Saving your pennies for a comfortable retirement’s a lot easier if you can do it without really noticing. That way, you don’t have to skip happy hour or cancel your yearly vacation plans to retire right on schedule. Instead, put some automatic savings techniques to work immediately, and then sit back and watch your savings grow. Check out these five extremely easy (and nearly invisible) ways to save money faster for your emergency fund or retirement.
Tip #1 to Save Money Faster: E-Bates/Cash Back Deals
From online shopping to everyday transactions on your debit card, these little deals add up to big savings. By shopping through links on a cash-back website, for example, you’ll get a rebate on the money you’d spend anyway. It works well for average consumers — like you! — because these sites are coupon aggregators who get a commission from retailers.
Make their algorithms work for you and your family to shave off extra savings each month. The major cash-back shopping sites also offer welcome bonuses just to sign up and make the minimum qualifying purchase. Compare these deals and grab the best one for a few more dollars in your pocket.
Tip #2 to Save Money Faster: Waived ATM Fees
Non-bank ATM withdrawal fees recently averaged over $4.57. These fees can really add up, particularly if you’re hitting the ATM more than once per week. Three large American banks earned more than $6.4 billion last year from ATM and overdraft fees, according to CNNMoney. In 2016, one of the largest banks experienced 22% in ATM revenue growth.
You’ll save money faster by switching to a bank that waives these fees instead of paying to make account withdrawals. Several online-only banks, for example, offer better interest rates for savings accounts and low- or no-fee checking account options.
Tip #3 to Save Money Faster: Stacking Coupons on Monthly Subscriptions
Amazon Subscribe & Save is a great way to get household staples like toilet paper delivered every month. Similarly, AmazonMom works for items parents need to stock up on, like diapers, formula and baby supplies. And if you order at least five items, you’ll save 15% on each delivery.
Besides convenience and bulk-purchase discounts, one other thing makes these services especially valuable — you can stack coupons, too! And you know what that means: paying less for routine monthly purchases allows you to put more money into savings.
Tip #4: To Save Money Faster: Airline Miles
Many utilities offer cash-back deals or locked-in rates to switch when you move or your contract ends. To save big on travel expenses, sign up for a service that offers airline miles for every dollar you spend. When you pay your monthly electricity, gas, or cable bills, you’re giving yourself an additional frequent flyer mile bonus, too. Using this method to fly free or upgrade your travel can make your summer beach vacation much cheaper. Plus, you can redirect money you’d otherwise spend on plane tickets into your retirement savings or emergency fund. It’s a win/win!
Tip #5 To Save Money Faster: Utility Service Bundling
Individually, your monthly Internet, cable, cell phone, and landline bills can add up quickly. By bundling these services through a single provider, you’ll usually get a significant discount. Additionally, by bundling your insurance policies (renter’s, homeowner’s, car, life, etc.) through a single insurer can lower those monthly premiums.
When bundling bills, be sure to set up automatic payments so you never incur late fees. If you’re still writing checks, save money faster by setting up automatic bill payments online.
These smart tips offer great little ways to optimize your spending and save money faster each month without feeling deprived. No matter how aggressive your saving strategy, it’s okay to splurge a little now and then to keep yourself happy. Squirreling away a few extra dollars also helps ensure that your emergency, retirement and savings funds keep growing.