8 Habits That Are Keeping You From Saving

By Chanel Dror
espresso and a striped shirt

We all want to be saving. But sometimes the desire isn’t enough to get us where we want to be financially. And for many of us, when unexpected career changes or life things happen, saving is the first thing to get bumped off the priorities list.

But what if saving didn’t have to mean making a huge lifestyle shift? Instead of drastically cutting up credit cards and putting your social life on hold, there are small changes we can each be making that’ll help get our bank accounts out of the red, and it starts with shifting our perspective.

Since National Savings Day is today, we’re taking the time to honor our innate need to save — it’s a natural urge we each possess, whether you realize it or not! To celebrate, Capital One is hosting the #ShareMySave contest on social media where you have the chance to win $10,000. Find out more here and keep reading for 8 ways you could be saving that you may not have considered before.

photo from urban outfitters

1. You’re buying your water.

Those $2 bottles waters we casually grab on the go? They add up, big time (like — 11.8 billion-a-year-between-all-Americans big time.)  Invest in a stylish reusable bottle you can refill over and over instead!

photo via sfgirlbybay

2. You’re keeping your emotions out of it.

We often think saving is hard. But the truth is, most of us have been saving for years. Look around at the things you treasure: for me, it’s my mom’s vintage clothing and accessories. But it could be a box of old letters from your grandparents, or a toy you played with 20 years ago.

According to the Sentimental Savings Study conducted by Capital One and Financial Psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz of Creighton University, you may be able to channel your saved sentimental items to harness money saving habits. In the study, Austinites who did this were found to save 40% more than those who don’t.

Here are some of the same emotional exercises the study participants experienced to improve their own savings behavior, along with a helpful tip on saving from Dr. Klontz:

  • Get specific. Don’t just have a “savings account.” Name it. Have a “2018 European Family Vacation Account”.
  • Create visual motivators. Tape a magazine cut-out to your mirror, or put a picture depicting your goal as your screensaver or smartphone wallpaper where you can see it several times a day.
  • Automate it. Set up a monthly contribution from your checking account to a savings account, like Capital One’s 360 Money Market, a fee-free account that offers a rewarding high-interest rate and access to tools needed for long-haul savings growth

photo from venue report

3. You’re a lady who lunches.

Whether it’s the result of a desire to network or just plain laziness, buying your lunch every day is costing you thousands more per year than the alternative. Be kind to your wallet (and your waistline!) by taking extra time each week to plan and pack your lunch. Once you get into the habit, you’ll scoff at the thought of paying $12 to eat out!

photo from fashion me now

4. You’re paying for fitness.

Anyone else find it mind-boggling what the average person pays for a fitness studio membership these days? From yoga to crossfit to spinning, exercise costs a fortune, leaving us wondering what happened to the days of a $30/month unlimited gym membership.

The truth is that being fit doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Going for a run, doing strength training at the park, or finding guided fitness tutorials online are just as effective, and best of all, they’re F-R-E-E!

photo from the londoner

5. You’re working a 9-5.

Do you drive to and from work every day? In rush hour? Alone? For more than 20 minutes? You may be on the high end of the $2,600 that the average American spends on commuting each year.

Wanna scale back in this area? Consider public transportation, bicycling to your office, or carpooling with a friend.

photo from melissa chanel

6. You’re spending a small fortune on cable.

Most millennials I know ditched their cable providers a while ago, but for those of you still paying around $100 a month for your TV entertainment, it might be time to jump ship. Streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon offer up an endless array of fresh television and movies, and at $10/month or less, their prices are hard to beat.

photo from the coveteur

7. You’re paying to have fun.

How you choose to spend your free time is the real kicker, but why do we feel that having a great time comes at a price? Odds are your city serves up countless museums, galleries, libraries, and tourist attractions that cost nada, so why not make it your personal mission to see just how cheaply you can enjoy yourself. We’ll take a bottle of wine in the park over a $20 cover charge any day.

photo from we the people

8. You’re not utilizing your resources.

You may not realize some of the great resources you could be tapping into for smarter saving – and spending. No matter who you bank with, Capital One offers free Money Coaching and Money Workshops educational services that help you take control of your relationship with money by zeroing in on what’s really important, and helping you find new perspective and confidence, available at Capital One Cafés and branches. Simply look for a Capital One Café in a city near you (coming soon to Downtown Austin!), or stop by to chat with a Capital One Ambassador for free.