Inspired by a similar post from Bitches Get Riches, here are a few things you can do quickly and easily.
Open an online bank account
First of all, this is a great way to make a few quick bucks. Sign up with Capital One 360 to get $25 when you open a checking or savings account.
Second, online banks tend to offer better rates than most brick-and-mortar institutions. It’s quick and easy to sign up, so check them out.
If you’re not a fan of Capital One, there are other options available. The best-known one is probably Ally, but I’ve heard great things about Simple too.
Make a change jar
We actually have separate containers for pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters. This makes it easier to count everything when the containers fill up. (And easier to raid when the ice cream truck comes around.) But you can start with single change jar if that’s easier.
It’s quick and easy to throw your coins in at the end of the day. If you use cash even a moderate amount, the coins will add up quickly. Even if you don’t use much cash (we don’t), you’ll be surprised by how much change accumulates. We certainly were.
So grab any container you have: a food jar, a vase, or even that water bottle you got for free, never use but somehow never get around to giving away — anything that’ll hold your change.
Et voila — you’re on your way to saving!
You no longer need scissors to use coupons. Nowadays you can load coupons directly to your store card.
You don’t have to worry about forgetting your coupons at home — something I’d never do (cough cough) — or having papers pile up or even rifling through your stack of coupons at the register while other customers impatiently tap their feet behind you.
Instead, the coupons will be automatically applied at checkout!
Just go to your grocery store’s website and pick the offers you want loaded. (CVS and Walgreens have this feature too.) The coupons will be automatically applied at checkout, and you’ll have saved easily.
Save those savings
Remember that money isn’t saved until you actually save it. It’s great that you got beaucoup bucks off your grocery bill, but where’s that cash?
Obviously, if you’re living on a very limited income, you need those savings to afford the rest of your purchases. But if you have enough money to spare, those “savings” had better get put in your savings account — or better yet, in a dedicated “saved savings” account. Which brings me to my next point…
Create sub-accounts for various goals
It all started because Tim wanted a vacation. Not even a big vacation. He wanted us to take off to Vegas (a car trip) for two or three days. I froze. Because our savings account was finally taking off. The balance looked so pretty that it broke my heart to think about voluntarily lowering it.
Eventually, this cycle repeated itself one too many time, and he begged me to make a vacation fund so that we could get away once in a while without my freaking out.
But oh, my friends, that was just the beginning. We now have 10 savings subaccounts — saved savings, washer/dryer, vacation, (eventual) new car, yearly car premium, Tim’s disability payments (until the hearing), estimated taxes, Tim’s fun money, my fun money and the emergency fund — all in addition to the actual savings account.
Obviously, you don’t have to go as crazy as I did. But the point is that subaccounts will let you save for various goals simultaneously. This way you don’t have to choose between fulfilling your money objectives (or even, gasp, having a little fun) and keeping savings intact.
What are some other quick and easy ways to make your financial life better?