Did you resolve to save more money this year?
Here are some everyday tips you can turn small amounts of cash into big savings. None of them involve heavy calculations or research. They’re just simple steps you can take every day to keep more of your hard-earned money.
1. Save Your Savings
How many times have you bragged about saving $10 with coupons or $30 on a sale item? And where is that money now? Make your smart shopping really count by saving your savings. Write yourself a check on the spot to equal the amount you saved on your shopping. Many supermarkets offer banking services right in the store. What could be easier? Open a special account in that bank and deposit your savings every time you shop. No bank or ATM in your grocery store? How about right outside in the parking lot or next door? Or put that check in a bank mailer and deposit it by mail. Easy.
2. Change Your Change
This is not new, but worth mentioning! If you save your loose change at the end of every day, those coins will become dollars in no time and can add up to hundreds over a year. If everyone in the house does it, multiply those hundreds! This is a great way to save for a “splurge” item or for a long-term goal. Think you don’t have enough change to make it worthwhile? Stop using change when you shop. Use whole bills only to pay for purchases and increase the amount of change you have to save. Want to see it add up even faster? Save your one-dollar bills in addition to your change!
3. Windfalls Should Wind Up Falling into Your Savings!
Get money back from your insurance company for overpaid premiums? How about a surprise refund or rebate on a purchase? Put all unexpected income into savings. If you live on a tight budget and depend on windfalls for vacations or luxury purchases at least save half.
4. Subtract and Add
Eliminate one expense item and put the money into your savings. Stop smoking, brown bag your lunch, use cheaper transportation, trade manicures with a friend. There are probably dozens of items you spend money for that could be eliminated or at least purchased more cheaply. The way to find them is to keep a record of your expenses for a month. You’ll find the holes where your money is slipping away. Many times you’ll reap other benefits from these changes, too, like improved health.
5. Cook It Yourself
You were waiting for this one, weren’t you! Save dining out for special occasions. Many people eat in restaurants several times a week spending $15 or more per person each time. If convenience is the motivator, try meal planning. A well thought out plan can equip you with meals that can be put together quickly and save tons of money. Extra benefits – you save time on travel, waiting for service, etc., and you can eat in your jammies if you want to!