Most of us would like to establish an emergency fund or some kind of savings. Big goals are great, but they can also be intimidating. There are small steps that nearly anyone can take to lead to big savings. Small steps are more comfortable and believable. For example, a moderate diet is easier to follow than strict cleanse.
Try these small steps, you might be surprised how much you can save.
1. Make one extra mortgage payment each year. It doesn’t have to be one extra payment made at the end of the year, though it could be. Instead, send in an additional 1/12 of a payment each month. On a 30-year mortgage, you’ll shave 5 years off your loan term by doing this.
2. Automate your savings. Maybe you can only save $50 a month, but those regular deposits will eventually grow into a significant amount. Save what you can and do it on autopilot. Pay yourself first and you’ll ensure there’s some money in the bank.
3. Watch less television. Consider cutting down your cable package. After all, how many of those 250 TV channels do you actually watch each week?
4. Use automatic bill payment. If you avoid late payments, you’ll also avert late fees. Many banks include an automatic bill payment feature with their checking accounts.
5. Drop your bad habits. Tobacco and alcohol products are pricey items. Your health and your bank account will both benefit if you stop drinking and smoking.
6. Keep your old car for one more year. If you can stick it out for one more year, you can delay costly car payments and higher insurance premiums for another year.
7. Consider refinancing your mortgage. Do a few calculations and see if refinancing makes sense for you at this time.
8. Examine your cell phone plan. You might find that you can go with a cheaper cell plan without noticing the difference.
9. Shop generic. From cereal to pharmaceuticals, there’s a lot of savings to be found with generic products. Some you might dislike, but you’ll find many that are exactly the same as far as quality.
10. Use the library. Since you pay taxes, those books in the library are partly yours. Go get your free library card and check out a few books instead of buying them. Interlibrary loans ensure that you can get your hands on nearly any book, free of charge.
11. Buy used books. Many websites have used books for a fraction of the price. Two such websites are abebooks.com and alibris.com. You can even sell your books when you’re done.
12. Eliminate your home phone. The number of households with a landline reduces each year. Since you now have a cell phone, it’s hard to justify also needing a home phone.
13. Avoid ATM fees. Stay within your ATM network or get cash back at the store when you use your debit card. It’s unnecessary to pay for accessing your money. After all, it belongs to you.
14. Prevent yourself from overdrawing your bank account. Some people seem to do this regularly. At most banks, every overdraft costs roughly $35. Even if you’re only overdrawn a dollar, you’re now $36 in the hole.
15. Take your lunch to work. Eating out is expensive, especially if you do it daily. Even fast food costs significantly more than bringing your own lunch.
Are you currently saving money in any of these ways? Could you benefit from adding a few more? Add up how much money you could save by implementing these financial moves and imagine what you could do with all that extra money!