Have you seen that weekly money savings thing floating around? It's where you save a certain dollar amount matching the week number. Well, I don't like the idea of trying to save so much at the end of the year, when we're trying to spend it on gifts. So I modified it to my liking. This change makes it so that you save about $200 a month for the whole year. You could also do it backwards, starting with $52 at the beginning of the year, finishing with $1 at the end of the year. That one's not bad either, but with my crappy paychecks from low hours lately makes that difficult for me. I attached a PDF copy of the three options I've discussed, as well as a secondary set that doubles the amounts. I'm leaning towards attempting the alternating double amounts so I can save almost $3000. I realize that this option doesn't work for everyone, but with my typical paychecks, I think I can pull it off. I'm going to print it out, put it on the fridge, and attach an envelope to store the savings. Once I reach $500 in my stash, I'm going to open a savings account at the bank to take advantage of interest rates. They may be low, but I like to consider it free money. And when i put it into an account that has fees for withdrawals, it's even better incentive not to touch it unless absolutely necessary. And some banks will wave monthly charges if you set up a monthly direct transfer from your checking to savings. I'm probably going to do that as well, so i can't 'forget' to save.
There are a lot of other ways that you could save money as well. It's always been recommended to me to save at least 10% of every paycheck so I can pay my taxes at the end of the year. My grandfather has even nagged me about saving 20%. Although I'm going to follow my plan above, I gave myself room in the spreadsheet to note higher amounts that I might save. Saving $1300 a year is great and all, but I need to save more than that if we ever hope to get a car or move into a house. But this weekly plan is a great start to those that have never tried to save anymore. One of my I Want goals is to stop spending money on needless/useless things, so that money will be saved as well. I'm looking forward to seeing just how much I save from that goal. A lot, I bet. I probably spend $500 a paycheck on stuff that I don't necessarily need. That's 6k a year that I could be saving! Or spending on something more fun, like a vacation :)