In this economy, most families live paycheck to paycheck, spending their earnings as soon as they cash them. While it’s a conscious struggle to set money aside and save it, if you’re a spender and have next to nothing in the piggy bank, perhaps spending your money to save money is the best way to go, and here’s how you can do it!
The best way to spend money to save money is to over-pay your bills. If your car payment is, say $67 a month, pay $75. If it’s $85, pay $100. Same goes for your cable bill, your cell phone bill, electricity, etc. Simply round up the the nearest $25. Why do this? Simply because spenders tend to take that extra $10 or so and blow it on frivolous things, like going to the movies or buying junk food. May as well spend it on something you will actually use long-term. How does this save you money? By decreasing your bill every single month, giving you a credit towards your next balance. The key to saving money on your bills is to continuously over-pay them, and soon you will receive a bill (in just a few months) that says you owe NOTHING and may even have a credit toward your next bill! On the month where you get a “freebie” take that money and then treat yourself. See how this works? This is when I go to the movies, or do something I don’t regularly do because it isn’t within my budget. It’s an excellent way to save.
When buying gas, fill your car every single time. Don’t buy $5 here and there just to get by. Why? Because every time you get gas and keep that tank just above empty, you don’t get the full value of your MPG, and you also run into the fluctuating up and down prices more often, which ends up costing you more money for your gas. Also, gas stations are tempting in that you can’t just buy gas, you’ve also got to go in and grab a soda, lottery tickets, etc and stopping at the pump and filling up allows you to only stop in when you need to. Plus, when you have a full tank you have piece of mind in knowing that you have the means of getting to and from work without worrying about how you can pay for the gas to get there. Get it done.
Buy in bulk. When grocery shopping, buy more than you need. Get cheese and bread and freeze what you won’t use right away. Cheese actually ages beautifully frozen and your mild cheddar will be a nice sharp flavor when you get to it. Buy bulk meats and freeze what you won’t eat right away. Store canned goods, pastas, cereals etc in a cubby that isn’t for right-away use. How does this work? You shop less often, meaning you won’t have to budget for shopping as much and when you DO have to shop it will be for little things, like a gallon of milk. By buying many savable items at once you don’t need to worry so much about how you will be feeding your family next month. It may seem like a great idea to shop as you need it, but when you’re spending that extra dough on new shoes and other things you don’t need, you may find yourself strapped for essentials and sweating til your next paycheck. By over-buying essentials now, you don’t need to watch your money so closely.
Over-pay your saving’s account, which is hopefully an account that you don’t touch. If you put $100 in this emergency account every month, start paying it $150 or $200. This works by giving you less money you can blow on things you don’t need, and that extra cash will come in handy one day soon.
There are many ways you can save money by spending it, and you can modify these ways to suit your family needs best. The key is to take your money and “invest” it in every day essentials and needs, rather than trying to save it and failing. The less money you have to blow on fun stuff, the more money you actually save. Try it for a month, and you will be surprised at the financial rewards.