In my last post I gave you the whole story of how we got out of debt. This week it’s all about saving.
We may not be in debt, but our savings is nowhere near what it should be. In fact, according to a 2017 GOBankingRates survey, “more than half of Americans (57 percent) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.” 1
Yikes. I don’t know about you, but I would make excuses: I couldn’t save because there were too many things that kept coming up, or I’m out of debt isn’t that good enough? While I’m thankful that in our current state, the things that have come up have been taken care of with cash, a healthier savings would eliminate the what-are-we-going-to-do-if -something-major-happens question.
Despite our bad choices over the years and our emaciated savings account, God has ALWAYS, without fail, provided for our needs. I could spend the next 1,000 words singing His praises and give you example after example of how His goodness is not dependent on our behavior, but that will have to be for another day. On to the matter at hand.
In 2000, my family and I moved to Chicago so my husband could pursue graduate school. We sold our house, cancelled our various accounts, and closed our checking account. One of the habits I had gotten into was rounding up the amount I wrote a check for in my check register to the nearest dollar. I mainly did it because it made the math easier–you know, round numbers and all. Surprisingly, when we closed the account, we had a surplus of $1200. I had inadvertently saved what, for me, was a massive amount of money.
Enter 2018, and there are now apps that do basically the same thing. The Qapital app, does this very thing. Here’s how it works: open a free FDIC-insured account with them and set up how you want to save money. For instance, I have set it so that every time I use my debit card to pay for something, it will round up to the nearest dollar and dump that change into the Qapital account. It can be set up anyway you want.
I’m joining forces with my blogging friend, Amy, who has hers set up so that every time she spends a certain amount of money at Starbucks, it dumps a specific amount of money into her Qapital account. Check out her blog to see the specifics of how she’s using this app.
We will be checking in every three months to share our progress. I love the idea because I’m lazy, and it requires nothing from me. I will not get rich this way, but every little bit helps, and if you sign up using my referral link, we both get $5. Free money, people!
There are a myriad of ways to save:
- Pay yourself first (which we’re also doing)
- Invest-my ultimate goal
- 52week money challenge– This one is easier if you start backwards, saving $52, then $51, etc, or so I’ve heard.
- Get a side job and save the earnings. Anything from tutoring to picking up dog poop for people who don’t want to do it themselves.
- Sell stuff and save the proceeds. I’m guessing most of us have way more junk in our houses than we need unless you’re a minimalist. If only….
The key is to find something you will do and stick with it. Saving is hard because it involves exercising the stiff muscle of delayed gratification, but it’s worth it. Join us. Your future self will thank you.
How are you saving this year? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas.