60 Years | 60 Ways to Save

Back to Financial Insights

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we thought it would be fun to pull together sixty ways to help you save money! After all, way back in 1962, Call Federal was founded by people coming together, united by the principles of saving and mutual financial success.

We’ve broken our list down into eight ‘categories’, so if you’re looking to save in one particular area or another, you can just jump to that section or refer back to it later. Let’s get started!

Home | Entertainment | Food | Debt | Budgeting | Healthcare | Transportation | Clothing

Around The House

  1. Embrace DIY Projects
    Instead of paying to replace a faucet or fix a running toilet, turn it into a “do-it-yourself” project. You’ll be on the hook for the materials, but the savings in labor costs will really add up. There are a wealth of free resources online, including project plans & step-by-step how-to videos.
  2. Shop Thrift Stores
    Keep more money in your wallet by shopping at secondhand, thrift, and consignment shops for household needs. In particular, you’ll find kitchen items like dishes & silverware, home decor & other furnishings at prices much lower than retail.
  3. Decrease Water Usage
    Turn off the water flow while washing your hair, take shorter showers, and reduce bubble-bath frequency to keep dollars from going down the drain.
  4. Adjust The Temperature
    Bundle up so you can set your thermostat a few degrees lower and save energy during cooler months; then, wear lighter clothing and set it a few degrees higher for warmer weather. Additionally, lowering the temperature of your home’s water heater could save you up to 22% annually.
  5. Seek Professional Help
    Some jurisdictions offer homeowners free or low-cost energy audits. These reviews can identify ways to reduce heating and cooling costs in your home specifically. Contact your local utility company to see if these type of program is available in your area.
  6. Close Blinds & Curtains
    During the summer, sunlight streaming into your home can cause the inside temps to rise. And, vice-versa for the winter cold. Instead of cranking the A/C or heat, use window coverings to help keep the great outdoors from running up your power bill.

Entertainment

  1. Attend Free (or Low-Cost) Events
    Check out community message boards in local shops or online to find budget-friendly entertainment, from concerts to movie nights, year-round.
  2. Watch TV For Free
    Cancel paid streaming services and turn on free network apps that air recent and classic television shows at no cost.
  3. Explore Credit Union Discounts
    Call Federal offers members discounted amusement park tickets, museum admissions, gift cards, and more. Visit TicketsAtWork.com for details.
  4. Volunteer
    Local culture and music festivals often need volunteers to help with events. In return, volunteers often get free access to the event and can often enjoy entertainment at zero cost.
  5. Get A Library Card
    Many libraries participates in digital content services. Download apps like Hoopla or OverDrive to your device and gain free access to a world of entertainment – including music, video, audiobooks, and eBooks,  just by entering your library card number.
  6. Purchase Used Video Games and Sporting Goods
    Shop video game resale and secondhand sports equipment stores the next time you’re tempted to purchase these items new.
  7. Seek ‘Non-Peak’ Entertainment Times
    Movie matinees and restaurant happy hours specials provide the same level of enjoyment at a discounted price.

Food

  1. Pack A Lunch
    Dining out cost households an average of $2,375 in 2020. Keep more cash in your bank account by making lunch at home and taking it to work.
  2. Stick To The Shopping List
    It’s easier to spend less on groceries when you know what’s already in your pantry. Scan your shelves and create a shopping list before heading to the market to avoid buying items you don’t need.
  3. Don’t Shop Hungry
    A corollary to #15 – when possible, don’t plan your grocery store trips before a meal. Studies suggest that you’ll be more likely to buy more than you need and make less healthy choices, which carry their own cost in the long run.
  4. Plan Your Meals
    Planning meals in advance may feel restrictive, but it can save significant cash. It also reduces the need to always ask “What’s for dinner?” and resort to take-out as your go-to answer.
  5. Buy Store-Brand or Generic Goods
    Pasta, frozen vegetables, beans, and nuts are just a few foods you could replace without noticing any difference in taste or quality — but you will see a positive difference on your grocery receipt.
  6. Host A Potluck
    If you’ve been tasked with hosting the next get-together with family or friends, ask each guest to pitch in by bringing a dish or beverage.
  7. Grow Your Own Veggies & Herbs
    A small patch in your backyard or a few potted plants could produce fresh vegetables or common herbs for far less than you’d pay at the grocery store.
  8. Use Coupons
    Combine in-store, digital, or manufacturer coupons to maximize savings on individual products. See if your local grocery offers “double-coupon days” to boost your savings even more!
  9. Dine At Kid-Friendly Restaurants.
    Celebrate special family events at restaurants with “kids eat free” offers. Search online to identify locations that offer this promotion near you.

