Start saving something today. It doesn't have
to be a large sum. Even on a tight budget, a small
amount adds up over time. Depending on the size
of your family, skipping a meal out each week
could result in a savings deposit of $160 per
||Treat saving as a bill.
Consider having the amount transferred automatically
from your checking account or paycheck. Pay your
account every month or every two weeks.
||Open a Christmas savings
club. You may be able to set up an automatic deposit
to come directly from your paycheck. You don't think
about spending the money you never see. When holidays
arrive, you'll have the funds to enjoy.
||Get an envelope, cookie
jar, coffee can or whatever you like and set aside
the same amount every week. The trick: Don't count
it, don't spend it!
||Empty your pockets --
or your purse -- at the end of the night. Put all
the change into a jar. Not only will you feel lighter,
but your spare change adds up a lot faster than
||When you leave the house
in the morning, don't carry anything smaller than
a $5 bill. When you get change, don't spend the
singles. At the end of the day, put any dollar bills
in your jar.
||You go to lunch and
tip the waitress 15 percent to 20 percent (ten if
you're a cheapskate). Put an equal amount aside
for yourself, and your "tips" will add
||Get "cash back"
from your debit card at the checkout counter by
rounding up to an even amount. Slip the small amount
-- $1, $2, $5 -- into your savings jar. You'll forget
about a buck here and there.
Just paid off a big debt such as a car loan or
child's tuition? Keep making the payments -- this
time to yourself.
||If you recently switched phone companies
or discovered a flat-rate plan that's saving you
money every month, put that cash aside in your savings
||Electric or water bill
lighter than you expected this month? Save the difference.
||Use those shopping membership
cards that print your "savings" at the
bottom of your receipt to help you save. Give the
savings back to yourself by slipping that money
in your savings jar.
||Getting a tax refund
next year? Either put the check directly in your
savings account or cash it and stash it.
||If you have the discipline
to use a credit card and pay off the bill every
month, use one that promises a cash reward and bank
||Give up cigarettes --
or even cut your habit by half -- and put that money
in the savings drawer. If you drop a pack-a-day
habit by half, you could easily bank well over $100
in a couple of months.
||Put a jar on top of
the washer and put in a quarter -- or two -- every
time you throw a load in the washer or dryer. Get
your finances in order while you clean.
||When you return your
movies on time, pay yourself the late fee. If you
rent a movie or two every week, you'll be surprised
how quickly that $1.50 to $4 can add up.
||Trying to lose weight
this season? Each time you go without dessert --
or that mid-afternoon candy bar break -- put the
cost of your forgone goody into your savings jar.
||Pop a quarter in a jar
by the phone every time you dial a long-distance
number. Bonus money: Shop your calling plan and
find a better deal. Put the savings into the phone
jar each month, too.
||Try investing your savings
in a certificate of deposit or an interest-bearing
money market and watch it grow!
||Buy U.S. savings bonds.
Bonds yield more interest than the money earns in
||Involve the whole family
in saving. Plan a treat for everyone when you reach
the savings goal. Make it something everyone will
look forward to, but inexpensive, such as a day
at the zoo, museum or beach.
-- Updated: April 29,