16. Place a reminder on your card. Remind yourself to think through every purchase by covering your card with a savings prompt such as, “Have you met your savings goal for the month?” Write the message on a piece of masking tape or colorful washi tape on your card.
17. Participate in a local Investment Development Account (or IDA) program. If your income is low, you may be eligible to participate in an IDA program where your savings are matched. In return for attending financial education sessions and planning to save for a home, education, or business, you typically receive at least $1 for every $1 you save, and sometimes much more. That means $25 saved each month could become several hundred dollars by the end of the year. Find an IDA program near you.
Banking, Credit, and Debt Savings Tips
18. Pay off credit cards in full each month. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you’re not falling into debt or paying interest. Learn more about debt and credit here.
19. Start with a goal of reducing your credit card debt by just $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150-200 a year in interest, and much more if you’re paying penalty rates of 20-30 percent.
20. Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union. Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week might seem like no big deal, but if it’s costing you $3 for each withdrawal, that’s more than $150 over the course of a year.