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Creative Ways to Save More Money - Part 1

With inflation lower than last year’s stratospheric levels but still pretty high, growing your savings may have dropped down a notch or two on your to-do list. Nonetheless, building your nest egg is crucial to financial wellness. 

Most of us have heard the tried-and-true suggestions for personal finance:

  1. pay yourself first by setting up automatic transfers to your savings account from your checking account or electronic paycheck 
  2. place your tax refunds or bonuses directly into your savings 

Whether you already use these two techniques or not, you may still find it challenging to save more. That’s why it pays to think outside the box when it comes to increasing your nest egg – especially when many Americans are feeling the financial pinch. This two-part article will focus on lesser-known or unconventional ways to grow your savings. In part 1 of this article, discover some tips you may want to consider involving technology, the sharing economy and living the thrifty life.

Harness the Power of Technology

  • Utilize Money-Saving Apps: Take advantage of smartphone apps designed to save you money, such as budgeting apps, price comparison tools, and cashback apps.1 These apps can help you track expenses, find deals and earn rewards. For example, apps like Acorns and Digit round up your purchases and save the difference for you2. Your financial planner should be able to suggest some of the better apps.

Embrace the Sharing Economy

  • Rent Out Your Space: If you have an extra room or a vacation property, consider renting it out using home rental companies and their platforms. Through this practice, you can generate additional income to boost your savings.

  • Carpool or Ride-Share: Share commuting costs by joining a carpool or using ride-sharing services. Splitting expenses with others can significantly reduce your transportation costs.3

Have Fun with Fringe Benefits

  • Volunteer strategically to kill two birds with one stone. If you volunteer at an entertainment or art venue such as a museum, local theater or concert hall, you may be able to enjoy exhibits, plays or concerts for free while helping that organization. You will be working, but you might be seeing entertainment for free that you’d rather not spend money to enjoy.
  • Find a strategic side gig. Even better, you may be able to find a side gig working and being paid to do something fun. For instance, if you work part-time at a concert venue, you can listen to the performers during your downtime on the job, saving you money on concert tickets. Also, a second job at a store that offers an employee discount on their wares may save you money if you frequent the store or retailer.

Adopt Frugal Living Strategies

  • Swap and Barter: Organize a community swap and barter event to exchange items you don’t need any more for those others no longer want. You can also join a “Buy Nothing” group. In a Buy Nothing group, people give away items they don’t need or want in exchange for the giveaways of others. The Buy Nothing Project began in 2013. There are 7,000 Buy Nothing organizations across 44 countries. You can download the app or find a local group near you on Facebook.4 These groups are a great way to attain free items, declutter and save money on having your castaway items hauled off.
  • Embrace DIY Skills: Learn basic home repair skills or try your hand at simple DIY projects. Or take up a hobby such as sewing, knitting or baking. You can save money on repairs, home improvements, tailoring, clothing or eating out. In addition, if you have an inexpensive hobby like gardening or birdwatching, for example, you may spend money upfront to buy the paraphernalia. However, the time and money you spend engaging in those activities later will be less expensive than costlier leisure activities.
  • Meal Planning and Bulk Cooking: Plan your meals in advance, make a shopping list, and buy groceries in bulk. Cooking in batches and freezing portions can save both time and money.
  • Make homemade gifts: Instead of buying expensive gifts, you can make your own gifts and save money while also adding a personal touch. For example, you can make a photo collage, a scrapbook, a personalized mug, a candle, soap or a jewelry item for a loved one. You can also use your skills and talents to make something unique, such as a painting, a poem, a song or a video. 

Watch for part 2 of this article in the next issue of Tomorrow.

  1. Examples of money-saving apps include Mint, Rakuten, and Honey; June 2022
  2. Acorns and Digit are popular savings apps available in the market, December 2021
  3. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft provide cost-effective transportation options, November 2021
  4. Inventive Ways to Save Money, U.S. News and World Report, December 2021

MMBB does not endorse the companies or products mentioned in this article.


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