How do YOU save money?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
Member
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I recently started using the good budget app https://goodbudget.com/ and it really helps me a lot. It basically is the envelope system but as an app. It especially helps me with the small purchases that add up (for example I have a Starbucks or make up envelope). Might be something for you as well.

Post # 32
Member
67 posts
Worker bee

Agree with pinkshoes. Saving money is great if you can but dont forgot to enjoy life. You need to invest in order to really grow your nest egg. By doing your laundry every couple of weeks or ditching your fav Saturday big Latte at your fav local wont get you there. You may be saving $200 a month by doing all the cutting, thats just over 2k a year (not counting compound intetest here).

Maybe start investing small amounts and see what happens? Its quiet addictive i can tell you! 

 

 

Post # 33
Member
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

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sassybeee :  I have no life lol. I have a set grocery budget of $60 a week. I pay bills and the rest goes into wedding savings.  It’s not fun. I think once the wedding is paid I’ll set aside an amount for savings and then start living a little. 

Post # 34
Member
957 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’ve been trying to cut back TONS since we have other goals in the next couple years. 

My ideas:

-literally everything I can make at home, I do. Coffee, breakfast, meal prep for lunches (Sunday night, I just line up containers and make 5 salads or veggie rice bowls). 

-Try to find alternatives with friends besides happy hour. Like walks, or meeting at one person’s house. Still cheaper than $9+ glasses of wine each plus apps

-Whenever I’m tempted to buy something, I think do I really NEED that? Don’t I have tons of clothes? Or, I put whatever it is in my amazon cart, and see if I still remember it’s there the next day

-I haven’t done this, but it’s a fun idea. I read about someone that, whenever she was about to buy something and changed her mind, whether it be boots, lipstick, coffee out… she automatically went to her phone and transfered the $ she would have spent into her savings account.

Post # 35
Member
4774 posts
Honey bee

I haven’t read the other answers yet, so sorry if this is a repeat.

Basically direct deposit is the only thing that has worked for me.  If I have to transfer the funds myself, I’ll always find excuses not to (“oh, this week is the car insurance bill – I’ll just pay double into savings next time cause I don’t want to cut myself short”).  And then I never do.  So I set up a certain percentage of my gross to automatically into into one of three places before the rest goes into checking – retirement fund, regular savings (slush fund for car and house repairs) and a separate high yield savings at a bank with limited access so it makes it less likely I’ll try to touch it since it isn’t where I do my regular banking.  Additionally, any raises, bonuses, or overtime money goes directly into the high yield savings.  I also started out very low when I had a lot of debt (like just 10 dollars a pay period because I was super broke and making squat) and then I would up the amount I put into one of these accounts by 1% every year so it is sort of a slow burn that you don’t immediately notice and feel restricted but you just gradually adjust to because you never see the money in your checking in the first place.

Do you have any outstanding debt (car loans, credit cards, etc.)?  If yes, pay that down first asap (you’ll pay more in interest there than you’ll earn in a savings account) And then take whatever that amount is every month after you paid it off and chuck it into savings.  So If your car payments were 250 and you paid that off, save or invest that 250 every month instead of considering it bonus fun money.  Doing that, good chances are the next car you can just outright buy with cash.

If you have a multi-year plan, CDs offer a higher interest rate if you are ok with the money not being immediately liquid.  There are also a few ultra high rate savings plans out there but they usually require more work than I’m willing to put into it (like having a $10000-15000 minimum, a certain number of debit transactions per month etc).  They’ll often have bonuses for opening an account with a certain amount of money, so if you are the type that doesn’t mind shuffling your money around a lot and keeping track of transactions at multiple banks you could take advantage of those offers.  I am too lazy and paranoid for that though.

Post # 36
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
sassybeee :  I agree with pp about investing money, especially if you know you will not need for a set amount of time. Even a low to moderate risk profile for investments will net you a better return than a savings account. You are in Canada so you can leverage a TFSA so you don’t pay taxes on the interest, and you can still use the money in it for investments. If you are looking to buy in Vancouver, my guess is you will need a 75-100k downpayment, right? That’s a lot of money to generate interest before you are ready to use it. 

As for groceries, I price match and shop in season. Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore price match near me (not sure which ones do in BC). I use flip to search for my must buys (milk, eggs, chicken breast, whatever), and then at the store I choose my veggies and fruit based on what is on sale. Groceries for my Darling Husband, myself and my DS is about $100-125/week including meat. 

Post # 37
Member
8750 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

The single best way to save is to automate it. If you rely on your own willpower to make the transfer every week most people will find an excuse not to do it. Since I get paid every week I have an automatic transfer set up to kick $500/week into our savings account. If we have a lot of overtime or a bonus or my husband sells something or we get a rebate/gift check we will also usually put that into savings too, but that $500/week is the minimum and non-negotiable. Once a month a portion of that savings is automatically invested in our brokerage account and our daughter’s 529 plan. We’re all about index funds in our house. We also usually try to float miscellaneous expenses with our checking account buffer so it’s rare for us to take money out of the savings account. 

I’ll admit we have not been the most frugal in our spending lately as we’re adjusting to the end of our parental leaves and the loss of a house-spouse since we both work full time. As we’re getting back into the swing of things we’re making an effort to meal plan and we can feed 2 adults and an 8 month old baby for about $400/month (thanks Market Basket and Costco!)

Post # 38
Member
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Have SO handle all the finances, have him convince you you guys are living paycheck to paycheck each month, and kick into panicked frugality mode. Meanwhile have SO transfer lots of money to savings account 🙂

That’s an exaggerated version of how things work in our house. I basically operate under the assumption that we’re broke ALL THE TIME even though we are far from it. It helps that I basically never managed the finances after leaving student life so I’m stuck in perma-student mentality 😀

 

Genuinely helpful ideas:

– Invest (as PPs said). Aside from our emergency fund (~6 mos living costs) all our savings sit in rob-investment funds (one that we use is Wealthsimple which I think also has a Canadian operation?)

– Budget. Darling Husband has a very set budget that he tracks every month. It took a few months of tracking to adjust the budget to realistic levels but I think now we’re pretty spot on. I also know that we do a 3-6 month expense “forecast” where we try to anticipate upcoming costs (e.g. planned trips, birthdays, holiday gifts, weddings, etc) and estimate what we’ll need to pay for it and then start putting money aside so that by the time the event rolls around the money is sitting there ready to be used.

– Darling Husband packs a lunch (my lunch is mostly covered by work), we socialize in-home (lots of dinner parties, movie nights, game nights, cocktail evenings — all in a friend’s home), we don’t have cable or landline, we don’t go out to movies

– Clothes: I used to spend too much on clothes. I no longer shop in brick and mortars (like EVER) and make myself keep an item in my online basket for 24 hours before purchase. Only exception is if there’s an item I’m replacing that I’ve been hunting for for a while then I’ll buy immediately when I find a good one (e.g. I’m replacing my black booties right now and the struggle is real to find a pair I like so the moment I do I’m hitting “confirm purchase”!) 

– Anything potentially still useable that I’m throwing away I list on a facebook market place first to see if I can get any hits. 

 

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