5 Hot Savings Tips to Consider As the Temps Cool DownPost

November 28, 2023

As the seasons change, it’s always a good idea to take stock of your finances and make sure you’re on track with your savings goals. Besides putting money away for the long term, it’s important to make sure you’re saving for common winter expenses such as furnace repairs, heating bills, and weather-related emergencies.

A few things to ask yourself:

  • Do you have enough cash in an emergency fund to cover an unplanned expense or time off work?
  • Are you putting money in savings each time you get paid?
  • Do you have a financial goal that you’re not saving for yet but should be?
  • Are you using all of your subscriptions (streaming services, magazines, etc.)?
  • Do you use a money tool to track your spending and savings?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, then use the following tips to help you create better savings habits and keep your savings hot even on the coldest of winter days.

Pay Yourself First

You’ve probably heard this phrase at least 100 times, but we’ll just make it 101: Pay yourself first.

The reality is, paying yourself first prioritizes your savings as a mandatory expense (like housing and food), which helps you create a cushion over time so you're always prepared for those bigger, unexpected bills that tend to come up. It’s a way of limiting your spending at the front end and becoming more financially disciplined.

To pay yourself first, determine the amount of money you can set aside from each paycheck and then schedule an automatic, recurring transfer to your Chambers Savings Account from your checking account or complete a direct deposit form with your employer to have the money transferred directly to your Chambers Savings Account. 

If you don’t get paid biweekly or you’re self-employed, you can set up a recurring transfer at intervals that work best for your budget. The most important thing is to start!

Fast Fact: Approximately one quarter of all Americans have no cash savings (The Penny Hoarder).


Track Your Expenses

Tracking your expenses means identifying exactly where you spend your money throughout the month. While it may seem cumbersome to do this at first, it’s an eye-opening experience because it will reveal where your spending issues are, help you build a more realistic budget, and plan better for your long-term financial goals. 

Do you know where your money is going?

If you don’t, try challenging yourself to record every one of your expenditures over the next month (yes, that includes the coffees and treats at the bakery).

If you want to stay tech-free with this process, you can simply pick up a small notebook and write down every expense as you go; reserving several pages per spending category is the easiest way to stay organized. After a month, total your expenses in each category and you’ll see exactly where you’re spending.

Using a web-based app or spreadsheet is probably the easiest way to track your expenses, and you can choose from a variety of popular apps online or sign up for our free Chambers Bank Personal Finance tool. With Personal Finance, you categorize your expenses, keep a budget, and see all of your financial accounts in one place.

Fast Fact: Almost 30% of Americans think they don’t need to budget their money (www.credit.com).


Sell Unused Items and Stash the Savings

Did you know the average American home contains approximately 300,000 items? All things considered, parting with a few possessions probably isn’t the worst idea in the world. 

To get started, take a day and gather a group of items you no longer use. Quality clothing, sports equipment, and tools are always good sellers, along with collectibles, antiques, and vintage goods.

As far as where to sell your items, you can choose from many online resale websites and apps to choose from, with varying fees; it really just depends on what you are selling and whether you want to sell locally or you’re willing to pack and ship. Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Poshmark are all popular online resellers as are Etsy, LetGo, and NextDoor.

Fast Fact: According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), 80% of the items Americans keep in their homes are rarely or never used.


Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions and Services

Many of us have monthly or annual subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, and Disney, but over time, it’s easy to forget about certain ones and end up paying for services we no longer want or need. This often results in hundreds of dollars spent unnecessarily each year.

Because most services renew automatically and will continue charging your debit or credit card, these transactions can be unwelcome surprises—especially if there’s a week your account is running low.

To begin canceling unwanted subscriptions, start by taking a look at a year’s worth of bank and credit card statements. This will help you identify what you’re buying, how much you’re paying, and how often. If you have a smartphone, you should also take a look at the device’s app store to see your active subscriptions and their renewal dates and amounts.

Once you’re done sleuthing, review each subscription, decide which ones you want to keep, and then begin canceling. If this seems too time consuming, you can hire a service to do the work for you.

Fast Fact: On average, American consumers underestimate how much they spend on monthly subscriptions by 250%. Most think they are spending $86 a month when they are actually spending $219 a month (C + R Research).


Round Up Your Savings with Savings Cents

When you think about it, there are lots of little ways you can increase your savings almost effortlessly—like rounding up your spending to the nearest dollar and saving it.

At Chambers Bank, we have a program to help you do just that and it’s called Savings Cents. It’s like automating a savings account, only we take the round-up amounts from your Chambers Debit Card purchases and transfer the daily total from your checking account to your savings account.

Over time, Savings Cents can help you put away a nice amount of cash, without even thinking about it. Enrollment is free, and there are no fees for using Savings Cents.

Fast Fact: Just $5 per week saved through a round-up program like Savings Cents results in $260 saved over the course of a year, plus interest.


Chambers Bank: Your Partner in Savings

After reading these five money-saving tips, we at Chambers Bank encourage you to put a few of them into action this month and then watch your savings grow. 

Please explore our personal saving products and contact us if you have questions about a new or existing account by filling out our online form or contacting our Customer Care Center at 1-800-603-1226.

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