How I saved $1,000 while making $9.00 per hour
Starting at age 19, I had to get a job and start paying all my bills, including college. My parents helped me when they were able, but with 3 kids, a grandson, and a weak economy they needed me to become financially independent. I feel like young men and women at the college age and into their 20’s struggle with saving money. I know I did. We work our butts off and then never see a dime. It’s frustrating and can become a damper on your confidence.
At the time, my monthly bills and expenses came out to be around $900 give or take. I worked 30-35 hours per week at $9.00 per hour. The thought of a budget was overwhelming. The stress came creeping up and made it seem almost impossible to create a budget with my income.
My epiphany that put money in my savings
One day, something clicked! Something so incredibly simple that ANYONE can do it! I wrote out all my monthly expenses and how much money I need to have in my bank account to afford it all. Once I figured that out I realized that I had some spending money left over but because I couldn’t see the money I would spend more than I had. So, I decided that with every paycheck I would withdrawal $200. I would keep $100 in my wallet and put $100 in an envelope that I was not allowed to touch. I could spend the $100 on whatever I wanted! The only catch was that my bank account could only pay for bills, gas, and occasionally groceries. Within 5 months I had saved a little over $1,000. If I had “fun money” left over by my next paycheck I would add it to my “saving money”.
The budget challenge
I challenge you to calculate all your bills and what you need to live on and an amount to stash away. Not only will you save money but you will learn a lot of self-control! Do you really want to spend part of your “fun money” on a $5 cup of coffee every day or do you want to go out with your best friends on Friday and spend $25?
There are two rules to this method. If you break these rules it will not work.
- Once you run out of “fun money” you cannot use your debit card! Again, it is only for bills and gas.
- You cannot dip into your “Saving money”. I would set a date as to when you can take money out. It could be 6 months or 1 year. The longer you wait, the more money you will have.
In 5 months, I was able to save $1,000! That is $2,400 in 1 year. It was difficult to have self-control but it took the stress and anxiety away when I had an unexpected expense or emergency because I knew I had money saved.
I would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below.