Did you know more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account?* It’s never too late to start practicing money-saving habits, but thinking of ways to get going can be intimidating. Here are a few of our favorite easy and quick tips to get started.
Make A List and Meal Prep
An easy tip to get started on your money saving journey is to create a grocery shopping list before you go to the store. When you shop without a list, you are more likely to make impulse buys and unnecessary purchases. Once you’re done shopping, spend a couple of hours on the weekend to prep meals for the week. This will help you avoid spending money on dining or takeout orders during the week. Stick to your list, and you’ll be on the right track!
Have Friends Over Instead of Going Out
Just because you’ve decided to start saving money doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with friends and create fun memories. It just means you might need to be smarter about where and how you spend that time. Instead of going out to a restaurant with friends for dinner and drinks, which is sure to put a dent in your food and entertaining budget, invite friends over and tell everyone to bring what they want to drink. This way, you and your friends will save some money and have a good time.
Brew Your Coffee at Home
Huge coffee lover? Well, it might be time to cut back on that Starbucks latte. Instead of going to your favorite coffee shop every morning, start making your coffee at home. Not saying you should ditch the coffee shop altogether, just visit more sporadically. Spending $4 on coffee every day adds up to $1,460 a year! Allow yourself a few days a week to buy a cup of your favorite java, but the rest of time brew at home.
Utilize Rewards Programs
There are so many stores and banks that offer rewards or cashback programs and this is a great way to save money. To take advantage of these programs, create an email address to collect all of these offers and coupons and check that account for extra savings before shopping.
Negotiate Better Contracts
Think you’re spending too much on cable or internet? Take time to review recurring monthly bills such as cable, cell phone and car insurance to look for opportunities to negotiate a better price or look for a better deal. There are software programs that can help with this process, such as Trim. Using bank-level security, Trim analyzes your accounts to find recurring subscriptions to determine where you can save more money.
Saving money doesn’t have to be hard, start with these small tips and work your way up. Once you begin applying these to your daily life, saving money will seem easier and your savings will continue to grow.
We’re here to help! Lakeland Bank offers information on personal banking on our website. Our Customer Contact Center can be reached at 866-224-1379.
*According to a 2017 GOBankingRates survey, more than half of Americans (57 percent) have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.