Have you or a loved one lost a pension or seen your 401k take a big hit? In today’s economy you could still lose either one, as well as your job. With that in mind, I want to share three things that anyone, whether they currently have a job or not, can do – starting today – to save money.
Cut The Spending Out
Everyone can set aside something. If not ten percent of your income how about $5, $10, $20? We all can make one less trip to McDonald’s or buy one less cup of Starbucks coffee. Let’s use $5 to start. We can all do that! Take that $5, stick it in an envelope, and tuck it away in a dresser drawer. Your money drawer. Then forget about it. It doesn’t exist anymore, except in your future. We will touch more on the envelope system when budgeting in a future article.
Set Savings Goals
Within 7 days, put another $5 in your envelope. Then another one the following week, the week after, and so on. After a while, you’ll notice your “pile” of money is getting a little bigger. You’ll be surprised how fast it adds up when you leave it alone. When you see this you will likely feel encouraged and begin to realize that, hey, maybe it is possible to have some control over my future. It may also inspire you to start saving more as well.
Change Jugs Add Up
Turn your pennies, nickels and dimes into dollars. Many financial advisors recommend you save your spare change, and I will too. I have a glass jug I’ve been putting pennies, nickels and dimes in for 5 years now. Like the $5 in the envelope mentioned above it doesn’t look like much at first, and it isn’t; but as time goes by it adds up, especially if you add quarters and the occasional dollar bill too.
I like seeing how full my change jug is now and never touch it regardless of the ups and downs of my financial situation. It’ll have to be a pretty major emergency for me to touch it. Be it a glass jug, coffee can, or any other kind of container, set it in the corner and start throwing your change in. If you have kids, make it a family project and let them add to it and share in the fun as it fills up.
Which step are you going to start with? Whichever it is, take that first step today to better secure your future. Let us know which one of these you started with, along with any other tips you may have. Good luck to all!