Everyday Cheapskate: Tax yourself, drink water and other money saving tips

The past 12 months have been tough on many people, and higher living costs have made it extremely difficult to build savings. So at this point, your best bet is to look ahead to 2023 and develop a plan that allows you to make great progress with your savings, no matter what that means for you.

HOW TO SAVE MONEY

Saving money is a curious term with two meanings: 1) To spend less, as in, “I buy things on sale to save money,” and 2) To physically place money where it is safe from being spent, as in, “I save money in my secret savings place.”

  • Read more: Everyday Cheapskate: Cut your food bill and save $1,200; here’s how

OK, that’s fine. But here’s the problem. It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking that 1 and 2 are the same. They are not unless you stop by the bank to deposit the difference between what you would have spent had the stuff not been on sale, right into your savings account or wherever you stash cash. Actually, that IS one clever way to boost your savings this year. Here are eight more:

NO. 1: TAX YOURSELF

This coming year, assess yourself a specific “tax” each time you make an ATM withdrawal. It might be $5 or $10; you decide. Whatever the amount, make sure you become a brutal tax collector AND carry through and put the tax you collected into your safe savings place. No slacking, no IOUs.

NO. 2: IMPOSE A MORATORIUM

Select a specific denomination of currency, like the $1 or $5 bill you will not spend this year, but save instead. Forbid yourself and get very strict. On second thought, why not just go with the $5? Your stash will grow much faster if you refuse to spend any Abe Lincolns in 2023.

NO. 3: HOARD THE COUPON SAVINGS

Here’s one way to do that if you are still working with paper coupons: When you grocery shop, ask the clerk to total your order and then pay for it — however you do it….

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