Most of the people I live around and work with have little or no money saved, besides their pension, SSI, or 401k plan provided by their jobs or union. You have to ask yourself how come I can let someone else save my money but I can't or won't do it for myself? It is very simple discipline. Plus they TAKE the money before you can even touch it. Today with what has been happening in the world we finally see how bad our financial situation is. 80% of the people were living check to check and they were ok with it as long as they were going to be taken care of after they retire. Most people don't make it to the retirement age so what happens then? Well, we just found out March 2020. So many people didn't have enough saved up to last a month or two. If the government didn't step in 80% of Americans would have gone hungry or at least homeless. So you worked for 5, 10, 20, or even 40 years of your life and didn't have anything to fall back on SMH. Now its time to make a change take matters in your own hands. I will break down 6 easy ways I was able to save money, 3 months later and my bills are still paid. I thank me for thinking ahead.
Before we get into it I want to tell you guys three reasons why I save the way I do. Back In the 90s', I was driving for a company making $200 to $300 a day not paying attention I was spending the money as fast as I made it. I was paying about $50. a day in gas, My helpers were another $75 and not to mention breakfast and lunch I was buying for the crew. Then I still had to pay taxes on the money I made. Pay all my bills; take care of my children and I loved to shop. With all them expenses each day I was really only left with maybe $50. a day. This was the day that caused my change; I remember it was a Thursday I was working down by the world trade center the car blew a tire. uptown to get a used tire was around $25- $30 dollars downtown they charged my $135. This ate up all the spending cash I had, I still had to get gas on Friday before I got my check, and I didn't get anything to eat yet. I was messed up then I bumped into my friend Walt Dogz he was another driver from the company. I told him how I was broke and hungry I just needed to make it until tomorrow. I forget to mention my two helpers were broke as well. He said he had a rough morning too. He dug in his pocket and pulled out $10. gave me five. I was so happy I ran to the food cart and purchased six butter rolls for me and my two helpers and we split a 2-liter soda. Walt was lucky to get a $20.00 tip at his next drop off. We both said to each other this will never happen again. I am proud to say it never ever happen again I make sure I have more than enough money when I leave out my house.
Another time was my children and I was hanging with a friend and his three kids. We took our children to an amusement park. We were having a great time a few hours went by and when the ice cream cart came by he told his children no, when they got thirsty he made them split a bottle of water. They were able to get on some of the cheaper rides and he didn't let them play any of the games. When my kids said they were hungry, He told his children to wait until they get home. I pulled him to the side and asked why are you being so hard on them. He explained he didn't realize how expensive this place was going to be and he only had enough to make it back and forth to work next week. Just then It was like we hit a reset button and started the day over. I took them all to eat including him, then I paid for everyone's rides and his children got to play all the games they wanted. Of course, they got ice cream. The total for that day was only around $300. it was a lot back then but for the children it was priceless. I said I will make sure I will never be put in that type of position where my kids could not experience all the key parts of a place that I have planned to take them from lack of money.
The third one was the one that stuck the hardest. I was sitting in my lawyer's office filing for bankruptcy and after feeling like a failure I mean it felt like the lowest point in my life. I loss my business, my life's saving about to lose my apartment. My lawyer said to me "look at it like this at least you have a chance to start over and I know you will bounce back." The bankruptcy is three parts one you file the paperwork, two you have to take a course on finances, and then you have to appear in court so the judge can dismiss your case this takes about 6 months to a year. It was sitting in the class that had me bothered someone telling me how I did this to myself its all my fault, I should have six months of my salary saved up. Who was he talking to? No one can have six months' salary saved up especially not living in New York. After I got over my pride and ego I realize he was correct in what he was saying, but he was wrong about one thing. You don't need six months saved you need at least a year. If you were to save 10% of your salary in 10 years you will have reached your goal.
Now that I took up too much of your time let's jump in the "6 Easy Ways I Used To Save My Money." (Not all of these things was done at the same time in my life, How much money do you think I have lol.)
1. Never Spend Your Loose Change
One trick I used that I found to be helpful. I never spend any of my loose change when I shop. The first thing I do when I walk in my house is empty my pockets. I put the loose change in a water bottle and keep doing it until it gets full. You wouldn't believe how much money was in my jar when I took it to the bank. Let's just say some people can make a mortgage payment or a rent or two with the amount I saved in one year.
