Pretty much all of the financial experts out there say that part of your income should go towards your savings account. Build up your emergency fund first (which they recommend being 6 months to a years worth of pay) as well as focusing on paying off your smallest debt first. Sometimes it’s not always easy to put away that money for savings when you have bills that need to be paid NOW. Or, you may be planning something in the future like a family vacation that you need to save up for, but can’t find the extra cash to do it.
That is why I like to find other creative ways to make extra money. Throughout the years my husband and I have found a few different ways that we were able to make some extra money to put away and build up a bit of a savings without taking away from the funds we need to pay our monthly bills. With these different methods, we managed to save over $5000 in 6 months!
Here are some of the ways that we have found to make some extra money:
1. Mason Jar Method
This may be one of my favourite ways to save money. There are many different methods out there, but essentially, the Mason Jar Method is when you have a set list of an amount of money that you put in a jar (in our case a pencil case) per day or week. When you put the money away you cross it off the list and move on to the next ‘deposit’. For me, there is some sort of satisfaction of crossing that dollar value off of my list each week. Each Mason Jar Method has a different amount of money that you have a goal of saving at the end which you are fully aware of. I find that when I have a set amount of money as a goal at the end of a specific period of time, it is very motivating for me to put the money in the jar. There are Mason Jar Methods where you can put as little as one or two dollars a week away, and after 52 weeks you’ve saved $500 which you could put towards a trip, or the holiday gifts that year. I have a few different Mason Jar Method savings jars that I put money away for, for specific reasons. One is a vacation fund, and the other is to save up for the holiday gifts next year. Whatever the reason is that you start your Mason Jar Method savings, I find this to be really effective as long as you follow through each week.
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2. Use Cash on Purpose and Put Away the Change
This one is an oldie but a goodie. When I was growing up, my mom would always use cash to pay for things. As soon as she got home, she would grab her wallet, and dump all of her change in a jar. In no time, the jar would be full to the brim and my mom would have a few hundred dollars to deposit into her bank account. Saving your change instead of spending it is a great, and fast way of saving money. If something costs $1.25 and you have a loonie and a quarter, but you also have a five dollar bill, use your five bucks and save the change! Dumping our your piggy bank and rolling your coins is so satisfying and tons of fun for the kids to do. And honestly, you don’t have to put your change in a jar. You can get creative with your storage. There are a few people I know that put their change in a large water jug, or in an ACTUAL piggy bank.
3. Put Away the Money you’d Spend on Things you Don’t Need to Spend On
Every time there is something that I want to buy but don’t need (those pair of boots), or there is something I want to do but don’t need to do (that manicure) I put that exact amount of money away. The thirty-five dollars I would have spent on those boots or that manicure is a big chunk of money that could go towards my savings. If you do that every time you want to make an impulse purchase, you will find that your savings will start to add up.
I LOVE Ebates! There, I said it. I do a lot of online shopping, especially because I have Amazon Prime. Every time I want to purchase something online I log on to Ebates first, click on the vendor I want to purchase from, and then I get redirected to the vendors website where I then do my shopping as I normally would. The only difference is that I get a percentage of the amount of money I spend at that vendor back in cold hard cash. Well, actually, it’s sent to me as a cheque, but it’s MY money. The catch? None! At first before I signed up I was skeptical because really, who is just going to give money away just for shopping? But they do! So far over 3 years I think I have made about $250 just from online shopping. That may not sound like a lot for 3 years, but honestly, for the first two years I didn’t do much online shopping. And, if you make bigger purchases, you get more money back. So, instead of going to the store to purchase that laptop, buy it online from the Apple Store. Each vendor has a difference percentage of cash back. Throughout the year Ebates also has ‘sales’ where the cash back percentage may be higher.
When I first signed up, I bought a new pair of winter boots online. I spent about $175 but also got $50 back because that vendor was having a cash back sale on Ebates! They also have a deal where you get $5 free just for signing up.
5. Cash Back Debit Account
Our financial institution has a program where for every purchase you make with your debit card, a certain amount of money is automatically transferred from that account into your savings account. You can set up any amount you want. To start, we just did fifty cents, but if you are like me and rarely have cash on you, that can start to add up.
I hope these ways of saving money help you build up a savings fund for you for whatever reason your saving. If you have any other ways that work for you to save money please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear of different ways that you save a buck!