They say a penny saved is a penny earned. Saving money enables us to invest in our future success. While many of us are aware of the need for and the importance of saving, not as many know of its annual holiday. World Savings Day is celebrated on October 31st, and in it’s honor, we put together our best, simple money-saving tips. What better way to put your money where your mouth is than to take action?
1. Cancel Unnecessary Memberships
We’ve likely all fallen victim to memberships at some point be it for music, fitness, food or anything in between. It is often much easier to enroll than it is to cancel. Fortunately, there are services such as Truebill that scan your credit bills for recurring charges so you can easily identify unwanted services. According to a 2016 CNBC report, the average user can save $500 annually by cancelling unwanted subscriptions.
2. Bring Your Lunch
You can enjoy your lunch without breaking the bank. While ordering lunch is simple, quick and delicious, spending an average of $10 per meal every workday could end up costing you $2,500 a year or more, according to a 2017 CNBC Report. Compare that to the average cost of preparing your own lunch, which is only $6.30, as quoted in a USA Today article from 2015. Simply opting to bring your lunch instead, could cut your meal costs almost in half. Getting to experiment with different recipes is just an added bonus.
3. Save Your Spare Change
While carrying cash may soon be a thing of the past, you can still save your spare change. Over time those extra cents will accumulate to a significant amount. If you carry change around, make an effort to put any spare change in a piggy bank or coin jar at the end of each day. Once that jar becomes just heavy enough, take your money to a bank to have it sorted and deposited back into your account. Don’t carry cash? There are now many apps that connect to your bank account and digitally save your spare change. Upon purchase, they automatically transfer spare change into a savings fund hassle-free.
4. Try Generic Brands
If you’re looking to save money, give generic brands a chance. Brand name products often upcharge simply because of name recognition. The up-charge can be minor or, in the case of medications, it can be major. Generic drug offerings typically cost 80-85% less than the same brand name drug, per a 2018 FDA Report. Consider buying generic when shopping for medications, frozen fruits and vegetables, baking supplies, spices and baby formula. Don’t be surprised if switching to generic saves you upwards of $50 per month.
5. Fight the Impulse
We’ve all been there. Something catches our eye and before we know it, we’re making an impulsive purchase for something we really don’t need. Consider setting yourself a 24-hour rule wherein you take 24 hours to decide if buying something is a need or a want.
6. Create Grocery Lists, and stick to them!
Whether you shop on a weekly, bi-weekly or more frequent basis, start making a list before you shop. It’s easy to peruse the aisles grabbing items that catch your eye. However, the easiest way to stick to a budget is by only purchasing items on your list and leaving budget-breaking items behind.
7. Employ Auto Pay
Businesses often charge a flat fee or percentage of the bill in the form of late fees when extending credit to customers. 10% here or $20 there can quickly add up. Instead of relying on yourself to remember each payment due date, enroll in auto pay to avoid any late charges.
8. Shop for Gifts in Advance
Shopping for gifts is stressful enough when leaving it to the last minute. Planning in advance doesn’t just ease last minute angst; it can actually save quite a bit of money. By planning in advance, you’ll have added time to shop for the best deals and sales, which don’t always occur when you need them.
9. Comparison Shop for Prescriptions
When it comes to prescriptions, you can stick with your desired brand name offerings and still save money. The secret is to comparison shop. Between online pharmacies and traditional pharmacies, the cost for drugs can vary greatly. Once you find a pharmacy that consistently offers good deals on prescriptions, continue to fill your prescriptions there.
10. Use Coupons on Essential Household Items
If done properly, couponing can save you thousands per year. There are now great coupon offerings online so you’re not limited to offerings in local magazines and newspapers. Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk when you find a coupon for a product you like (as long as you know you’ll actually use it). Also, for anything you don’t need immediately, hold out until you find a great deal.
There you have it. These are just a few tips and tricks to start building your savings account in honor of World Savings Day. For further help with how to manage and build your savings, Trost Financial Consulting available to chat.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
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