Dreaming of an upcoming getaway? Trying to save for a new couch or pay off a credit card debt? Regardless of your financial goals, saving money is usually a key component of getting there. However, it can often feel intimidating to think about saving a large sum of money. To make it more manageable, try making small changes to start saving money – it adds up quick! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pack your lunch – Bringing your lunch to work each day doesn’t have to be boring. By planning ahead and prepping on the weekends, you can create delicious, healthy meals and save yourself hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Consider bringing your own coffee and snacks with you as well to save even more.
- Cut the cord – With more and more alternative options to watch your favorite shows and movies, you may be able to cut or downgrade your cable plan to save additional money. Also take a hard look at your phone bill to see if you can make any changes or switch providers to reduce your monthly charges.
- Clean house – Another benefit of minimizing and cleaning out your home is finding things that may be of value to others, even if you no longer need them. Host a garage or yard sale, try selling items online or take clothing to a vintage store. Put any money you make right into savings.
- Round up – At the end of the day, put any spare change from your wallet, purse or pocket into a jar. Also, check if your bank offers a program or app that rounds up your purchases and invests the difference in a savings account. For example, if you buy a shirt for $22.50, it will automatically place $.50 in a savings account for a total transaction of $23.
- Buy in bulk – It may seem counterintuitive, but buying more can mean spending less. Instead of buying two rolls of paper towels each month, look at the cost per roll of buying 10 rolls at a time. This only works if you have the space to store the extra items, and make sure to look carefully at the unit price to confirm you are saving money.
- Try generic – When buying crackers or dish detergent in bulk, take a look at its store-brand counterpart. Oftentimes, the ingredients list is the same, but the price is much lower. This can save you quite a bit over time, and you likely won’t notice a difference.
- Leave the car at home – This may not work for everyone depending on where you live or what your schedule is, but walking to your destination or taking public transit can save you money on parking and gas (and you’re less likely to buy a lot if you have to carry it home!). Plus it’s better for your health and the environment. If you must use a car, consider carpooling if possible.
- Try new plans with friends – Instead of going out for an expensive dinner or concert, host friends for a potluck dinner or check out free or low-cost events happening in your town. Many communities host concerts, festivals, free museum days and more.
- Visit the library – Speaking of great community resources, check out your local library! In addition to books, many libraries offer movies, passes for local attractions and even e-books, all at no cost.
- Set up a home gym – As the weather gets nicer, it might be a good time to put your pricey gym membership on hold and work out outside instead. Go for a run or walk or take your bike for a spin. You can supplement by working out at home with free workouts online or via an app.
How Health Advocate Can Help
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to EAP+Work/Life or Wellness, log on to your Health Advocate member website to access Financial Wellness resources like workshops, tip sheets, and more to help you save toward your financial goals.