As a member of the sandwich generation, caring for an aging loved one and your children, you may find that saving for the future has taken a backseat to paying for things that you need now. You may want to save money, and know that you need to for your future, but you aren’t sure where to start. Here are five ways for you to get started NOW with saving, that do NOT include clipping coupons.
Coins Add Up
This sounds silly, but save your coins. Set out jars where you and the family normally empty your pockets and start dropping your coins in at the end of each day. If you have little ones in the home, you may need to pick a kid safe jar with a lid they can’t remove, as the last thing you want is your tot swallowing one.
At the end of each week empty the change out of your purse and car and add them to the jars. While coins don’t seem like they would add up to much, they do. Depending on the size of your jar and the coins in them, you could be looking at anywhere from $20 to $100. How many jars will you fill in a year? You’ll have to try it out and see. Because coins are often overlooked, it will feel like free money.
Cancel Memberships That You Don’t Use
If you’re like most people, there is some type of membership or club that you pay for yet you don’t really use. If you have a Netflix account that you no longer watch or a gym membership that you haven’t visited in a few months, see if you can cancel without incurring a huge fee. If you can cancel, start sending that monthly fee to savings each month.
Brown Bag It
How much do you spend on lunch each day? If you spend $6 a day on lunch, you’re spending $1560 a year that you could be saving. If both you and your spouse eat out on work days, that’s OVER $3000 a year on lunches!
Instead of hitting the drive thru, start brown bagging it. Take 30 minutes on Sunday and pack lunches for the week so that you’re good to go in the mornings. Your wallet and waistline will thank you! Plus, you won’t spend half your lunch break waiting on your order.
Afraid you will be eating pbj five days a week? It doesn’t have to be that way. Check out our post Save Time and Money With Menu Planning. Pinterest has a TON of easy and frugal lunch ideas that won’t have you bored with weekday lunches. Things like soups, chili, and casseroles can be cooked on Sunday and portioned out for the week ahead.
Did you know that you can save on meals and purchases for your elder without clipping coupons? As we told you about in our post How Aging Can Save You Money – Elder Discounts, at some places all you have to do is ask for the senior discount to receive one. When you receive this sort of discount, take the amount saved and put it in a special envelope. When your envelope starts getting thicker, deposit it into your savings account. You would have spent that amount anyways, so why not have the savings go to work for you!
Set up Automatic Savings Withdrawals
While the experts used to tell people to save 10 percent of their pay right off the top, 20 percent is the new number to save. That can seem really high, especially when caring for kids and elders, so the trick is to find a percent that works for you. Look at your budget, your income and expenses, and figure out how much money you can have automatically withdrawn that won’t put you in a bind.
Your bank can set it up so that on each payday part of your cheque is taken out of your account and transferred to savings. Saving just $10 a week adds up to $520 a year. When you can afford to, up the amount that is transferred. If you get to the point that you can save $100 a week, you’re saving $5,200 a year!
Do you know an easy way that others could use to help save money for the future? Do you plan to use any of the tips we listed above? If you have a thought or a tip to share, leave a comment! We LOVE comments, and yours could be the one that helps others in the sandwich generation finally get on top of their money.
Photo courtesy of Rick on Flickr.