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6 Ways to Save When You Think You Can't Afford To

Thursday, October 17, 2019

By Barbara Pronin You may worry about not having much of a nest egg, but if you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard to think about saving. Yet, say consumer finance advisors, getting a handle on where your money is going can help you in your efforts to save.

From budget living website Wise Bread, here are six ways to start:

Track your spending. You may think you know where your money is going, but you may be in for a surprise. For one month, keep an accurate account of every expenditure you make, from bills paid to purchases made, right down to your morning coffees. Once you see where your dollars are going, you should be able to make a few adjustments that will help you bank a few bucks out of every paycheck.

Set up direct deposit savings. Having 10 percent (or more) of every paycheck deposited into savings before you ever see the money is a sneaky but effective strategy. Chances are, you won’t miss it, especially once the tracking you’ve done has helped you pare your spending, and you’ll love watching the savings add up. 

Take a no-spend challenge. Make the decision to buy nothing but necessities for an entire month. That means ditching the mall, digging deep into your freezer and pantry for meal supplies, and staying away from online shopping sites that tease and tempt you to spend. If you can do that, you should end the month with more dollars you can add to your savings.

Examine your debt. If you have credit card debt, cutting your monthly spend may leave you with more to help pay down debt. And if you’re paying interest on that debt, shop around to see if you can transfer it to a new account that offers zero interest for at least a year. 

Save your nickels (and dimes and quarters). Emptying your pocket change into a piggy bank each evening is a habit well worth making. The change grows quickly into dollars you can empty directly into savings.

Shop for new quotes. Can you save money on your auto insurance or cable bill?  Perhaps, but you’ll never know until you make a few phone calls to find out.

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