Five Simple, Smart Ways to Build Your Savings
Most Americans have $1,000 or less in savings and say that building savings is a financial priority. And while getting started can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many simple ways to begin building your savings and developing financially healthy habits.
Here are five practical tips you can use today:
1. Shop Online Using Cash Back and Coupon Tools
Cash back online shopping tools like Rakuten allow you to earn cash back on purchases with major retailers. And whether your purchase is small or large, check to see whether there is a store, product or service coupon available. There are plenty of savings to be had that you might not otherwise be aware of, and programs like Honey can help you find discount codes on thousands of websites. A lot of these apps and browser extensions are available, so do some research and find one that works for you.
2. Declutter, Sell and Save
Summer is a great time for cleaning out and having yard sales, but you don’t have to go whole-house. Start by going through a single room and setting aside things you haven’t used in a while, or that no longer bring you joy, and simply list them on a resell platform or social media. Tuck the proceeds into your savings account.
3. Freeze Your Spending
For one week, make note of the non-essential items you purchase, then challenge yourself to stop purchasing them for a bit (two weeks, for instance). Explore ways to swap purchases with a DIY alternative you can make at home – such as brewing your own morning coffee and using a travel mug. During that time, take the money you would have spent on these purchases and deposit it into your savings. Consider keeping the challenge going, as well as looking for new swapping possibilities.
4. Pack your lunches
According to a recent Visa survey, the average American spends around $53 a week on lunch, totaling more than $2,700 per year. Preparing your own lunches can significantly reduce this cost, and it is typically healthier, too. Plan and prep meals ahead of time to avoid impulse lunch purchases, and limit the number of times you eat out for lunch.
5. Grocery Shop with a Plan
Making a shopping list and sticking to it goes a long way toward saving money at the store, along with checking what you already have at home and preparing meals based on those resources.
Take advantage of grocery store loyalty programs and coupons, and if there’s a curbside pickup option, then that service can help prevent impulse buying, too.
Challenge Yourself to Go Even Further
Set up a savings account and consider taking on a “money-saving challenge” to help establish a pattern of regularly adding to your account. Here are a couple fun ideas to get you going.
- Dollar-a-Day Challenge
One popular challenge is to save a dollar a day. It’s simple, yet powerful – you’ll not only start building a habit of saving, but you will also see how small amounts can add up. If you start today and commit to a year of saving, then you will have saved $365 by the end.
- Weekly $ Saving Challenge
Start by putting a dollar into your savings account in the first week. Then, increase the amount to two dollars in week two, three dollars in week three, and so on. Over the course of one year, you will have contributed a hefty amount toward savings. As the table below shows, if you start this week, then your savings will total nearly $1,400 by this time next year.
Weekly $ Saving Challenge
Get Started: It’s Easy and Rewarding
Make saving even easier with KeyBank’s EasyUp® which automatically shifts a small amount of money from your checking account into your savings account every time you use your debit card. See how your savings will add up with KeyBank’s Savings Calculator.
EasyUp is a great companion to whichever tip or challenge you choose. Pick one today and discover how simple and enjoyable saving can be.