How To Save Money When You Don’t Have Money

So many times I hear the question “How can I save money when I don’t have enough money to pay my bills?”

When I was in debt the last thing on my mind was to save money.  I even remember saying, I am living now, I am young now, I am going to enjoy my money NOW!  Enjoy I did.  I spent money I didn’t have.  Did you catch that?  I spent money I didn’t have.  If you can spend money you don’t have, why can’t you save money you don’t “think” you have?

Are you buying things on credit?  If you are, you are spending money you don’t have.  If you aren’t paying cash for something either by cash in hand of via a debit card, then you are using someone else’s money for a while to buy what you want now.

How To Start Saving Money

The concept of saving money is the same as spending it.  However, instead of using someone else’s money to save, you are going to use your own.

Start with the obvious ways first.  Cut back on eating out. Eating out is a money pit for most budgets.  It’s money that is easily spent and easily justified after all you have to eat right?  However, with a little bit of planning, you can easily save at least $200 per month by cutting back on eating out.  I have actually had clients save more than $500 per month by cutting back on eating out.

Plan to take your lunch to work instead of eating out every day, that could save between $7 to $10 dollars a day right there.  That is $35 per week or $140 a month just in lunch money.  Keep watch to how you are feeding the vending machine throughout your day.  It is amazing how you could easily spend over $70 a month just in vending machine purchase’s one dollar at a time.

Just Say No

Say no to unnecessary purchases.  This is where some self control comes into play.  If you want something new, instead of buying it on the spot, take the amount of money you would spend on the purchase and put that amount of money in your savings account for at least a week, sort of like a cooling down period.  If after a week you still think you “need” it, then you have the money for it in savings.  If your saying to yourself I”don’t” have that money to put into savings than obviously you don’t have that money so spend on a compulsive buy either.

When you do have the money to spend on a purchase, take the time and shop around for the best deal.  For myself, I rarely shop at a brick and mortar store unless it is for groceries.  I actually do most of my shopping on Amazon.com.  Even there I will first look for a deal from Amazon Warehouse deals.  These are usually items that have damaged boxes or have been returned, in near perfect condition and I get anywhere between $20 to $70 off the new price.  Yep, I am saving while spending.

Money Is Sitting In Your Driveway

We all like new cars.  The look, oh and that new car smell.  Do you know that Americans are going broke by having a new hunk of metal sitting n the driveway?  The average car payment is at least $420 per month for anywhere between 36 to 60 months.  Can you imagine if owned your car and took that $420 each month and put it into savings?

I have two vehicles from the model year 2001 both paid for in full.  I purchased one of them new (this was before I was debt free and new better.)  The other one I purchased with cash about six years ago.  So it was used, had 80k miles on it and runs like a champ.  I only spent $5,600 on it.  Instead of paying a monthly car payment, pay yourself.  Put that money in savings, sure you will have a repair once in a while, but you will never spend $420 every month in repairs on any vehicle.

How It Adds Up

Just in this short article, between saving money on eating out, vending machines and monthly car payments, money that you think you don’t have to put into savings but yet you are spending each and every month, you could be saving each and every month.  What I mentioned above could add up to over $700 a month in your savings account, each and every month.

Sure cars and eating out are fun, and you can still have and do both within reason.  Rather than always saying you don’t have any money, wouldn’t it be nicer to say you have money in savings let’s do something special this weekend?