If you haven’t gotten in the habit of saving, the idea of it can seem overwhelming. For a lot of people, looking at spending habits—and identifying places to cut—can seem like a daunting task, especially when focusing on a specific savings goal. But, this process can be approached a lot of different ways, and it doesn’t have to be scary. Here are 10 changes you can make today to see your savings grow.
1. Coupon anyone?
Before you make any online purchase, Google around for a coupon. Most online retailers have them floating around and if you search, you might be able to get a discount on your purchase or a deal on shipping.
2. Time your big purchases
Sales go in cycles, so be aware that certain times of the year, you’ll get big savings on larger purchases. TVs usually go on sale in January and February, wedding dresses in early December, and back-to-school sales make August and September great months to buy a laptop.
3. Reassess how you fly
If you try flying out or returning on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you could save yourself on the flight. Those odd days can make all the difference. It’s also cheapest to buy tickets on a Tuesday.
4. Pay yourself
Send part of your paycheck right into savings. If you set it up as an automatic transfer, you won’t have it in your account to begin with so spending it won’t even be an option. And, after a while you won’t even notice it’s gone.
5. Remember the library?
It’s an oldie but a goodie: use your public library. Not only can you borrow books and rent audio and e-books, you can also check out DVDs. It’s an easy way to save.
6. Shut your vents
This one’s simple, but effective. Shut the vents in rooms you aren’t using. It can help you save on gas and electric.
7. Pack your bag
The Americans can spend between two and five thousand dollars a year on eating out at lunch. But, bringing your food once or even twice a week can make a big difference. If you aim to bring more than you buy lunch, your savings will thank you.
8. Make a list
It seems simple, but so many people make the mistake of going to the grocery story without a plan. Making a list ahead of time will not only help you remember everything you need, it will also keep your budget on track.
9. Revisit your decisions
Every so often, take a look at some of the long-time services you’ve had to see if there might be a better option. Maybe a new company has come to your area. Maybe there’s another provider offering a better package. Just because it was once the best option, doesn’t mean that it still is and making a change might save you in the long run.
10. Are you paying for cable?
Maybe you shouldn’t be. There are plenty of streaming options out there now that give you an alternative to paying a cable bill. Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime may have the shows you’re looking for, for a fraction of the price.
What should you do with all your newfound savings? How about opening a savings account? Wintrust offers several savings options, including Passbook Savings, Statement Savings, and a money market account.