Got $3 in your wallet? Here’s to sneaky savings

Bet you have three bucks in your wallet right now. Well, you’re on your way to finding $1,000. Don’t think it’s possible that you could save $1,000 by thinking about a lousy $3? Well, you can. You just have to be a little sneaky about it.

Put another way: $1,000 is really just $3 a day. Three times 365 is $1,095, so actually it’s a little less than $3 a day ($2.739 to be exact, but we’re rounding up). When you ask someone to save $1,000 they freak out, insisting that would be impossible. But asking someone to save a little over two bucks a day is way more reasonable and easily accomplished actually. Think you can save $2.74 a day? Sure you do. Here’s how:

•  Find it: You can find $3 right this minute just by looking around the usual suspect places in your home or office or car. Couch cushions, jean pockets and the floor of your car are your first stops today. Check that catchall bowl or drawer we all have for all that extra stuff we don’t know what to do with. Yes, the junk drawer. Go check these places now and I guarantee you will come back with at least $3, and probably more. You can simply add those extra dollars to the $1,000 jar you’re about to make and consider yourself ahead of the pack.

Tip: When you make your $1,000 jar consider taping on some pictures of a dream vacation or car or TV. Whatever your goal may be, visual motivation helps.

• Hold it: You have a coffee pot at home. Use it. You probably already do, right? Every morning you make your coffee and then get in the car and head directly to the drive-through that’s nearest your home or office. Just make that second cup of coffee at home, pour it into one of your many travel mugs and skip the $3-to-$5 expense tomorrow morning and every morning. Just pretend you went and stash the cash in your glove compartment.

• Pack it: Are you just buying the school lunch because it’s easier? I get that, believe me. For just this month stop buying lunches and start using your dinner leftovers for your kid’s lunch boxes or your own lunch at the office. This is a two-problem solver in one trick. First, while cleaning off the dinner table every night, you simply wrap the remains into little kid-friendly bags and Tupperware and your clean-up is done in a flash.

In 30 days, you will have $90 in your $1,000 goal jar. If you do this every month for year, you’ll have saved over $1,000 and not even missed it. Start today and if you’re really gung ho have every family member (who earns an income) contribute. So, Mom and Dad can both drop three bucks into the jar and in just one month, you’ll have saved about $180 (unless it’s February, of course). That’s impressive. Happy savings.