Wednesday, February 3, 2016

5 ways to save money when you're literally broke

Saving money when you're in your 20's can be a real pain. I feel like no matter how much I put into my savings, it's never really growing, ya' know? I want to start saving for retirement (thank you to my college finance professor who told me if I started saving in my 20's I could have a million for retirement- I don't think that's actually going to happen, dude.) but I feel like I'm always spending my last dollar I have in my wallet. Thanks to Pinterest I found some pretty good ways to trick yourself into thinking you're saving money while not truly missing the money. I compiled a list of the 6 best ideas I found.

1) Invest in an app like acorn.

I'm sure everyone's seen the ad for that app, acorn. If you're like me you never payed any mind to it. So when I started this search, this was pretty much the first thing to pop up on any website I clicked on. Pretty much the way it works is that whenever you use your credit card, say you make a purchase for $17.62, it would pull the remaining .38 cents and deposit it into your savings, bringing you up to a purchase total of $18. That .38 cents might not seem like much, but imagine just how often you use your debit card. Probably 3-4 times a day, right? Well that adds up to around $3 dollars a day or so. After a year? Over a thousand bucks. 

An alternative is to also use your actual spare change and just put it away. I used to love using my spare change to make the exact amount I owed, but it's fun to watch my cute little box grow full of coins!

2) Do a savings challenge.

Okay if you've never heard of Acorn, then I'm positive you must have heard of the 52 week money savings challenge. The gist of it is that you put away in savings a growing amount of money. The first week you put away $1, the second week $2, the third week $3, and so on. It doesn't seem too hard at first until the end of the year when you're putting away close to $55 a week. I've personally never tried it, but I know plenty people who have tried it and loved it. An alternative to that is a different 52 week challenge, where you put away a pennies on the first day, 2 pennies on the second day, 3 pennies on the third day, and so on. For that one you save just over 650 dollars by the end of the year! It's not as much, as the first challenge, but won't be quite as hard.

3) Save every $5 bill.

This one is very straightforward. Save every 5 dollar bill you come across. Just think of it as one less Starbucks frappachino (or if you're like me, one less large caramel iced coffee with cream and sugar from Dunkin' Donuts) Tuck it in your wallet and when you get home just put it in your piggy bank. Yes, I am a 22 year old still using a piggy bank. I love setting it somewhere and just watching it grow and grow and grow! Plus they have SUPER cute white piggy banks with gold dots. Seriously, just google it. 

4) Use money you "saved" at the grocery store and put into your savings.

Every time you go to a grocery store, or any store really that offers savings, you'll see at the bottom of your receipt "You saved $11.64 today!" Well, if you're anything like me, you set aside a certain amount of money for the grocery store. You were already planning on spending that money, so just put the money you "saved" in your bank account! Unless you're an extreme coupon-er like my mom (no joke- she saves upwards of $50 every time) this won't be too much money and you won't feel it too much! 

5) At the end of the week, put whatever money you haven't spent aside.

Whenever I get a paycheck, I pull out $100 and set that aside as my "fun money" to spend for the next two weeks. It's usually on small items, a coffee here, a sandwich there, usually under $4. At the end of the week (on Saturdays) I put aside whatever cash I haven't spent that week in my piggy bank. Sometimes it's $5, sometimes its $25. It's a cool way to save because if I see I'm running low on cash I usually don't make as many impulse purchases because I want to put something aside for my savings account.

Saving can still be super hard though, and I'm always on the lookout for new tips and tricks that can help me save up. I'm going to Italy this summer (again- woo!) with my family and my boyfriend and we want to try and save up $1,000 for spending money! Let me know your tips and tricks in the comment section! 


  1. Hey these are great. I pinned this too

  2. I love these ideas especially since I'm SUCH a broke college kid.

    <3 Charline

  3. I use cash envelopes and put whatever is left at the end of the month into the savings account. Some months it's a lot, others it's less than $20.

  4. I'm working on being more thrifty this month, so this definitely relates!

  5. I do reciept apps so I make a tad bit back on what I do buy

  6. These are really good tips. I've heard of the Acorn app before but have never used it.

  7. I'm going to check out this acorn thing!

  8. I like your idea about saving on the grocery bill. I never thought to do that, but I think I'm gonna start ;)

    Sammy @

  9. These are awesome tips. I love doing savings challenges.

    Best Wishes,
    Allison |

  10. Great tips! Side hustle money is great to save too (selling stuff on Ebay, etc).

  11. Anyone using the acorn app??? Hows it going??

  12. I loved these tips, thanks for sharing!

  13. what a genius. I just downloaded acorn. I am following your social media accounts. saving that money from the grocery tab! So many great ideas I cannot wait to implement.

  14. I found a great "Save $10,000" a year! I'm definitely broke, myself. I am going to try this one out though. week 1: $125,week 2: $150, week 3: $175 week 4: $300. You do this the whole year until week 49 & it changes to $200. week 50: $225 week 51: $250 week 52: $325. I hope this won't break my bank even more!