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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by Jessica Horton on February 26, 2013

Saving money in a jar

If recent statistics tell us anything, it’s that Americans are thrill-seekers. We live on the edge. We go skydiving without parachutes. 

OK, maybe not literally

But, given the fact that 49 percent of Americans don’t have an emergency savings account, we are living dangerously close to the edge … of financial ruin, that is. 

It was recently reported that nearly half of all Americans are just one emergency away from financial disaster. And, really, who wants to face unmanageable levels of debt because of a cavity? (Been there, done that!) 

So in honor of America Saves Week, I challenge you to begin funding an emergency savings account – regardless of your situation

And while I normally recommend maintaining an emergency savings account of at least three to six months’ salary, I understand that can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Especially when you’re probably already thinking: 

How am I supposed to save money when I’m already trying to pay off debt, keep up with my bills, and stay current on my mortgage?! 

So I recommend starting small. Aim to save – and maintain – a fund of $500 to $1,000 for life's little emergencies. The following are five simple ways for ANYONE to start saving: 

  1. Make saving automatic. Have part of your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings or share account or set up regular transfers from your checking to your savings account. Trust me, if you don’t see the money in the first place, you won’t miss it! 
  2. Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40 percent of a $500 emergency fund. And putting aside just $2 a day for a year will leave you with more than $700 saved by this time next year!
  3. Get rid of cable. If there’s one money-saving tip I swear by, it’s this one. Getting rid of cable was the best decision I ever made. And with so many cost-effective alternatives to cable, like Hulu and Netflix, there's really no reason not to! Do this and you could have your emergency savings account funded in a matter of months. 
  4. Save a portion of your tax refund. Use tax form 8888 to split your return. 
  5. Bring lunch to work. If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in one year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over. 

I want to hear your savvy saving tips! Share yours in the comment section below! 

Posted in:  Frugality, Events, Saving

Comment(s)

CJ says:
February 28, 2013

I take transit to work 2 days per week, wear dry clean only clothes an extra time before cleaning, use coupons, pack lunch, cancelled landline, bundled car/home insurance and have auto transfers into savings accounts - all have helped me save money for my children's and my own accounts.



CJ says:
February 28, 2013

I take transit to work 2 days per week, wear dry clean only clothes an extra time before cleaning, use coupons, pack lunch, cancelled landline, bundled car/home insurance and have auto transfers into savings accounts - all have helped me save money for my children's and my own accounts.



Colleen says:
March 01, 2013

I have to agree with Darlene and commiserate, same thing is happening to my husband and I with our mortgage company and once this happens it is impossible to get anywhere and not have everyone treat you like a scumbag. Some days it is hard just to get out of bed to continue the fight but it will be worth it once this is over. I bring my lunch, we never go out to dinner or anything, I commute to work and my husband is a contractor with no work and his truck and my car are about $250 a week in gas for both of us. We had to hire a law office to help us with our mortgage and they told us how these companies play a game and never actually give your modification request to your actual lender, our mortages are funded by one source and managed by another. I hope we all continue to fight and let them know they can't get us down.



Anonymous says:
February 28, 2013

Find a bank that will roll up your debit card amount of a purchase to the whole dollar amount, and places the difference in a savings account. If you cant find a bank that does this, then just enter the whole dollar amount in your register to save money.



Darlene Bolesny says:
February 28, 2013

I would love to do this - but I don't carry cash (thus, no change), I never have had cable, the tax refund had to pay for auto repairs, I not only bring my own lunch to work, I make everything from scratch because it saves more $$. I *do* have the auto-deposit into savings - but I find that every few weeks I must transfer the funds out to cover, say, the cost of rising gasoline! I would love to buy a more fuel efficient car, but cannot do so because a certain mortgage company lied to the credit agencies when they modified my mortgage. (I paid *every* month, but they reported I did not pay for 6 months - try adding that gem to your credit report!) The CFPB (consumer financial protection bureau) tried to help with it and ultimately suggested I pursue litigation. *sigh* Thus, I love reading this sort of thing and dream of being able to save. But there's just no way. Oh, and I'm adjusting to the $84/month paycut I just took with the payroll tax cut expiring - which, I might add, I think should have happened, since it was for Social Security. Ah well. My 'light' at the end of the tunnel will come early next year when $200/month I am currently paying to CCCS is freed up. *Then* I can try to build that savings cushion! In the meantime, I just say many prayers that nothing will upset my fragile applecart....



