6468 (or more) in your account after 12 months. I know this, because I’ve done it, and as a former Executive and Financial Investment Advisor, I have taught thousands of people to do the exact same thing.
It’s not as hard as you might think either. By not following these steps, I promise you one thing, nothing in your life will change. You will be in the exact same spot as you are now (or even worse). If you follow these steps, I promise you something else. Your life will change, your will be living a stress free life. You’ll become more social, more confident, and as a result things will begin to fall into place.
What’s more… the second you start to see your money grow, you will never forget that feeling AND you will never want to feel any other way!
The 10 Rules For Saving Money – That Truly Don’t Suck!
- Act Like a Bill Collector
- List All The Items You Buy Frequently
- Empty Your Pockets
- Review Your Cards
- Shop AROUND!
- Check Your Accounts
- Plan Ahead
- See the Money
- Take Advantage
- Watch The Money
Dude Tip: If your company offers a 401k… you need to maximize this tool. Planning for retirement surely doesn’t seem like a fun idea, especially if you are young, but look at it from this perspective: Your 401k money goes in PRE-TAX.
Don’t be scared! If you fall into a real financial hardship, and you can provide some form of evidence (loss of job, need WICS or government assistance) you can take the money without penalty (you can also push the taxes off until the end of the year. You don’t need to take it off the top. **Just be cognizant that you may have to pay at the point you file).
Putting money in Pre-Tax means you are you are saving money BEFORE you pay taxes on it AND you are reducing your income tax at the same time. Therefore, you pay LESS taxes TOO! Are ya gettin’ the point, seeing the picture, I mean… is it making CENTS?
(In other words, when you put in $100 into your 401k, your check is not decreased by $100. It is decreased by a variable (maybe its $80 depending on your tax bracket). So you get that extra $20 in your account. That is really cool. Take advantage. Also, if your employer matches… boom bonus cash.
**The following numbers are based off of a 5 day workweek**
Act Like a Bill Collector!
You pay your bills every month, but you are forgetting the one that matters the most, YOURSELF! If you are not paying yourself FIRST, you are missing something that every single successful saver is doing!
As soon as you get your check, transfer x dollars into your savings account. Oh, by the way you need to open a separate savings account for this.
(Dude Tip: Pro Savers have multiple savings accounts. At the minimum, 1. Emergency Fund Account 2. Savings)
Start with $25 per check (assuming you are paid bimonthly) then work you way up to $100. Make this as much as you can, because guess what kid, you are worth every cent of that money!
- Monthly Total: $50
- Yearly Total: $600
List Everything You Buy Often
Make a list of everything you buy daily – weekly. If you buy a product once a month or less, you can leave it off the list. For one week, if you can manage, take your time writing this list down. You can find items here that are unnecessary or that you can easily substitute for cheaper items.
My list looks a little like this:
- Lunch w/drink
- Energy Drink
- Grocery List of Items (Water, Soup, Cold Cuts, Fruits, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, etc…)
- Vending Machine Trip
Now it is clear, I get a lot of drinks and I am buying food twice every day. Here’s another way to look at the list
- Coffee $5
- Breakfast $5
- Lunch and Drink $10
- Energy Drink $4
- Groceries $150 4 times a month (this is just an example)
- Vending Machine or Convenience Store Trip $2
From here I can make some Brilliantly easy decisions. I make full use of any loyalty cards for these items and start saving right away!
Coffee: Starbucks is way too much $ for coffee. I substituted Starbucks for McDonald’s and 7-11 Coffee. McD’s is $1 any size and 7-11 is $2.16 for 16oz. 7-11 has weeks where coffee is free all week. They do coffee specials throughout the year. If you pay attention to these things you will find them everywhere. Also, I try to skip once in a while and pocket the full amount. Either way Pocket the difference, put into savings. (+$3-4 every day)
Breakfast: Eating breakfast is not always necessary, and there are some interesting studies showing breakfast can raise your blood pressure quickly in the morning. Also, eating breakfast makes you hungrier and you end up eating more calories throughout the day. So, I can save money, either by making something quick in the morning before work, or crossing it off the list altogether. (+$5 every day)
Lunch w/drink: I may need lunch, but I don’t need a drink. I can grab water or bring something from home.
For lunch 2x a week I brink lunch to work. Monday – because it is easier to prep on Sunday, and the day after I made dinner. Cook a little extra and put the leftovers into a container ready to go. A drink is about $2.50. Pocket (+$25-40 every week)
Energy Drink: Not necessary. I can buy a pack at Walmart or just skip. Not a healthy choice as it were. Boom $4 a day straight into savings.
Groceries: Can you substitute anything on your grocery list? I buy a lot of water, it makes a difference to buy from one store vs. another. I pay .90 cents for a gallon of water at King Kullen, but $1.30 at a Stop n Shop. I buy about 10 gallons a week, saving $4 a week. (+$4 every week)
GroceryIQ is a great app to help you avoid impulse purchases!
Vending Machines / Convenient Store Trip: Skip this altogether. Make a Brilliant decision and bring something to work so you don’t have to make that trip. (+$2 every day)
Here’s how these small adjustments add up:
- Weekly (minimum) Total: $89
- Monthly Total: $356
- Yearly Total: $4,272
Empty Your Pockets
For everything you purchase, you likely get some change back. Don’t spend it, keep it in your pocket or purse until you get home them empty your pockets into a savings jar. At the end of every month, take the money to the bank and deposit it directly into your savings account. (+$10 every month)
- Monthly Total: $10
- Yearly Total: $120
Review Your Credit Cards
Check which credit cards have the highest interest rates. Pay more on these cards. This is the process of paying your cards off and getting out of debt. If you are burdened by your credit cards, you pay the minimum on the lower rates and put everything into paying off the highest interest rate. When you are done with that one, continue to make the same payments, but pay down the next one and so forth. When you are done… cut them up.
