Would you like to have an extra $500 by the beginning of next year? Who wouldn’t?
You have the power to generate that extra $500 without lottery tickets, garage sales, or finding $100 bills on the street. Take the MoneyTips Challenge and use the next 100 days to find simple ways you can save small amounts of money every day.
Take the cash you saved and put it in a safe place – preferably in your savings account and not under your mattress or in your left sock – and total up your gains from 100 days of savings. All you have to do is average $5 per day in savings over the last 100 days of the year and you will meet the challenge goal of $500.
On September 22, there will be 100 days left in the year. Here are some possibilities to kickstart your quest to save $500.
- Review Your Budget – Take a closer look at your budget for items that are overpriced or underutilized. Could you save money by buying some sale items in bulk and storing/freezing them? This is especially true for meat with the recently skyrocketing costs.
Are you paying for a cable TV package or a cell phone bill that is more than you need or use? (Consider firing your cable or satellite company and shifting to lower-cost options like Netflix or AppleTV.) Any monthly expense should be reviewed to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway… if you do not have a budget, make one
- Log Impulse Expenses – Carry a small notepad in your pocket so you can log all the impulse daily expenses that you forget about – a soda here, a cup of coffee there, a mid-day candy bar, and the like. You will be amazed at how easy it is to blow significant amounts of cash on these simple items and how easy it is to bypass one or two of them with the proper mindset and a goal.
After logging these expenses for a while, it will become second nature to consider whether you really want or need the item before you buy it. Your impulse buys will drop as a result.
- Take Small Opportunities – Look at everyday purchases as a chance to save money. For example, if you dine out a lot, drink water instead of another beverage. If you must drink soda, coffee, or beer, drink it at home where it is cheaper. If you enjoy Starbucks coffee, buy it by the pound at home instead of buying it by the cup.
Do you make a grocery list and check for sales and coupons? Sticking to a list and using only relevant coupons help you to save money and avoid buying unplanned items. If you’re not a coupon clipper, check out your favorite grocery store’s rewards plan. Many offer savings, and additional coupons that you can get online that get loaded to your account without ever picking up a pair of scissors.
These are just a few things to consider – we are sure that you have many others that are specific to your life situation.
Look at the total benefits of the MoneyTips Challenge. You will have an extra $500 in your pocket (or preferably in the bank, as having $500 in your pocket on New Year’s Eve can be dangerous), while gaining greater awareness of — and control over — your personal spending. What’s more, you will have a readymade New Year’s Resolution – to continue the good spending habits you have picked up. You can pay off the holiday credit card bills early.
Finally, you have picked up the mindset and skills to find even more ways to save in the coming year. Combine that with the optimism of a fresh new year and you are ready for an outstanding 2015. Join us in the challenge!