Times are tough. Many people are struggling to pay bills, yet the need to save more money and put it away for emergencies is more important now than ever before. You have already taken the first step toward creating a safety cushion for you and your family by opening up a savings account with your local New Bedford credit union. The next step is to look at your family budget and find new ways to save money that can be put away in your account for a rainy day.
Even if you are only able to put a couple of dollars into your savings account here and there it will make a difference. A small amount can add up over time and you will feel better knowing that you have money waiting for you in your savings account when you need it. This article features 15 things that you can do today to help put more money into your New Bedford credit union savings account for the future.
#1 – Leftover Money
At the end of the month, or when you are finished paying all of your bills and have made all your necessary purchases, take any money that is leftover and put it directly into your credit union savings account. Even if its just $10 a month, it will add up over the period of a year, giving you an extra $120 in savings.
#2 – Sell Something
Most of us have items sitting around our garages or attics that we don’t need. Take inventory of the things you have in your home and consider selling the things you don’t want or use so you can put the money to good use in your savings account. Use Craig’s List to sell items for free locally.
#3 – Garage Sale
If you have a lot of items to sell, such as old clothing, household appliances, collectable memorabilia and things that would be difficult to list on Craig’s List, consider having a garage sale where you can sell many things all at once. Remember to check local ordinances that might prevent you from posting signs or limit the hours or frequency of your garage sales.
#4 – Online Banking
Whenever possible, use your New Bedford credit union to your advantage and pay your loans and other available bills online. This will save you in stamps and the gas it takes to pay bills in person or drop off envelopes to the post office. Speak with your credit union representative for more information about available online banking services.
#5 – Store Brands
Many people already know that the store brands of some grocery and household cleaning products are just as good or effective as the national brands. You can save a lot of money each month just by switching brands. Put the savings directly into your credit union savings account and watch the dollars add up throughout the year.
#6 – Coupons and Discounts
You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to take advantage of sales and discounts available at your local store. Printable coupons are now available online, as well as deals through deal-making services like Groupon.com. Put the savings that is marked on your receipt directly into your savings account to reap the rewards of your efforts.
#7 – Want vs. Need
This is one of the hardest parts about savings – learning the difference between want and need. When you are about to buy something, ask yourself whether the item is a “nice to have” or a “have to have” purchase. If you just want it, but don’t really need it, consider putting that money into your savings account instead. One or two purchases like this a month can really add up over time.
#8 – Change Jar
Remember how much money you were able to save when you were a kid just by putting your change into a piggy bank and not thinking about it until you needed it? Start a change jar at home and put all of the change from your pockets or purse into it at the end of each day. Once a month or every couple months, take the change out and deposit it into your New Bedford credit union account.
#9 – Reduce Your Bills
One of the best new ways to save money is to find new ways to save on your bills. Consider switching from your current phone service to a VoIP provider that will cut your bill in at least half. Look at your Internet Service Provider and see if there are ways that you can reduce your monthly bill. Check out your cable or satellite service package and consider whether or not you are really watching all the channels that you are paying for. There is lots of money hidden in your monthly expenses that could be saved and put in your credit union savings account.
#10 – Budget Savings
When you pay off a credit card, a vehicle or other major purchase, start putting that monthly payment into your savings account instead. Just keep “paying that bill” by transferring the funds from your checking account into your credit union savings account and you will see your savings rise considerably.
#11 – Quit Something
We all have bad habits. Smoking, fast food, lottery tickets, fancy coffees – whatever your vice is that you’ve been wanting to give up, decide to quit and put the money you would have invested into that bad habit into your savings account.
#12 – Recycle
Instead of putting your cans and bottles into the trash can or recycling bin every week, consider saving them and take them to your local scrap metal recycling center each month instead. Why not get paid for all that glass and aluminum? Take the money you make from your efforts and put it directly into your savings account or use the money each month as emergency funds to prevent you from tapping into your savings.
#13 – Transportation
Proper vehicle maintenance, such as regular oil changes and tune-ups can help prevent more costly repairs. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can help boost gas mileage by as much as three percent. Planning your errands and getting them done all in one trip can help to save gas as well.
#14 – Do It Yourself
There are many tasks that we hire others to do that we could do for ourselves. From washing the car to mowing the lawn or taking care of the pool, take the money that you would have spent to hire someone else to take care of these things and put it away in your savings.
#15 – Home Movie Night
Take advantage of $1 movie rentals or join a monthly web-based movie service and host a weekly movie night at home. Make your own popcorn and snacks to save even more money over movie theater costs. The average ticket now for a movie theater is $10. For a family of four you could save as much as $39 per movie before you even factor in the costs for snacks.
While some of these methods aren’t necessarily new ways to save money, they may be new ideas for you and your family. Speak with your New Bedford credit union representative at St. Anne Credit Union for more ways to save. Find out more about investing your savings into a Certificate of Deposit or Money Market Deposit account to help grow your money even faster once you have built up enough in your savings account. Saving money doesn’t have to be hard – you’ve just got to take a little time and know where to look to find it.