Paychecks are stretched awfully thin these days. More people find themselves wanting to save but having a difficult time getting started. Like most expenses in our lives, saving habits can quickly be absorbed into our overall "cost of living" and will not feel like a burden. But knowing the different areas where you can save without feeling the pinch is important. Whether you are saving for a major purchase or event like a family vacation, a new car, or saving just to have a safety net, the following are ways to save without even realizing you're saving.
Keep Paying Debts When They're Paid
When your lifestyle is used to a particular type of payment monthly, it's a bill that you automatically take into consideration after you get paid. Medium suggests that once you have paid off a particular debt, you should just keep on paying, only to yourself. Don't get out of the habit of making that payment each month. If this is a payment that automatically drafts from your account, it's even better. Most banks have an easy process for transferring an amount from one account to another. Set the amount you have been paying to automatically transfer into a savings account. So for example, if you are used to paying $400 a month on a car loan, transfer the same amount of money to your savings account. If the full $400 has been highly constrictive and you need some breathing room, at least set half or more to transfer to your savings.
Make Your Breakfast at Home
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That meal doesn't have to involve the swipe of your debit card though. If you are in the habit of swinging by a drive-thru to put a little something on your stomach in the morning, you can easily save that money by eating something before you leave the house. According to Self, you can save almost one hundred dollars each month simply by eating at home first. Even if you want your favorite cup of coffee each morning that you spend a little money on, knocking off the food that goes with it will add up to tremendous savings over time.
Minor Energy Changes at Home
John Rampton writes in Inc. that a few tiny changes that you won't even notice can equal substantial yearly savings. Specifically, lowering your hot water heater by ten degrees Fahrenheit will save approximately three percent on your monthly bill. The recommended temperature setting on a water heater for peak efficiency is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you are substantially over that level, you could get even bigger savings and still have a nice, hot shower. In addition, you may consider unplugging things in the house that stay plugged in all day and are not used. This includes phone chargers, blender, computer, television, coffee maker, etc. You are using a certain amount of energy just keeping them plugged into an outlet. Unplugging them when not in use could equal at least a few hundred dollars or more each year!
Automatically Pay Your Bills
Rampton with Inc. also writes that automatic payment on bills can be a huge saver for people that struggle with remembering to write checks or manually pay a bill online each month. Late charges are the same as burning cash. You'd never burn cash, so set up automatic bill payment where it will be automatically deducted from your account. Your credit and your bank balance will thank you!
The End Result
These are all ways you can save money each month without even realizing you're saving. The key with several of them is to recognize how much you have saved at the end of the month and commit to transferring that amount to a savings account. At the end of the year, you should notice a balance of several hundred or even several thousand dollars a month. While it does take a certain amount of willpower to move the money into savings, it will take almost no effort or changes to your lifestyle to accomplish the savings.