Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smart Money: Micro Savings

Run catch the Friday Blog Hop From Smart And Trendy!

Guest Blogger

What a treat!!! Today Adrian, of Adrian's Crazy Life, and I are swapping posts.  We are both fascinated with ways women (especially) can save money, make money, grow money, spend money, and pick it off trees!  We both passionately believe that "we women" must know more about money, lots more.  I like all her posts but this one particularly caught my eye because the ideas are so doable.  I hope you will enjoy it and go visit her too!

Sometimes I think the saving habit is one of the hardest habits to develop. But that savings account has saved my butt so many times, I just don't understand how people function without one.

I think the trap people fall into is thinking that they don't have "enough" money to develop a regular savings habit. That's kind of delusional thinking because the emergencies aren't going to stop coming just because you don't have the money on hand to deal with them. So when the car breaks or the water heater floods the basement, you are going to reach for the credit card, borrow from relatives, or heaven forbid, resort to the dreaded payday loan. Those are all strategies that just dig you deeper in the hole.

So, how to deal with that pesky problem with finding the money to fund your savings account. The answer is microsavings - lots of tiny changes to generate extra money to save. Here are some ideas for you:

Illegal Tender: This was my Mom's favorite strategy. She would declare certain denominations of money as "Illegal Tender" - usually quarters, but sometimes just nickles or dimes. Then she would sort the extra change out of her wallet every night and put it in a special jar. It added up a lot faster than you would think and she would usually be able to deposit an extra $30-$50 per month to have savings account. There are some banks that will do this for you automatically now. Every time you use your debit card, it rounds the transaction up to the nearest dollar amount and moves the change off to your savings account - sweet!

Extreme Couponing: It takes extra time and dedication, but you can save a lot of money with coupons. The trick is to figure out how much money you actually saved and bank it. Otherwise, it just slips off into the wild blue yonder and you never seem to benefit from it.

Brown Bagging: If you aren't already doing it, you can save money through brown bagging your lunches, or other types of cutbacks. For instance, meatless Mondays, breakfast for dinner, or cutting back on eating out. Again, the important part is to track your savings and funnel that money into the bank.

Garage Sales/Ebay/Craigslist: If you are not having luck with any of these methods, its time to get more intense. Start digging around your house for stuff you can sell for extra money. I've done this for years and I've made thousands and cleared a lot of unwanted stuff out of my house. In fact, I just made $35 from Amazon just this week. I had a gift I'd bought for my granddaughter, but it hadn't arrived in time for Christmas. Rather than return it, I resold it on their website for more than I paid for it (I'd bought it at the sale price & used a $25 gift card), so I made a tidy profit on it. And I was able to print the postage on my printer and mail it right from my porch!

Extra work: There's a ton of ways you can fund your savings account by doing extra work. It doesn't always have to mean a second job, or a heavy-duty commitment like that. You can occasionally babysit or tutor kids, give piano/guitar lessons, do hair, or clean houses, whatever floats your boat. I teach stamp classes twice a month and my husband does odd jobs and lawn mowing for people in the neighborhood.

Direct Sales (party plan businesses): This one comes with a warning. Do NOT get into this if you have a shopping problem. It takes a lot of discipline to make this work properly and not be a liability to your budget. However, if you're smart and disciplined about it, you can make quite a bit of money in these businesses. I have sold Stampin' Up! for seven years and Pampered Chef for one. I don't make a fortune, but it's a nice trickle of extra money, and I get a lot of stuff for free that I would have bought anyway.

The important thing is to get that money into the bank anyway you can and once it's there - forget about it and let it grow.

What are your best ideas for microsavings?

Stop by Adrian's every Thursday for a fresh dose of Smart Money.

Thank you Adrian!


  1. My 'side job' is tutoring. It's very sporatic but that is fine with me. Also I have been doing Extreme Couponing for 2 months so I am a newbie. I never have been successful with coupons but now it is so easy with the Internet. I'll be writing about the how-tos soon. We dump all change in a box at end of each day and change it out to cash every now and then. Usually goes in my Vacation Savings account. Thanks Adrian for all your ideas.

  2. In order to apply for the guaranteed payday loans the borrower has to be employed with a regular job. He needs to mention a current valid bank account.

  3. You give alot of practical pts. on how to save and make money. Brown bag is a healthy way and saves $$ Following u back

  4. One good idea for those just starting to look at where they can save is to keep an itemized list of everything they purchase for a few months. Those extra cups of take out coffee and snacks might seem like a drop in the bucket, but they can really add up.

    Funny story, a friend questioned my habit of buying my favorite 12 oz bag of coffee beans for $9.99/bag, but she stops for a cup of coffee 5 days a week. I didn't point out the fact that my bag lasts two weeks and provides me with about 28 cups of coffee. For the same $9.99 she might only get 3-5 cups of take out coffee.

  5. The one thing I need to do better about is couponing. The amount of organization and work to do it correctly is daunting to me.

  6. I love the illegal tender idea! Will be implementing into our house. Hopping in from a hop. Would love if you can stop by. Have a wonderful day!

  7. Hanna, Thanks for the visit. Payday loans? Never, never, never. They get people in trouble. I know sometimes you have to do what you have to do but ....

  8. What a wonderful post! I like the suggestion on illegal tender! I think we will start doing that! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and the kind words you left!

    Stopping by from Social Parade on Friday Blog-Hop !!!!

    Anna, The Pilot's Wife

  9. Stopping by from the Social Parade. Have a lucky weekend!

  10. The one thing I have NEVER done is refiance my home. That has been the biggest and best thing I have done. I have a family member who always refianced to pay of credit cards, them just charged them up to there limit again. They have done this for the last 15 yrs. now they are losing their home. My theory is "If you don't have the cash, don't buy it". Thanks for coming by and following my blog, you will be able to go on the trip with all your tricks to saving.

  11. Following you on GFC from Social Parade on Friday. Please return the favor.


  12. Hi. I am a new follower fro
    M the over 40 bloghop. Thanks for popping by if you are able.


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