How do you build up your emergency fund without making huge lifestyle changes or drastic cuts in spending? Here are 5 savings hacks to try:
Stash dollar bills
When you get change back, don’t spend it – save it. You can do this with only $1 bills or even $5 bills…just make sure you’re consistent. Take the change you get from a transaction and set it aside in a jar. When you get enough, deposit into your savings account.
Use your card with rewards (wisely)
Credit cards aren’t always bad. If you have a card that offers monetary rewards, use your card for on-going monthly transactions (such as your garbage bill) and then pay it off right away. That way, you’re not accruing debt AND you’re earning rewards at the same time. If you do this with a lot of bills, you could end up with decent cash rewards at the end of the year. Put that extra cash in your emergency fund.
Get rid of cable or dish and switch to streaming services. Even if you sign up for multiple streaming services, it will likely save you big money each month. I’m working on doing this right now and once we cancel our dish, we will be saving about $110/month. I will be taking that $110 that I normally spend on dish TV and putting it into my emergency fund. In 12 months I will have added $1,320 to savings…and I’ll still be able to watch what I want.
Try a meal/food delivery service
Recently I tried one of the several options out there for getting meals sent to your door. You pick your meals and then they send you the ingredients for you to cook them. I’ve found that it saves me money for a bunch of reasons: meals are about $20 each ($10/person); I don’t waste food; I actually cook and don’t order out; and I have leftovers so I don’t need to buy lunch (or extra food to make lunch) as much. Plus the food has all been delicious. I do go to the grocery store to get supplemental food items for breakfast and snacks and about 1 more meal/week.
During lazier months when we dine out more, we probably spend close to $600/month on food. I traveled a lot in March so I didn’t use the food service as much, but in February my husband and I spent about $450 total in food for both of us. And like I said we didn’t waste our groceries like we sometimes do. So that’s about $150 in monthly savings! If you’re interested, Google ‘meal delivery service’ and check out the options to find the best one for you.
Pay at the pump
Gas stations/convenience stores are designed to get you to buy a snack or beverage on the go. While it’s tempting, these small purchases can add up. If you get gas once a week and buy something inside, that could be $5/week extra you’re spending. So my tip is pay at the pump for gas and buy your snacks and beverages in bulk. If you’re feeling extra motivated, every time you pay at the pump, take $1 (or $2 or $5) and put that in a jar to be added to savings.
With these easy savings hacks, saving money doesn’t have to be painful. How else can you save money by making small changes?
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