Dreaming of saving more green in 2016?
We’ve got you covered.
Leslie Biver, branch manager at Dupaco Community Credit Union’s Peosta Branch Learning Lab, has eight surefire money habits that will help you spend less so you can start saving more in the New Year:
- Create a budget. “The first step is to actually create a budget, and look at in black and white to see where the surplus or shortages may be,” Biver says. Use Dupaco’s Shine Online Banking to access budgeting worksheets and see where you’re spending the most. Play around with Dupaco’s budget calculators to see how much you’re spending. Or, if you prefer one-on-one budgeting assistance and want to look for other potential ways to save, Dupaco also offers free Money Makeovers.
- Try to eat out half as often. When you do dine out, drink water.
- Try generic products. Pass over the name-brand products when you can.
- Use lists when shopping. Planning ahead helps you avoid those impulse buys.
- Take your lunch to work as much as possible. Taking your lunch to work a few days a week should save you about $20 a week. If you put that $20 into a Roth IRA every week and saved for five years, you would have roughly $5,700 at a 3-percent rate of return, Biver says. In other words, you would have contributed $5,200 and earned about $500 in dividends – just for packing your own lunch!
- Cancel memberships you don’t use.
- Use coupons. “There are a lot of ways to save right from your phone without having to clip or organize coupons. This is my favorite way to save,” Biver says.
- Pay yourself first. Try to work some automatic and systematic savings into your budget, and make sure you are setting that aside like any other payment.
Once you’ve created your new budget, it’s time to commit to your new spending and saving habits so they become the new norm.
“Try one thing at a time, and give yourself credit for making the changes,” Biver says.
By Emily Kittle