Earn. Spend. Earn. Spend. Earn….

Cash flows in, and out, of our lives as we continue to run on the hamster wheel of life.

More than just a means to survival, our bank accounts are emotionally tethered to our confidence, self-worth, and life-empowerment.

But with the wage gap remaining steady at approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, we women need a solid plan for maximizing our cash deficit.

So what’s a girl gonna do?

Find the leakage.

That’s right. This is not a “you must budget within an inch of your life” kind of post.

It’s a “let’s find the drip, drip, drip that adds up to a nice chunk of change” post.

Money is power, ladies.

According to Ellevest co-founder, and Ex-Wall Street financial analysist Sallie Krawcheck, “we are not going to be equal with men, until we are financially equal.” While we work on ways to decrease the gender wage gap and increase our income with a side hustle, let’s find where there is extra cash hiding.

5 Sneaky Ways to Stash More Cash

  1. The Dreaded Auto-Pay. When was the last time you scanned your monthly online statement and really scrutinized each and every charge? Remember that spray-tanning membership you signed up for last spring before the cruise? They are still deducting $18.95 out of your account every 30 days even though you haven’t been in 4 months. Did you sign up for the free month of HBO Go and forget to cancel? Do you have both Spotify and Pandora premiere accounts? Do you have 11 “paid for”audible credits and are still being billed every month? Make sure to go back at least 6 months as some memberships are charged quarterly…and are easily forgettable. Cancel anything you are not using and no longer deem worthy of your precious dollars. How much did you find? On average, most of us can trim $20-$40 a month simply by unsubscribing. (SNEAKY SECRET: Add up the total of the monthly found charges and set up an automatic draft to have that amount moved into your savings account. You have already been used to it coming out…now is the time to save it.)
  2. Move It Before You Loose It. The easiest way to stash more cash and build your reserves is to set up an automatic draft to move a small amount into your savings account each payday. If you can’t see it, you won’t spend it. Those that object and say  “I don’t have any wiggle room, I live paycheck to paycheck” go back and look at your last month’s statement. I bet you $100 there is at least $100 in small charges (Mocha Frappuccino anyone?) that you did not budget for but you spent anyway. Make the amount small at first (even $10 a paycheck will get you $260 dollars in savings in one year) and when you see the balance rising, you will be inclined to add a few dollars more.)
  3. Try the 52 Week Cash Trick. Each week give yourself your weekly budget for groceries and entertainment in cash. Before you go shopping, Week 1 put in $1 from that into a piggy bank. Week 2, $2. Week 3, $3. The small amount you are pulling from your budget will go unnoticed and by Week 52 you will have saved $1378! Don’t spend it! Move it into a savings account and start again.
  4. The Unhealthy Habit to Cash Swap.  This is an awesome way to save and get healthier! Is there a habit that you want to give up? Smoking? Two cans of soda a day habit? Your daily Mocha Frappuccino that is adding pounds on your waistline Great! To add extra incentive to give it up and STAY healthy…deposit the amount of money you would have spent (weekly, daily, hourly….) into your savings account. Watch your balance increase and your waistline decrease at the same time. WIN-WIN!
  5. Go on a Treasure Hunt. This sneaky trick can take a lot of time but can be A LOT of fun! Do a complete apartment/house sweep. Start in every handbag, backpack, junk drawer and look for loose change, unused gift cards, that $20 dollar bill you left in your coat pocket. Move next to your closet. Is there anything hanging in there that you never wore and never took the tags off? Take it back. Are there items that you wore once or twice and could sell online or at a consignment store? Check those used books you read once or never opened. Sell them for cash at Sellbackyourbook.com. Just type in the ISBN number and they will tell you what it is worth. Put everything you find into a piggy bank at first and then move it over to your savings once you have at least $25 dollars. Not only will you reap the benefit of a binge purge, the nice little pile of cash will pay you for the time you spent doing it. Make it a game. Finding money is FUN!

Need a couple of great resources to help you decide what to do with  your savings once it begins to grow (and how to help it grow more?) Worth it: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Amanda Steinburg and You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero are great reads aimed at arming you with the information you need to grow your wealth.

Try these 5 Sneaky Ways this month and empower yourself to stash more cash…and watch your confidence (and your bank account) grow!

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