9 Little Ways to Boost Your Savings Account Every Day
Saving money is not always simple or straightforward. It's easy to get discouraged when faced with a big, long-term savings goal or mountain of debt. That's why it might make sense to start small. Rather than worry about saving thousands for that down payment or paying off that massive student loan, focus on reasonable things you can do each day to give your savings account a boost.
None of these suggestions will make you rich by themselves. But collectively and over time, they can add up to a meaningful sum.
1. Drive less, or at least smarter
Every time you get in your car, you're spending money. You are spending money on gas, and your car is depreciating and getting closer to needing repairs. It may be impossible to ditch your car altogether, but there are small things you can do each day to reduce your costs.
Research shorter and faster ways of getting to your destination. Consider planning your errands so that you can get more done in one trip, and plan your route for greatest efficiency. Drive when traffic is light, so you're not wasting time and gas. Turn your air conditioner or heater off if you don't really need them, and make sure your tires are inflated properly. These are small things, but they can add up to some savings over time. (See also: Cutting Your Car Payment Is Easier Than You Think)
2. Save and deposit your change
Let's face it, we're all reckless when it comes to change. We drop it on the ground. We leave it laying around. We spend it on candy bars and gum. We put it in large jars and forget about it.
It's time to get smarter about change. Go to the bank and deposit it. Even though it may seem like a trivial amount of money, that's still money that can collect interest and add value to your savings account over time. We get hundreds of dollars in change back from purchases throughout the year. Make that money work for you and put it directly into savings. (See also: 20 Smart Ways to Spend Your Loose Change)
3. Round up credit card purchases and deposit the difference
This is just like depositing your change from cash purchases. Let's say you go to a restaurant and are charged $12.65 for a sandwich. If you pay with a credit card, consider mentally rounding that purchase up to $13 and transferring 35 cents into a special savings account. If you do this with every purchase, you'll be banking several additional dollars each week, or potentially hundreds of dollars annually. (See also: 7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards)
4. Adjust your thermostat
We all want to be comfortable when at home, but making even a small tweak to the indoor temperature can add up to significant savings over time. If it's winter time, consider turning the heat down and just throwing on an extra layer instead. In the summer, open some windows and use fans for part of the day. Always set the temperature differently when you aren't at home — a programmable thermostat can be hugely helpful in this area. (See also: 34 Smart Ways to Cut Your Electric Bill)
5. Use loyalty cards
I know some people don't like to sign up for loyalty cards because they aren't keen on sharing information or being bombarded with promotions. But I say get over it. Whether it's for Dunkin' Donuts, J. Crew, or your local grocery store, these cards can give you access to discounts you may not otherwise get.
The caveat to this is that if having a loyalty card encourages you to spend money you may not have otherwise spent, don't do it. But if the card is for a store you shop at frequently anyway, sign up! (See also: 9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It)
6. Clip coupons
Searching and cutting out coupons can seem like a real pain, but it's often worth it. Start by finding circulars or online flyers for stores you shop at regularly. Look for places that will double or even triple coupons. If you use a coupon to buy an item, consider taking the amount of money saved and diverting that into a special high-interest savings account. By doing this, you're saving double anytime you get a discounted item. (See also: 9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons)
7. Get a credit card offering cash back
There are a million credit cards out there with various rewards, but I am partial to those that offer straight cash back on purchases. That's because rather than spending the reward, you can transfer it directly into a bank account. Other credit card rewards offering shopping discounts or airline miles are nice, but they don't help you increase your savings. I use a card that offers as much as 5 percent cash back on purchases, and it has saved me a significant amount of money over the years. (See also: The Best Cash Back Credit Cards)
8. Eat in
More and more people are eating out these days, because we're all busy, and who has the time to cook? But if you are willing to spend some time in the kitchen, you will almost always save money.
It costs far less to purchase ingredients and prepare meals at home than to go out to a restaurant. This is especially true if you spend money on beverages and appetizers when eating out. If you do cook at home, add up the cost of ingredients and calculate the price of a comparable restaurant meal. Take that savings and place it in a special account. (See also: 8 Ways to Save on Dinner — No Meal Planning Required)
9. Do quick jobs
You may already be employed and don't think you have the time or energy for additional work, especially if it does not pay well. But everyone has a few spare moments where they can make some easy cash. Freelance sites like Fiverr offer access to creative jobs that can be done quickly. There are a number of apps and websites that will give you cash just for answering surveys. Services such as TaskRabbit allow you to make money by offering quick, simple services, like giving someone a ride to the doctor's office. (See also: 14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash)
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