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The other day I had a conversation with a good friend who had shared a meme from Tumbler. This particular meme basically said that poor people will always be poor because there isn’t any other way out. I highly disagree with the original poster (my friend shared it as a conversation piece) and in fact, my personal life and struggles, prove that it isn’t true. I have come from the very bottom of rock bottom to the very not-quite top but I’m getting there. I remember paying for my daughter’s diapers in pennies. I remember having the power shut off. I remember fighting tears as we were evicted for the 10th time that year; having to go crawling yet again to my parents to borrow money to feed Emma; having my car sit broken down for months because I couldn’t afford to pay it. Yes, pre-2010 was bad for us. As I sat in that homeless shelter in 2010 though, I realized something. I deserved better and my daughter for sure did. So I did what I needed to do to change things and while that part of our lives makes me sad, I am absolutely grateful for the time we spent homeless. If nothing else, it taught me that staying in the financial situation that we were in? Didn’t need to be a permanent fixture in our lives.
So why did I tell you all of that? Because I want you to understand how much your thoughts impact your finances. If you’re always sitting around telling yourself that things will never get any better? Guess what? They won’t. If however, you make an intentional decision to change how you do things, to find a budget that works for your family, to build your savings account and to stop living paycheck to paycheck? Eventually you will get yourself to that point. Is it easy to do? No, but few things in life that are worth doing are easy and learning how to cut your household expenses to build your savings account is one of those “hard” things that are totally worth it.
30 Easy Ways to Boost Your Savings Account
As I said, it won’t be easy but here’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be hard. Saving money actually isn’t hard, but since most people think it is, we psych ourselves out about it more often than not. You do have to commit to saving, but once you do? The number of easy ways to save money will surprise you. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these 30 easy ways to boost your savings account. They may surprise you with just how simple they really are.
Make your savings account work for you –
The very first thing you should do is make sure that your savings account is doing what you need it to do and that is to work for you and not the bank. This means that you should make sure that your account is a high yield savings account. Your interest rate should be something that you focus on quite often so that you know whether or not there is a better option. If you’re working on building a savings account that you aren’t going to be withdrawing from often, you may want to consider leaving behind a regular savings and moving to a money market account. These accounts typically have much higher interest rates than the average and by default will work for you better. For those that simply don’t want to touch their money at all, looking into simple ways to invest your money can be a great way to boosting your savings totals while building wealth at the same time.
Automate your savings –
One of these easiest ways to boost your savings account is to automate it with a program like Digit or with an automatic deposit each payday. At our home we do both. As soon as we get a bank deposit, we automatically transfer 20% to our savings account. We also use Digit. In fact, I wrote about how I’m using it to save for retirement. Digit links to your checking account and analyzes your spending patterns. It will then make automated withdraws into your Digit savings account based on those patterns. Your Digit account is FDIC insured and can be withdrawn whenever you want. Between the two programs, we’ve been able to save a considerable amount that we otherwise wouldn’t have.
Get Cash Back –
We all shop online so why not get paid to do so! Yes! There are certain sites and programs that will pay you to shop! My two favorites are Ebates and Shop Your Way Rewards. When you shop through Ebates, they are paid a small amount by the store themselves. They then turn around and share this payment back with you as cash back. Plus, they offer new members who sign up for an Ebates account a free $10.00 gift card with their first qualifying transaction ($25 or more). Shop Your Way is a program that is run by Sears and Kmart. When you shop with them, both online and in store, they will give you points that help you save on your next order. The best part about SYWR is that you can make me (Stacy Barr) your personal shopper and I can send you coupons to help you save even more! To use them to boost your savings account, take the cash back that you earn or the cash amount of your points and put them into your savings account. Both of them could add up to hundreds per year depending on how much you shop.
Make More Money –
Seems pretty simple, huh? If you aren’t making enough money to really save, make more money. You can do this buy selling things you no longer need or want, by taking a second job or by finding a way to earn extra money from home. I personally use a system that I use everyday that earns me $225.00/mo (or more) extra every month and I signed up (for free!) to promote my new favorite product called Thrive. It’s super easy to do, only takes a bit of time each day and the money I earn makes boosting my savings account easy. While my $225 system and Thrive may not be right for you, there are plenty of ways to earn cash from home and plenty of places hiring for part-time jobs right now.
Cut Housing Costs –
Take a good look around your home. How big it is? Now ask yourself one question. Do you really need that much space? Probably not. The average home size today is 1.5-2 times larger than it was in the 1950’s and there’s a reason for that. We spend so much money on stuff! Even worse? We spend so much money on stuff that we don’t need! Downsizing your home size is a great way to save money since it saves you money on your rent or mortgage, on heating and cooling costs, water, home repair and more. Plus? When you get rid of clutter, you can use the money you make from selling items to boost your savings account even more!
