Frugalites are a creative bunch. Tell us what you've done to squeeze saving into your budget.
my favorite budget site
- I use Mint.com. It's a great free site to budget myself - it even has an app for my phone. I budget every dollar and it really helps to see where I am overspending and what I can afford to cut back on. Love it.
- —Guest Shauna
Treat it like a bill
- The title says it all. Our IRAs and ROTHs are treated like a bill. We pay a set amount every month. Any overtime goes into our emergency fund.
- —Guest bizeegal
- Right now (pre-budget) I hide money from myself:
1) opened a separate savings-ony account at my credit union;
2) Allow online deposits but not withdrawals
3) Set up an affordable automatic transfer from my bi-weekly paycheck.
Result: I have to do a 'walk of shame' into the bank to withdraw money. This makes me think 2-3 times before touching the account.
Admittedly, I've used this largely for large recreational expenses: a bike to replace a stolen one, my first ski boots and alpine skis, and now a season pass for next year's season because I now ski enough that a pass means $30/day instead of last year's $40/day on my local's discount card.
I also shop deals for my big-ticket items: $150 less for last season's bike, $250 less for end-of-season demo skis, and waiting for a sale for a new tent.
Now I need a budget--although I feel frugal, I've racked up $1,500 over the past few years and am still paying off student loans!!
- —Guest Litterbug
Amazon monthly grocery delivery
- My newest way of saving is to buy items we use/need often through Amazon's subscribe and save service, which also has free shipping. For example, milk boxes at Costco are $14.59 for a box of 18. By time, I drive, shop, wait in line, check out, unload car, I've spent about 90 min shopping. Now I can buy these online for .53 cents less and only have to weight lift them from my front door inside. Amazon's prices is cheaper and it saves me time. What's not to like?
- —Guest indio
Next step beyond saving change
- Once a week I take any $1 bills in my wallet, put them in an envelope, and stash it away. When there are 100 of them, I deposit it into savings. You'd be surprised how quickly it adds up and I don't miss it.
- —Guest CarolF
- I collect aluminum cans when I walk my dog. The last time I cashed them in - the money paid for all of the food to feed 14 people a nice Thanksgiving dinner! I also date shampoo and conditioner bottles when I open them along with how long the last bottle lasted. It makes me want to try and make the new bottle last a few more days than the last one, so I use less. This also helps me gauge how much of these products I use, so I know how much to buy when I come across a really good sale. I also save change, but when a container is full it gets stashed in a closet for a rainy day.
- I try to save all my loose change in a cup. When its full, it comes to about $25.00. Then, I roll it up; go to the bank; and buy a savings bond. I bought my last car this way.
- We started out by raising our exemptions high enough that we get more each pay period but not so high that we have to pay money in. That extra each pay period goes into savings and each time my husband gets a pay raise we add that money to our savings account. Sometimes that's twice a year.
How I squeeze in saving
- The main thing that we do is pay ourselves first then the rest of the budget is worked around what is left.
I also put any found money (sofa cushion finds, walk finds and recycling money) in a container and once a year take that money to the bank and add it to our savings account.
I take my husbands change.
- My husband drives a truck for a living, and he hates to count change at the stores he stops in, so at the end of each week, I steal all of his change. I even have gotten my kids in on it and if they have change left over it goes in their accounts. Not alot but it is adding up!