Start off the New Year by cutting back on a few simple expenses and potentially save thousands of dollars a year. You will be amazed at how much you can put towards savings in 2015 by following these tips from Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest.

  1. Lunches Out – Brown-bag your lunch every day at work and you can easily save $25 per week. That’s a savings of about $1,300 per year, or more than $50,000 over a 40-year career.
  2. Skip the Convenience Store – If you compare item prices between a convenience store and a supermarket, the supermarket will usually come in 45 percent cheaper on the exact same items. You can save more than $2,300 per year if you spend at least $100 on groceries each week.
  3. Books, Magazines, DVDs and More – The average American household spends about $200 per year on books alone (U.S. Census Bureau), most of which could be borrowed for free from the public library.
  4. Walk to Work – If you live close enough to walk to work, you’ll not only get free exercise, but also save a tremendous amount of money. The typical U.S. work commute by car costs about $4,000 per year. If you were able to invest that at a 5 percent rate of return, by the end of a 40-year career you will have saved $535,519.01.
  5. Pay Down Your Mortgage – Paying just $100 extra every month toward the principal of the average 30-year mortgage will allow you to pay it off in only 24 years and save you thousands of dollars in interest.
  6. Tap Water for Me, Please – Restaurants typically mark up beverage prices far more than their food. That $1.75 soda may not seem like a lot, but based on U.S. Census Bureau data, the average family of four could save about $800 per year by drinking tap water instead of soda.
  7. Review Your Insurance – Before you renew your insurance policies, review them and ask your agent about ways to reduce costs, and possibly lower your annual premiums by nearly $350 annually.
  8. Money Down the Drain – The Environmental Protection Agency says that the average U.S. home wastes about 10,000 gallons of water every year because of leaks. Replacing a single leaky toilet with an efficient model that meets EPA standards could save a family of four approximately $2,000 in water bills over the lifetime of the toilet.
  9. Break a Truly Bad Habit – There are a lot of health reasons to give up bad habits like smoking, but don’t overlook the financial incentives. Buying a single pack of cigarettes per day will cost you on average about $2,000 a year.

Saving money helps you built assets for the future, and brings peace of mind. Contact Community Bank at 708-660-1000 if you would like to talk about securing your financial future.

Information from AARP