2. Save Only One Dollar A Day
This is the most efficient because everyone can do it. You should get you and your children in this habit and watch how their lives will improve. The dollar is the underline factor what you are doing is building an autopilot structure in their future. It's the same way as them brushing their teeth and taking a shower. You start them on a routine that will last a lifetime. Do you feel a dollar is not enough to waste your time with? Think about your age and how much life savings you have now. If you were 10 you would have $3,640., 20 - $7,280., 30 - $10,920., 40 - $14,560. Now think about how much you have in your bank account right this second. We not even getting to the part about putting this money in a high yield saving account and the magic of compound interest. You might have doubled or tripled that amount. Remember it is never too late to start to drop that dollar in your stash today. Plus help your children by starting them from the day they are born until they are old enough to take over.
My best friend Amir Cotman taught me about this one. He said he saves his money with the calendar month. So for example, if today is the 1st, you put a $1 up. When the day hits let's say the 16th you put $16 up and so on and so on. This is not an easy way to save money unless you have a job where you get paid with tips or a day worker. I'm not saying it can't be done it just makes sense to save other ways if you get paid every other week or once a month. Add it up and see how much money you can save in just one month it is a shockingly great amount.
4. Collect Dollar Coins
Collecting dollar coins became like a game to me. Whenever I'm out shopping or making a withdrawal from the bank I always ask do they have any dollar coins. My goal is to get at least $10 a day no more than $20. You don't want to get too crazy with it. Just think if you played this game for a month you have saved $300.00. If you managed to do it for a year that's $3640.00 minimum. We played this type of game looking for pokemon, why not for finding coins? Trust me your children would love playing the game and maybe make it a contest in the household who found the most by the end of the week. Gets some type of reward making saving money fun.
5. Match My Spending
Growing up it was one saying I heard but never really understood; until I was much older. If you can't buy it twice you can't afford it. Then I got older and realize they didn't just mean small purchases but large ones as well. I don't have a ton of money yet. So for now I only do it with my smaller purchases. When I buy something I take the same amount and put it in an investment account. Did you know you can buy a stock for as little as .20 cents? Yes, you can own a piece of a company for less than the cost of candy or a bag of chips. So what this does is make you more mindful of your spending. Now if I want to buy a pair of sneakers I will buy them and invest the same amount into my savings account or the stock market. Why would you be scared to lose the money in the stock market, you already loss the money on the purchase of the item. At least this way the stock or high yield savings account could make you more money. Try this for one week or one month and watch how much you were able to save. Keep in mind it will show you how much you just spent. The great part is if your savings go down that only means your spending went down as well.
6. Secured Loans
This type of saving is for all the responsible people lacking discipline. If funny how we never have enough money to save but manage to pay all our bills. This just solved your problem. Go to any bank that offers secured loans. A secured loan is when you put your money in the bank and borrow against it. The example you just got paid let's say $1000.00 instead of running to go pay all your bills and being left with little or nothing; go open the account. Tell the customer service rep. you want to open the account and stretch the payment as long as possible. In most cases this 60 months (5 years.) The payment will be something like $21 a month. After the account is open they will hand you a check or the cash back that same day or within 24hrs. Meaning you can still take that same money and pay your bills without them being late. Now you owe the bank $1000.00 the best part is once you pay them off they release your initial $1000.00 you just save money. The reason you saved it is because now it's in the form of a bill. Yes, you can pay it off faster you don't have to wait for the five years to get it. If you pay it off in three months you can pick up your money in three months depends on you. There are some acceptions. Some banks make you open a cd tell them you want the cd for only a year, but the loans still five years. Some people will tell you the cd and loan has to be the same time frame. This is not true, let them know you understand that if the loan is not paid off in the year the cd we automatically renew. Even if you can make the monthly payment of the one year loan still request the longest term. This way you keep your options open and don't feel the pressure of a high bill. You can also take that same $1000. and open two or three accounts with different banks and save $3000.00. The best part, it is 100% legal so don't feel intimidated. Now there a price to saving this way it is called interest. The interest is not as bad as not having money saved in the long run. Remember why you are doing this in the first place because you having a hard time-saving. The minimum to open one of these accounts starts at $500. and goes as high as you can afford. My top three banks to do this is Apple Bank, Citibank, and Wells Fargo. TD has a minimum of $4000.00 to open unless they change it and HSBC used to do them I don't know if they stopped. You should give it a try what do you have to lose besides time.
The best advice I can give is to remind people it's not how much you make, it's how to invest what you keep. If I'm going out I take only the amount of cash I know I will need, and no extra. I make a list then I put down where I'm going what stops I'm going to make and how long I will be out. Before I walk out my door for long periods, I make sure to eat and drink so I won't spend extra when I'm out and about. Yes, I do have a safety net just in case. I carry a credit card with me for unexpected surprises. You notice I said credit and not debit. I carry the credit because I hate to go in debt so before I make a purchase I ask myself do I really need this?