1. Use an automated tool: Find an app or bank account that takes the work out of saving. Digit and Qapital both automatically transfer small amounts from your checking account to a separate savings account. Bank of America does the same each time you swipe your card. Learn about apps that automate savings for you.
2. Take manual savings actions: Empty your pockets each day and start collecting that extra change. Then take your collection to the bank and put it directly into your savings account instead of your checking account. When you want to watch your spending, use dollar bills instead of credit cards. It’s harder to part with cold, hard cash.
3. Prep for grocery shopping: A little work before you go to the grocery store can go a long way to help you save money on groceries. Check your pantry and make a grocery list, then use coupons and loyalty programs to maximize your savings as you shop.
4. Order smaller servings at restaurants: Your social life doesn’t have to suffer for you to save money. Eating out every day will deal a major blow to your bank account, but you can still dine out and stick to your budget. Opt for appetizers or split an entree with your dining companion to save money when you eat out.
5. Get discounts on entertainment: Take advantage of free days at museums and national parks to save on entertainment costs. You can also ask about discounts for seniors, students, military members and other discounts when purchasing tickets for everything including movies, concerts and theme parks.
6. Map out major purchases: Time your purchase of appliances, furniture, electronics and more according to annual sale periods. Don’t buy anything hastily, either. Always wait a day or two before buying to limit buyer’s remorse.
7. Restrict online shopping: Make it more difficult to shop online. When you shop regularly at a retailer’s website, it’s convenient to create an online account to save your billing information. But if you force yourself to input your shipping address and credit card number each time you order, you probably will make fewer impulse purchases.
8. Make your own gifts: The cost of birthday, wedding and graduation gifts can quickly add up. Go the DIY route or save money with affordable gift ideas, like herb gardens and gift baskets.
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