The SmartyPig Blog

A Few Ways to Save $100 a Month

Just a Few Ways to Save $100 a Month

These days, it feels like everyone is looking for ways to save as much money as possible. The good news is that there are several easy steps that you can take to save up to $100 or more per month. While that may not seem like much, it is more than enough to start an emergency fund or start saving for a well-deserved vacation. Once you find your method, use the SmartyPig app to start your savings and keep track of your money.

Stay Home for Lunch or Dinner Once a Week

If you have made a habit of ordering food for lunch or like to go out for dinner, you could say a lot of money just by staying home once week. Instead of spending $10 for a basic meal for yourself, you could stay home and enjoy some leftover pasta or make yourself a nice sandwich. Just by staying home an extra four times a month, you can save $40 or more without seriously altering your lifestyle.

Make Sure That There is Maximum Power Quality

A power quality meter ensures that you are getting the most from your electrical grid. If your lights aren’t as bright as they could be or are flickering, you may need additional lights in your home just to be able to see while you are walking to the basement to do laundry. By identifying issues with your power supply, you can take steps to replace inefficient equipment that may be consuming power without providing any tangible benefit to you.

Replace Your Windows to Let More Light In

Do you find yourself turning on the lights in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is still shining and should be providing natural light? If that sounds like something you deal with daily, it may be time to either replace your windows or add new ones to your living room or bedroom. If you have privacy concerns, etched glass can make it impossible to see in even if you don’t have any blinds or curtains on the window. By keeping the lights off for a few extra hours a week, you can easily save a significant amount on utility costs.

Cut the Cord

If you have a cable television package, you may want to get rid of it in favor of less expensive services like Netflix or Hulu. Instead of paying $100 or more per month in cable fees, you could pay as little as $8 a month for basic services from the competition. You may also be able to save money by getting rid of your Internet package and just using the data on your phone if you only go online sparingly.

Cut Coupons Before You Go Shopping

Coupons are easy to acquire and can save you a significant amount of money with minimal effort. Grocery coupons can be collected online while smartphone apps will actually find and automatically apply discounts without the need to do anything on your part. When you decide it’s time to shop for new clothes or a new television, doing so online instead of in store could entitle you to a discount.

Compare Auto, Renters and Home Insurance Rates

Another easy way to save money is to constantly shop around for better insurance rates. You can switch whenever you want, and policies can be purchased online in a matter of minutes. Once you find a policy that suits your needs, you can print out new cards and continue with your life. Your new rate will take effect as soon as you complete your transaction.

If you are looking to save money each month, there are many small cuts that you can make that will result in large savings. In some cases, these cuts will not have a negative impact on your lifestyle, and installing new windows could actually make you more secure in your own home. Combined with the financial savings, making these adjustments could make your life easier and less stressful to live.

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Mikkie Mills.

Tax Time

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 1.44.22 PM

Is your tax refund padding your bank account? You’re not the only one. The average refund for last year was $2,800 and most expect around the same, if not higher this year. A Capital One survey states 21% of tax fund recipients are spending their dough on new clothes, vacations, and electronics. One smart shopper told us he deposited his newfound funds into a SmartyPig goal already and cashed out to a Macy’s gift card. The amount he received in cash back was obscene!

So if you’re going to spend, put that money to work for you in the short-term with SmartyPig’s high interest and long list of Retailer Gift Card providers. And if instant gratification isn’t your thing, do what most refund recipients are doing and save that chunk of change. Is a summer vacation in your future? What about back to school shopping? Take your funds right to the pig and start maximizing your dollars today. And if you don’t have an emergency fund, wouldn’t now be a great time to start one of those?

Whether you’re spending or saving, SmartyPig makes those tax dollars work for you!

Wishing you successful saving and spending.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman
SFoss@SmartyPig.com

How are You Using Your SmartyPig?

Today’s user post is brought to you by SmartyPig saver,  Molly E.

First birthdays document a huge milestone in the opinion of this fiercely loving mother. So when my son’s was around the corner (so what if I saw 6 months as “around the corner”) I decided I better get to planning. My husband and I didn’t see eye to eye on my requests to buy expensive party favors, decor, gifts, and of course, cake. It seemed my idealistic goal of having the “the best first birthday ever” might be squandered by my fiscally conservative (and probably a little right) husband.  I decided I would start a SmartyPig goal and save what pennies I could; a coffee here, several lunches there, birthday cash of my own, and before I knew it I had more than enough to shower my kid with all the gifts and pizazz he’ll never remember.

It seems like a little thing, but to me it was huge. SmartyPig saved the party, and made my husband happy too!

Thanks SmartyPig!

Supermarket Hurting Your Budget?

 

I ran into a poll last week asking, “what monthly expense causes you to fall off budget most often?” I knew my family’s response immediately: groceries. It could have something to do with the fact I’m now housing a toddler with the world’s largest appetite, but per recent cost comparisons, I’d say it has more to do with the skyrocketing cost of the items found at our local grocer.

Most of know it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy, but many financial experts say you don’t have to dip into your savings to eat well, you just have to shop smart. Romine urges us to get our protein from sources like chicken breast, natural peanut butter, and beans. She also finds reasonable per pound rates in fruit from berries, apples, and bananas. And chooses her “cheap” dairy purchases from the skim milk and yogurt displays. While Romine’s “deals” aren’t all reflected at my local food market, some of them are, and if it means not dipping into my “savings” portion of my monthly budget, I’ll give it a go! Will you?

Are groceries hurting your budget? We want to hear about it! Post on our Facebook, Twitter, or blog and share your tips of stories.

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman 
SFoss@SmartyPig.com

 

Clean it Up This Spring!

April is financial literacy month. And a great time to do a financial “spring clean.” It won’t take long, and we promise it’ll be painless, just ask the folks at MSN Money who put together this quick video to help you get your days of warmer weather off on the right flip-flopped foot.

It’s a great time to summer proof your home, say the experts. Have your AC checked out, give the house some extra TLC, and you’ll reap the benefits when your energy bill is delivered. Now is also a good time to stock up on your dividends, says that same staff of experts. And lastly, save. Did you get a tax refund this year? Pay down your debt and use the leftover to start or add to an existing emergency fund. SmartyPig is the best place for those types of goals; slightly out of sight, but with the ultimate earning potential and easy access in the event you need them. But we hope that you don’t!

Wishing you successful saving..and cleaning!

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman
SFoss@SmartyPig.com

« previous entriesnext entries »