On the Money: Easy Ways to Save Big
Are you looking to tighten the monthly budget but aren’t sure where or how to start? It could be anything from cutting that $8 daily latte to mowing your own lawn. Take a look at what some of our financial professionals are doing in their everyday spending.
Clint Herndon of Next Peak CPA (nextpeakcpa.com):
• “We take out cash at the beginning of the month. Spending cash instead of using a card hurts more, so it’s easier to be more judicious!”
Kimberly Foss of Empyrion Wealth Management (empyrionwealth.com):
• “I use American Express to pay for everything and use the rewards points to buy things for the house or for gift cards that I give for my son’s friends’ birthdays. Note: It doesn’t have to be American Express; it can be any card that gives you points or cash back for your spending habits. One year we even paid for a trip to Disneyland for three days for a family of six. I purchased everything—from groceries and gas to installing my solar panels, which was huge.”
• “Whenever I buy gifts for Christmas, clothes, items for the house, etc., I buy everything through topcashback.com. It’s free money, and you receive anywhere between 2% to 15% back on everything you buy.”
• “I use digit.co to save for vacations, property tax, emergency funds, etc. It rounds my purchases up and deposits the money in an interest-bearing checking account. It learns my spending habits, so it knows how much money to take out and deposit into my separate accounts so I don’t go over budget.”
Dianna Laney of Ideal Life Financial Advisors (ideallifeadvisors.com):
• “I was finding the convenience of Amazon Prime pushing up our spending. Especially with two kids, it’s easier to pop onto my phone and buy something at the moment that I 'think' I need. To try to counter this impulse buying, I’ve set up a Wishlist for each month of the year. We can add anything we think of or want during the month, but we only order from Amazon once a month on a pre-selected date. It’s significantly cut down on our impulse buying, because many of the things sounded good at first but aren’t really necessary.”
• Save your coins—literally. Putting aside just $.50 a day over a year will get you almost halfway to an emergency fund. Check with your bank or credit union, and research apps that offer programs that round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and put the difference into a separate savings account.
• Brown bag your lunch. The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs $5 but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over.
• Save money without sacrificing your lifestyle by committing to eating out one less time each month.
By Lorn Randall