- It never hurts to boost your savings during uncertain times.
- I'm hoping these small steps will help me grow my savings, even if it means giving up some things I enjoy.
These small changes could really add up.
I'm thankful to be in a pretty good place as far as my savings go. Not only do I have a solid emergency fund, but I also have money set aside for other purposes (like my vacation fund) that I can tap if needed.
In spite of that, I'm hoping to grow my savings modestly this year. After all, we're still in the midst of a pandemic, and one that could cause disruptions that impact me financially.
If my children have to revert to remote learning, for example, it could disrupt my work schedule and cause a drop in my income. Having a little extra savings is something that should bring me peace of mind. Here are three ways I plan to eke out an extra $100 a month.
1. Ordering in less frequently
My family hasn't done much dining out during the pandemic, but we do tend to order in food a few times a week. This is partly because that's something we enjoy, but also, because my husband and I both work full-time and have limited hours left in the week to cook.
That said, I do plan to scale back on takeout a little in the hopes of eking out some savings. While takeout is convenient and tasty, I know I can prepare meals at home for far less money. And since I'm a fairly competent cook, there's no reason not to make that effort.
In fact, I'm intending to cut back on takeout not just to boost my savings, but also, to make up for higher supermarket bills. These days, I'm spending a lot more than usual to feed my family. We can thank inflation for that. Spending less on takeout should help compensate.
2. Outsourcing fewer household tasks
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not very handy. Between that and my hectic schedule, I tend to throw money at home repairs rather than attempt them.
My husband, on the other hand, is handy. And it's often the case that with a little help, he can knock out tasks we'd otherwise pay to outsource.
This year, I hope to be a little more patient when it comes to minor repairs and maintenance we can technically do ourselves. It seems like a pretty painless way to squeeze out some extra savings without having to give up things that are more important to us, like our expensive cable plan that gives me access to the sporting events I enjoy watching.
3. Seeking out more free entertainment
Normally, my family likes to do different activities, like go bowling, hit up arcades, or visit fairs and festivals in the summertime. During the pandemic, we've scaled back on those things (not so much the outdoor ones, but the indoor ones), and since that's something we've gotten used to, we figure we'll cut back a bit this year. Instead, we'll aim to simply do more hiking and look at free programming, like virtual events through our library system.
Saving an extra $100 month seems like a doable goal, but in reality, it will take some work on my part. But luckily, none of the above changes are too misery-inducing. While I intend to cut back on takeout, I'm not eliminating it entirely. And I'll still outsource household tasks that are very time-consuming or tricky. Plus, many of the activities my family enjoys are free anyway, so that's not really a huge sacrifice to make.
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