Save - spend life happy

spend life happy

Save Savings Tips To Make You Smile

Savings Tips To Make You Smile

Follow these 12 tips to help you put a few dollars back in your pocket and a big smile on your face!

Savings Tips To Make You Smile

Saving money can be way more fun than the wash-rinse-repeat of regular deposits to your savings account. The savviest shoppers are always on the lookout for creative ways to spend less. And finding that score can be as exhilarating as those savings! 

Here are 12 savings tips to help you spend less and still get everything you need. 

1.  Pay cash for gas

Gassing up your car is one of the fastest, easiest errands you can run. Why go inside when you can pay at the pump? Simple: It's cheaper. 

Some gas stations offer as much as 10 cents per gallon off to customers who pay cash. Taking a few extra minutes to pay the attendant directly will save you some decent money over the course of a year. 

2.  Savor your spare change

Raise your hand if you let spare change accumulate in your car’s drink holder, your purse, or even under the couch cushions. We do, too! Consolidate those coins in one big jar or empty coffee can. Keep it by the door so you can toss in new change as you go. After a few months, you’ll be looking at a nice little piggy bank to put toward holiday shopping or a fun meal out.

3.  Pay off your plastic every month

Paying with credit cards is sooooo convenient. But carrying large balances racks up major monthly interest fees. Did you know that the average outstanding credit card balance is $4,600 per U.S. adult? Some cards charge as much as 20% interest! To avoid those hefty fees charge only what you know you can fully pay off at the end of the month.

4.  Show water more love

After a year of at-home meals and takeout, we can't wait to eat out. But if you also love to save money, use this trick at restaurants: Order water to drink. Drinks — specifically beer and soda — can hike up your dinner tab. A bottle of brew is typically marked up 2-3 times its original cost. A can of soda costs just 16 cents at the store, but the average restaurant charges a whopping 1,150% premium!

Next time you eat out, order a crisp glass of ice water with lemon. With all that extra dough, you can splurge on dessert! :)

5.  Reimagine the staycation

With most of the country opening back up, it's a fabulous time to get out and explore. But if you're not quite ready to get on a plane, you can have an absolute blast being a tourist in your own city or state. Plan fun day trips within driving distance of your home. Go horseback riding, hike to a hidden waterfall, or rent a boat and learn to fish. You’ll make great family memories without the added costs of airfare, hotels, and a rental car.

6.  Skip the big-budget hotel!

Vacations are one of the best ways to relieve stress, recharge, and enjoy family. But they can be spendy! 

If you plan on being very active, your hotel room might function as an expensive pit stop — a place to sleep, shower, and keep your stuff while you're out sight-seeing. On adventure trips, try camping instead for a fraction of the cost. Use the dollars you save to extend your trip by a couple days, splurge on that must-see attraction, or save up for your next getaway. 

7.  Get paid to work out

You exercise to stay healthy, right? So let your health insurance company pay you to exercise!

Some health insurance plans include a fitness reimbursement option that covers a certain amount of your gym dues for the year. You read that right: Some health insurance plans will pay you to exercise. Remember that the next time you're rocking your Spin class!

8.  Streamline your binge-watching

Whether you're hopelessly devoted to 'This Is Us,' can't miss a 'Big Brother,' or gotta have NFL RedZone, we all need our TV shows!

These days, streaming is a much more cost-effective option than traditional cable, where you pay for quantity vs. quality. Streaming is $20-$35 cheaper on average each month than cable. Choose your must-haves and get what you pay for! 

9.  Go generic (selectively!)

For some staples, price is the only real difference between name-brand and store-brand products — especially at the grocery store. You can get so many basics, from rice to beans to paper towels, for up to half price. 

Now, don't get us wrong. We know that sometimes only THE best will do, like your favorite dark chocolate ice cream or that toothpaste with the perfect whitener-to-mint ratio. But feel free to wipe the countertops with any disinfectant spray cleaner. Go crazy with no-name canned corn! Your prize? More money for the good chocolate. You deserve it! 

10.  Scour for consignment steals. 

New clothes can make you feel like a million bucks. But we don't need to spend that to get them! Try shopping at a consignment store. You can find gently worn designer and name-brand outfits at a fraction of what you'd pay in a department store. It's also a great way to upgrade your style for way less cha-ching. 

11.  Brew your morning inspiration at home

Coffee is big business, as evidenced by the line at any drive-thru.  The average American spends almost $1,100 on coffee each year. That's $92 every month! Instead, brew your daily java at home and take it with you in a travel mug. Then pick a day each week to treat yourself to that specialty latte. 

12.  Brown bag your lunch

We once had a colleague who would only eat lunch out on Fridays. It seemed extreme at the time, but guess who bought his first house before any of us? You can spend significantly less per meal by making your lunch at home. Even if you reduce your weekly spending by $20, that's $1,000 less in a year!