We’ve all been told how important it is to save money. But sometimes, it can seem daunting trying to figure out exactly how
to save. According to a 2019 article by Forbes
, a whopping 78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck. With stats like that, saving enough money can seem impossible. But the good news is that there are several ways you can adjust your current habits to start saving more money on a regular basis.
Here are 10 tips to boost your savings:
- Cut out cable. If you’re still hanging onto a cable TV subscription, you may want to take a look at some lower-cost alternatives. With more video streaming options available than ever before, it’s not surprising that so many consumers are pulling the plug on traditional cable TV and instead opting for services like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. According to a 2019 article published by the website GroundedReason.com, by the end of 2010 90% of U.S. households subscribed to traditional “pay television” services like cable or satellite TV. By the middle of 2018 however, that number had dropped to just 77% of U.S. households. Joining the ranks of consumers who are shopping around for better TV deals could save you some big bucks!
- Stop buying coffee every day. By brewing your own coffee at home instead of treating yourself to a daily store-bought latte or cappuccino, you could save some serious money over the course of a year. According to BusinessInsider.com, the average American spends anywhere from $1 to $5 when they buy coffee on-the-go. On the flipside, they estimate that it costs between 16 and 18 cents to brew a cup of coffee at home. Using those numbers, let’s assume John buys a $3 cup of coffee every day. That works out to roughly $1,095 a year. Now, let’s assume that Sally makes a cup of coffee at home each morning. At 17 cents per cup, that would work out to approximately $62 a year, saving Sally $1,033 annually compared to John.
- Use credit cards and debit cards that offer cash back. If you use credit cards and debit cards, but aren’t currently earning cash back from them, maybe it’s time to consider switching to a different card. There are many credit cards out there that provide between 1% and 5% cash back. But don’t just jump on the first attractive rewards offer you see. It’s important to do your homework before choosing a new credit card. You’ll need to evaluate all of the card’s terms, including any monthly fees, as well as the APR you’ll be paying on those charges you don’t pay off in full each month. Luckily, websites like Nerdwallet.com make it easy for you to compare various card options. And while rewards debit cards aren’t as common as rewards credit cards, they are out there; you just need to know where to look! BankFive debit cards have a cash-back rewards component. BankFive debit cardholders are presented with personalized cash-back offers in Online Banking that they can then activate and utilize. For more information about BankFive’s debit card rewards program, visit https://www.bankfive.com/purchase-rewards.
- Stop using paper towels in the kitchen. Have you ever given thought to just how many rolls of paper towels you go through? Chances are it’s a pretty big number. Some estimates show that the average family uses between 1-2 rolls of paper towels each week. Let’s assume that the Jones family uses 1.5 rolls a week. They typically spend around $15 for an 18-pack of paper towels whenever they run out. At that price, they would be spending around $75 a year on paper towels. If you use several rolls a week, your number could be even higher. If you find yourself reaching for a paper towel every time there is a tiny spill in your kitchen, you may want to consider investing in some reusable cloth towels. Not only will cloth towels help you save money, but they’re better for the environment as well.
- Buy in bulk. While it probably won’t make sense for you to buy everything in bulk, there are plenty of items you might consider purchasing in large quantities – especially if you have ample storage space in your home. Things like laundry detergent, toilet paper, garbage bags, and school supplies are good examples of what to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk usually results in a considerably lower price-per-unit, meaning you get more for every dollar you spend. Just keep in mind the shelf life of whatever you’re buying. Perishable items like milk or produce aren’t usually a good idea to purchase in bulk. If you have to throw it away because it expired, you’re not saving any money, you’re just wasting it. You can make bulk purchases at physical stores like Costco or BJ’s, or buy in bulk online through websites like Boxed.com or Amazon.
- Avoid eating out. If you sit down and calculate what it costs to buy your lunch every day at work, or what you’re spending on ordering takeout or going out to eat a few nights a week, you may be astounded. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent $3,459 dining out in 2018. And when you consider that the average restaurant marks up food costs by 300%, you can start to see how much you could save by cooking your own meals at home.
- Take advantage of gas station rewards. Many major gas station chains offer fuel rewards programs that can reduce your cost-per-gallon. And, lots of grocery stores like Stop & Shop and Shaw’s offer gas reward programs as well. Depending on the program, you could save yourself a considerable amount at the pump each time you fill up.
- Use coupons. Whether you cut paper coupons from newspapers or weekly circulars, use store-specific apps like Target Circle, or retrieve online coupon codes from sites like RetailMeNot or Honey, a little time and energy can uncover lots of deals and savings, no matter what you’re looking to buy.
- Quit smoking cigarettes. Sure, we all know the health benefits of quitting smoking, but have you ever thought about how much money you could save by kicking a cigarette habit? Currently in Massachusetts, the average cost for a pack of cigarettes is $9.08. So, someone smoking three packs a week in Massachusetts would be spending around $1,416 a year on cigarettes! Here’s an online calculator to give you more insight into how much money you could save by quitting smoking.
- Keep your money in a high-interest savings account. As you try out some of the savings tips above, you’re likely to have a lot more cash to stash away in your savings account. But it’s important to remember that your savings account itself is a great tool for saving money. If you have an interest-bearing savings account, each month the money in it earns interest, meaning your money grows just by sitting there. The problem is, many savings accounts have extremely low interest rates. According to ValuePenguin.com, the average bank savings account rate in 2019 is 0.09%. A rate like that is not going to grow your money very fast. Let’s say for example that you have $7,000 in your savings account and are earning a rate of 0.09%. In a year, you would have earned roughly $6.30 in interest. Not very exciting, right? Now let’s say that you instead moved your $7,000 to a high-interest savings account, and are earning a rate of 1.05%. In a year’s time, you would have earned around $73.85 in interest, and that’s without making any additional deposits of your own! Many banks offer online-only savings accounts with competitive interest rates. BankFive’s eAccess Savings account is one such account that offers a higher interest rate than standard savings accounts, and can be a great savings tool for Massachusetts and Rhode Island residents who prefer banking online. A high interest rate is a great way to make your money work for you!
Whether you choose to utilize these savings tips, or try out some tricks of your own, the important thing is to be aware of where your money is going. By cutting down on frivolous expenses, looking for deals, and being smart about interest rates, you can help grow your savings and set yourself up for financial success. Good luck!