October 12th was National Savings Day! We know saving money isn't always easy, especially living in Hawai‘i where the cost of living is high, but we want to share some easy ways to set aside some extra funds to add to that piggy bank.
I’m sure none of us would mind if we had some extra money added to our savings account right? You never know when you may need it for an unexpected expense or just to have in the account for peace of mind.
Here are some simple ways to set aside a little extra whenever possible:
1.) Loose Change– Although cash is not the most common form of payment any more, there are still times where we pay cash and get change back. Where does that change go? I find lots of coins in the bottom of my purse, in the car, in the washer after doing laundry…they just seem to pop up everywhere. Make it a point to keep a change jar. Every time you get change back, add it to your jar when you get home and watch it fill up. When it’s full, you can either count it yourself and roll the coins in coin wrappers to take in and deposit (this is a great exercise to help kids learn the value of coins and how to count), or you can take it to a coin machine that will count the coins for you. Choose your coin machine wisely though, many will charge you a certain percentage of the coins you bring in. HFS does have coin machines at a few branches that are free for members to use (no fee) and it gives you a receipt when you’re done which you can just take to a Member Service Representative to deposit into your account. So simple!
2.) The $5 Challenge – If you haven’t heard of this challenge before, it is very simple to do, but only works if you use cash or receive cash at some point. If you make payments exclusively with debit/credit cards this won’t be a good option for you. Basically, all you have to do is save every $5 bill that you have. That’s it! Keep it in a jar or someplace safe where you don’t see it often so there’s no temptation to take money out and spend it. Once your jar or container is full, count it up and deposit to your savings. You’d be surprised how quickly it adds up if you keep up with it!
3.) Recycle – If your household drinks anything from plastic or glass bottles or aluminum cans – recycle, recycle, recycle! Not only is it great for the environment, but if your area has redemption programs (like HI-5) you can receive money back for recycling. Make sure to save those bottles and cans (most places want them separated and require the caps be taken off of plastic bottles, but check with the center in your area) and take them to your nearest redemption center to turn in and receive cash back. Be sure to put that money in your savings instead of spending it and over time your savings amount will steadily grow!
4.) Skip the Daily Coffee Run – Coffee run could literally mean just that, or could also stand for the daily smoothies you buy, lunches, snacks – whatever it is that are your convenience purchases. Instead of making these daily trips, consider cutting back to maybe once a week and take the money you would have spent and throw that in your savings account instead. If you buy a $5.00 coffee every morning, change that to once a week (5 day work week) and that automatically frees up $20 a week for your savings account, or $80 a month! If you do that every month for a year that’s almost $1,000 added to your savings. Amazing right?
5.) Save a Little of Each Paycheck – I know that for many of us, once that paycheck comes in most of it is already spent on the regular monthly bills. This causes many of us to put off saving and say “I’ll save what is leftover at the end of the month”. However, many times when we see that extra money there we end up spending it before we have a chance to save. Instead of waiting, add saving in as a budget line item. When that paycheck comes in, treat your savings as a bill and move whatever amount you determined straight over to your savings before it gets spent. Keep doing this with each paycheck and watch your money grow.
Trying to save can sometimes seem daunting when there seem to be so many expenses, but there are always little ways to slowly and steadily grow your savings account. Just don’t give up, every penny counts!