7 Ways to Save Money for Your Next Big AdventureJanuary 4, 2018
The beginning of a new year is a great time to make plans for the months ahead. Will you take that family vacation or make that upgrade in the game room you have been wanting since you moved in? Regardless of whether your plans transport you somewhere else or anchor you at home, you will need to set aside some funds to make the magic happen. Since you are planning out your year, it is the perfect time to reassess your budget and decide what you might want to do differently. In the meantime, we have some suggestions to kick-start your savings to turn your dream plans into reality.
Automate your savings
The easiest way to save money is to have it happen automatically for you. You can set up a recurring transfer for as often as you like—weekly or even daily—and watch the balance grow over time. Some banks offer programs that transfer small deposits from your checking to your savings account for you or round up every debit card transaction, putting change into savings and creating a virtual piggy bank.
Bringing your lunch to work
Americans average $2,787 yearly on eating meals out. While dining out is a nice way to spend time with friends and family, much of this food purchased is something that could be made at home for a lot cheaper. Make a pact this year to limit lunches out to a maximum of once per week. As restaurant meals tend to pack bigger portions than we would make for ourselves, bringing lunch could have the added bonus of helping you shed a few pounds. Your wallet and waistline will thank you!
Using coupons, planning meals around what is on sale and shopping around to find the best deals are great ways to shop smarter. If you have bigger, expensive items to purchase, wait for the time of year they will go on sale. Shop for major appliances in September and October, when the new models come out and the previous year’s go on sale. The holidays generally coincide with great deals on electronics, so save those television and gaming purchases for then. Use this handy chart to figure out when to shop for all sorts of things.
Use a budgeting app
Let technology work to your advantage by downloading a personal finance app. Whether you need assistance with planning out a budget, saving or paying down debt, the tech world has something to offer that will make your life easier. Budgeting apps have the added advantage of opening your eyes to how much you are actually spending, so they may get your finances in order and make you a better, more conscious spender at the same time.
Ask for a raise
You never know what the answer will be unless you ask! If you are due for a raise, do not be afraid to get the conversation started. Approach your boss with purpose, though—-research salaries for your position, account for your education and experience and gather evidence of your achievements and value to the company.
Get credit card debt under control
Imagine how much more money you could save if you did not have to pay the sometimes high interest rates that credit card companies can charge. Over the course of a year, that could add up to significant savings! First, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. If you have been good at paying on time, they may be willing to cut you a break. Second, work on getting rid of the debt altogether. You can utilize what financial coach Dave Ramsey calls the debt snowball method, in which you pay off your credit cards beginning with the smallest balance. Once the first card is paid off, you combine that payment with the next highest card balance, and as the payment snowballs, the debt decreases.
The $5 or $10 plan
A recent popular method to save smaller amounts of money is to utilize cash for your purchases and then set aside $5 bills that you receive in change. Add it all up at the end of the year and use it for something special—holiday gifts, a new wardrobe or spending money for a vacation. To double your savings, try doing it with $10 bills.
No matter what improvements you plan to make in your home or your life this year, we hope these financial savings tips help get you closer to your goal!