You know about brewing coffee at home and bringing a sack lunch to work. Still, you’re looking for other ways to save money. You want money-saving strategies that aren’t obvious, but will help you to build funds consistently.
We tapped a few experts in the field of personal finance to find you the best saving money strategies, which can help you to get your new financial year off to a cracking start.
1. Save to Splurge
Certified Financial Planner Christopher V. Kimball puts a new twist on old ideas. He urges people to earmark a certain portion of their weekly income for a regular savings account. They should offset this money by forgoing unnecessary expenses like the soda machine or grande lattes.
The difference between this strategy and others? Kimball suggests that once the fund reaches a certain amount (say, $1500), you then take 15 percent of what you’ve saved and blow it on something totally frivolous. The rest gets dumped into a long-term savings or investment instrument, like a certificate of deposit.
This allows you the best of both worlds: Spending money on things that you want while planning for your financial future. “Just having that little incentive of guilt-free spending makes a big difference in people’s attitudes about saving,” he says.
2. Equate Spending with Fewer Golden Years
Ryan Ferrell, a Senior Manager at Scientific Communications, believes people think about the money they spend all the wrong way. “Don’t think about prices, nor how many hours it takes for you to earn that money, but how many months of retirement you sacrifice,” he says.
For example, if you go on a $500 spending spree in your 20s, that’s going to take between one and three months out of your retirement expenses over the long-term. While some people might be bad at visualizing delayed gratification, thinking of an additional month (or three) that you’ll have to work can make things crystal clear. This is a great way to reign in the impulse to cheat yourself out of retirement under the guise of treating yourself today.
3. Make Stand-Alone Purchases
4. Keep The Change
Hank Coleman, a financial planner and freelance writer, offers a very simple piece of advice that will have you saving money without even realizing it: Don’t spend your pocket change. “The trick to saving money is to do it without even realizing that you are saving,” he says.
Make all your purchases with folding money and you’ll be able to save a decent chunk of change over the course of a year just by holding onto your change. “I usually empty my pockets into a jar that sits on top of my dresser,” says Coleman. You can also apply this to your laundry — take everything left from that roll of quarters and throw it into the dresser jar.
5. Private Matching Donation Fund
Matching donations are all the rage at Fortune 500 companies looking to incentivize giving. They can also be a way for you to save money yourself, says Coleman. When he goes to the supermarket, he looks at how much he’s saved because of his loyalty card, the common way that grocery stores have built-in savings for regular customers. He then matches what he saves dollar-for-dollar in a savings account earmarked for just such a purchase.
Since the money you save at the grocery store is basically “found” money anyway, you’d be better off putting it to good use in your savings rather than spending it on other things.
Make 2013 Your Year
People are always making saving money one of their New Year’s resolutions, but it often falls by the wayside along with quitting smoking and losing weight. However, if you use these simple tips, you can make dollars and cents add up quickly and make noticeable savings without tightening your belt too much.