Small ways to save money

While we live day to day and don’t always know what will come next, families have had to get a little creative on how they save their money. Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas and tips to help you keep some money in your pocket.

  1. Take advantage of your local library – We have become a society that relies on the internet for information, and libraries have slowly taken a back seat. Don’t forget your local library is online and has many resources you could borrow for free instead of purchasing through online retailers. Many also have free activity kits for kids, movies and more.
  2. Designate one day a week as a “no-spend” day – Cook at home, or have a craft day or a game night. Watch a movie or take a walk as a family. Skip the food delivery and focus on family time.
  3. Treat yourself, twice – Buy yourself a treat or a beverage, but whatever the cost of the item, put the same amount in savings.
  4. Use the 24-hour rule – For all non-essential items, wait 24 hours before buying them to avoid unnecessary impulse buying. After 24 hours, reevaluate and see if you still think you need the item.
  5. Start small – The idea of saving can be daunting, but if you break it down and set a small goal, it all adds up. A goal of saving $5 a week can grow to $260 a year without interest. Start small, see how it goes, then slowly increase the amount you save when you can. Use a savings account with interest to add a bit more to your savings each month.
  6. Unsubscribe – Unsubscribe from those pesky emails filling up your inbox. Communication thin line icons set: email, phone, chat, contacts, comment, inbox, translator,presentation, message, screen share, support, letter, unsubscribe. Modern vector illustration. By law, each one of them has an unsubscribe option and without the temptation, you keep your hard-earned money.
  7. Lower the temperature on your water heater – For every 10-degree reduction in temperature, you can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs.
  8. Calculate purchases by hours worked – This is handy little math trick that can put purchases in a different perspective. Take the amount of the item you want to purchase and divide it by your hourly wage. Instead of buying that electronic item for $88, you are buying it for eight hours of labor (assuming you make $11 an hour). Then decide if it is worth your time and money.
  9. Purchase store brand, over-the-counter medications – The store-brand version of these medications are the same thing but cost much less. Keep the money you save.
  10. Weatherproof your home – Caulk holes and cracks, close the blinds and curtains, and put doorstoppers in areas where inside air can escape outside. Securing those areas will save you a bundle on heating and cooling costs.

Small changes in our routine and thinking can add up over time to help with our savings goals.

my529 is a member of America Saves. For more tips and other ways to save, visit americasaves.org.