Everyday Cheapskate: 8 Painless Ways to Save Money and Grow a Cash Stash in 2023
The past 12 months have been tough on many people, and higher living costs have made it extremely difficult to build savings. So at this point, your best bet is to look ahead to 2023 and develop a plan that allows you to make great progress with your savings, no matter what that means for you.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
Saving money is a curious term with two meanings: 1) To spend less, as in, "I buy things on sale to save money," and 2) To physically place money where it is safe from being spent, as in, "I save money in my secret savings place."
OK, that's fine. But here's the problem. It's easy to trick ourselves into thinking that 1 and 2 are the same. They are not unless you stop by the bank to deposit the difference between what you would have spent had the stuff not been on sale, right into your savings account or wherever you stash cash. Actually, that IS one clever way to boost your savings this year. Here are eight more:
NO. 1: TAX YOURSELF
This coming year, assess yourself a specific "tax" each time you make an ATM withdrawal. It might be $5 or $10; you decide. Whatever the amount, make sure you become a brutal tax collector AND carry through and put the tax you collected into your safe savings place. No slacking, no IOUs.
NO. 2: IMPOSE A MORATORIUM
Select a specific denomination of currency, like the $1 or $5 bill you will not spend this year, but save instead. Forbid yourself and get very strict. On second thought, why not just go with the $5? Your stash will grow much faster if you refuse to spend any Abe Lincolns in 2023.
NO. 3: HOARD THE COUPON SAVINGS
Here's one way to do that if you are still working with paper coupons: When you grocery shop, ask the clerk to total your order and then pay for it -- however you do it. Then hand her the coupons and watch your total plummet. Since you've already paid, the clerk should hand back the cash equal to your coupon savings. Quickly, stash it in your cash savings so you are not overly tempted to spend it.
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