How would you like an extra $2,000 in your bank account? Over a 12-month period, I managed to save more than $2,000 using a simple strategy involving retail receipts.
When I got started down this path more than a year ago, I named it the “Save Your Savings Challenge.”
How collecting retail receipts helps me save more money
Here’s the idea: When retailers offer special sales and discounts, they’re quick to tell you how much money you’re “saving,” but you’re really just spending less than the regular price.
Most stores will even highlight the fake savings by listing a “You Saved” amount on your receipt:
Taking a look at the receipt in the picture, you can see that I “saved” $6.94 on groceries at Kroger. But are you really saving anything if you just go spend that money at another store?
That’s what inspired me to start the challenge. Every month, I spend about 10 minutes adding up the “You Saved” amounts from retail receipts and transfer the total to an online savings account.
After 12 months, I had $2,011 in a bank account that I opened for the challenge. Now that’s real savings!
There’s another benefit to collecting all of those receipts. When I go through them every month to calculate the “You Saved” amounts, I get one more chance to analyze my purchases.
For example, I noticed early on that I was making too many trips to the store and cut back right away.
I began the challenge to keep myself from overspending during the Black Friday shopping frenzy, but this has quickly become my favorite way to save money.
When I reached the end of the year, I transferred the savings account balance to a Roth IRA and started all over again.
Action plan: Save Your Savings Challenge
- Always ask for a receipt at the checkout
- Store your receipts in a box until the end of the month
- Add up the total “You Saved” amounts
- Transfer the total to a high-interest savings account monthly
- Set a goal for the money that you saved
Have you tried the “Save Your Savings Challenge” or another strategy to save more money this year? Let us know what’s working for you in the comments below!
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