There are many things in life that are dependent on your income. But one thing that isn’t is your ability to save. Everyone can save money. You are never too poor to put a little something away. It may not be a lot of money, but even small amounts will add up. There are several things you can do that will make a difference over time.
- Save your change. The power of change is often understated. I first learned about the power of change while working at a coffee shop. Customers often left their change as a tip. Fifty cents here, a quarter there, maybe the occasional dollar bill. It doesn’t sound like much, but at the end of a 6-hour shift, my co-workers and I often had over $200 to split among us. Which worked out to about $40 each. My second lesson was when I met my husband. He has a 5-gallon water bottle that he puts his change into. The first time we emptied it we had enough money to pay for our honeymoon. He is currently saving up for a smart TV. I do not doubt that one day we will have a new TV paid for entirely by a change.
- Set up direct deposit. There is no easier way to save than just making it automatic. The most painless way to do this is to set it up right after you get a raise. But that doesn’t mean to wait until your next raise. Even $5 or $10 a paycheck will add up over time. Start small and increase it little by little.
- Claim zero. If you can’t stand having money in an account staring at you in the face, then let the government hold it for you. I know you will be losing some interest, but we aren’t talking about a lot of money here. If you put $100 every two weeks into a savings account earning 2%, you will only earn $27 a year. So, if temptation often gets the best of you saving up for a big tax return is an option worth considering.
- Tuck away a windfall. Every once in a while, a lump sum comes along. Whether it be a bonus from work, a birthday gift, or ahem — a tax return. Take that money straight to the bank. This is something I’ve pretty much always done. So much so that when my dad gave me money as a high school graduation gift, he ordered me to spend half of it.
- Pay extra towards your debt. I consider paying down debt as a form of savings because you’re using the money to make your future easier. So again, if you have trouble not spending your savings then paying down debt is a good thing to do with your extra money. I would rather see you paying down debt than spending aimlessly.
If you do some (or all) of these things, you will see your savings grow over time. A lot of small changes add up to significant changes over time. You’ll never regret it!