Living in New York City with a family is extremely expensive. Saving money in this day and age is no easy task and it gets doubly hard when you're residing in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. Costs are continuously going up, while salaries are dropping or remaining the same for many. The average credit card debt is rising at instrumental numbers and more and more, families are worried about their future, retirement and the futures of their children.
There are some creative and non conventional ways to save money, cut down on debt and decrease spending without changing your entire lifestyle. One of these great savings plans is the “dollar a day” plan. There are a few variations that can be used, which will give you different levels of savings at the end of the year.
Dollar a Day Creative Way to Save Money
If you’re starting at the beginning of a year, you’re going to ultimately save $365 per calendar year. Understand that starting on January 1st isn’t always ideal, but it is never too late to start saving. Put your dollar to the side starting today and for the rest of the year and you’ll still be able to see the difference by the time the end of the year rolls around.
Using the premise of one dollar each day beginning on January 1st, you will ultimately save up to $365/per year. This amount doubles if you and your spouse or significant other each save a dollar, so by the end of the year, you can potentially have up to $730 in savings.That’s a great start!
If you want to be a bit more aggressive without overreaching your budget, another way to save is to put a spin on this dollar per day and actually save the amount per day that is equal to the month you are in. For example, if you begin in January and save $1/per day for all 31 days and then $2 per day in February, $3 per day in March, etc, by the end of the year, you’ll have saved a whopping $2382, which again, will double to $4764 if you practice this plan together with your partner.
Now, you may think to yourself as the higher months come in; ‘can I save $10, $11 or $12 per day with the upcoming holidays, etc?’ Don’t fret or throw yourself off track with the idea of putting money to the side that you may not be able to afford. Save as much as you can each day and you’ll stay within your means without deterring your savings. If you start out with the $1 and realize you can’t save more than $5/day as the months increase, stick to that $5 max amount and don’t give up! You’ll still have saved well over $1,000 by the end of the year!
Making Change Count for You
Another creative way to save money is to utilize the change that you get from each and every transaction. If you spend $1.20, break that extra dollar, take the $0.80 that is left over and throw it into a jar. Never keep change, not even pennies and keep building and building. By the end of the year, you will be surprised at how much you may amass and this doesn’t even include the change that is lying all around your house. Many banks now offer coin counting services free of charge for their consumers, so you can bring all that change into your branch at the end of the year and redeem it for cold, hard cash.
Scrimp and Save
It sounds simple, but you’re probably overspending, a lot on unnecessary expenses. Coffee, lunch, and those new shoes you just had to have can all be depleting your potential savings. Bag your lunch, brew your own coffee and cut down on your wardrobe upgrades and you’ll save off of those expenses alone. Be unconventional so that you’re seeing that money go to savings instead of to other expenditures. If you spend $3.17/day for a latte, take that $3.17 instead and make it your savings for the day, everyday. You’ll realize by the end of one month alone just how much unnecessary spending was happening, but you’ll be proudly putting that money toward your future and the future of your family.
Keep the Savings Growing
Now, the key to saving is just that- to save. If you look at your savings at the end of the year and say, ‘wow, I’ve done well, it’s time for a reward’, it’s counterproductive behavior. The best way to make sure you’re not spending that money is to put it into an account. Great examples are a fixed rate long term COD for short term and an IRA for long term, retirement saving. These types of accounts have hefty tax penalties attached to early withdrawals and that will deter you from removing that hard earned money before absolutely necessary.