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5 Tips to Save $5 This Month

Money Saving Tips: Save $5 this month

Think saving $5 a month isn’t worth the effort? Actually, an extra $60 per year can provide you with some pretty big returns:

  • A $60 donation to local gardens, parks, and museums can often provide your family with a membership and free admission for the year.
  • And $60 toward your savings goal is worth more than just the money. The fact is, small habits have big impacts when you gain a sense of control and confidence over your money and your future.

The best part? You’ll hardly notice the sacrifice with these money saving tips.

With a little effort up front, you can set up a system that, once in place, means you don’t even have to think about saving the same $5 for months to come.

Money Saving Tip #1: Build your savings automatically with a monthly bank transfer.

Many banks offer free recurring transfer services from your checking into your savings account. Hop online or give your bank a call and arrange to have just $5 transferred into a savings account each month. Then sit back. You’re done for the year.

Money Saving Tip #2: Avoid buying bottled water.

Yes, there are times when buying that overpriced bottle of water feels especially unavoidable—grabbing a to-go lunch or waiting in airports come to mind.

But even then, being in the habit of carrying a portable water container can save you the extra dollar or 3 you’re spending just to drink pretty much the same liquid you’re getting for free at any tap.

Thanks to promotional gifts that get immediately donated, you can find brand-new portable water containers at almost any thrift store. Give them a good wash and keep them in your car or, better yet, hook them to your bag. Then, every time you forgo that water purchase drop a couple bucks in your “rainy day” can.

The benefits aren’t only to your wallet. Not only does bottled water cost at least 500 times that of tap water, the one-time-use plastic packaging also inhabits a permanent place on our planet. What’s more, contrary to popular belief, it is also not necessarily healthier. Studies have shown that bottled water can contain higher bacterial levels than ground water due to storage time and temperature. And tap water has the added benefit of  fluoride.

Money Saving Tip #3: Prepare fresh (and frugal!) baby food.

We know—you’re exhausted! But to save just $5, consider making just one item a month. Better yet: if you have a friend or family member eager to lend you a hand, send them here.

Feeding your baby freshly pureed avocados, bananas, cooked carrots, squash, peas or apples is going to make you feel good, too.  (Remember, if you buy or make baby food in bulk, you also can freeze it in single serving packets.)

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Money Saving Tip #4: Make a change with your change.

At the end of each day have every family member empty their loose change into a jar. The visual evidence of money piling up may be just the motivation you need to make the habit stick.

But be careful when you cash it in! Many coin-counting exchanges will charge you for the service. Avoid self-service machines that will help themselves to some 10% of your savings.

Instead, call your bank and ask how you can deposit the coins without a fee. Or find another way to spend that change: pay your kids’ allowance in quarters or fish out all the silver coins and store them in your car for parking.

Money Saving Tip #5: Economize your caffeine fix.

Let’s say you’re buying 2 16 oz. cups of coffee a week at an average of $2 a pop.

Forgo just 1 of those cups and you’re saving $16 per month. That same cup of coffee from home? Just cents on the dollar. (Here’s some detail if you really want a breakdown of those costs.)

Like those bottled water containers filling up the bins in thrift stores, to-go coffee cups of all shapes and sizes will avail themselves for less than the price of one cup out.  Again, toss that $2 into your “rainy day” can and you’ll have hard evidence that your small habits have real benefits.

While you may feel you’re denying yourself a convenience or special treat in those few weeks, you will soon experience rewards that last far longer than that 5-minute cup of joe.  In time, small, habitual money-saving choices provide you with a sense of control and with opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Now isn’t that worth a little effort? Save $5 this month.