I have struggled with saving money in the past. One of the reasons why is my self control over the money I spend, or lack thereof. I have tried everything from opening a savings account to investing in a company through a 401k and even setting a budget for how much I can spend per meal, per day. However, at the end of the month, I found that I was struggling to make due with the money I had because I would overspend or all my money was tied up somehow. Now, I could explain all of the details of savings accounts or investing, but it is much more efficient for me to explain the benefits of keeping your money at home.
You might be saying to yourself, well how the heck am I supposed to save money and keep myself from lifting the mattress and grabbing a 20 or two, right? Well honestly, the only one stopping you is yourself. At the end of the day, if you can’t control yourself, you should probably just give your money away because it’s going to go to useless junk anyways. Or give it to me, I’d be glad to keep it.
With that said, let’s get right into it. Savings accounts are nice, but most of the time, they will cost money to keep open. For example, many banks have a minimum amount of money you have to have in the account or you’ll be charged a monthly fee. I say that is no good. Why give them any more money than they already have? As for investing, sure it can be amazing if you latch onto a great startup company which turns out to be worth a fortune, although, let’s be honest, those chances are slim. You’re most likely going to put your money into an account that grows and decreases by pennies per day. Sure, if the stock is up, you’re a happy investor, but just as easy as the money comes, the money could go. Not to mention, when your money is tied up in stocks, you can’t get the money immediately, You’ll have to wait for the payout, which could cause more problems for yourself when in a bind.
So let’s say you agree with the above and decide to follow my ideology of stuffing your mattress full of money. How do you stop yourself? Well first off, don’t stuff your mattress, or place it anywhere near your bed. Doing so will give you a constant reminder of where the money is and will not help you save. Try this instead, grab an envelope, (you can usually get one for free from your bank) and place a 20 dollar bill inside. Take that envelope and place it somewhere like a closet, garage, or storage compartment. The trick is to have it somewhere you’ll remember putting it, but not remember exactly where it is in that spot. I keep mine in a tin box, inside a 3-drawer storage compartment I picked up from Walmart. This is also where I keep random things that I want to keep but don’t really have use for. Because of this, I can always remember I placed it in that random spot, yet, still stay away from it because I hardly ever open it up.
The next step in the process of keeping your money growing is to go to the ATM and withdraw another $20. For me, I like to do this at least once a week. I find it’s best to just take the money out as if I had spent it on something rather than set a confusing budget. Take it home and put it in that envelope. Make a game out of it. See just how many twenties will fit inside. I can assure you that once you get this routine down, you’ll find yourself wanting to fill up the envelope more and more each week.
Lastly, I must warn you, don’t count your money! Honestly, it’s best not to know how much you have put in. Just leave it there for a rainy day and after a year of 20s each week you’ll have $1,040. Happy Savings!