This content comes from the most recent issue of the American Saver newsletter.
No one knows better than Savers how to find the extra dollar here and quarter there that, over time, add up to substantial savings. Here are a few of their favorite savings tips.
When I buy something with cash and have change leftover, I immediately put that change into a jar. Once that jar is full I take it to the bank and deposit it. The last time I did that I had saved over $60 in change.
Kiescha Benton-Williams, Katy, TX
Annual or even monthly increases to savings are a very sly way to make a big difference over time! Just like minor increases in Charitable Contributions, before you know it, you donate a substantial amount; you can do the same for your savings. Even if your increases are only 1%, it's something!
Betsy Lancaster, Sadorus, IL
My husband and I wanted to go to Hawaii for our 10-year wedding anniversary. We originally wanted to go for our honeymoon but couldn't afford it. I had $20 automatically drafted each pay period into a special "savings" account that was left untouched. Two years ago, we went to Hawaii for 14 days. It was wonderful! And worth the wait!
April Walenski, De Pere, WI
Whenever you buy anything, toss the change in the bottom of your purse or wallet (or if you buy something with a credit card or debit card, drop a dollar in the bottom of your purse or wallet). On Sunday morning dig the whole lot out, count it out and add it to your regular savings. Some weeks it can be as much as $25-30 or even more, and over the year it really builds up.
MH Cliver, San Francisco, CA
Get your kids involved! It's never too soon to teach them the importance of saving. We have a "family savings jar," and every day we all empty our pockets of any spare change right into the jar. We've saved quite a bit, and when it gets full we will deposit it into the kids’ bank accounts.
Kathryn Bourgea, Chelsea, MA
Hang a plastic garbage bag in the garage or a place you walk by often, but that is out of the way. Drop pop tabs, rinsed out aluminum cans, and other pieces of aluminum in [when you pass by it]. Amazing how fast it'll fill! I found tabs and picked them up to help clean up our community areas and made about $4 at the recyclers; easy, becomes a habit, and a way to gain a few dollars every month. Another $45+ a year to save for a rainy day.
Debra Kinsella, Minooka, IL
This year I needed to save money for graduate school. In order to save I made a very strict budget. The first step in creating my budget was listing all of my expenses, and then I listed the dates I would get paid. Since I get paid every two weeks, I designated each check for the next six months for certain expenses, this way I was always ahead of paying my bills. By budgeting my money in this way, I have been able to save $500.
Jennifer Gaviria, Pawtucket, RI
I've finally been able to save after I set up a payroll deduction. But that was not enough. I had the deposit sent to a bank in another town from where I live, and I didn't get a debit or ATM card for it. I have to actually drive there during business hours to withdraw money. That has been the impediment I needed to actually leave the money there!
Carla Fry, Oklahoma City, OK
You can attend free financial workshops to help you learn how to save and budget your money, or you can go to a library or community center to find information.
Tazzaleen Rogers, Milwaukee, WI