It can be so tough creating a savings plan when you life paycheck to paycheck, but it is not impossible. While some of these may be the same things you are already doing, others may be a new thought to add to your savings plan. Even a dollar a week will create a $52 savings that can help on a rainy day. There is never too small an amount to save.
Creating A Savings Plan When You Live Paycheck To Paycheck
Have part of your paycheck auto drafted into a savings account. This may be the best choice for most people who have a direct deposit available through their employer. Setting a specific amount per pay period to automatically be placed into a savings account takes away your chance of spending it from your regular account. It can be harder and more work for you to move that amount back into your checking account, which makes it less likely to be touched. Even $5 per pay period can add up to $100 in no time. A $100 savings is more than zero – and well worth having.
Don’t count the change. When using your debit card, don’t count the change. Always round up to the next dollar when accounting for it in your check register or account spreadsheet. At the end of the month when you balance your account, you can make an adjustment for the difference and transfer that money into your savings account. This manner of “tricking” yourself into thinking you have less cash available on hand can help you to become more purposeful in your purchases when out and about.
Use online rewards to pay for every day items. When your paycheck just doesn’t leave enough to put money into savings, you have to find other ways of eliminating expenses. You have likely already downsized as much as you possibly can, but you haven’t yet added extra income into the situation. While a second job isn’t always a possibility, you can easily take advantage of various apps and websites that allow you to complete surveys, do online searches and similar in exchange for rewards points you cash in for gift cards or even cash via Paypal. This money can then pay for things on Amazon, or even pay for grocery store gift cards.
Count the change. If you use cash to pay bills, buy lunch out or other similar regular purchases, you can go the old school route of adding your loose change to a jar or bowl to be added up and rolled to exchange for cash later on. Over a few months time you can easily save as much as $100 in loose change without even thinking about it. This usually works best for those who use cash on a regular basis already.
Reduce your utility usage and pocket the savings. Remember to turn lights off, turn the heat and a/c down when you won’t be home, and you could find yourself saving a few dollars each month that helps your income stretch. Check with your utility companies for payment plans like budget billing or other special offers that could help you save. Places like Direct Energy can really help you save. Save up to 14%* over DP&L’s electricity rate, and up to 10%* over Duke Energy’s electricity rate. There’s more! Save up to *5% over The Illuminating Company’s electricity rate, and up to 3%* over Ohio Edison’s electricity rate!
These tips for creating a savings plan when you live paycheck to paycheck are not easy when things are tight, but the are manageable. If you think and plan ahead, you can create a small savings account for those emergency needs. A savings account doesn’t have to be large to count. Simply having something is better than having nothing when an emergency happens.
*Savings refers to the current difference between Direct Energy‘s fixed rate offer and the Utility’s current Fixed Rate for Basic Service as of January 8, 2016, and does not include any other component of the electricity bill. Utility rates are subject to change and there may be no savings following the respective official utility rate change date. Direct Energy’s fixed rates include electricity supply charges only and excludes delivery/transmission charges, taxes, and all other utility-related charges. Offer is limited and valid for new residential customers only.