Financial Fitness: Small Saving Secrets

by Penni L Smith on January 17, 2013

MoneybagsWhether you just can’t implement anything significant at this time, or want a fun way to supplement your savings, there are small ways to save that develop the savings habit and can actually lead to big things.

Last time, I talked about setting goals and having a plan for savings, and ways to make it more achievable. That was primarily addressing significant savings, either a set percentage of your income, or a consistent, likely substantial, dollar amount. Even starting small, that could be a lot to ask. So do some little saving exercises first.

Already saving? Save for something special or just to have other funds available with small savings.

Last year (I think), Reader’s Digest had a savings suggestion: save your $5 bills. I decided to try this. I never spent any $5 bill I received in change. When I got home, I emptied them out of my wallet, putting them out of sight in an accessible bin.

I don’t know exactly when I began this, but I think it was less than a year ago. In that time, I have accumulated close to $800.

This has been effortless. Most days, I wouldn’t have any $5 bills to set aside, and when I did, it was only one or two. Because I do keep a bit of cash in my wallet, I never missed the bills I would pull out.

But I enjoyed those moments, every couple months, when I would tie them up in $50 bundles and put them into another bin.

For me, it was peace of mind. I knew that I had funds stashed if I hadn’t planned right and ended up short at the end of the month. I knew I had funds for a small emergency, even if my other savings weren’t available. I knew I had funds so that if things got really dire, I’d have some options.

And I knew, after a while, that I had the funds to buy myself the goodie I’m giving myself when I meet a special goal.

Fun. And easy.

Even $5 too much? Do it with $1 bills. Or don’t do as I did and refuse to spend them–spend them if you have them and it’s appropriate, but save those that make it home.

You can also save change, though that is much harder to deal with when you want to spend it. The coin redeeming machines are great, but the fee is steep.

Think of something creative you can do. Maybe if you pass up a treat (such as a cup of coffee), you save what you would have spent. Maybe you fine yourself for habits you want to break ($5 if you skip exercise that day, for example, or $1 for a critical comment). There are endless possibilities.

And the great thing is, many people have squirreled substantial amounts through long term dedication to these little tricks. When you get the payback of watching the pile of bills accumulate in the bin, it makes you want to do more. Finding you can save a little increases your willingness to commit a bit more.

A bank may not be fun, but a piggy bank is. What small saving secrets do you use?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: