BY JILLIAN HALL
PEOPLE GENERALLY WANT TO SAVE MONEY, but their circumstances make it seem impossible. They ask, “How can I save for the future when I can barely make ends meet?” As with every matter pertaining to life, the answer to that question can be found in the Bible. Proverbs 13:11 teaches, “Money gathered little by little grows” (New International Reader’s Version). Instead of looking for a huge payday, you can find everyday ways to save money.
Give these money-saving ideas a try! Sure, it might only be a few cents here, and a few dollars there. But, when you place that extra cash in a high-yield account, it adds up.
Paying ATM fees should be minimized (or completely avoided). However, sometimes life happens. In those situations, it’s best to be with a bank that covers out-of-network ATM fees. According to a recent report published by Bankrate, the average cost for using ATMs is $4.13 per transaction. Ouch! But, some online banks, credit unions, and traditional banks reimburse you for those fees. For example: For their online only “Clear Sky” checking accounts, Chesapeake Bank refunds up to $20 in ATM fees each month; Lake Michigan Credit Union refunds up to $15 each month; and State Farm Bank refunds up to $10 each month. And while you’re banking smart, don’t stop there! Pick a bank that doesn’t charge overdraft fees, and offers high interest rates.
A large part of saving money includes not overspending. Each week, set a budget and make one withdrawal for that amount. Then, divide up the cash into envelopes (transportation, food, utilities, fun, pet care, prescriptions, student loans, and so on). By adopting the envelope system, you’ll control how much you spend. When an envelope is empty, you can stop spending in that category, or reallocate funds from another envelope.
Take the Cheaper Option
Explore cheaper ways to fill your prescriptions. Some commercial and Medicare Part D plans have negotiated discounts with mail order pharmacies and certain retail pharmacies. Case in point: People with Humana’s Walmart Preferred Rx Plan can fill some generic high blood pressure prescriptions for a penny – at over 4,000 pharmacies (such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Neighborhood Market, and Walmart Express).
Also, if you take regular medication, ask your doctor for a three-month supply. Oftentimes (but not always), filling a three-month prescription is cheaper than purchasing your prescription monthly.