TIP #1: Install a programmable thermostat.
Lowering your home’s temperature in the winter and raising it in the summer, in the hours you spend away at work or school, can have a significant impact on your energy bill!
TIP #2: Use coupons: clipped, online or mobile!
You don’t have to be an Extreme Couponer to easily hunt down savings at your favorite retailers. Target and Walmart have easy-to-use coupon apps. A Google search for “couponing” will put even more deals at your fingertips! And don’t forget to search for a “promo code” before you order anything online. They can be hit or miss but worth a quick search.
Keep track of your savings for a few months and reward yourself by investing in a Share Certificate!
TIP #3: Save your loose change.
Scooping up $1.37 from your pockets or purse each day and tossing it into a jar for one year will net you $500 for your emergency fund!
TIP #4: Take advantage of employer discounts and incentive programs.
Many companies offer discounted rates for computers, fitness center memberships, and movie tickets. And don’t forget the best deal of all – investing in your 401(k)!
TIP #5: Bring your lunch to work.
A little preplanning before you leave for work will not only save you a lot of lunch money, you’ll also save time not driving to your lunch spots, and eat healthier!
TIP #6: Shop for food with a list and stick to it.
People who grocery shop with a list spend less money than those who decide what to buy on the spot. Plus, eating a meal before you shop is a great way to curb your impulse shopping!
TIP #7: Consider generic prescription drugs and store brand over-the-counter medications.
Generic drugs can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than brand-name drugs, and store brand OTCs often cost 20-40 percent less than nationally advertised brands.
TIP #8: Pay your bills on time.
Late fees and interest can really stack up. Plus they can have a negative effect on your credit score, costing you much more in the long run.
TIP #9: Evaluate your contract plans every year.
It‘s easy to just keep paying for annual contract plans without considering if you even need them renewed, or if you can get a better plan rate. Make a few calls once a year and see if you can slash a few of those monthly bills!
Start an S1 Savings account and start earning dividends when your balance hits $100!
TIP #10: Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union.
Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week could well cost you $3 a withdrawal, or more than $150 over the course of a year. If you have your checking with Amplify, and take advantage of direct deposit, all ATMs are FREE nationwide!
TIP #11: Take advantage of free events around Austin.
Research free or inexpensive entertainment in our local papers and websites and take advantage of the many parks, museums, films, and sporting events offered around the Austin area.
TIP #12: Carpool!
Yes, we love our cars, but consider driving only half the time, and ride-share with a coworker the rest of the week for a considerable savings in gas and auto upkeep and repairs.
TIP #13: Skip the bottled water.
Switching to tap water and a filtration pitcher not only saves you money—you’ll drink more water and use less plastic!
TIP #14: Invest in a high quality coffee machine.
Your daily $6.00 caffeine treat could be costing you over $2,000 every year! Spending half that on a good machine today will start saving you money sooner than you think.
When your habit breaks even, start socking that extra money away in your emergency fund.
TIP #15: Schedule a Complimentary Savings Analysis at any Amplify branch.
Our representatives are experts in helping you set saving goals, both big and small. We can set you up with multiple savings accounts, at no cost to you, to help you organize your goals. And if we see that you’re a candidate for a longer-term investment plan, we’ll point you toward all your best options.
TIP #16: If it’s broken, maybe you can fix it!
When your toaster stops toasting, hop online and see if you can find a DIY solution. If you’re successful, you’ll save yourself $50 and have bragging rights for weeks!
TIP #17: Start an herb and vegetable garden.
If you like to cook, those $3 packets of fresh herbs at the grocery store can really add up—and spoil quickly. Try growing your own basil, thyme and oregano so you’ll always have the pinch you need on hand. Homegrown tomatoes and avocados will come in handy for salsas, sauces and dips that put store-bought brands to shame.
TIP #18: Eat less meat.
Protein is critical to a healthy diet, but there are many ways to fill your protein quota that cost less than grass-fed beef and organic free-range chicken. Once or twice a week, swap in a good bean, lentil or Quinoa option!
TIP #19: Switch from cable or dish to online TV.
Take control of the remote! Hulu, Amazon, Netflix- the list of low-cost TV programming alternatives is growing, and most offer a free trial period!
Consider investing your savings in either short or long term financial planning strategies.
TIP #20: Leave your credit cards at home when you go shopping.
If you budget exactly what you want to spend on your outing, and only bring that much with you in cash, you’ll better control your retail spending. In time, you can train yourself to shop on a budget, even with your cards still in your wallet!
TIP #21: Buy bulk!
Even if you live alone or have a small family, everyone needs toilet paper, Kleenex, and laundry soap. Buying non-perishable items in bulk, either online or from a club store, and storing the excess in an unused upper cabinet will save you money all year long.
TIP #22: Find a good tailor.
A few inexpensive alterations to your wardrobe will transform your ready-to-wear clothing into custom-fitted couture. You’ll look like a million bucks!
TIP #23: Don’t waste your money on full-price kid gear.
Virtually new kids clothing and toys can be found in consignment shops, on eBay, at yard sales, and in your friends’ storage rooms (!) for a fraction of their original cost.
Make all the money you save work harder for your kids’ futures by opening a 529 college savings account!
TIP #24: Handmade gifts and services are simply the best!
The 2014 holiday season is over but weddings, baby showers and birthdays pop up all year long. Plan ahead and search Pinterest for thousands of DIY gift ideas that will cost you a fraction of the price of retail, and mean the world to your friends and family. And every new parent will love your gift of free babysitting or house cleaning in lieu of a fancy diaper genie or baby wipe warmer.
TIP #25: Set financial goals, both big and small.
It’s important to plan for retirement, but small saving goals are also important for both your budget and your sense of accomplishment. Be sure to put $10-$25 aside each week to save for that new vacuum, bike, or game system and reward your saving success by paying for your saved-for item in cash!
TIP #26: Ease up on the gas pedal.
Driving the speed limit will help your car run more efficiently, and potentially save you a costly speeding ticket.
TIP #27: Use the library.
Books have crept up in cost—especially children’s books! Enjoy a wide variety of reading choices at your local library.
TIP #28: Plan some stay-at-home date nights.
Dinner and a movie can get pretty pricey when you add babysitting and cab fare to the bill. Once a month, put the kids to bed early and plan a special evening at home!
Then give your IRA a boost with the savings—and make those date nights last long into retirement.
TIP #29: Double your recipes and enjoy your leftovers tomorrow.
You’ll save a lot of time only cooking every other night, and you’ll really notice a decrease in your grocery bill!
TIP #30: Schedule air travel for non-peak times.
Planning ahead for your vacation can save you packets of money in almost every area, especially air travel. Research the cheapest calendar dates and plan accordingly.
Deposit the money you save in next year’s vacation fund!