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New goal: I want to save a bunch of money!


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The past few years I was super poor, working a low-paying job while in grad school. I finished the year before last, then I got a new job last summer and I'm making a lot more money than I used to. I spent the first few paychecks paying off debt, and then I admit I splurged a bit and upgraded some things that I needed to replace, and also spent some money on myself because I finally could! That increased spending has leveled off now, all my debt is paid off, and I've decided I want to save some money. Either to put a downpayment on a house, take a big overseas trip, to have a bigger safety cushion, whatever.

 

I mostly post in the dating forum since my LTR broke up right around when I finished school. I am kind of tired of looking for someone right now, and if I do meet somebody good, having my finances in order is something I want to have down. Just so that I'm the "best version of myself" and "in the right place in my life" and all that kind stuff they say you should be to find the right person. Plus, I think I do well when I have long-term goals to work towards. Finishing grad school and getting a new job were my two previous big goals over the past few years, and I accomplished those, so now I want to concentrate on building up my savings.

 

So anyway, my goal for this year is to have at least 10 grand in my savings account by the end of the year! I'm already over halfway there. Of course, I'd still like to find somebody to be in a relationship with, but I need something else to think about. I'm going to concentrate on saving a bunch of dough. I already live pretty simply and cheaply (trying to keep living like I did as a poor student), but I'm looking for any tips, tricks, or just general encouragement as far as saving money goes.

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Bring your lunch to work...same for coffee. Get a travel cup.

Make a list when you shop. Only buy what is on the list.

Stop using ATM card. At beginning of month or week...rake out what you realistically need.

Once $$ is gone....you are no longer spending need $$, you are spending "want" money.

Buy necessities in bulk....toilet.paper, paper towel.

 

And pay "yourself" first. Figure out your goal for month...and.put it in saving account. After that.,.pay bills. The rest is your budget for food, fun, etc.

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Bring your lunch to work...same for coffee. Get a travel cup.

Make a list when you shop. Only buy what is on the list.

Stop using ATM card. At beginning of month or week...rake out what you realistically need.

Once $$ is gone....you are no longer spending need $$, you are spending "want" money.

Buy necessities in bulk....toilet.paper, paper towel.

 

And pay "yourself" first. Figure out your goal for month...and.put it in saving account. After that.,.pay bills. The rest is your budget for food, fun, etc.

 

I already do all of this, except the bringing my lunch to work part. I brought my lunch EVERY DAY at my old job, but there was a big kitchen to eat in and it was great and relaxing. At the new job, the breakroom is TINY, it is right in the office, and if you eat in there with anybody else you might as well be sitting on each other's laps!

 

There is an employee cafeteria that is pretty cheap, so I've been eating there just to get a break and get out of the office. It is worth it to me to spend the extra money for that.

 

Otherwise, I'm looking for some other things to cut. I don't have cable but I'm thinking about getting rid of Netflix, too. It is only 8 bucks a month but I haven't really watched that much lately. Now that I've been out of school long enough, I can actually stand to read for pleasure again so I'd rather read books. Plus, Breaking Bad is over now

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Yay!! I am one of those sickos who finds building savings fun.

 

Do you document your expenses and income? Have a budget? So you can get a clear picture where you are dropping a lot of coin.

 

My favorite trick (if you can even call it that) is simply setting up with the bank to have savings taken out of your regular account when you get paid, a set amount every pay day, into a separate account. Money gone; you can't spend it that way! Unless you go out of your way to. Y'know, treating savings like a bill that needs to get paid.

 

Woo hoo for you, though, seriously. Those are some big goals you accomplished and no doubt you are going to roll up 10 grand in savings in no time.

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Yay!! I am one of those sickos who finds building savings fun.

 

Do you document your expenses and income? Have a budget? So you can get a clear picture where you are dropping a lot of coin.

 

My favorite trick (if you can even call it that) is simply setting up with the bank to have savings taken out of your regular account when you get paid, a set amount every pay day, into a separate account. Money gone; you can't spend it that way! Unless you go out of your way to. Y'know, treating savings like a bill that needs to get paid.

 

Woo hoo for you, though, seriously. Those are some big goals you accomplished and no doubt you are going to roll up 10 grand in savings in no time.

 

 

since I had no income from Oct to Dec, I won't be able to really save until March. Unless by some miracle I get awarded all the back money from unemployment, I don't see a true result of my savings until April

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i use a lot of coupons. and i love CVS. I get weekly coupons in my email from them, things like 20-30% off on the weekend. i buy all my basics at that time like toilet paper, detergent, etc... things that keep well and i stock up.

 

good luck with your goals!! they sound great.

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i use a lot of coupons. and i love CVS. I get weekly coupons in my email from them, things like 20-30% off on the weekend. i buy all my basics at that time like toilet paper, detergent, etc... things that keep well and i stock up.

 

good luck with your goals!! they sound great.

 

 

 

CVS is expensive to me which is why I prefer Rite Aid. Plus Rite Aid has a wellness card that gives you a discount on anything you buy out of the store. CVS does not have a card like that

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Someone I know online link removed and says there's a lot of money saving tips in there.

 

Aside from the ones that have already been said, I suggest that you make that savings account one that's at an online bank not attached to your regular bank account. I find that if I can't see it, I forget about it and then don't spend it.

 

It's small, but I switched from using fabric softener to plain white vinegar a few years back. Seems to work just as well, at a fraction of the cost since I buy jumbo bottles of vinegar at Costco. There are a lot of recipes online to make your own cleaning products.

