Simple tips for saving money every day

A little bit of savings can go a long way and by now, you’re probably familiar with the basics. You’ve probably heard America Saves talk about how cutting your soda consumption during the week or coffee on your way to work can save you a few hundred dollars a year or how challenging yourself to bring your lunch to work every day for a week can help you stick a few dollars back in your pocket. Just a few simple changes to your daily spending habits can mean the difference between saving money and, well, not.

The options for saving on everyday expenses are seemingly endless, once you start looking for them. With help from Better Money Habits, here are a few tips for finding more ways to save in your everyday life:

1. Shopping

There are some great ways to cut down your shopping bill right away: make a list to avoid impulse purchases, clip coupons, or look at the price-per-unit cost to help you make the most of your cash. The savings don’t stop there:

  • Be strategic in buying items on sale or using discounts. Don’t fall for incentives on items you didn’t need in the first place, but do make the most of savings on items from your list.
  • Spend on what’s important, save on what’s not. For some, buying from specific brands or getting your veggies organic might be a priority. It may be worthwhile to spend on the items that you care about and may make finding ways to save on items that aren’t as important easier to find. Weighing your options based on priority can be a simple way to keep you on or under budget.
  • Consider your eating habits and plan ahead. Don’t buy before taking a good look at the way you actually cook and eat during the course of the week. Try planning your meals ahead of time or challenge yourself to eat at least one more meal at home. You’ll save on spoiled groceries you didn’t end up eating or on ordering take-out because you didn’t have enough groceries to last the week.

2. At home

The basics at home are easy: turn off the lights when you leave a room, unplug gadgets when you aren’t using them, or monitor your air conditioning unit to avoid major electricity spikes. Here’s a lesser known options for saving at home:

  • Utility companies often charge more for electricity for different parts of the day. By doing your laundry or running the dishwasher during off-peak hours, you could save about six percent on your electric bill.

3. Transportation

The savings options here are subjective based on lifestyle choices: where you live, how far you are from your job, how walkable or bike-friendly your area is, etc.

  • Make technology your friend. Gas prices are often unpredictable. Utilize helpful websites or apps that can help you locate gas stations on your route that might offer lower costs on
  • Consider alternate modes of transportation. Lighten your transportation costs by seeking out commuting options in your area; think buses and trains, car rentals or ride-sharing programs. If biking is your cup of tea, you might consider a bike share program. It might help you to see just how dedicated you really are.
  • Ditch the car. Depending on how often you drive and where you live, the car might be an unnecessary expense from top to bottom. Without the car, you’ll avoid the cost of gas, insurance, registration, and, in some states, annual property taxes.

Saving money doesn’t mean having to sacrificing fun and it doesn’t mean you have to do the math on ever spending decision you make. Being mindful of where your money is going and on the impact of a few simple trade-offs can add up in the long run and help you to get creative about finding ways to save on everyday expenses that work with your lifestyle.

Need motivation to stick to your savings goals? Let America Saves help! 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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  • Written by Katie Bryan | December 14, 2013

    Set a goal, make a plan, #save automatically - pledge to #save today!

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