3 Simple Ways to Add an Extra $20 a Week to Your Savings

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KEY POINTS

  • Cooking one extra meal at home could help you save $20 a week.
  • Getting rid of unused memberships frees up money to put into savings.
  • Choosing a cheaper used car or keeping your vehicle as long as you can will give you an extra $20 per week or more. 

Saving an extra $20 a week can add up to more than you expect. In fact, over a decade, investing $20 extra per week into a brokerage account could net you $18,200, assuming a 10% average return on investment. 

But, where are you going to get this extra money? 

The good news is, there are options available to almost anyone. Here are three simple changes you could make to free up extra funds to boost your savings account balance. 

1. Cook one more meal at home

One of the simplest lifestyle changes you can make has to do with where you eat your meals. Specifically, if you're dining out on a regular basis and you give up just a few of those restaurant meals, you could save an extra $20 or more per week with minimal effort.

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The average household spending on dining out is about $2,375 per year. That means the typical household is spending about $45 weekly on restaurant meals. If you cut this in half, you'd easily have $20 more per week to save for your future. 

2. Cancel unused memberships and subscriptions

Memberships at popular gyms can typically cost anywhere from about $30 per month to as much as $200 per month or more. If you aren't using your membership regularly or could switch to exercising at home or outside, you could redirect this money to savings. 

Depending how much your gym membership was, canceling could be enough by itself or it could help you get closer to $20 extra per week. You may also have other memberships or services you subscribe to as well, such as cable or streaming plans. If you can pass on one or two of these because you're no longer using it, this can open up the door to putting $20 extra per week in your savings account. 

3. Be smart about your vehicle 

At the end of 2022, the average monthly car payment for a new car was $717, while the average monthly payment for a used car was $563, according to Edmunds. Opting for the used car could be enough to save an extra $154 per month, which is well over your $20 a week goal. You can put this technique into practice the next time you buy a new car, freeing up the money you need to boost your savings account balance. 

If you already have a car and aren't planning on buying one anytime soon, keeping your current vehicle for as long as possible will also help you stash away at least an extra $20 a week. Once you've stopped making car payments because your loan is paid off, hold onto the vehicle rather than trading up and taking out a new loan. Instead, put at least $20 of the money saved from your car payment into your savings account and consider saving even more, until it's necessary to buy another car.

These changes are easy to make once you get used to them, and in the case of the canceled memberships and the cheaper car, you only have to act one time to free up that $20 a week for the foreseeable future. If you make the lifestyle modifications ASAP, you can sit back and enjoy watching your money grow. 

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