elizabeth s says:
March 01, 2013

my husband and I are taking the plunge to get rid of cable. All the promotions we had in place for a year are over in march. Thus my bill is now going from $94 a month for tv and internet to $150.00 or more. We are heading to costco for thier "FLAT" antena and three netflix supporting blueray players. It will cost us about $400.00 in cash to start, but will only be $8.00 a month for netflix. If you devide the $400 by 12 months and add the cost of netflix, its about $41.00 a month versus the high cable bills. The antena will get me all the local channels, such as abc, cbs, nbc, and other local cable channels. We will have netflix and antenas on three tvs. We are loosing our dvrs, and this will be hard. Change is hard. this is our first step in taking some control back over the rising cost of EVERYTHING. Medical bills and perscriptions are killing us even though my husbands work provides good insurance. This madness has got to stop. This is just our way to begin to stop the madness.



elizabeth schommer says:
March 01, 2013

I wrote in yesterday about cutting out cable and going with an antena and netflix. Just a quick update. I called the cable company to tell them to cancel my service and give me an order number to return my cable equipment. The woman at the company offered me a years lock in rate, cheaper than it would have cost me to loose the cable and dvrs. Just a note to all: If you don't want to pay the outrageous cable bills, tell them you are leaving and they may offer you a much cheaper rate. The netflix and antena will still be there in a year and I will still have saved alot of money. Good Luck......



Fehmeen says:
March 31, 2013
Website: http://management-mafia.com/

These are some amazing money saving tips, and I think they're all capable of saving a good amount of money without making it obvious that you're spending less - like storing loose change. The best way to save is to set aside your salary 1st, then consume the rest. We usually do it the other way round.



Gail Seaton Humbert says:
February 28, 2013
Website: N/A

Can"t do the cable one but I do have basic satellite and the $5 a month no commercials old movie channels.I have however cut my car insuranc edown to liability only and started taking public transportation most days. The car is the thing that causes to most unexpected emergencies so it's going to sit in the garage alot.



Insurance Hunter says:
May 24, 2013
Website: http://www.insurancehunter.ca

Most people think that when they are in debt that they should put all their extra money towards paying it off. But, you still need to save money and have a reserve fund just in case you need it and the tips in the article are a great way to save a few bucks while paying off your debt.



Izza says:
June 09, 2013
Website: http://www.coastalcommerce.com

This article is one best tips on how to save money. Thanks for this article.



kim lieberman says:
February 28, 2013
Website: money management international

Cancel your land line if you still have one and ask about other ways to cut your bill. When I called, the phone company was very helpful with this. They even told me about different internet speeds that were available to me that could cut my bill. :)



Lisa says:
February 28, 2013

I've stopped a Starbucks habit and make a nice homemade chai every morning for my drive to work, then i put 5$ aside that would have gone to starbucks. I'm trying to be more conscious of not going over speed limit



Samuel Sakatengo says:
May 20, 2013
Website: http://www.sax.com.zm

I am a member of money management international based in Lusaka Zambia and Zambian citizen, my reference Client number is 14500409-1. am trying to activity account that has been dormant for one(1)year and some months now but am an able to find SSN Number. and i would love to find out if a Zambian citizen can acquire a business loan as long as he is a Member of (MMI)?



The Anthony D says:
July 05, 2013

I do everything in Quicken, and I am able to save some money by rounding my purchases and deposits. When I spend money, I round up to the next dollar; even if it's a penny. When my paycheck is auto-deposited, I round the change DOWN to the previous dollar; even if it's 99 cents. By the end of the year, there's a couple of hundred dollars hidden in my checking. I don't reconcile my account; I just make sure things clear and are correct. I also have a savings account that I keep hidden in Quicken with $5 that goes in every payday that I don't see daily, but I know it's there. Hope this made cents.... :)



THOMAS says:
February 25, 2014
Website: YAHOO

save a doller for every day so in 2week that $14 so if you get payed every 2 week or every week at the end of the year that add up to $365 doller a year and you will not miss 14 doller .so start here. with this



Vic says:
March 02, 2013

Those 4 simple tips are straightforwad and effective. Another thing I want to add to save money when we are in debt is to dome jogging or running to workout our body. Physical exercise will also cut our bad habits that cause us unnecessary expenses, like eating junk foods because we become more aware of our health.



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