Americans have been wrestling with inflationary pressures all year. As the New Year approaches, millions of individuals and families have set resolutions to save more money.
“Looking to boost your savings is a worthy goal. But to make it work, you have to take small steps that add up to big change over time,” said Amy Maliga, financial educator with Take Charge America, a nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. “By exploring a few small changes in your day-to-day life, you can curb spending and put more money in your savings throughout 2023.”
Maliga explains several changes with a financial impact:
• Start living on a budget. When you have a clear picture of your income and expenses, you can make any needed changes to prioritize or improve your savings. Use paper and pencil, a spreadsheet or one of numerous apps like PocketGuard or Mvelopes to track your spending. Try for 30 days to get a sense of where you can save.
• Deposit cash-back rewards. If you have a cash-back credit card, deposit your rewards directly into your savings account. This way, every time you use your card, you’ll automatically add to your savings. Just be sure to pay off your card balance on time every month.
• Upgrade your bank account. If your existing savings account isn’t yielding much interest, shop around for an account with a better rate. A higher rate can help you reach your savings goals more quickly. Paying too many fees for your checking account? Research free checking account options that can help you save even more.
• Declutter your email. Tempted by too many emails from your favorite retailers? Go through and unsubscribe to eliminate the temptation. Do it manually or use email decluttering services like Unroll.Me and Clean Email to unsubscribe from unwanted emails quickly and easily.
• Compare prices. Spending a few minutes to compare prices can save you money in the long term. Use apps like ShopSavvy or BuyVia when out shopping to scan barcodes and find the best price. When shopping online, install browser extensions like Honey and InvisibleHand that alert you of a lower price for an item you’re about to buy. They also find sales and promo codes to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a nonprofit agency offering financial education and counseling services including credit counseling, debt management, housing counseling and bankruptcy counseling. To learn more, visit takechargeamerica.org or call (888) 822-9193.