3 Unique, Money-Saving Tips
You’re well aware it’s important to save money. You might decide to save 10, 15 or 20 percent of your income. Or — if you’re closer to retirement age – you may have even more aggressive income-savings goals.
But while you know saving for retirement, saving for college, and saving for other financial goals is a good idea, you might wonder how to save money – especially if you already have student loans to pay off: rent, mortgage and utility bills, and other cumbersome financial commitments.
3 Tips for Saving Money
Here are three great money-saving tips. Follow these savings tips today, and you’ll be closer to creating the bright, stable financial future you hope to have before you buy that car or home, start a family or send your kids to college, travel the world or retire.
1. Get Your Savings – and Rewards – on Autopilot
To put your savings on autopilot, set up “automatic funds transfer.” There are two ways you might make this happen:
- The first is to have your employer direct a portion of your paycheck into a retirement or other account you specify – if your employer provides this service.
- The second is to have your financial institution automatically transfer funds from your checking account to a savings or investment account. This is even better if you have automatic withdrawals set up to an account outside of your regular bank. That way you won’t be tempted to dip into your savings every time you log on to check your spending account.
After setting up automatic funds transfer (or automatic withdrawals), there’s no effort needed on your part to save money, big time! Simply sit back and watch your savings grow. At the same time, your money will be out of sight, out of mind while you build the financially healthy habit of spending less money than you make.
Once you’re consistently saving a portion of your income, you’ll be well on your way to saving for college, saving for retirement or saving for whatever you hope to fund in the future.
To get rewarded – automatically – for saving, seek out a financial institution that offers savings account rewards. These rewards might be made available to you in the form of points you could redeem for interest-rate reductions, airline flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, entertainment or other perks; sign-up bonuses; prizes; financial advice to educate you on how to make smart money-saving decisions; or cold, hard cash.
Before you open up a rewards savings account, call or visit the bank and read the fine print to get all of the details. Try to steer clear of offers that sound too good to be true, or that require you to pay annual fees.
2. Redefine Vacation
Here’s an idea of how: imagine your dream vacation. Where do you want to go, and why? What do you want to do there? How do you hope the vacation will make you feel afterward?
For example, you might want to fly somewhere tropical so you can relax on a white, sandy beach while you soak up the sun. Or maybe you’d like to go somewhere remote, where you can enjoy beautiful views and let someone else cook and clean for you while you get massages and read a good book. You might hope your vacation will leave you feeling rested and ready to return to the real world with a new perspective on life, or more energy and enthusiasm.
These experiences sound wonderful, but also expensive! So imagine how you could replicate these experiences … closer to home.
Is it the warm air you’re after? Schedule some time to sunbathe in your back yard or at a community lake or pool in the summertime. Or if it’s the middle of winter and you can’t wait, get a guest pass or pay a one-time fee and sit in the sauna and hot tub at a health club or spa near you.
If you want to travel, try bringing in some extra income with crowd sharing sites. Sign up to make money off of your car, cooking for others or even giving neighborhood/city tours. Check out the blog post from Nomadic Matt, How to Use the Sharing Economy to Travel on a Budget for cool ideas.
3. Discover “DIY”
In the habit of outsourcing household chores, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling the driveway or raking the leaves? Do you hire others to do your dirty work, like painting your walls, cleaning your house or fixing the faucet? Or perhaps you’re paying through the roof to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language.
Learn how to do it yourself (DIY)!
These days, lessons for practically everything we want to know are available from numerous instructors – for free – at out fingertips. Simply do an internet search for the topic you want to learn more about, like “how to paint window trim,” “how to play ‘Blackbird’ on guitar,” or “how to make a website,” and you’re well on your way to realizing significant savings on tasks you might have otherwise paid someone else to do for you.
In addition to saving money by “doing it yourself,” you’ll build skills you could use to potentially make money in the future – all while having fun. After all, it’s gratifying to learn and apply new skills to get jobs done all by yourself.
Explore Even More Money-Saving Tips
Want to discover even more ways to save? Sign up to receive the free ebook, “Ten Simple Ways to Boost Your Emergency Fund.” Inside, you’ll discover why it’s important to have a safety net and great ways to save more money.
Written by Melanie Lundheim
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