7 Creative, Low-Effort Ways to Save Money

You’ve probably listened to someone talk your ear off about how you should save money, but did they mention why? 

🧿 The number one reason to save is so you can protect you and your loved ones in the event of a financial emergency. Saving also expands your options for big purchases – from housing, to cars, to tech. 

💤 Not to mention that having some extra money in the bank can help you sleep better at night. For real… There are studies which have found that money troubles are the number one reason why Americans lose sleep. 

🚨 For lots of people, putting away money for later might feel unattainable or low priority in their daily life. Especially for Americans with only a little leftover at the end of the month. In fact, nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, and 45% say they have zero dollars in savings. 

You’re not alone, and no matter what point you’re starting from, you can begin saving money today. We’ll start with some organization and follow up with healthy habits.

One of the easiest ways to get started is by looking at the savings features your current bank or online account have to offer. The CARD Premium Bank Account by MetaBank®, N.A. has a whole suite of online banking features including an Optional Savings Account1 with Automatic Roundup. 

When it comes to saving money, every dollar counts, and every effort you make matters. Be patient, do your research, chart your progress and you’ll be building savings in no time! 

Here’s a list of 7 low-effort ways to save money to help you get started… 

1. Turn on Automatic Roundup

Saving small amounts can really add up. Just let your Premium Bank Account do the work.  

Here’s a quick how-to on saving with your Premium Bank Account:  

  1. First, set up QuickPay Direct Deposit and get access to your paycheck up to two days early.2 Then you can access features like the optional Savings Account1 and Overdraft Protection.3
  2. Second, opt into the optional Savings Account. It comes with a bonus feature called Automatic Roundup which makes saving a no-brainer.
  3. Lastly, just turn on Automatic Roundup for every transaction. We roundup to the nearest dollar and put that extra change directly into your Savings Account.

Visit our homepage to learn more about the Premium Bank Account and open an account. 

Already one of our customers? Login to your account to learn more about Optional Savings with Automatic Roundup. 

2. Keep Track of Everything

You can start by beginning to document every cent you spend – even small transactions or tips that you use cash for!

People tend to believe that the only way to save is to just stop spending money. Limiting your spending (aka budgeting) is one strategy, but that’s not the only way to be smart with your leftover cash.

Instead of focusing on the restrictive side of saving, focus on tracking the money you do spend. This way you can spend less time on self-blame and stress, and more time on learning about your habits and needs.

You can use an app or a software to help you out.  There’s tons of options out there!  

Start by tracking your expenditures for a few months without judging yourself. Then you can identify patterns in the way you spend your paychecks over time and make informed adjustments.  

3. Find Some Balance

Let’s say you track your spending and find a lot of money spent on a hobby. For example: Tennis. Both the court membership and sportswear are costing you up to a few hundred dollars per month.

This is a chance to find some balance! Healthy and practical saving doesn’t mean spending less on everything. You love playing tennis, it keeps you fit and makes you happy – what better way is there to spend money?

Instead of cutting back on tennis, look at your overall spending and see if there’s somewhere else less meaningful you can scale back. 

Make coffee at home or pack your lunch an extra three days a week – and keep on playing. 

Punishing yourself by cutting out things you love won’t make saving easier. Meet yourself where you’re at, and keep your own definition of financial independence in mind when budgeting.

4. Put Away Unexpected Income

Maybe you were awarded a small bonus for being named employee of the month?

Right to the savings account it goes.

One of the biggest obstacles to saving money is impulse control. Psychologists compare willpower to a  muscle that can become tired. This means that controlling our impulse to spend – flexing that willpower muscle – can sometimes require extra focus and energy. 

Surprise money can encourage (very natural) tendencies to spend on a whim. You can help out your impulse control by popping that extra cash straight into a savings account as soon as you get it.

5. Contribute to a Workplace Retirement Plan

Just like with Automatic Roundup, contributing to a retirement plan like a 401K is a way to save money on autopilot.

There are lots of different types of employer retirement plans. If you need a lowdown on the basics you can check out this article or these IRS resources.