Then… use the monthly payments you were paying your cards off with, and put this into your savings account. Consider how well off you will be using this method. It WORKS!
- Monthly Total: (Varies) – Most people are paying an additional $25-200 in high interest rates every month.
- Yearly Total: $300
Shop Around (and Use Coupons)
Then next time you buy something, make sure you have already shopped around for it in several other places. I have found such a variation in sales prices using this method. Check online of course, but make sure it is not something you absolutely need brand new. If you can get it used in great condition for half the price, do it!
Then… put the difference into your savings account. Remember, if you weren’t doing this, you would be spending the money. So save it instead!
- Yearly Total: Varies
Check Your Accounts
If you are not doing this already, you need to start right away. I don’t check my credit cards enough, I know this because almost every time I do, I find an issue. Either I find a subscription for something I no longer use, or my payments are way too high for some of the items I do use.
Cell Phone bill is a big one. Make a Brilliant phone plan decision. Right now, the major companies Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, are fighting to gain more consumers. You can make a change in your existing plan, or switch companies. Some companies will pay off your phone just to switch you.
Verizon has a data option you can manage on your account via the website. If you run out of data, it will automatically reduce your bandwidth. You can still use your data, but it won’t be as quick. Honestly, there isn’t a huge difference in service after that, unless you are trying to watch a video. But you have to set the option.
Go through your accounts to see where you can make Brilliant decisions!
- Monthly Total: Varies – Most people save $10 a month from this.
- Yearly Total: $120
I can’t tell you the amount of stress I no longer carry around with me just because I planned in advance.
If you make plans, you can save yourself a huge headache. For me, I need to plan for the month of March. Everyone I know has a birthday in March. A few months ahead of time, I save a little extra money so I can go to dinner.
As soon as I find out my friends are expecting a child, I start putting money away for the shower, gifts, christening, etc…
I don’t want to miss out on these events, and neither do you, so plan for it in advance. This way, when the time comes you have the money. I can’t tell you the amount of stress I no longer carry around with me just because I planned in advance.
See The Money
If you use cash, you will see the money leave your hands and your wallet or purse. This is a powerful method. In NY, if you don’t have cash, you might not be able to pay for things at some places. NY is so expensive, store owners choose not to accept credit cards because they are trying to avoid taxes and paying for the merchant account that comes along with having the credit card option.
I learned to carry around some cash, but this also kept me closer to my money. I found I had more money in my account at the end of the week, because I used cash and made Brilliant decisions. It is so easy to swipe the card. When was the last time you swiped before you saw how much something cost? Using See The Money method, you will keep an eye on what is in your wallet or purse. This will force you to make a Brilliant decision.
Try it, just go to the atm once a week and take out spending cash. Then… leave your credit cards HOME!
- Weekly Total: Varies – Most people save an extra $20 a week
- Monthly Total: $80
- Yearly Total: $960
Are you taking advantage of the deals around you? When I go to 7-11 now for my coffee, I use the 7-11 app so that my 7th coffee is free! (Then I make a Brilliant decision to add the money I would’ve spent into my savings account, of course!)
Here’s another example, yes I eat out from time to time. Applebee’s occasionally offers a gift card deal. Buy a gift card, and get a gift card bonus for yourself. I buy the gift card for myself AND I get the extra gift card. Since I go there once in a while with the family, I just saved us some money. 🙂
Take advantage of the loyalty offers out there. If there is a deal, don’t be shy take advantage of it!
- Weekly Total: Varies – Most people save $2-5 a week
- Monthly Total: $8
- Yearly Total: $96
Watch The Money!
You’ve worked hard, one of the best things you can do to save money is to WATCH THE MONEY grow! I can’t emphasize this enough. When you start to see something significant in your account EVERYTHING in your life will begin to change. I am 100% serious. Everything will change. You will drop stress, stand straighter, feel more confident, and you will continue to make Brilliant decisions.
The greatest thing about this is that it won’t take you that long either. If you are working towards paying off credit cards set a goal. Plan out a year that you will rid yourself of a card or two. If you need to consolidate, do it. Do whatever you need to get yourself out of debt. If you are not that far in debt, you can make this happen very quickly.
It will feel awkward in the beginning, but you will see. The second you make that deposit into your savings account, you will be a different person. Others will begin to notice the difference as well. I have heard people’s lives changing because they are now more in control of their finances. They feel less stressed at work, do better, get higher raises, promotions, etc…
Life just works this way. When you save money, you make more money.
If you follow all of these steps, here is what you will find in your savings account:
- Monthly Total: $539
- Yearly Total: $6,468
The idea is to start small and work your way to something substantial. Every little, somewhat insignificant seeming few dollars that fall out of your pocket add up. When you use these methods in multiple areas, these little savings start to add quickly. Start with the paying yourself and the list. From there you can truly see the power of your efforts and things will begin to change in your life as a result.
- Now It’s Your Turn…
Have you managed to save money on a tight budget using these or other methods? Have you managed to crawl out from under debt while living on a tight budget? Share your experience with others!
Save-On My Dudes!
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