Now that you’ve gotten through tax season, it’s time to focus on your financial future. Looking back on last year’s finances can motivate you to make some changes. Reflecting on your overall spending for the past year may inspire you to be more conscious of how you allocate your funds. Here are seven simple steps you can take this spring to save money:
- Save your change. Remember your piggy bank as a kid? Saving small amounts of change can allow it to add up. Putting away fifty cents a day leads to nearly $200 by the end of the year. You could also put the lump sum of change you accrue throughout the week into a savings jar. After saving it for an extended amount of time, you’d be surprised by how quickly it all adds up. It could fund a shopping trip or even take care of a monthly bill payment.
- Pack a lunch for work. Just like saving change, buying lunch every day can add up quickly. You can avoid these mounting expenses by bringing lunch to work throughout the week. Spending $10 a day on lunch adds up to about $50 at the end of the week. At the end of the month you’ve spent $200 on lunch alone throughout the month. For many people, $200 could be the amount of money they spend on groceries throughout the month, not just one meal. You can still allow yourself meals out with your coworkers, but cutting back on dining expenses has noticeable benefits.
- Look into your city’s free events. Now that the weather is getting warm, there will be festivals and other outdoor events. You’d be surprised to know the amount of things you can do that are discounted or even free. Many zoos and museums have free admission days. Your town may also put on film screenings of concerts that are free of charge. Look into your town’s event calendar to see ways you can avoid spending money but still have a fun night out!
- Upcycle Old Furniture. If you are re-decorating your house this spring consider shopping at a second-hand store or garage sale. There are plenty of projects you can find online (hello, Pinterest!) that will give you tips for re-purposing old furniture. This can save you tons of money and give you a unique interior design. Many of these projects take only a weekend to complete, but add a freshness to your home.
- Sell the clothes you no longer wear. A change of seasons may motivate you to reorganize your closet. There may be certain items of clothing you haven’t worn in years – and that’s just wasting space in your closet! You can sell these clothes at a thrift store or even donate them for a tax write off.
- Find the cheapest airfare. If you’re planning on taking a trip this spring or summer – plan your flights efficiently. Compare airfares before you buy a ticket. There are many sites that will compare the prices of flights to your destination. You can also look into seeing if discount airlines have flights to your vacation stop.
- Cut Out ATM Fees. Plan your trips to an ATM that your financial institution owns. Third-party ATMs will likely charge you a fee for withdrawing money, and most likely your bank will charge you as well! These fees add up quickly, but they are totally avoidable! Visiting a third-party ATM every week for the duration of a year can have you spending up to $150 every year – so plan accordingly!
There are many small, simple steps you can take to save money this spring. These steps do not cause you to make significant life changes. They may seem to have minimal effects but sticking to them and practicing them over the course of a year can really add a boost to your bank account!