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Every year, "save more" is one of the top New Year's resolutions – even more popular in 2017 than 2016, according to Google data.1 It might also be one of the easiest resolutions to turn into reality because there are countless ways to build savings. And whether your goal is to create an emergency fund, buy a house, take a family vacation, put your kids through college or retire, every deposit counts. Small ones add up, your balance grows and you move closer to your goal. Every opportunity to save pays! So, look for them – here are some examples to get your creative wheels turning and help you come up with other ideas:

Have fun for free:

Explore your community for entertainment options that won't cost you a penny and put your savings in the bank. Maybe your town has a local historian who leads monthly walking tours. Take the tour! Try all sorts of new things, including volunteering. Helping out at an animal shelter is a great way to enjoy time with animals, while avoiding the expense of owning a pet, which can be more than $2,000 a year for a single dog.2

Learn to love your local library:

If you buy books, movies and music, start borrowing them instead and bank the money you would have spent. Libraries across the country are doing a great job of modernizing, and your branch may offer an online search option on its website, so you can find exactly what you want and have your books and media waiting for you when you stop to pick them up. You may even be able to borrow digital copies and download them to your tablet or cell phone, without having to go to the library. That's money and time saved!

Turn clutter into cash:

If you have clothes you aren't wearing or other items that are just taking up space, sell them. Handbags, power tools, last-generation tablets and cell phones? Put them on one of the many websites that draw buyers from everywhere, take them to a consignment shop or have a garage sale. If you think you can't make money selling things that you aren't using, think again. Garage sales generate $4.2 million in revenue weekly!3 Plus, you don't have to report or pay taxes on the money you make if you sell something for less than what you paid for it.4

Make moonlighting your new favorite hobby:

It's simpler than ever to bring in extra income with side gigs. Get behind the wheel of your car and start earning easy cash as a driver for one of the rideshare or food taxi companies. Rent your spare bedroom to vacationers to pay for your own vacation. If your other favorite hobby is about making things that you can sell, start selling. Do you have a knack for knitting beanies or customizing skateboards? Use it to pump up your savings. Just remember to include anything you earn in your total income tally and pay your taxes when April rolls around.

Whether your ideas focus on bringing in extra cash or reducing the amount that you spend so you have more of your paycheck left at the end of each month, remember that it's important to go the next step and put the money into a savings account. Then it's officially savings, rather than money that you just haven't spent yet. So, make a deposit every month, watch your balance get bigger and be prepared to feel great.

Stay on Track to Your Goals

Use our fast and free Financial Wellness Tool to create a monthly budget. If you haven't enrolled yet, sign up now.


"2017 New Year's Resolutions: The Most Popular and How to Stick to Them,"; January 1, 2017.


"The Real Cost of Owning a Dog," The Mercury News; October 3, 2017.


"7 Ways to Make the Most Money from Garage Sales," Consumer Reports; May 18, 2016.



This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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