Saving While Broke: A Guide To Stretching A Dollar Out Of A Dime.
First and foremost – saving money when you don’t make a lot of it is difficult. There’s no way around that fact. There will be times when your savings become depleted but there are options. Get creative or enlist the help of someone you trust to not only increase the time between depleted savings account but to also make the most of the money while you have it.
Always good to have a trusted financial advisor, when you get back on your feet, but for right now here goes:
1: Avoiding Bank Fees.
One of the best ways to save money is quite simply not to spend it. We all know cutting back on coffees, snacks, etc do minimal in term of actually increasing your savings account. But what about the money you spend just to maintain bills. Most overdraft fees range from 15-40 dollars. For most people that’s equivalent to a tank of gas or two.
You can avoid these fees by keeping track of your balance before spending and by managing your automatic payments (Even if your account doesn’t have Overdraft enabled an automatic payment will almost always go through) to avoid these fees.
You can also use your specific banks ATM’s for withdrawals to avoid 3rd party ATM fees or do cashback at the register. All those avoided fee amounts are yours to save.
2: Automatic Transfers
If you have a checking and savings account – and you should. It’s easier to not spend money when every dime you have isn’t connected to your debit card. Then you can setup daily, weekly, or monthly transfers. Whichever works best for your own budget restraints.
The setup is fairly simple for most financial institutions and the amount varies based on your income. Even a dollar a week will add up over time and an amount small enough that you don’t immediately miss. It is key to maintain the habit.
3: Pay yourself first, your bills second, and anything else third.
We all get fooled by the illusion of payday morning.
Our bank accounts are ripe with the fruits of our labor. But sadly, that amount isn’t really ours. Deduct your bills and you’ll get a much better sense of how much money you -actually- have to spend. Otherwise you run the risk of believing that pre-bill balance is all just spending money. And spend you will, until it comes time to pay said bills and suddenly there is an overdraft fee. (See above paragraph ref: overdraft)