100 sm a ll w ays
Have more for the things you want
Save for your future:way
Small steps go a long
Every day you make many decisions about how to spend your
money. Whether you’re grocery shopping, driving to work, paying
bills or just watching TV, there are small things you can do to
spend less. This booklet has 100 ways to help you start saving
When you save money on everyday expenses, you’ll be able to buy
things that really matter to you. Tips with or symbols
can help you save Big – think of all the better uses for that money!
Think carefully about each tip and decide if it’s something you can
commit to doing. Check the corresponding box and remember
that for every “Will do” box you check, you can save real dollars –
but you have to stick with it!
If you save $5 every day, you’ll have over $1800 in
a year. Think of what you could do with that money.
Utilities: Plug into savings
Review your phone bill. C anc el home phone or a d d e d servic es you don’t
ne e d or use (C aller ID, thre e-way c alling, c all waiting).
If you have a landline phone disconne ct it or c anc el the long distanc e and
use your c ell phone.
Re pla c e your light bulbs with comp a ct floresc ent (C FL) bulbs.
Install a programmable thermostat for heat and air –
lower your home’s temperature when you are away or
sleeping to save big money.
Use exhaust and/or ceiling fans for comfort rather than air
Review all c ell phone, home phone, and c a ble servic es/contra cts and
inquire a bout b etter d e als. They do exist!
Re pla c e your showerhe a d with a low-flow mod el and save 30% on your
hot water bill.
K e e p blinds and sha d es close d in the summer to avoid high cooling costs
and op en in the winter to ke e p he ating costs low.
Unplug phone charg ers and computers when you aren’t using them.
Let your hair air dry after showering rather than using a hair dryer.
Install a hot water he ater blanket and re duc e its temp erature by 20%.
K e e p lamps and televisions away from thermostats as this will give
an ina c curate re a ding, forcing your air conditioner to run more than
ne c essary.
Using glass cookware will allow you to re duc e your oven temp erature by
25 d e gre es, saving you on energy costs.
Avoid over-p a cking your refrig erator and fre e z er. This c auses your frid g e
to work hard er to ke e p everything cold, using more energy.
Avoid using your oven in the summer. This he ats up your home and
c auses your air conditioner to use more energy to cool it b a ck down.
Inste a d, use a crock pot, outdoor grill, or ele ctric skillet.
Home Management: home
Savings start at
Avoid buying dry-cle an-only clothes.
Buy a ste amer. Wash and ste am dress shirts inste a d of dry cle aning.
H ang dry clothes when possible.
Look for used clothes at thrift stores or on eBay, especially for kids.
Wash clothes in cold water. 85% of the energy use d by your washing
ma chine is from warming the water.
Wash your own c ar.
Always compare prices online for large purchases. You may save
money and sales tax.
C hang e your furna c e filter re gularly. K e e p a log to help you rememb er.
Buy clothing off-se ason at cle aranc e pric es.
Buy classic clothing that will not fe el outd ate d next ye ar. Buy one trendy,
inexp ensive a c c essory to fe el current if you must.
C all your mortg a g e comp any and find out how to c anc el private
mortg a g e insuranc e.
B e sure you have file d for your homeowner’s exemption or senior
citiz en exc e ption for re al estate taxes.
C he ck with your lend er to se e if you c an make half of your mortg a g e
p ayment every two we eks – it saves on interest. B UT, do not p ay a servic e
to do this for you. You c an do this for fre e!
Make an effort to do work yourself that you would usually hire out (i.e. lawn
work, home re p airs, p ainting, cle aning, etc).
Close off unuse d rooms in your home to save on he ating and cooling
C he ck all the fauc ets in your home for drips. These little le aks c an a d d
surprising amounts to your water bill.
O nly use your dishwasher when it is full. Setting your dishes to “air dry”
will also save on energy costs.
You prob a bly have many items around your house you would
return if you could. Selling these items on e B ay c an b e a gre at
way to e arn some extra money while rid ding your home of clutter.
Entertainment: FREE time
G et books and DVD’s from the library inste a d of purchasing or renting.
Stop newsp a p er subscriptions. Most newsp a p ers c an b e re a d online for
fre e. Do buy the Sund ay newsp a p er for coupons for things you normally
Stop ma g a zine subscriptions. Re a d ma g a zines at libraries.
