My Favorite Ways to Save Money Effortlessly
When we think of saving money, we often think of cutting the cost of everything we buy, or putting money aside from every paycheck. Sometimes these seem like daunting tasks and not very fun, even though these are important things that everyone should do regularly. But, there are also a few ways to save or make money that don’t take much effort at all. (And in my opinion, they’re actually fun to do!) These are my favorite ways to save money without feeling like I am doing much of anything.
- Start using a coin jar – I have always kept my change in this funky glass bottle. It was easier to fill up when I was a waitress and kept all of the change I got from tips. Now it takes a little longer since I don’t often use cash. When the bottle is full, I bring it into a Credit Union branch and use the coin counting machine (so convenient!). Usually I’ll have between $80 and $100 in change. I used to just buy something I wanted, like a new pair of sneakers or go get a manicure and pedicure with the money. I realized that just because I filled the jar to the brim, it didn’t mean I had to spend it right after. Now I like to bring my change in and deposit it into my savings account. There’s nothing better than an easy $100 boost to your savings every couple of months!
- Save your $5 bills – My sisters, my mom, and I all do this for the entire year. We start on January 1st and don’t open the boxes up until the end of December. Any $5 bill that we come across, we save. I use a shoebox and a lot of duct tape to make sure I don’t get tempted to open it. You forget how many fives went into the box, and sometimes have more than you think. It turns into a habit after a month or so, and it’s a fun surprise at the end of the year to see how much you saved. Every year that I’ve done this, I’ve saved at least $600, but last year I had over $1000!
- Take advantage of your cash back rewards – I like to scope out my offers for my debit or credit cards every once in a while. Sometimes I’ll have things like 15% cash back at a certain store, or 10% cash back on any travel expenses. All cards are different and come with different offers. I try to only use cash or my debit card, so I don’t spend money I don’t have. But, sometimes a credit card will have an offer that would get me cash back on what I’m about to buy so I will use the credit card instead. And of course, I pay off the balance as soon as it is charged on my account. I don’t like to rack up a balance or pay interest just to get a little cash back! For example, I just booked my flights to and from Florida on my credit card that offers cash back on travel expenses. I can use the money I get back for a statement credit, or the company can send me a check that I can put into a savings account.
- Sell things that are just taking up space – My attic has a lot of my old stuff in it still, and I don’t want most of it. I was going to start throwing some away but I figured I would try selling it first. To my surprise, people actually like to buy old 90’s toys that were just taking up space in my house. It’s so easy to sell online, too! It took me a couple minutes to list the items, and I could do just about everything from my phone aside from shipping them. I am happy to make money from something that I was about to throw in the trash!
There are so many ways we can save money, but these are just some of my favorites. Many of us will be making resolutions for the New Year, and a great one is to save more money. The change jar and the $5 bill box are two of my favorites to start at the beginning of the year! If you have another easy way to save money, I’d love to read it in the comments. Happy Saving!