When it comes to money-saving tricks, we’re willing to try just about anything. If you’re in a savings rut, or just want to be more aggressive with what you put away, check out these three tried-and-true methods.
The $5 Bill Method
Just like its name suggests, the $5 bill method revolves around – you guessed it – $5 bills! The concept is simple: each time you come across a $5 bill, whether it’s given to you as change or as payment for something, save it. Get yourself a piggy bank or a regular jar, and stash away all of the $5 bills that come your way.
Don’t pay with cash very often? Try out this simple hack from Clark.com. Every time you pay with a credit or debit card, pretend you’re paying with $20 bills and calculate the change in your head. Then, put away the “fives” like you would with cash.
For example: if your meal is $11 and (in your head) you paid with a $20 bill, you’d receive one $5 bill and four singles. Keep track of your “fives” and transfer them to your savings account from time to time.
The 30-Day Rule
One way to save more money is to spend less, so at least one of our money-saving tricks had to tackle impulse control! One popular method for keeping spending in check is the “30-day rule.” So how does it work?
Every time you’re tempted to splurge – whether it’s on a high-priced product or on something you’re not entirely sure you need – stop yourself. Make a note of the item in your phone or in a notebook and let the 30 days commence. During those 30 days, weigh the pros and cons of making the purchase and determine whether it will add a necessary value to your life. If it passes the test, go ahead and buy it! If not, congrats! You just saved yourself some money.
The 52-Week Challenge
Of the money-saving tricks we’ve shared here, the 52-week challenge is definitely a long-term commitment. You start by saving $1.00 the first week, and then add one more dollar each week after that (i.e. $1.00 for Week 1, $2.00 for Week 2, $3 for Week 3, etc). Provided you hit each savings goal, you’ll have saved $1,378.00 by the end of the 52 weeks!
Nervous about stashing away $40+ per week toward the end of your year? There’s a hack for that! The Simple Dollar suggests printing out the payment chart – which features the week, the payment deposit, and savings balance – and crossing off the different deposit amounts in whichever order you save them. In theory, you could pay $1.00 for Week 1, $52.00 for Week 2, $2.00 for Week 3, and so on and so forth.
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