Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Save More Money This Year

Does anyone else have saving more money or growing their savings account on their list of things to do for 2014? When I was just barely into my 20's, one of the smartest pieces of advice I received came from my father. He told me that he wished someone had told him to save money when he was my age, because as we know, the earlier we start contributing to our future and retirement, the more that money will compound and the the greater the amount will essentially be.

I took him up on his advice and am so grateful I did. I was blessed to land a great job straight out of College which allowed me to take advantage of saving even though I had several bills to pay while living on my own. The first thing I did was make sure that a specific amount was automatically set up to come out of my paycheck total every two weeks. One of the things I try to do now, and I think it's a great way to help grow one's savings account is to transfer money between bank accounts. It works best of course if your focus is to move money from your checking account to your savings and not the other way around. ;)

Another great reason why I love to transfer money between bank accounts is that it eliminates or lessens the need for things like loans when you find yourself  needing a loan such as a line of credit, TD Bank allows a lot of flexibility so you can do just that with account transfers. If you have a set amount of emergency money set aside in another account that you intend to use for just that, you can tap into those funds vs. other investment type funds or relying on a credit card which of course comes with such a high interest rate.

TD Bank also offers an option called a "Pre-authorized purchase plan" which allows you to invest regular amounts even as low as $25 into their comfort portfolios and TD mutual funds so your interest will grow that much faster. Most people think of investing large chunks of money in the hundreds or thousands but if you're working off of a tight budget and don't have a lot to spare for savings at the moment, this is a great option. It truly does add up over time and you'll thank yourself for doing it later on.

Here are 5 More Easy Ways to Save More Money this Year:

1. Become Coupon Savvy-This may seem obvious to some but for others who don't quite understand just how much you can save with coupons because they've never used them, it's worth a few minutes of coupon clipping. The trick is to combine a manufacturer's coupon with a store-based coupon and use it on top of an item already on sale or one that is is a BOGO deal (buy one, get one free). You can save a fraction on your grocery bill and bank that 'saved' money, it's money you won't even miss.

2. Nix the Starbucks Fix- All those frappuccinos really add up! At around $3-5 dollars per drink depending on the size and type of fancy drink you regularly enjoy. Instead, make your own at home and still allow yourself the treat but only once or twice per month. You'll spend far less at home and the difference saved from what your previously monthly expenditure was can be put into savings. Here's a homemade recipe for an iced coffee drink that you can make for pennies, you can also find more on the web or Pinterest that match your java obsession. This Nespresso coffee machine can help you make your own coffee at home and until 01/26/14 they're throwing in a $75 credit for qualifying machines over $179! It will be like having a cafe in your own home. :)

3. Cancel Your Subscription-With all the news we need at our fingertips via the internet, the newspaper has become less necessary. If you're ordering the Sunday paper for the coupons, here's a tip that may work in your area. We have subscribed to the Spanish version of our Sunday paper which gets delivered on Saturday, it contains all the same coupons but it's a free subscription! I just recycle the paper since we don't have anyone nearby that can benefit from it. I love magazines but have found a great way to have several subscriptions coming to my door without ever paying for a single one. A website called Recyclebank.org lets you watch short videos and play interactive games about becoming more green, eco-conscious and take virtually no time at all and points are earned for each one. The points can be used for various rewards, I always exchange mine for free magazine subscriptions. I've been doing this for years, there is no auto-renew to worry about and I recycle the magazines by blessing friends with them or donating them to my local Dentist, Chiropractor, etc. What's more is that you're learning easy ways to save water, energy and money in the process which will further save you some green.

4. Bring Your Own Lunch- Bring your own healthy homemade lunches to work vs. buying out. If you still need the fix, treat yourself to lunch out with the girls on Friday's only vs. every single day. Sometimes it's the company and getting out that you really crave so make it a point to lunch together somewhere other than inside the office such as a picnic bench outside or a nearby park. The fresh air, change of scenery and conversation will be just as invigorating there. Another upside? You're likely to make much more healthy food at home, creating a better overall self-image.

5. Movies at Home- We love Redbox in this house, it only costs $1 per movie, you can return them at any Redbox, reserve your favorite flick online and they often send out free coupon codes, it's makes for a great date night and it's more relaxing at home for us with a baby as we can pause the movie whenever we need to. We treat ourselves to a new movie at the cinema that we really want to see a couple times per year only. Other inexpensive options include Netflix delivery/online instant download and Hulu. Your local library will stock movies also free of charge to you, many also have previous episodes of your favorite new series too in case you've just discovered it and want to watch what you missed. We're fortunate that ours regularly has some pretty great new releases out at the same time as they are available elsewhere on DVD.

Depending on how many magazines you subscribe to, how many trips to the theater you take, how much you spend on dining out, how many cups of joe you drink and how many coupons you clip, you could be saving $50-200 per month. That's easy money in the bank with relatively small sacrifice involved.

Now I want to hear from you! How do you most like to save money? What are your tips and tricks for making your dollar stretch or keeping more of what you earn?

Thanks for Reading!


*This was a sponsored post, however all thoughts, opinions and examples included are my own.

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