Search for online coupons. They can be found for everything from
amusement parks to restaurants and grocery stores.
O nly go to a discount movie or matine e.
E at b efore you go to the movies or a sporting event to avoid buying
exp ensive sna cks at conc ession stands.
Se arch the internet for fre e events in your are a. Many museums, plays
and other cultural events will have a fre e or discounte d d ay.
Cancel cable/satellite TV or drop to basic only.
Slow down your internet usa g e or use the internet at the library for fre e.
If you enjoy going out to the movies, buy pre-p aid tickets in bulk for a
What will you do with your savings?
Use public transportation or car pool.
Drive the sp e e d limit and save on both sp e e ding fines and g asoline.
Do b asic c ar re p airs yourself (wip ers, light bulbs, c ar washes).
Prop erly inflate your c ar tires to save on g as mile a g e.
Review auto insuranc e and drop collision/comprehensive covera g e on
old er vehicles.
Remove unne e d e d servic es from auto insuranc e (roa dsid e assistanc e, c ar
rental covera g e, towing covera g e).
Review all insuranc e policies and g et comp etitive rates.
Avoid driving during rush hour.
Park in the sha d e. This will re duc e your ne e d for A/C when you drive.
If your c ar is going to idle for more than 10 or 15 se conds, turn it off. It will
conserve g as and is a ctually b etter for your engine.
Rid e a bicycle or use public transportation whenever possible.
If you put $1800 in a savings
account every year, you’ll have
almost $10,000 in five years.
Take it to the bank
If you ever p ay ATM fe es, switch to a b ank with more loc al ATMs to avoid
foreign ATM fe es.
Move your savings a c count to a higher interest online a c count.
Raise the deductible on your homeowner and auto insurance.
Use online b anking to p ay bills and avoid posta g e, cost of che cks,
envelop es, and possible late fe es.
If your b ank charg es fe es, g et a fre e che cking a c count with a b ank where
no fe es are charg e d.
Watch cre dit c ard statements closely for a d d e d fe es and incre asing
interest rates. Prioritiz e your d e bt re p ayment, p aying the highest interest
N ever make a purchase over $50 without shop ping around.
N ever make an impulse purchase of more than $10. Give yourself a
cooling-off p eriod to think a bout it.
C all cre ditors to re quest re duc e d interest rates on cre dit c ards.
C anc el cre dit c ard insuranc e or cre dit prote ction plans.
Pay with c ash (rese arch shows we sp end more when we use plastic). If
you must use a c ard, use one with rewards. (O nly if you c an p ay it in full
e a ch month)
Enroll in your company 401(k). If they have a matching program,
you’re throwing away free money by not using it.
Review your cre dit re port. You may find ina c curate information
that is c ausing you to p ay higher interest rates or insuranc e premiums.
This is also an important me asure to guard a g ainst id entity theft.
Tra ck your monthly sp ending. Pay close attention to are as that you are
b eing nickele d and dime d and work to re duc e or eliminate those items.
Awareness is the first ste p towards financial control!
Pay bills on time and avoid costly late fe es.
C all 1-800-FRE E-411 for fre e dire ctory assistanc e. You may have to listen
to a re cord e d a dvertisement b efore re c eiving servic e.
Food & Health: Food for thought
Stop the daily co ee or latte x and save up to $1800 per year. If you
must buy co ee on the go, cut your consumption in half.
O nly go to the groc ery store on a full stoma ch.
G o to the groc ery store with a list and stick to it.
Buy me at on sale and fre e z e it.
Do groc ery stock up onc e a month at a lower pric e d food store.
Buy toiletries from a supercenter instead of the grocery store, where
they are usually more expensive.
Many prescription me dic ations have g eneric versions that are
much less exp ensive. By law, these prescriptions must b e the exa ct same
formula as it’s brand name counterp art, saving you lots of money.
C all around to different pharma cies including mail ord er for the b est pric e.
Mail ord er pharma cies c an send you thre e month’s worth of prescriptions
at onc e. This will save you on co-p ayments.
Bring your lunch to work, OR only order out once a week.
