How to Cash in an Extra $5,000 in Savings This Year

Please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon for today’s guest post.

We all want to save money. Unfortunately we live in a society that constantly encourages us to spend. Whether it’s the need to keep up with the Joneses or just maintain the lifestyle we’ve become used to, we all find it hard to give up the things we love.

How to Cash In an Extra $5,000 in Savings This Year

If you’re willing to make some minor concessions, you might just find ways to put back a bit of extra cash without compromising your lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Cancel Your Cable

Unless you’re a hardcore movie addict, this is one of the least painful ways to cut costs. The average cable or dish bill is around $100 a month, and you probably don’t even watch half the channels you’re paying for.

As long as you have internet you can subscribe to one of the many low-cost alternatives for access to TV shows, movies and even exclusive content, usually for under $10 a month. If you really need to see the latest movies, iTunes offers them for $3.99 each, without ever taking you off your couch.

Potential Annual Savings (even with a movie now and then): $1,000

Refuse Your Raise

Well, don’t refuse to take it: Just refuse to spend it. Most people get between two and four percent per year in the form of a raise. If you make $50,000 per year, a two-percent raise gives you an extra $1000 a year before taxes.

When you get the first check with your raise, note the difference and immediately transfer that amount to another account. If your company pays you through direct deposit, they may even be able to do this for you. Each week deposit that amount into the other account. You lived on the prior salary the year before, so for an average-sized raise, this process should be relatively painless.

If you get an annual or quarterly bonus check, you can opt to deposit a portion or all of it into your savings account as well.

Potential Annual Savings: $1,000

Give up Your Gym

A gym membership is a noble undertaking. We all need to stay fit and live a healthier lifestyle, but a gym membership costs an average of $500 a year and if you aren’t using it, that money’s heading down the drain.

Unless you need a strict workout regimen there are other ways you can get exercise with little or no out-of-pocket expense. Most cities have numerous walking or bike trails, and if you want something a bit more challenging, YouTube has a huge assortment of workout videos, all at no cost.

If you need weights or other equipment, check your local Craigslist for some great deals on used equipment.

Potential Annual Savings: $500

Master Your Maintenance

Doing your own home maintenance is another good way to save money. Start by learning where all your plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical features are located in your home and then learn to do simple repairs yourself.

Plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians all charge from $50 to $100 an hour, and you can expect repairs in any of these categories to take at least two hours. Most usually have an additional service call fee and a minimum charge as well.

By doing regular maintenance and taking care of minor repairs yourself, you can save a few hundred a year.

Potential Annual Savings (for just one service call): $500

Ban Your Bottles

Bottled water is convenient to carry and may even be tempting to use at home. But the cost of those bottles can add up quickly, not to mention the fact that it really isn’t all that healthy — for you or the environment.

Even if you buy water by the case you probably spend about $500 a year, all of which that can be better used elsewhere. If you’re worried about tap water impurities, invest in a good BPA-free water bottle with a filter, which you can carry with you.

Potential Annual Savings: $500

Fudge Your Figures

If you keep a financial spreadsheet or check register, you can add a hefty chunk of found money by rounding up every time you make a purchase. Whenever you spend an odd amount, say $5.63, round it up to $6.00 in your totals column. It adds up faster than you’d think and because it happens in such small amounts it’s money you’ll never miss.

Potential Annual Savings: $500

Get Your Groupon

Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts for just about anything. If you eat out twice a week you can save over $1,000 a year just by using the food discounts, and that’s only the beginning. Savings range from 50 to 80 percent on everything, including products, services and even getaways.

Potential Annual Savings: $1,000+

There are a lot of ways to save money without having to give up the good life. By making a few small adjustments, you could live like a king on a pauper’s budget and still stash some cash for a rainy day.


  1. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank

    Nice Gary. These tips guarantee results. I gave up my gym membership eight months ago. I am glad that I did because I have saved much money and working out at home is more fun and comfortable for me. I can almost do all exercises I want in my own comfort. 😀

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