Go cloth –
No, I’m not telling you to give up toilet paper although if you want to? More power to you. That is a bit over my frugal line, but if you’re good with it? You’re more woman (or man) than I am! With that said, going cloth is a fantastic way to save money and there are plenty of ways to do so without having to stop squeezing the Charmin. We spend so much money each year on disposable products that it becomes easy to just overlook it. Think about this: If you’re using one roll of paper towels each week at $1.00 per roll, that is $48.00 per year you’re wasting only on paper towels. Now figure that savings across every disposable product you use in your home. Adds up, doesn’t it? It’s easier than you think to replace those disposable items with reusable ones. Ditching paper towels for reusable unpaper towels is one way. Making the switch from disposable diaper to using cloth diapers is another. Giving up disposable feminine products in favor of reusable cloth ones is another. I made the switch to cloth pads and I will never go back to the throw away ones again!
Stop Buying and Make Homemade – Another casualty of our fast past world is homemade items. It makes me incredibly sad that we have lost the sense of pride that comes with making products ourselves instead of buying them. Another thing that I find sad is just how much money we spend on a tiny bit of convenience. If you’re really looking to boost your savings account, take a look around your house and make a list of things to stop buying and make yourself. You would be surprised at just how much you save once you’ve got the ball rolling. We began doing this in 2015 and to date, we have replaced there are over 60 items we stopped buying and started making. How much have we saved since then? Well over $5,000 at this point.
Pay off Debt –
We all know that debt is most often the killer of saving accounts everywhere so why do we keep it? While I do believe that there are certain situations where you should not be debt free, we need to start being more responsible with our debt. If you’re currently buried under debt, first find a few ways to pay off debt quickly or take a side job to help pay off debt. Once you’re debt free (or you’ve gotten your debt to a more manageable place), you’ll notice that it is much easier to boost your savings account.
Ask for a Raise –
If you’ve been at your job for a while, there is no harm in asking your boss for a raise. If not, why not find a new job that pays more. To use this to boost your savings account, once you’ve gotten your raise or better paying job, pretend the change in income never happened and put the money straight into your savings account instead. If you’re going to look for a new job, make sure that you take the time to update your resume in a way that will help you get the job versus helping someone else to be chosen.
Pay with Cash –
Paying with cash is a great way to keep yourself on budget, but did you know it can also be fantastic for boosting your savings too? Pay for everything with cash and at the end of each day, take your change and stick it in a jar. Each week, take your jar to the bank and deposit it into your savings account. It won’t be much, but it absolutely will add up. If you’re not sure you can actually keep things organized with cash, picking up an envelope system that has pre-made envelopes can help.
The dollar challenge –
Want to really boost things quickly? Pay with cash and at the end of the day, pull all $1.00 bills out of your wallet. Stash them aside to go into savings later in the week. You would be surprised at how quickly $1.00 bills can add up. If you’re feeling especially determined, you can add $5.00 bills too! I’ve even seen some (brave) souls do it with tens and twenties!
Save $1.00 a Day – Save $1.00 each day. That’s it. Make your morning coffee at home or leave the vending machine alone and put a dollar in savings. It adds up $365.00 a year. It’s slow going if you don’t add another cent in throughout the year, but any savings is a good savings!
Learn to save on groceries –
Yeah. I know. Duh. You may be surprised at just how many people don’t even bother to try and save money on groceries. Don’t just stop at pantry items and things like that though. Do what you can to save money on meat and to cut your grocery expenses all together. Take the money you save and add it to your savings account.
Stop eating out…period –
One of the easiest ways to boost your savings is to stop eating out. It has become so common in our society that we don’t even realize just how much we’re doing it. Don’t believe me? Go look at your expense tracker from last month. You are tracking your expenses aren’t you? If you want to boost your savings, stop eating out and then take the money you would have spent and deposit it into your savings account. I guarantee it will add up. If you must eat out, do everything you can to save money when you eat out and then add the money you saved to your savings account.
Switch to Water –
Drink a lot of soda or coffee? You’re keeping your savings account from growing. Instead, switch to water and use water flavoring packets to jazz it up a bit. You’ll save quite a bit of money each week that you can then add to your savings account as a quick boost!
Start couponing –
Do you coupon? If not, you’re very likely spending more money than you need to. You can save thousands of dollars per year with the right coupons. With that said, keep it reasonable. I personally stopped extreme couponing a while ago and recommend that you do too if you currently are, but done reasonably, finding the right printable coupons and a great deal on the Sunday newspaper, can save you a massive amount of money. To boost your savings account, take the money you save from couponing and add it to your savings account.
Put your car to work for you –
Does your local grocery store offer a rewards program and have a gas station (or a deal with one)? If so, why not put your car to work for you and have it help you build your savings? Most of these programs will combine grocery store savings with gasoline savings. In other words, you’ll earn cents off per gallon when you buy groceries or money off your groceries when you buy gas. Combine the program as best as you can and put the savings into your account each week.
