After creating thousands and thousands of dollars in gambling debt, I tend to spend most of my money paying collectors. Of course, I could apply for $ 1000 loan online and get temporary relief. However, I have found a few simple ways to keep a few extra bucks lying around in case of a mini-crisis, and perhaps they will help you as well.
1) The Piggy Bank
Yes, I have a piggy bank. It’s not actually shaped like a pig, and when I first got it I thought it was the stupidest thing I ever saw. It’s a change jar from Avon that counts the change for you as you put it in. My grandmother gave it to me because she’s an Avon buying addict. I started with the change in the bottom of my purse and the change from my boyfriend’s wallet, and after about five or six months, I have nearly $100 in this change jar, which to some wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but if my glasses break or I have to pay a parking ticket unexpectedly, I have $100 that I would have normally lost in the couch cushions or under the seat in the car, and it took zero time and almost no thought to save it. It’s just one way to trick yourself into saving a little bit of money.
2) The Savings Account
This is the classic way to save some money. I must admit, I’m not fantastic about keeping my paws out of my savings account. Sometimes I just set up payments with too many people and have to take a little bit of money out, but I always make a point to keep trying to add money to it, and I never let it get to zero. My biggest tip would be to take a percentage of your paycheck that you can reasonably afford and put that into your savings account.
If you have direct deposit, having automatic transfers set up a couple of days after payday is a good way to have some money set aside in savings without even thinking about it. Hopefully, as I do, you will forget the money is in there most of the time and not add it to your available funds. That’s really the only successful way to maintain a savings account. You can also consider putting your money into a money market account for a slightly higher interest rate, but transfers for a money market account are usually more limited, and for someone who is a complete newbie at saving money, the savings account may be a simpler way to start out.
3) The PayPal Account
Do you write for Associated Content or sell things on E-Bay? If you are utilizing a PayPal account for any reason, then leaving some money in your PayPal account is another good way to have a bit of a rainy day fund. PayPal offers a debit card connected to your PayPal account for access to your funds, or you could just go without if you don’t want to have such easy access to that money. It’s another way to have money somewhere besides your checking account where it’s safe.
4) The Secured Credit Card
If you have fantastic credit, then, first of all, you probably know too much about saving money to even be reading this article, and you also would have little need for an overnight loan or secured credit card. However, for those with just plain pitiful credit, a secured card is not only a good way to save some money, but it’s also a good way to start improving your credit. With a secured card, you are able to pick your limit usually beginning at a minimum of $200 to $300 and depending on the card going up into the thousands.
You put down a deposit on the card, like a security deposit, and the amount of the deposit is your credit limit. The credit card company then puts that deposit into something similar to a savings account or money market account where it accrues a small amount of interest while you build your credit. In looking for a secured credit card though, it’s best to shop around and get all the details you can. Some companies charge an application fee and activation fees that will eat up almost your entire limit before you even get a chance to use the card.
Also, it’s a definite must to make sure that the company reports to the credit bureaus, and that they don’t report that they are a secured card, otherwise, the main benefit of the card isn’t there, which is to help you build or rebuild credit.
5) The Fast Food Demon
I know what it means to just want some fast food, but it is a definite culprit when it comes to not only gain a lot of weight (trust me) but when it comes to wasting money. If you really need a cheeseburger and fries, it is simple enough to cook one up at home yourself and put some fries in the oven. If you eat one fast food meal a day on your lunch break, then you’re spending perhaps $5-$10 a day, depending on where you go, for one meal. That’s $150-$300 a month for one person for one meal a day. Do yourself a financial favor and pack a lunch. If you take the time to figure out how much you actually spend on fast food every money, then you can decide on a limit, a real dollar amount, on how much you spend on fast food each week or month. The money that you save can go into your savings account.
It all seems like very simple advice, but for those with bad or no credit and very little financial knowledge having something to fall back on in a time of crisis can be a real challenge. Without a high credit limit, reputation with a bank or any investment accounts, it can be scary when the car decides to become a lemon and you only have $500 in your savings account. The best advice I can give is to just keep thinking of ways to spread your money around and to always save something out of each paycheck, even if it’s $5 because you never know when you might need it.