Thanks to Capital One Bank for these four smart tips to boost your savings in this nifty infographic. The graphic comes in celebration of National Lucky Penny Day, May 23rd. The idea is that while a penny may be lucky, consumers can make their own luck by using smart tricks to save more of their pennies for a rainy day.
1. Keep Goals in Sight
Short term goals are the key to long term success. Setting goals to save small amounts of money on a regular basis can create a big pile of money for the long term. For example, someone can save $500 in three months by putting aside $40 a week. Continuing to save at that level for 40 years will build up $83,200. Investing that money with an 8% rate of return will turn the money into $537,000. That’s not bad for saving less than six dollars a day!
2. Enjoy Home Cooking
Wondering where you’d get an extra $40 a week to save? Try starting with lunch!
89% of Americans eat lunch out and spend an average of $35 a week. People who bring a lunch from home instead get exactly what they want while saving money.
In fact, studies have shown eating lunch out can cost an additional $1,500 to $2,500 per year. Brown bagging it in the office not only saves money but also saves time. Going out not only uses up the time of a round trip to a restaurant but also eats up an extra 25 minutes of adjustment time in getting back into the work mindset.
Bringing lunch to work doesn’t have to mean extra effort. Some solutions include doubling recipes to leave extra and keeping staples on hand like pita bread, peanut butter, hummus, fruit, raw vegetables and cold cuts or canned meats. Brown baggers can even squirrel away healthy snacks at work for times when making lunch the night before is not an option.
3. Keep an Eye on Monthly Expenses
Another way to dig up that extra $40 a month is by plugging leaks in your bank account.
Americans waste an average of $39 a month on underused gym memberships. Going through credit card statements every few months to hunt down regular payments that aren’t being used can save a pile of money.
Aside from gym memberships, unused services to look for include Netflix or Hulu subscriptions, cable, dating services and other recurring automatic payments. Some regular payments, like car insurance or cell phone bills, may be impossible to cut completely but can be reduced by finding cheaper plans. Cell phone users who switch to prepaid smartphone plans can save a lot of money every month without a decrease in service quality.
4. Chill Out
The typical American family spends about $2,200 a year on home utility bills. Cutting that number down to size can be as simple as turning down the heat during the workday when the house is empty. During summer months, air conditioners can be turned off or to a warmer setting when everyone’s away at work or school.
Another time to save on home heating costs is at night when people are asleep.
Ways to Make Saving Simple
Many banks, including Capital One, offer an automatic savings plan to make saving easy. Automatic savings plans transfer money from a checking account regularly so saving happens in the background. Consumers can choose to sock $40 a month away or more automatically. The savings plan can be set up to deduct the money like clockwork the day after paychecks are direct deposited. Most often, money saved with automatic savings plans is never missed.