Do all of your shop ping and errands in one trip e a ch we ek. Plan
ahe a d of time to minimiz e the numb er of miles you drive and b e pre p are d
with a shop ping list. This will help you limit the numb er of impulse
Stop smoking. $5 per pack per day is $1800 per year.
Some groc ery stores double the value of your coupons on c ertain d ays
e a ch we ek. B e sure to shop on those d ays and try to match the items with
a sale for maximum savings.
A balance of $5000 on a credit card
with 21% APR will cost you
$1050 every year.
Food & Health
Cook homemade meals. It’s cheaper and healthier!
Grow your own g ard en for some b asics.
Plan ahe a d – cook me als on the we ekends to avoid last minute dining out
and make enough to bring for lunches.
G o to pla c es where/when kids e at fre e.
B evera g es c an a d d larg e amounts to your bill when dining out. Water is
fre e and the he althiest choic e as well.
Always che ck unit pricing at the groc ery store.
Cancel your health club membership. (You probably don’t use it and if
you do, walk, bike or jog for free instead.)
When dining out with a friend, ord er one entré e to share. Many
restaurant portions are very larg e.
Drink less alcohol. It’s exp ensive and a d ds c alories.
Avoid froz en dinners or pre p are d entré es. These cost way more and are
usually much less nutritious.
Shop the p erimeter of the groc ery store. It’s fresh, che a p er and he althier.
Make an effort to only buy toiletries, cle aning sup plies, and non-p erisha ble
food items when they are on sale.
Many stores offer fre e discount c ards that give you substantial savings
every time you shop. G et these for stores you fre quently shop at for
ne c essities.
Avoid fre quent trips to the groc ery store. G etting everything you ne e d in
one stop d e cre ases the likelihood of multiple impulse purchases.
Look high and low for savings! The most exp ensive brands are usually
If going out to e at is important to you, try to go out for lunch inste a d of
dinner. Many restaurants fe ature lunch menus with re duc e d pric es.
G et a good night’s sle e p! La ck of sle e p has b e en proven to incre ase
he althc are costs and the numb er of d ays you must take off work b e c ause
you are sick.
How did you do?
A d d up the numb er of “Will do” and “Did it” boxes you
che cke d at the bottom of e a ch p a g e. Then a d d those
totals tog ether for your Grand Total of ______.
H ere’s what your numb er me ans:
80-100: Gre at job! You re ally und erstand the importanc e
of saving. If you stick to it, you’ll have tons of money to
sp end on things that re ally matter to you.
60-79: G ood job – you should b e proud of yourself.
Focus on the tips you’ve committe d to and watch how
much you save. Enjoy your extra money and rememb er,
there’s more if you’ll follow the other tips.
40-59: You’ll save a nic e amount, but you should try
hard er if you’re serious a bout saving. Didn’t your p arents
tell you that money doesn’t grow on tre es?
0-39: O h, come on, you c an do b etter than that! You
worke d hard to e arn your money – don’t throw it away!
Make a commitment to yourself!
I will set up an online savings account and deposit
$ _______ every month.
You can do it!
But if you need motivation...
Place a picture here
of what you will do
with your savings.
(You know - the things you want - like a vacation,
new shoes, a guitar, freedom from debt,
a down payment on a house or car,
college for your kids, etc.)
Keep and review this
Successful money management
is having your money do for you
what you want it to do.”
- Michael J. McAuli e, President of Family Credit Management
For more great ways to save, visit:
For the following free educational materials,
please visit our website or call 800-994-3328:
My Spending Plan
My Spending Plan for Christians
Understanding Your Credit Score
Cease and Desist
Financing Your College Education
Debt Management Program
Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act
Biblical Principles of Tithing
Stop. Think. Save! kit
The goal of this public ation is to provid e financial e duc ation and id e as for consumers to consid er. The
contents may a d dress le g al issues, but it should not b e tre ate d as le g al a dvic e. Such a dvic e c an only b e
prop erly given by qualifie d professionals who are fully aware of the re a d er’s individual circumstanc es. All
information is d e eme d a c curate and relia ble at time of printing. We are not responsible for ina c curate
information. We are not a loan comp any. We are a lic ense d d e bt mana g ement servic e provid er. 07/17/08