Piggy bank in front of a chalkboard with the word "savings" circled

5 ways to save you probably never thought of before

Are you looking to cut back on your spending and build your savings? These five surprising savings tips will get you started. 


1. Indulge yourself… as long as you match extra spending with saving.

Savers don’t need to cut out all treats. But every time you make a nonessential purchase, like a glass of wine after work or a magazine, match it in savings. So, next time you stop for fast food, save the same amount in a cookie jar or online account.

Not only will you watch your savings grow, this method will also help you think more intentionally about your spending and if indulgences are worth the price. Think of it this way: if you can’t afford to save the matching amount, you can’t afford the large Oreo shake. 

2. Save all of your receipts.

Beginning on the first day of a new month, get a receipt for absolutely everything you purchase. Then stack your receipts at home in categories like restaurants, gas/transportation, groceries, and entertainment. At the end of the month, add up all of your spending to see where your money is going, and use that amount going forward as your new budget. Challenge yourself to spend a little less in each category every month.

Learn more about how to create a budget here.

3. Focus on small, achievable goals first.

If you’re climbing out from under a pile of debt, it can be very hard to imagine the day you will become debt free. So focus your energy on short-term goals instead, like reducing credit card debt by just $1,000. A $1,000 debt reduction can save you $180 a year by reducing interest. Then use that savings to build your emergency fund.

4. Invest in weather-proofing your home.

Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. You’ll spend a little bit upfront, but you’ll be surprised at how much you save in long-term heating and cooling costs.

Many local electric or gas utilities even offer free or low-cost home energy audits. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. If the amount you spend up front will save you the same amount or more money in a period of a few years, you can save lots of money in the long-term.

5. Ask nicely

As you pay your bills this month, call all of the companies and debtors you owe money to and ask if there is any way to reduce your monthly payment. You could be eligible for a cable or cell phone promotion you don’t know about, or you credit card company may be able to reduce your interest rate.

And if you save money with this method, let us know about it. Share your savings stories and tips, and if we select you to be featured in our American Saver newsletter, you’ll receive a $25 check to purchase an EE Savings Bond. 

Looking for more savings tips? Here are over 50 additional tips for reducing spending and increasing savings.

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Let America Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn’t stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 23, 2013

    Tip to #Save: Pay off Credit Cards as Soon as Possible. http://ow.ly/FJyDM via @Bankrate

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