savings

5 steps to boost your savings account

Eliminate unnecessary spending
Eliminate unnecessary spending © Hannamariah/Shutterstock.com

Once you have a budget in place, it's time to look for opportunities to reduce your overhead costs.

"It's a lot easier to cut spending than to increase your income," McBride says. "That's how you'll carve out the ability to save on a consistent basis."

Cutting that spending can rely on small steps, too. The Bankrate lunch savings calculator shows that even something as simple as taking your afternoon meal to work each day rather than eating out can add up to big savings over time. Consider recurring charges such as your cable or phone bill to determine if there are alternative plans that can trim your expected monthly expenses.

Another way to shrink spending is to alter the way you pay for purchases on your shopping trips. Research conducted by Promothesh Chatterjee, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Kansas School of Business, and Randall Rose, professor of marketing at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business, found that consumers spend less when they use cash rather than credit cards.

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