7 Ways to Grow Your Savings This Year ...

Not sure how you’re going to pay for that new pair of Dior shoes, or that Prada bag you’ve been wanting? It’s time to start saving! By following these seven simple tips, you ought to be able to save a little more than $8,000 — enough for a few new pairs of shoes, or maybe a trip! Right on! Here are those seven ways to grow your saving account… and start saving today!

1. Bank Wisely

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Savings per year: $600.00
Now that you’ve decide to start saving, my first bit of advice to help ensure your success is to open a dedicated savings account at a bank you don’t already use. Many banks offer an incentive to open a new account, too, like matching your initial deposit, or just giving you $50 outright. Bonus! Also, decline the offer of a debit card, so that if you want to take money out, you’ll have to actually visit a branch… which will make it a lot more difficult to take money out, which would defeat the whole purpose, right? Here’s another way to save money by banking a little differently. When you make a purchase, round up to the nearest dollar when you deduct it from your bank-book. For instance, if you spend $22.68 at the gas station, round that up to either $23.00 or even $25 in your bank-book. It will make the math easier, and you’ll also be saving those little pennies, nickels, and dimes with each transaction!

2. Kill Your Land Line

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Savings per year: $480.00
By now, most of us have cell phones and cable internet connections at home. Why, then, do some of us still pay upwards of $40 or more every month for a land-line telephone service? Unless you need your landline for something in particular, like TIVO or some home security systems, you can discontinue and disconnect your service. Not only will you be saving that money every month, you’ll also be free of those annoying telemarketers at dinner-time!

3. Brown-bag It

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Savings per year: $3,000.00
If you work in an office, a shop, or just about anywhere outside of your home, you probably eat lunch out five days a week. Also, you might buy a coffee or two every day. That’s expensive, and it can also lead to unplanned weight gain! Try this instead: purchase healthful, delicious foods, including fruits and veggies, at the grocery store, and pack your lunch at least three days per week. Also, skip the coffee drink and Starbuck’s and make it at home… or make it a treat once or twice a week instead!

4. Quit Smoking!

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Savings per year: $1,865.00
Here in Michigan, a pack of cigarettes is now more than five dollars. Most of the smokers I know smoke at least one pack a day, more if they’re stressed or if they’re at a club. Not only is it terribly unhealthy to smoke, it’s also really, really expensive! If you’re looking for more incentive to quit, the cost alone might help encourage you to break this nasty habit!

5. Pay down/Pay off Charge Cards

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Savings per year: $840.00
Most Americans carry between $4,000 and $6,000 of credit card debt each year, and few manage or even try to pay them off. If you’re trying to save money, this ought to be a priority! Assuming you owe only $5,000, and your interest rate is a relatively low 9%, you could pay upwards of $500 in interest alone! That doesn’t even include late fees, over-limit fees, annual fees, or any of the other fees your credit card company might charge. Consider this — credit card companies rake in billions of dollars in interest and penalties every year, so why would they want their customers to pay off their debt? Paying off your charge cards will not only save you a lot of money on a ridiculous thing (interest), it will also improve your credit rating and that will really come in handy when you need that home improvement loan you've been considering.

6. Drive Carefully

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Savings per year: $650.00
When I say “drive carefully,” that encompasses a lot of things. First of all, if you are a safe, careful driver and avoid accidents and traffic tickets, your car insurance will be less. If you’re a thrifty, careful driver, you’ll carpool, plan your routes with care, buy lower-grade unleaded fuel, or maybe even invest in an electric car or a gas-electric hybrid, like a Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion hybrid. Either way, you save money!

7. Hold a Garage Sale

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Savings per year: $840.00
Are you ever going to wear those old Hollister straight leg jeans again? Or those shoes you just had to have? Probably not, right? So sell them, and sock the money away in your savings account. You can either hold traditional “live” garage or yard sale at your home, or sell virtually on eBay or craigslist. Remember that people who shop garage sales are looking for bargains, so price your items accordingly. Whatever you don’t sell you can donate to a charity for a tax credit… another savings!

With so many simple, sensible ways to save, you’ll be buying those hot ankle booties or that ticket for the Europe trip in no time! I’m sure as you start to evaluate your spending, you’ll find more ways to save. How are you already saving money, and what are you saving for? Please let me know!

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