Raise your hand if you think saving money is easy. No one? Yep. See, we can do that in the blog without seeing your hands because we know NO ONE has their hand in the air. Saving money is difficult. There are way too many fun things–and necessary things–we need to buy to make saving easy. We don’t accidentally have piles of extra cash lying around begging to be saved.
In fact, Google Consumer Survey for GOBankingRates.com found approximately 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account and 21% of the 5,000 surveyed don’t even have a savings account.
Now that feels a bit overwhelming–to think that a $700 car repair could demolish someone’s entire savings. That’s a wild ride. But even though saving money is difficult, it doesn’t have to overwhelming.
Saving money is a bit like trying to eat healthily. We all know we should, but in practice, it’s a little bit harder than theory.
Here are 3 creative ways to save money:
1. Change it up.
Start collecting your spare change in one spot. Stash the coins you get on those occasions where you pay in cash and get those round, shiny objects in return. You remember change, right?
Well, stockpiling change sure works for us. When Taylor was 14 years old, his parents gave him a huge, plastic container in the shape of a soda bottle. It’s almost two feet tall. He found over the years that it’s a great way to save some money, painlessly.
When we got married he started from scratch dropping change into his bottle on our 10th anniversary he gave me an “I love you” gift—the change from the bottle—and it was $900! He handed me 900 bucks in cash and said, “Have fun!”
Saving your change is a super-easy way to save. You won’t believe how quickly spare coins add up.
2. Sharing is saving.
Another creative way to save money is to share an expensive item with a neighbor or friend. For big expenses that you don’t use often, like an extension ladder or a car topper, it works great to share with a friend. For example, we knew a couple who wanted a zero turn mower but didn’t have anywhere to store it. They got up with some friends and bargained- “You can use the mower if we can store it at your place and the best part is, we’ll go in half and half to save money.” Of course, they jumped on that opportunity.
Split the expense and the hassle of storing all those large, occasional-use items. The savings will add up.
3. Snag an app.
There are tons of great, free apps out there to help you save. Our favorite is Qapital (yes, it’s spelled like that) that rounds your purchase amount to the nearest dollar and moves that money into savings accounts for you. It can also transfer funds into your account when you spend less than budgeted for certain expenses.
Another app we love is the Amazon app. You simply snap a photo with your phone of a bar code on any item and it returns options and prices to you so you can comparison shop. We’ve also shown the app results to a salesperson in a store and gotten an item for less because of the app’s data.
We agree with you, saving money is difficult. But it’s not impossible. Set up some “mindless” or easy methods and you might be surprised at the total amount. Make it simple and work together and you’ll appreciate it more.
Taylor and Megan Kovar