Did you know experts say that by age 44 you should have three year’s salary saved, plus 80% of one year’s salary?
That means, for example, if you’re currently making $40,000 a year, you should have $152,000 in savings.
If you’re like me, you’re not even close.
And if you do have that much in savings, we’re really happy for you (insert eye roll here).
So if you’re a few zeros (or commas) away from your goal, here are some ideas I’ve found to help me level up.
How do I stop living paycheck to paycheck?
I think for many, the first step is learning how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. If you’re going to save, you have to set aside a portion of your income for it.
So, how do you find this money in a paycheck that’s already stretched thin?
It starts with creating a budget.
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You need to decide where each penny of your paycheck is going BEFORE you even get it.
By doing this, you can make sure you don’t run out of money before necessary bills are paid or savings deposits are made.
I discussed in detail several different types of budgeting methods in a previous post.
I still use the 75%-15%-10% cashless budgeting method (learn about it in this post) and I love it. It’s allowed me to grow my savings much faster than other methods I’ve tried.
Here’s a quick summary of how to create a budget:
- List all of your expenses, both fixed and variable.
- Look for expenses you can eliminate (i.e., what’s a luxury vs. a need).
- List all of your income.
- Decide which budgeting method you will use.
- Assign every dollar a job.
Again, my post on simple budgeting methods will give you step-by-step instructions on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck by setting up the perfect budget for your needs.
What can you do if you don’t make enough money to save?
I’m sure there’s someone reading this who’s thinking, I’ve made a budget, looked for areas in which to cut back, but I still don’t make enough money to save.
If this describes you, and you can’t cut out any additional expenses, then you need to find a way to make more income.
Download Your Copy of 28 Ways to Make Money From Home
In my post on how to make money online without blogging, I share several ways to increase your income.
I’ll highlight a couple of ways to make more money here:
Finding a work-at-home job is one solution if you don’t make enough money to save. I occasionally post available remote jobs here on this site.
One of my favorite places to search for work at home jobs is Hire My Mom.
Hire My Mom lists some of the best work from home opportunities for moms. There are full-time and part-time job offers available.
It’s a membership site, but it’s so worth it to join. They do the work of attracting, vetting, and listing jobs for businesses that are looking to hire moms. All you have to do is search and apply.
Another favorite company for making quick money from home is Appen.
Appen offers flexible, part-time, home-based positions in a variety of fields–from social media raters to language jobs and micro-tasks.
I’ve worked with this company as an independent contractor for a few years now and have consistently made $600 – $1,000 a month part-time.
It’s free to sign up and you work when you’re available. And it’s easy to apply for one (or more) of the many projects they have available.
How can I save money when not working?
Okay, so this is a very legitimate question: how can you save money when you’re not working? You can’t save what you don’t make, right?
So many people have lost their jobs over the past year and have had to get financial assistance through various means.
No judgment here. In fact, I say,
Do what you have to do until you get where you want to get.Roz Walker
But there’s hope.
I’ve shared with you above some resources for finding work-at-home jobs. But until you land your ideal job, take any financial assistance you’re given and stretch every penny out of it.
Here’s how to save money when you’re not working:
1. Sign up for Rakuten and get cash back on non-grocery purchases.
I started using Rakuten a few months ago and have earned back up to 6% of my purchases.
While that may not seem like much to some, when you’re trying to reach a savings goal, every penny counts.
If you use my referral code to sign up, you can earn $30 back on your first $30-worth of purchases.
2. Don’t Make Enough Money to Save? Get cashback on groceries too.
You can also get cashback on groceries using the Fetch Rewards app. You have to buy groceries anyway, so why not make money on it.
This free app turns your grocery receipts into rewards. Just scan any grocery receipt and earn points towards some great rewards, like gift cards from some of the most popular stores and online retailers.
And if you use my referral code QYGHB during signup, you’ll get 2,000 free Fetch Points just for starting. Sign up here to get started with earning your rewards: Fetch Rewards.
3. See if you can get extra cash from this company
If you’re sleeping on Aspiration, then you’re missing out on extra cash to add to your savings.
Using Aspiration’s debit card, you can earn up to 10% cashback for shopping at socially conscious retailers.
And you can save over $300 a year in fees.
Enter your email address here, link your bank account, and you can see how much extra cash you can get with your free Aspiration account.
Oh yeah, if you sign up using my link, you’ll get $50 when you open an Aspiration Spend & Save Account.
So let’s recap
- Experts say that before you reach the age of 44, you should have three year’s salary saved, plus 80% of one year’s salary.
- If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you should create a budget, look for areas to reduce spending, and assign every dollar a job.
- Then, if you don’t make enough money to save, find a way to make more income. There are several ways to do this, but Hire My Mom and Appen are two fan favorites.
- And if you’re looking for how you can save money when you’re not working, there are ways to stretch the dollars you do have. Companies like Rakuten, Fetch, and Aspiration are some great resources to earn cashback for the purchases you have to make anyway.