August 8, 2016

Tips for Saving Money

I absolutely love to do things. I love going to concerts, the zoo, museums, and I'm always looking for something new to try or see, especially living in a city as large as Chicago. Working part time, I don't always have the means to do these things. But, one of my New Years Resolutions was to save more money and be more financially responsible.

Saving money has always been difficult for me, but I've been doing a pretty great job lately, and I wanted to share my five tips for banking more money.

1. Banks
I have three banks that I use: one is an old Diet Pepsi stash can that I use for bills, the second is Harry Potter in Gringotts for my silver, and the third is a glass cupcake for pennies. I find it more difficult to spend physical money that I've already put away, and there's such a satisfying feeling when I put money in them.

2. Limit spending
This one is tricky, but I've figured out a good way to conquer spending too much money. In my bookmark tabs on my laptop, I have a folder for Things to Buy and I pick one each week (depending on my paycheck and bills) and I purchase it! That way, I'm accumulating the things that I want, it limits impulse buying, and I only purchase one thing at a time.

3. Keep your receipts
This works in the same way that food logs work where once you can see what you're spending money on and exactly how much you're spending on wants instead of necessities, you're less likely to spend it on those things. This has made me more conscious about spending so much money on food and has created motivation to save instead of spend.

4. Goals
I've found it difficult to save for one thing in particular. I've changed my goal to simply saving money; to have a bank account flexible enough where I could spend money on something large and not have it drain my savings. That goal has been the most motivating because instead of saving for one thing, only to be discouraged when you lose it all after a purchase, it gets discouraging. However, if you're saving simply to save, it's been more mentally motivating for me.

5. Bill calendar
I am such a 'planner' person. I write down my work schedule, my school schedule, and my bill due dates and keep them all in one place. That way, I see them each time I open my planner and I remember to schedule them, causing me to never miss a payment. Scheduling them depends on where you're paying them to. My credit cards take about three days to process, so I can schedule them on Wednesday, and they won't be taken out of my account until Friday. Also, I have most of them scheduled the Friday before the due date to make sure, regardless of the company, I pay them early/on time. For this, I also use a dry erase board to plan and budget my money for the week.

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