Most people don’t want to feel like they have to work for the rest of their life. After all, money is the number one cause of stress among Americans according to a 2021 survey. So, saving for retirement can be one of the most rewarding and forward-thinking ways to save.

Essentially, when you sign up for a 401K, money is automatically added from your paycheck each month. In most cases you get a tax break on what you put into these accounts, either upfront or later when you start to withdraw. It just depends on the type of plan

Add in the fact that many employers match contributions, and these accounts are no-brainer.

6. Go Green

At CARD we want to open a conversation about how the environment and the economy are connected. If you’re interested in how to save money while helping the planet, head on over to this article for all the details.

There’s a lot of small things you can do at home that conserve natural resources and keep money in your wallet at the same time! 

Give up disposable items like paper towels or dryer sheets, and swap them for washable towels or dryer balls that you can use again and again. Spend less on groceries each month and feel good about adding less waste to the landfill.

Looking for some easy green upgrades for your household? Try installing aerators on your faucets and showerheads. They’re cheap, easy to install, and WaterSense approved models can save you at least 20% more water (meaning you’re paying less in utility bills too!) 

7. Take Advantage of Tech ◇

Nowadays there are apps you can use to negotiate the monthly and fee-related costs of your utility bills. Don’t you just love technology?

Services like BillShark (a project by Mark Cuban) or BillFixer can lower your monthly payments by finding you a better deal and negotiating with your provider.

Don’t forget about all of your accounts like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, IPSY, ESPN+, etcetera… With all these subscriptions charging monthly on different schedules, it’s almost impossible to save without keeping track of everything you stream.

Don’t worry, there’s an app for that. One of the most popular is called TrueBill and it links to your bank account helping you manage subscriptions. If you prefer not to enter your account info, an app called Bobby lets you track your subscriptions manually.

Recap...

Here’s a big takeaway: There’s no wrong way to start saving money. 

✅ Sometimes the best savings tools are built into the online banking products we already use! 

✅ Follow these guidelines, do your research, keep your mental and physical health in mind, and pick the saving methods that are right for you. 

✅ To get started saving with Automatic Roundup or learn more about opening a Premium Bank Account, visit us over at our homepage

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  1. The Savings Account linked to your CARD Premium Bank Account by MetaBank is established by MetaBank, N.A., Member FDIC. Interest is calculated on the Daily Balance of the Savings Account and is paid quarterly. The interest rate paid on.ate as of 08/17/2020. The minimum balance required to open the Savings Account is $10. The minimum daily balance required to obtain the advertised APY is $10. You must receive one (1) payroll or government benefits direct deposit to be eligible to open a Savings Account. Savings Account funds are withdrawn through the Premium Bank Account and transaction fees could reduce the interest earned on the Savings Account. Funds on deposit are FDIC-insured through MetaBank, N.A., Member FDIC. For purposes of FDIC coverage limit, all funds held on deposit by the accountholder at MetaBank will be aggregated up to the coverage limit, currently $250,000.00.
  2. Faster access to funds is based on a comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies versus deposits made electronically. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.
  3. The Overdraft Protection (“ODP”) Service is an optional service made available to eligible Customers by MetaBank. Once you enroll and meet eligibility requirements, you will be charged a $15.00 fee for each purchase or transaction settlement greater than $5.00 that occurs while your Account available balance is overdrawn beyond the $10.00 Balance Buffer, up to four (4) Overdraft Protection Services Fees per calendar month. Any negative balance must be repaid within thirty (30) days. Whether we authorize an overdraft is discretionary, and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we may not pay an overdraft if you fail to meet the eligibility requirements or attempt too many transactions or transactions that create too large of an overdraft. Contact Customer Service or log in to your Account for full terms and conditions that apply, including eligibility requirements and standard overdraft practices. This service may be expensive, so we encourage you to research alternatives before enrolling. Once enrolled, you may opt-out at any time; however, you are responsible to repay any overdrawn amounts on your Account even if you opt-out of the service.

This blog post does not represent or reflect MetaBank or Visa views.