If saving money in 2024 was one of your New Year’s resolutions, you may be eager to pad your bank account this February. But finding ways to cut corners is difficult — especially when inflation is still a lingering problem.
The good news, though, is that a few savvy moves on your part could leave you with more money in savings by the end of the month. Here are a few to look at.
1. Be mindful of heat usage
In many parts of the country, February is a cold month. And you may be inclined to pump the heat at any cost to stay warm. But a few small changes could help you spend less on utilities.
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First, if you have a programmable thermostat and work outside of the home, there’s no reason to keep the heat pumping during the day when you aren’t there. Instead, drop the heat once you’re out the door and set it to come up again about an hour or so before you get home. That way, your house is nice and toasty upon your arrival, but you’re not paying to heat your space when you’re not there.
Secondly, try dropping the heat by one or two degrees at night and see what happens. You may not notice a difference when you’re under the covers, but your bill might drop a bit.
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2. Join a warehouse club store
As of December, grocery store prices were still up 1.3% on an annual basis, per the Consumer Price Index. A good way to lower your grocery spending could be to join a warehouse club store like Sam’s Club or Costco. Believe it or not, you might make back your membership fee in February alone.
Let’s say you spend $60 on a basic Costco membership (that $60 gives you access for an entire year). But let’s also say you shop at the store once a week and save $20 on food and household essentials each trip due to snagging bulk discounts. All told, you’re ahead financially — and you still have the rest of the year to keep benefiting from your membership.
3. Start a club
Whether it’s eating dinner at a restaurant, seeing a movie, or buying tickets to watch a local band perform, paying for entertainment outside the house could get expensive. Cutting back there could save you money, but also leave you bored.
A good compromise? Start a club. It could be a book club, a crocheting club, a wine- or beer-tasting club, or a baking club.
Either way, find like-minded people who live locally and share your hobby, and take turns hosting a weekly gathering. It’s a good way to engage with others in a social setting without having to spend a small fortune.
Life is expensive these days, so you may be inclined to give up on saving anything this month. But a few small changes could go a long way toward improving your financial situation.
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