Find free entertainment (or at least do what you can to save on it) –
We are conditioned to think that we must spend money to have fun, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of free and frugal family activities to do this weekend. You simply need to look. Taking a bike ride, visiting the library, planning a hiking trip, or going camping with the kids are all great options. If you absolutely can’t find a free activity, opt for cheaper ones that you can find using discount sites like Groupon (use coupon code WELCOME if you’re a new member to save an additional $10.00), CityPass or via the Entertainment Book. Take the money you would have spent and add it to your savings account.
Use your phone –
Your phone is a literal goldmine of free gift cards and money that is simply waiting on you to earn it. Apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 pay you cash back when you buy groceries. Perk will pay you for watching commercials on your phone. Shopkick will pay you just for walking into a store and scanning barcodes. Swagbucks TV will pay you to watch videos. Checkpoints (use code thrbarrgir when you sign up) will pay you to check into different places. Receipt Hog will pay you for scanning your receipts. You can even set up an app called Stash on your phone to invest money that you deposit for you! Put your phone to work and then bank the money you earn into your savings account to boost it. InstaGC will pay you to download apps from your phone. Even better? Most of them can be used from the PC too to help you earn even more!
Save without missing it –
Do you currently receive your paycheck by direct deposit? If so, set up your deposit so that 10% of your check is automatically deposited into your savings account. This means that for every $100 of your paycheck, you’ll automatically have $10.00 deposited. Trust me when I tell you that you will not miss that money, but if you do, it will be there when you need it.
End your subscriptions –
Do you still have magazine subscriptions? They’re costing you extra money in your savings account, especially if you don’t read them often. How about subscriptions to premium movie channels that never get watched? If you are paying a monthly fee for something that you don’t use? You’re paying it needlessly. Cancel all of the monthly charges that you can live without (which is most likely most of them) and bank that money in your savings account.
Find a hobby –
I know. Hobbies usually cost money, but hobbies can also save and/or make you money. If you find a hobby that can be sold such as crochet or woodworking, chances are incredibly good that you will be able to make it pay for itself. Deposit any extra monies into your savings account. If you can’t find one that will pay for itself, you can still use it to save money. How? When you’re working on your hobby, you aren’t out spending money that you don’t have. Use the money you save as a new deposit into your account.
Balance your checkbook –
You don’t write checks anymore, do you? Most people don’t but did you realize that you still need to be balancing your checking account? Why? Because if you aren’t balancing your transactions against what was actually posted, you could very easily end up with less money in your account than you believed. Case in point? Yesterday I had an unexpected $99.00 charge post to my checking account. While I knew it was coming and it is a legit charge, it happened earlier in the month than I expected. If I hadn’t been in the habit of balancing things out, I could have ended up in a really decently sized hole by this morning. Once you balance your account, make it a habit to do it weekly at a minimum. Take any money that you save and deposit it into your savings account.
Have a budget meeting –
Along with balancing your checking account, you should also have a budget meeting at least once a week. These meetings are designed to keep all of the adults in the home on the same page as far as your family budget goes. We do them once a week here. They take 20 minutes and they have saved our budget more than once.
Let the Jones’s live in peace –
Do you try to keep up with the Jones’s? Why? Worry about your own home and family and let the Jones’s live in peace. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you save when you’re not trying to compete with the Jones’s. Take the money you save and boost your savings account.
Tune up your car –
When was the last time your car had a tune up where all of the filters and oil was changed? How about the last time you aired up your tires? Doing just one of those things (or all if you’re really going for savings) can help you get more miles out of a tank of gas. This adds up quickly as a way to boost your savings account.
Shop intentionally –
When you go to the store, do you add whatever looks or sounds good to your cart? If so, you’re very likely wasting a lot of money. Instead, keep yourself to a list whenever you’re shopping. You will absolutely save money. This doesn’t apply only to the grocery store though. It applies to any store or website where you might be doing your shopping.
Be healthier –
How much is your health costing you? For us, I was spending more than $240/mo on supplements, special foods and more just to treat diabetes naturally and to treat chronic pain naturally. The simple fact of the matter is that being sick and unhealthy costs us a ton of money over time. For me, the answer was to cut back on how much I was spending on those products. I found a product I love that worked amazingly and dropped my cost by more than $100/mo. IF you’re spending a ton in health costs, take a look at what you can do to be healthier. Whether that means exercising more or eating better or something else, do it and then bank the money you’re saving.
From Six Dollars to Six Figures – Have your grabbed my book (also called), Six Dollar Family? In it, I give you more easy ways to save than I could ever include in one single post such as why you should have a water bottle in your toilet, how to handle a budget crisis and the three most common types of budgets. Combined with the info on this blog, it will give you the tools that you need to finish boosting your savings account.