“I think I can’t. I think I can’t. I think I can’t.” If you want to save money heading into the holiday season, let this be your mantra.
Well, don’t let it be your mantra for all aspects of life, just the ones you establish as money-saving methods.
Still not following?
We all have vices. Some of us gamble; some of us cheat on our taxes; some of us rob banks. (Some of us are worse than others, evidently.) If you’re trying to fly the straight and narrow and want to at least get some benefit from your vice of choice until you do, start using it like a savings account. Whenever you do that thing you do, set aside a predetermined amount of money in a jar. When you eventually do manage to quit for good, you’ll have a nice little piggy on the go. (If your vice is stealing money from jars, this article is not for you.)
Let’s look at some potential jar options, which should have even the saintliest of citizens setting some money aside.
Are you looking for an incentive to quit smoking? Forget patches, gum, and pills, there’s no better motivator than getting paid. For every cigarette you smoke, one dollar goes straight into the jar. It may not seem like much at first, but it will certainly add up quickly. If you succeed in quitting, treat yourself to something nice with all the money you have saved.
Watching the Amazing Race instead of actually going for a run? Skipped the gym to spend time on Facebook? Fine yourself for every time you skip out on exercise. Worst case scenario: you can afford to buy a new wardrobe for your flabby, rotund physique.
Junk Food Jar:
Exercise is just half the batter, I mean battle. Having a junk food jar is another way to improve your health. If you indulge in unhealthy snacks, charge yourself a buck. Give up two dollars for every serving of pop. And for those days you dine out at your local drive-thru: Abraham Lincoln goes into the jar.
This one can get expensive in a hurry. Every time you forgo taking the trash out, doing the dishes, or washing your laundry, money goes into the jar. The amount should be predetermined. Or better yet, let your wife/husband/friend decide for you. Be sure to be on their good side before you ask.
If you really want to save up quickly, get multiple jars on the go. Just be really, really careful that you don’t then take all your savings and use it for a cigarette and candy binge while you procrastinate from going to the gym.
(Photo credit: Havaysard79 (http://moneypantry.com/tip-jar/) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.)