6 ways to save money without trying too hard

I’m not sure about your family, but when the middle of summer hits my family goes into a different mode … we get a little lazy. It’s warm, school’s out, we have trips and vacations to think about and we become pretty casual. There are many times our money-saving mode is nowhere in sight. We have a few sure-fire ways to save money that we can all fall back on when we get a little lazy … here’s my top 6.

Out of sight, out of mind — Sign up for direct deposit. If you have your paycheck going directly into your savings account, let it go! Don’t even think about it. Better yet, transfer part of it into a special savings account you have set aside for a goal, rainy day, emergency, etc. — congratulations, you’re automatically saving!

Put your bills on “auto” — Most financials (even Educators) have pretty robust Online and Mobile Banking meaning most bills can automatically be paid monthly, weekly, quarterly … you get the idea. Putting your bills on auto pilot not only helps you stick to your budget, it gives you an overview of your finances all at once when you check your online accounts.

Paper or plastic? — We use cash (paper) for all of our fun or “extra” expenses each week. We only allow so much per week to be spent on entertainment items like: dining out, going to the movies or trips to the ice cream parlor. When it’s gone, it’s gone! It really reminds you what you’re spending money on. It’s one of my top ways to save money because I start feeling uncomfortable when I see too much cash leaving my possession.

To spend or not to spend — If you HAVE to use a credit card to make purchases, be sure you can pay your bill in full at the end of the month. No fees and no interest means zero added expenses for you! If you do have a balance on your credit card, consider moving your current card over to a card with lower interest.

Gimme some water — Order water if you go to a restaurant. Juice, soda, beer, etc. can get really expensive when you dine out. Drinking water at an average sit-down restaurant saves us anywhere from $10 to $25 when we dine out as a family.

Pack it in — If you work away from home, bring a bag lunch to work. There are so many ideas on Pinterest to pack a variety of lunches that it keeps me from bringing the same thing over and over. By packing my own lunch every day I save between $25 and $40 per week. Then, if my husband doesn’t hit the vending machine or stop for fast food, we save anywhere from $50 to $90 a week! That’s a pretty impressive savings by just changing one small habit.

“6 ways to save money” really doesn’t seem like much, but by doing just a couple of these things week after week, it adds an impressive amount to your savings account. I hope we inspired you to start looking at small ways to make changes in your spending habits. If you have your own ways to save money please share them with us in the comments.

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