As some of you know, I loved challenging myself when I was in debt. 

I would find creative ways to cut back so that I could pay off my debt early.  It worked.  Now that I am out of debt, I continue to challenge myself with different ways to save money.  The difference is that I can use the money I save today towards my wants, needs, vacation, or emergency fund.

Right now the money I save is going to be the spending money for my cruise in December. 

Here are some of the creative ways I have been saving for that upcoming trip:

    • After reading a blog written by Suzanne Coblentz about challenging ourselves to save all of the $5 bills in our wallet, I started saving.  I have saved close to $75 a month by doing this. (Thanks for the idea Suzanne!).
    • A challenge for me is lunches at work.  Almost every day at work someone wants to go out and pick up food.  Every time I say no, I put the money into the jar with a tip included.  I figure I deserve the tip for staying strong.
    • When I go to the grocery store and use my club card for any store discounts, I take the total saved and put that toward my savings.
    • Also, with my grocery club card I get fuel rewards.  Once I have enough points saved up to get $1 off per gallon, I use it.  That gives me another $10-$12 per use.
    • I save all of my change.  Well actually, I do leave some pennies in my wallet so I can get the silver coin over the copper.

Here are a couple of ways I have been increasing my emergency fund:

  • Any money I didn't use from my weekly budget goes directly into my emergency fund.
  • Any bill that is less than what I expected to pay also goes into my emergency fund.  For example, when my daughter moved to California she had to get her own car insurance.  It used to be that I paid for her insurance and she paid for our family cell phone plan.  Now I just pay her for my portion of the phone bill, saving me $30 a month.  Plus, I put the reimbursement from the insurance company into savings since I pay a month in advance.

As you can see, there are so many ways we can be creative about saving money. 

We can also be creative about how we decide to spend or save our money.  Be creative, find what works for you, and please share your ideas with all of us. 

I like a good challenge! Big Smile

Monica Davis, Debt management plan graduate, with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc.Monica Davis

Monica is no stranger to the CareOne Community. As a debt management plan customer (DMP), Monica engaged in our community forums regularly, helping others with questions about the plans. Now that Monica has completed her DMP in just three years, Monica continues to share what made her successful in the forums and now through our blogs. Monica is accustomed to providing support and works as a Communications Officer for an emergency dispatch center in Washington State.  Follow Monica as she shares her tips and insight in the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. Compensated CareOne Debt Relief Services Blogger.