It takes money to make money, but it also takes money to save money. And in today’s economy, saving money can feel more like a distant dream than a nearby reality.
These 5 budgeting methods can help jumpstart your savings journey, even if you’re starting small.
An added bonus: Each tip is fun and so easy to implement that you can start today.
1. Subscribe to The Table with AO.
First introduced to the public on the Dave Ramsey show, Anthony O’ Neal approaches budgeting, savings, and wealth building with a down to earth and irreplicable style.
Anthony also invites Black millionaires and entrepreneurs to The Table to talk money, faith and relationships. Income generating tips from real estate investors to day trading experts keep it real and share easy to understand advice of high value.
Sharing deep knowledge while holding himself and his listeners to high standards of self-accountability. Anthony’s passion and high energy about financial health is infectious.
Take notes from this YouTube channel – it’s like having a financial advisor just one click away.
2. Use cash stuffing to up your savings.
With cash stuffing, you stuff cash into envelopes labeled for each area of your budget, leaving little room for gaps in your financial expectations versus reality.
When stuffing envelopes with cash went viral on TikTok, it was hailed as a genius budgeting and saving method. However, there is nothing new under the sun. The system is known by many names, but cash stuffing is a principle that’s been around for a long time.
Some savings enthusiasts are also jumping in on the “envelope challenge” to save thousands in cash in just a few months. The challenge is low investment and high reward, requiring that you only buy 100 envelopes and label them with dollar values from $1 to $100, then draw one envelope a day and add the labeled amount of money.
Cash stuffing is fun, but it can be a risky strategy if you are prone to misplacing money, compulsively spending cash on hand, your home is damaged (fire, etc.), or you experience theft.
3. Use zero-based budgeting (ZBB).
Zero-based budgeting is a well-known strategy for companies to account for every dollar spent and roll over into the next month with a financial safety net.
The same method can apply with individual budgeting.
Let’s say you’re a freelancer and your income changes monthly. With ZBB, you create budget categories and start a spending cycle based on money you already have without depending on your next pay period.
You can find a comprehensive breakdown on ZBB written by Mint.
4. Stop shopping while hungry.
Sounds simple enough, right? Until your stomach starts growling and you head to Walmart for a pre-made sandwich, only to leave out with a basket of $297.03 worth of food that you might not eat later. In case you can’t tell – I speak from experience.
I wouldn’t have made this mistake so often had I known that hungry shoppers spend 64% more money than people who aren’t craving a meal while shopping.
Eat before you shop whenever possible and plan your meals in advance. Shopping smart and meal prepping can save you over $2,000 a year.
5. Increase savings with subscription audits.
Between all the streaming services for television and music alone, “unnecessary” may be hard to define. But consider this: How many free hours do you have in a week to use all of your subscriptions? Probably not many – especially in comparison to the services you’re paying for each month. Acknowledging how much time you actually have to make use of your subscriptions is the first step to cutting down.
Next, analyze your bank account and list all your subscriptions. Cancel any that you’d forgotten about or haven’t used in the past two weeks. On average, this practice can save hundreds of dollars on unnecessary expenses. You could also use a third party service to quickly remove unused subscriptions, but no third party can match the satisfaction of cancelling unused subscriptions yourself, knowing that more money will stay in your bank account as a result.