I don't remember the last time I made my bed. I wholeheartedly embrace the messy Mom 'do. I restart the dryer if I don't feel like folding clothes.
And when it comes to our family's finances, I'm even worse. I don't think I've ever balanced a checkbook (heck, I don't even remember the last time I wrote a check that wasn't for rent)!
I like money, and I like to take shortcuts. Not often a good mix, but I have found a way to make this work in my favor!
Here are some of my tips on saving money for those who lack ambition:
Get cash back…and stash it!
We've all seen that little phrase blink at us on the electronic debit readers at the checkout lane. Most of the time we just mindlessly press the “no” button. Stop it! I usually use my debit card to pay for transactions. Sometimes I'll get cash back thinking I'm going to hit up the drive thru on the way home and then use my debit card out of habit. So a $20 sits in my purse that I forget to use. Take that extra money and set it aside. I take my cash (no matter how small) and stash it in a locked safe under my bed. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep up this habit and watch that stash of cash grow.
Spare change adds up over time, so it makes sense to set aside the extra change a cashier hands back after a transaction. But this trick isn’t just for the cash-only crowd. Debit card users can do the same thing: Ask the cashier to input a higher dollar charge on the debit card before swiping it for a purchase. Round up to the nearest dollar and start collecting that extra change.
Mindless spending is a budget killer. We all know this. Need a reminder? Review recent transactions and see how frequently purchases were made for a quick latte, lunch on the go, overpriced baby wipes at a convenience store, etc. A thoughtless $5 purchase seems harmless, but they add up over time. Ignore those impulses to “run out” for a quick coffee or dash to a convenience store for wipes. Make the best of what’s available (brew coffee with the office coffee pot and use a washcloth and soap instead of wipes for an afternoon). Plan a trip to the store after searching for coupons and better prices first.
This is a guest post by Natalie from Perry, MI
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