Author: Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha
Saving for the future can often be a challenge, especially when it feels like every cent is already accounted for. But your savings don’t always have to feel like a compromise – even small measures can help maximize your savings over time.
In today’s blog we explore Enable Alabama’s top strategies to cut spending and foster more frugal habits. Try them out, and you may soon find new room in your budget for saving.
Clean Out Your Closets
There’s no need to wait for spring to do a home cleaning and closet refresh. In addition to the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a clean and organized home, chances are you’ll find items that you don’t use that can be donated or sold at a thrift store or yard sale. Declutter your home every few months to help maximize extra income with items you are no longer using.
Unplug Small Appliances
Most small appliances still receive a current when they are plugged in which means they may draw power even though the appliance isn’t in use. Turning off or unplugging small appliances when you’re finished with them can result in big savings on your electricity bill. Make it part of your daily routine to do a check of small appliances before leaving your home.
Prepare Your Home
During the winter months, heating bills often spike. To help prevent high costs, check for drafts or cracks where wind can get in to the house and seal up any openings. Check around where you live to see if there are organizations who provide services for the repairs. There are several nonprofits who provide these services for individuals with disabilities, and you may even be eligible for assistance from some government agencies for weatherization or repairs.
Hit the Books
The local library provides many great services from DVDs and movies, books, and even community programming. Research your local library’s amenities and take advantage of all they have to offer – skipping the movie theater just once per month can save you over $100 per year.
Make Use of Reusable Items
Aside from eliminating plastic use, reusable items can save you a fair amount of money overtime. Looking to leave less of a footprint? Look no further than reusable bags/totes. Many places even offer a discount to those who bring their own bags or refund the plastic bag tax that many municipalities are beginning to implement. Use plastic food containers to brown bag your lunch and easily divvy up weekly meals and leftovers. A good thermos can eliminate the need to buy a coffee— allowing you to bring your own from home, and saving you $2-4 a cup.
Set Automatic Contributions
Even the smallest methods can be used to grow your Enable Alabama savings. By using the Automatic Investment Plan (AIP) you can keep your financial goals on track without having to worry about whether or not you made a deposit. Automatic contributions allow you to deposit whatever amount you want on a consistent basis- this can be a great kickstart towards meeting your savings goals, or give a boost to your current savings plan.
Everyday saving does not have to be a big challenge. By implementing these few, small habits into your routine, you’ll find you’re able to maximize your savings strategy in no time.