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Looking for smart, simple ways to save money? Great. You’ve come to the right place, this is something I’ve gotten better at over time. Times are tight, I see it in my day job all the time. Getting a mortgage is hard. Buying groceries and paying the electricity bill in the same week is virtually impossible. If there is something we’ve learned from the global crisis it was that we had to be smart with our money, live within our means and put a little away for a rainy day. Under your bed if necessary. If you’re struggling to save money and live your life at the same time, give these tips a try.

 

Here are my tips for saving that won’t have you cooped up at home;

Take your change or $5 at the end of every day and put it in a jar. I prefer looking at the cash build up in a glass jar. Hubby prefers a locked up jar to keep my fingers out of it.

You can have your wage spilt by your payroll staff. Ask for an amount you plan on saving to go directly into an account that is difficult to access {think branch access or extended transfer times}. You won’t miss it if you don’t get it in the first place. Promise.

Only hire DVD’s on cheap days, most stores have a $1 where you can get new releases or weekly movies. If we know we’ll be home for a weekend, we’ll grab some weekly DVD’s in case we get bored.

If you are entertaining guests at home, ask them to bring a plate. It cuts costs and stress. Entertaining at home isn’t a cheap option, I don’t care what anyone says. Not by the time you buy goodness knows how many courses of food, some drinks, ice and all sorts of stuff to have people over. You might as well head out and pay the $50 ahead.

Find money to put aside, you should consider at least 10% of income into the house. When we were saving to pay off our credit cards years ago, we had two incomes and would pay 20% into the cards every week. It will take discipline to do it. But you’ll get where you need to go in no time. Speaking of which, credit cards must go. Stop using them. Start paying them off first, save later.

Have a monthly treat. Don’t take money out of your savings to do it. Budget for it. Plan for it. And then bust out and do it.

 

There you go. Do you have any other tips for us, super savers, over here? It’s also worth mentioning that sometimes savings aren’t possible because there is just not enough to go around. Don’t beat yourself up about that. Live within your means and consider not going into debt to be your version of saving.