 

You could always bring your lunch down to the employee cafeteria Unless they've got big signs posted all over the place about not allowing outside food or something, what are they going to do? You're an employee, your break room isn't really set up for lunches/meals.

 

You could also look at your food budget. If you like to buy cans of pop or bottled water, you could always buy a canteen and start drinking tap water. Bottled water can be more expensive by the litre than gasoline.

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So there are two ways to approach this - you can either increase your revenue or decrease your expenses.

 

For increasing revenue... you can find babysitting, tutoring, senior care, and dog sitting jobs through websites like link removed in the US (not sure where you are?). You could also pick up a side job doing insurance or real estate sales. There is a licensing process so you wouldn't make money immediately, but over time you certainly would. Check your current salary against the average for your industry on link removed or link removed to see if you could make a case to your boss for giving you a raise. Consider a part time retail job around the holidays, especially if it's at someplace you would be shopping at anyway that gives you a discount (i.e., I worked at Crate & Barrel one year when I had just bought a new house, so the discount on housing items helped me a lot).

 

For decreasing expenses... I think others presented great ideas on this. For me, part of it is a consciousness of just being aware of your budget. I keep myself to $16/day, but allow that to average out over a week, meaning that if I want to spend $32 on dinner out on Saturday night, then I need to spend $16 less at some point the rest of the week. You'd be surprised how creative you will get once you are aware, i.e., I can go out with friends, but get a pop instead of a cocktail; I can skip going out on Friday and then use some of that money towards Saturday; if I go to the movies, I go to a matinee showing and don't buy any snacks, or wait til the movie is on netflix or dvd and view it at home; if I'm going someplace farther away, I need to factor in gas and offset my budget for that. It has stopped me altogether from buying Starbucks, the candies and tabloids at the checkout counters in the grocery store, etc. It's also forced me to become aware of prices - going to the cheaper gas station and paying the cash price instead of the credit price. I have a friend who is also doing the $16/day challenge so we email at the end of each week to report on our outcomes.

 

Love what others are saying about automatically direct depositing a portion from your paycheck into a separate savings account with a virtual bank, or alternatively send it directly into a mutual fund investment account. Do you have a particular goal for the money? If it's saving just to save, might be worth it to look at tax-sheltered accounts like an IRA or 401k (earmarked for retirement), or 529 plan (earmarked for education), or HSA (earmarked for health expenses) just to get the most bang for your buck; but if it's a shorter term goal like saving downpayment for a home, then obviously none of these options would be ideal as they would lock up your money for a longer time and commit you to using that money for specific goals. Depending on your income, you may be able to reduce your AGI enough to qualify for credits and deductions, you would not otherwise qualify for. Message me if you want to discuss specifics. I'm a tax attorney.

 

Look into Dave Ramsey and the cash envelope system, as they say people spend more when they are spending on credit and can't physically see the money they are giving up.

 

Goodluck to you on this awesome goal!

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I'm not really worried about increasing revenue, as I went to grad school and got a professional job in part so that I would make more money and wouldn't have to work a 2nd job, do seasonal retail work, etc. (all stuff that I have done in the past when I was making less).

 

Actually, reading these suggestions makes me feel a bit better! So, thanks guys. I already do a lot of this stuff and I don't feel like a waste a lot of money or spend frivolously. After all, I scraped by on the bare minimum for several years while I was in school.

 

The only thing that has me worried is that I did splurge a bit over the past few months, since I just started this new job and had more money. Some of the purchases were necessary (my old laptop was dying and I had to get a new one, I needed new "business casual" clothes for my new job, so I dropped about $400 at the outlet mall, had some car repairs that I had been putting off, etc.) and some were just presents to myself, or things I had put off purchasing while I was poorer. I just need to get back to the same mindset I had when I was broke!

 

I have three goals for the coming year - save some money, keep off the weight I lost (or get into even better shape), and of course, find a main squeeze. The saving money/staying in shape goals kind of go together, because it is cheaper and healthier to cook at home, and going to the gym is cheaper than going out and spending money. But, in order to meet people I'm going to have to go somewhere besides my home and the gym and even if I try to be conscientious, it is going to involve spending a bit of dough. Not like I will be dropping mad paper for bottle service in da club every night or anything like that, but still...

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If you want cheap non-clubbing ways to go out, try finding a link removed group you like. Many of them are free or inexpensive, you pay for the activities you want to do. So, for example, a running group might be free or a nominal fee to join for the year because there aren't any additional things to pay if you're running on city streets and in parks but a social group would be more expensive because you would be paying for restaurants/movies/bars/concerts that you wanted to go to in the group.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A little update - just got my tax refund so I got a nice chunk of change to add to the pile! This was my last return to be able to deduct any of my tuition and school expenses, so I got over $1000 back.

 

Now that I have this new job and am making more, I'll get dinged a lot more tax-wise. If I hadn't had the school expenses to deduct I wouldn't have gotten anything back. Next year I might even OWE money. Yikes. As a single person with no dependents I have no way to get out of much.

 

Oh well, at least I got this, and it is only March and I feel like I can definitely make this happen maybe even by summer...

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Get an online only savings account (ING direct, etc...) that way your money is harder to touch. Move a certain amount of money there every month and don't touch it!

 

 

I had that account but when Capital One took over I closed my account

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Now that I have this new job and am making more, I'll get dinged a lot more tax-wise.
I don't know where you live, but a 401K or RRSP will reduce your tax burden... but, you won't have the money around in a way you can access it. You may wish to talk with a financial planner (it should be free) to learn about how to save for retirement, or a large purchase. It's never too early to start planning for your retirement.
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