How to Save Money When You Feel Broke
Here’s a surprising fact for you . . . 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their saving account. Yes, more than half of all Americans have less than $1,000 put aside for emergencies or future planning. When we think about that, it seems that many of us are dangerously close to being “broke.”
If you can relate, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are a few things that will help you beat the odds and find more money for your savings account.
Do you have a habit of signing up for subscriptions that you don’t have to pay for in advance? Online and credit card payments make it easy to forget how much you’re spending on the little things. $7 here, $10 there, you don’t think it’s much until you add it all up.
Give your bank statements an in-depth review and write down all the little charges you find each month for subscriptions and memberships. You’ll be surprised to discover how much you’re really spending. Do you really need all of these subscriptions? For instance, if you subscribe to Pandora, Google Play and Spotify, eliminate two of those services; one is enough.
And if you don’t use it, cancel it. Then take all the money you’re saving each month and put it into your savings account.
- Sell Your Junk and/or Get a Part-Time Job
There’s no shame in working a little more to bring in extra cash. Look for a part-time job in a retail store, as a dog walker, or start your own online business as a virtual assistant. Get creative, there are a ton of ideas for making extra money.
Clean out your closets, attic and garage then sell all the clothes, furniture, electronics, or toys that you no longer need.
Take any extra money you earn and deposit it into your savings account. If you find several ways to bring in a little extra, you’ll be amazed at how fast your fund grows.
- Divide Your Money Up
If you keep your money in just one account, it’s time to think about dividing it up. A checking account is perfect for basic transactions but you should have a separate savings account for things like travel, fun money and emergency savings. It will keep you from overspending from the account you use to pay bills. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything to deposit in your savings account yet, just open one so you have a place to start saving.
If you already have a savings account but you’re not making regular deposits, figure out why you’re having a difficult time saving. If your savings is linked to your checking and you can easily use it for overdrafts, it’s too easy to spend. Instead, unlink your accounts. This will make it easier to save and you will be less tempted to spend on impulse purchases.
- Baby Steps
Plan at least one no spend day every week. It doesn’t have to be the same day every week, look at your schedule and figure out what will be the best day for you. Then, don’t spend any money for the entire day on anything. No coffee, no drive-thru, eating only what you already have at home, and packing lunch. But keep track of what you would have spent and put the money into your savings account.
Look for areas where you tend to impulse buy. Maybe it’s at the grocery store or when you’re shopping online. Whatever your weakness, be harsh and cut back. The money you stop spending on impulse purchases can go right into your savings.