9 Ways to Save Money While Paying off Debt

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Saving money is a big deal. Everyone wants to save, but it isn't always easy. This is especially true for many people who tend to live paycheck to paycheck.

Fortunately, there are plenty of unique ways to save money. One of the keys to saving is to make it a game. Try to enjoy it. After all, things we struggle with are more pleasant to cope with when we can make the process as fun as possible.

In this article, we take a look at 9 fun ways to save money that you can start using today to make your bank account happier and healthier. Keep reading to see great tips for helping you get started.

1. Making It a Game

Let's face it, saving money can feel like a chore. You work hard for every dollar you get, and so it's often tempting to want to enjoy your earnings now rather than socking it away for retirement. 

One of the best tricks for enjoying the process is to make a game of it. Challenge yourself to save as much as possible. After all, it can actually be a lot of fun living frugally and making every dollar stretch as far as possible rather than wasting money.

When you start paying closer attention to how you spend, you'll likely be surprised at how easily you can save a few dollars here and there, and those dollars add up quickly.

2. Use a Savings App

Smartphone apps have made it easy and fun to start saving a few cents at a time. For example, the Acorns apps sends a percentage of each purchase (up to a dollar) into an investment account that will invest those funds for you. You don't have to do a thing. 

There's no real risk because you're putting in such small amounts, and yet there is a potential to really grow your money. It's easy to do and fun to watch.

3. When You Get a Bonus, Don't Spend It

Anytime you receive a bonus at work or a bump in pay, it's human nature to want to elevate your lifestyle accordingly. And yet the smart move is to maintain your current lifestyle and save the pay increase.

Or perhaps you've received an inheritance or won some money unexpectedly playing the lottery. We encourage you to resist the impulse to go on a spending spree. Instead, put the money into a savings account, or work with high-net worth advisors to look for ways to invest the funds so that you can grow the extra money rather than waste it.

4. Use the Jar System

Here is a simple yet fun and effective way to watch your savings really add up. Take several glass jars and label each of them with the different categories you are saving for. This could include things like vacation, pension, college tuition, weekend fun money, saving for a new car, etc.

The key is to always drop your pocket change into the jars at the end of each day. Sometimes this will be a few pennies, and other days it will be five or ten dollars. It's a simple matter of depositing whatever winds up in your pocket at the end of the day rather than putting it back in your wallet to be spent.

Place the jars on your dresser, nightstand, or bathroom counter, and watch them slowly fill up. Then once each jar is full, you can deposit those funds into a savings account and start all over again with the empty jar. 

5. Don't Use ATMs

Those plastic cards in your wallet are super convenient for getting quick cash, but this is also the most convenient way to waste money. We recommend not grabbing cash at the ATM. 

If you find yourself short of cash, perhaps go home instead of eating out or going to the movie. A night in is cheaper than an evening on the town, and you'll be happy you made that decision in the long run.

6. Limit Debit Card and Credit Card Use

Again, those pesky plastic cards make it much too easy to spend money that you should be saving. Consider making it a habit to leave them at home, and use cash instead. The experience of paying cash for a meal or any other purchase is more painful when you see the actual money trading hands.

Cards are great for emergencies, but otherwise, they end up costing you more in the long run.

7. When You Pay Off Debt, Keep Making Payments into Savings

Here's a great tip for building your savings account. When you pay off a credit card or an auto loan, continue making those payments into your savings account. 

8. Use a Roundup Savings Account

Many banks offer a product called a roundup savings account. With this type of account, each time you pay a bill or make a purchase using your debit card, the bank will round up the amount of the purchase to the nearest dollar, and transfer the difference from checking to savings.

9. Cut Back on Recurring Expenses

The most basic way to save money is to simply reduce the amount you spend each week. Everyone has recurring expenses, so take an honest look at expenses you can't avoid, and see if there is a way of shaving off a few dollars whether you're working or retired.

Perhaps use less water. Keep the heat or air turned down. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Carpool to save gas.

There are a million different way to save a few bucks, and you'll be amazed how those dollars really do add up. 

The Top Fun Ways to Save Money

Saving money while paying off debt doesn't have to be a miserable experience. Using this list of fun ways to save money can actually make it a pleasant experience instead. The key is to keep your eyes on the prize so that you can enjoy your money during retirement when you really need it.

Keep checking back for more helpful posts like this one in the Money section of the Bootstrap Business Blog.

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