Save More Than $4,000 This Year With 8 Small Daily Changes
Don't let inflation take charge of your wallet.
Feeling the strain of inflation? Unfortunately, the strain isn’t likely to ease up anytime soon. According to inflation experts, $1 in 2018 is worth $1.18 today — meaning we have to pay more for our groceries, bills, and general expenses. The constant scrimp-and-pinch to make ends meet can lead to more stress, but fortunately, we’ve reached out to money-saving experts to uncover the best strategies. Below, check out eight small, daily changes you can incorporate into your routine, so you’ll be left with more money at the end of each month.
Save up to $1,275 by setting aside a percentage of each paycheck.
“Putting a percentage of your paycheck aside every month may feel like a heavy financial burden, but done in tiny increments, you’ll barely notice and can pocket hundreds by year’s end. For example, if you put $10 in a savings account each week, you’ll have $500 by December. Some banks even let you set up automatic transfers from a checking to a savings account so you don’t have to even think about it. Another easy way to save? Starting this week, set aside $1 in an envelope, then $2 the next week, then $3 the next week and so on. By the end of the year, you’ll have $1,275 in cash.”
—Tanya Peterson, vice president of FreedomDebtRelief.com
Save up to $1,080 by cutting your cable cord.
“The average cable bill is about $90 per month, and chances are, you’re not even watching a majority of the channels you’re paying for. Simply canceling those services and subscribing to one of the many streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, or Sling TV (some of which start at under $10 a month!) can save you hundreds. And if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you already have access to thousands of TV shows and movies as part of your membership.”
—Bethany Hollars, moneysaving strategist for BrickSeek.com
Save up to $140 by sizing up your cooking pots.
“When cooking, match the burner size to the pot size. Putting a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner and letting the heat go past the pan wastes about 40 percent of the heat generated. Using the right-size burner can save you over $40 a year on your overall bill. And if you skip the dry cycle on the dishwasher and let dishes air-dry, you’ll save $100 more in the kitchen.”
— Pamela Braun, cookbook author and founder of MyMansBelly.com
Save up to $492 by using your debit card to ‘create’ cash.
“Sign up for a free app, like Acorns or a Bank of America debit card. Every time you make a purchase, the app rounds it up to the next dollar and save you the difference. For example, spend $4.15 on a latte, it will round it up to $5 and move $0.85 from your checking to your savings account. On average, the app saves you $246 per year, and if you use your debit card more often, it could easily double the amount.”
—Joanie Demer, co-founder of TheKrazyCouponLady.com
Save up to $300 by changing these heat settings in your house.
“It takes a lot of energy to heat the water for (and then dry) just one load of laundry. Simply using the washer’s cold water cycle (it cleans just as well as hot water) can save $60 annually, and while a dryer can cost around 30 cents an hour to run, hanging as much as you can to air-dry can cut another $10 a month from your utility bill. Also smart: Lower the temperature on your hot water heater from 140 degrees Fahrenheit (the default setting from most manufacturers) to 120 to save an extra $120. You probably won’t even notice the change since most of us don’t shower in water hotter than that anyway.”
—Logan Allec, founder of MoneyDoneRight.com
Save up to $360 by asking phone providers for a deal.
“Here’s a little-known secret: Often, service providers for phones and cable have loyalty discounts or promotions running that they will not automatically apply to your account unless you ask. Just calling to ask for a better deal can save a couple hundred dollars in minutes. For example, I recently called my internet provider, and due to a new promotion, I was able to lower my bill by 50 percent — for the same service! The call may take a little time, but the payoff of saving every month after that makes it worth it.”
—Matt Woodley, money expert at MoverFocus.com
Save up to $600 with the $5 Bill Savings Challenge.
“For the rest of the year, every time you get a $5 bill, put it away in a jar, box or envelope — any place where it is out of sight, out of mind. It will surprise you how much your savings will add up at the end of the month (or year). This is a fun little challenge you can do with friends or other family members to see who can save the most money. I did it and ended up with almost $600.”
—Maria Smith, parenting blogger HandfulOfThoughts.com
Save up to $300 by staying loyal to a local gas station.
“The AAA estimates the average American spends 7 percent of their income on gas, so if you make $45,000 a year, you’re shelling out over $3,000. But you can make 10 percent of that back! First, find a low-priced gas station close to your home or workplace using an app like Google Maps or Gasbuddy. Then, make it your go-to station to fuel up at on the same day each week. This ensures you consistently get the best price rather than shelling out a higher amount elsewhere when the low fuel light goes on. Next, join that brand’s loyalty program for rewards and use a credit card that has gas as a bonus category so you get about 3 percent cash back. All told, you can save up to $300 a year.”
—Miguel A. Suro, writer at RichMiser.com
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.