April has much to offer — spring flowers, holiday celebrations and the opportunity to save. This is especially relevant if your New Year’s resolution included saving more money this year.
While $100 may not seem like much to put toward your savings goals, it’s $100 more than you had last month. Plus, you might find that one or more of these money-saving strategies is something you want to continue to implement for the next few months, which can really add up.
Stop Using Food Delivery Services
“Get out, enjoy some of that spring weather and pick up your takeout food yourself,” said Maggie Klokkenga, CFP(r), CPA and owner, financial coach and planner of Make a Money Mindshift.
“So many of my clients are seeing how much DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub delivery charges are costing them. Commit to being your own delivery driver for five meals that you’ve ordered and put that $100 towards one of your savings goals.”
Find a More Affordable Gym or Opt Out of Additional Services
“When we think of spring, many people want to get back into shape to show off their bodies during the summer,” said Sandy Yong, award-winning author of The Money Master.
“Exercising and getting back into shape will be top of mind for fitness enthusiasts. If you have a gym membership, are the fees you are paying worth it? Is there a new gym in your area that has a better offer? Maybe you can consider downgrading or opting out of additional amenities and services if you aren’t taking advantage of them.”
Save on Energy Bills
“Spring paves the way for warmer weather which means the air conditioners and fans will usually be back in operation,” said Mark Jimenez, CEO of SensibleDollar.
“However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case the majority of the time. Instead, open your windows to allow the outside breeze to flow through, keeping out the heat and providing a natural cooling effect.”
Borrow One-Time-Use Items
“Join your local Facebook ‘Buy Nothing’ group, which is a gift economy where you ask in the group for something you need, and your neighbors see if they can help you,” said Kari Lorz, a Certified Financial Education Instructor and founder at Money for the Mamas.
“You can easily ask for things like an Easter basket, an Easter Sunday outfit for your child, and I can 99% guarantee someone has it to share. Or ask for patio furniture, fertilizer, yard decor — or ask to borrow someone’s hedge trimmer or edger. There’s no need to drop $200 at Home Depot for something you use once a year!”
Spring Clean Your Way to Savings
“Spring is the perfect time to declutter your home and you may find that items you think you need are covered by products you already have,” said consumer analyst Julie Ramhold with DealNews.
“For instance, you might think you need a certain piece of clothing, but when you start decluttering your closet, you may find you already have the item tucked in a forgotten corner or one that will suffice. Avoiding new purchases when you can is an easy way to save money. Alternatively, you may find a number of items you could actually sell for some extra cash as well.”
Audit Your Expenses
“While you’re decluttering your home, it’s a good time to declutter your finances as well,” said Ramhold. “Look over things like your streaming subscriptions to see if there are any you aren’t using as much as you could be, and then cancel those subs.”
She added, “While you’re at it, take a look at your internet and cable bills, and see what competitors in your area are offering — there’s a good chance you can call up your provider and ask for a lower rate based on that. And if they won’t match competitors, they may give you the running deal they currently have for new users, which will still save you a decent amount of money.”
Take Advantage of Free Events and Activities
“Spring is a great time to get out and explore your city or town,” said Brian Meiggs, founder of Smarts. “There are usually a ton of free events and activities going on, so check your local paper or online calendar to see what’s happening.”
Ramhold pointed out that you can get free admission to National Parks one day in April.
“Weather is warming up for most of the country and if you’re ready to get outdoors, the national parks are a great option,” she said. “Even better on April 16, entrance fees are waived, so you can check out national parks for free, although many parks will be hosting a variety of special events to celebrate April 16 through April 24.”
Stock Up and Accept Gift Card Offers
“Retailers like Target often throw in free gift cards if you buy a certain amount of pantry, hygiene, cleaning and baby items,” said Offers.com’s savings and deals expert Kristin McGrath.
“We’ve seen offers of up to a $25 gift card at Target with certain purchases — and $10 and $5 gift cards are pretty common. Make a list of everything you need to stock up on, and check your favorite grocery store’s or Target’s weekly ad for these gift card offers. You might hit $100 worth of gift cards. That won’t save you $100 on the current purchase, but you’ll have $100 of gift cards to defray the cost of something else down the line.”
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