Home | Entertainment | Food | Debt | Budgeting | Healthcare | Transportation | Clothing


Debt

  1. Follow A Debt Reduction Plan
    Each payment you make towards paying off debt is one less deposit into your savings account. Pay off your debts in order of balance owed (smallest to largest) or interest rate (highest to lowest). “Snowball” your debt payoff by applying minimum payments from each paid-off balance to the next debt.
  2. Transfer A Balance 
    Pay off high-interest rate credit faster by transferring it to a lower-interest rate Call Federal Visa® Platinum credit card. You could lower your monthly debt payments and save on interest charges.
  3. Check Credit Reports For Costly Errors
    A healthy credit score reduces the cost of borrowing by allowing you to secure lower-interest rate loans — and incorrect data on your credit reports can lower your credit score. Request free copies of your reports from com and follow each credit bureau’s dispute policies to have errors removed.
  4. Refinance Home And/Or Auto Loans
    If you’ve recently experienced positive changes to your income or credit, refinancing your auto and home loans could result in significant cost savings. Using a new lower-interest rate loan to pay off a higher-interest rate debt could save thousands and allow you to become debt-free sooner.

Budgeting

  1. Take Advantage of special rewards reserved for credit union members.
    Call Federal offers members high-value discounts, cash rewards, and special savings on a variety of everyday services, including cell phone plans &  home security. Visit LoveMyCreditUnion® rewards to learn more.
  2. Enroll In BillPay
    Late payments can damage your credit score and result in extra fees and penalties. Schedule one-time or recurring payments via Call Federal’s BillPay
  3. Start An Emergency Fund
    Grow your rainy day savings by setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account. Use your emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses that might otherwise throw your budget out of whack
  4. Adjust Federal Paycheck  Withholdings
    If you receive a sizeable tax refund each year, your employer might be withholding too much from your paycheck. Use the Tax Withholding Estimator to determine whether keeping more of those funds in your take-home pay makes sense.
  5. Ask For Discounts
    Retailers, entertainment venues, and restaurants offer unadvertised discounts to customers — but you have to ask for them. Your occupation, organizational affiliation, or age could help you save money every time you leave home.
  6. Set Holiday Spending Limits
    A holiday spending plan can help relieve financial pressure by establishing how much you can afford to spend on gifts and seasonal events.
  7. Prune Your Budget
    Snip away at unnecessary expenses such as automatic app subscription renewals and rarely used gym memberships.
  8. Review Your Credit Card Statements
    Examine each monthly statement for unexpected fees or charges. Contact customer service to dispute unauthorized purchases.
  9. Compare Insurance Premiums
    Auto and home insurance rates can increase even if you’ve never filed a claim. Shop around for lower rates at least once a year.
  10. Barter Skills With Friends And Family
    Haircuts and therapeutic massage services can cost a pretty penny. If you have a cosmetology or massage therapy license consider bartering these services to save money.
  11. Don’t Buy What You Can Borrow.
    If you need a power drill to hang wall art or complete a DIY project, ask to borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Spending money on something you might only use once a year isn’t cost-effective.
  12. Meet With Your HR Rep
    Employers are offering more benefits than ever to retain employees. Some include gym membership discounts and student loan repayment assistance programs.
  13. Pay With Cash
    Shopping with cash helps set a hard spending limit. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.
  14. Browse Call Federal’s Money & Beyond Financial Wellness Program
    Financial coaching, online financial education, and in-person workshops are available to help you achieve your savings goals.

Home | Entertainment | Food | Debt | Budgeting | Healthcare | Transportation | Clothing


Healthcare

  1. Use A Prescription Discount Card
    Even if you have a healthcare plan, a prescription card like GoodRx can help decrease out-of-pocket costs.
  2. Schedule Preventative Care
    How does the saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Teeth cleanings, physical exams, and cancer screenings can keep you healthy and treat ailments before they harm your health… and your bank account.
  3. Always Ask About Generic Options
    When your doctor prescribes medication for you, ask if a generic alternative is available. Many generic prescriptions are just as effective and can cost hundreds less than brand-name drugs.
  4. Choose In-Network Providers
    Review your health plan coverage and ensure you know which doctors, hospitals, and emergency clinics are in-network. Out-of-network providers can cost substantially more for the same services.
  5. Sign-up For A Health Savings Account.
    An HSA is a tax-advantaged account gives high-deductible health plan participants a way to deposit money today to cover future healthcare costs. Check with your employer for eligibility.
  6. Sign-up For A Flexible Spending Account.
    Similar to #45, the FSA is a tax-advantaged savings account lets you save money to cover various health-related expenses. Check with your employer for eligibility.
  7. Stay Active
    A healthy lifestyle could help lower your healthcare costs by keeping illness and disease at bay, both now and in the future.

Transportation

  1. Use Money-Saving Gas Apps
    Before you fill your gas tank, open apps like GasBuddy or Upside, which help you save money at gas stations.
  2. Change Your Own Oil
    Refer back to #1! Embrace the DIY life and you could save up to $75 each time you change your vehicle’s oil instead of taking it to a shop. And keeping up with a regular maintenance schedule can help the longevity of your vehicle and prevent unexpected expenses later.
  3. Park It
    Explore ways to use your vehicle less. Consider carpooling, public transportation, or remote work options.
  4. Skip The Drive-Thru Car Wash
    The convenience is nice, but it comes at a price. Choose a self-service car wash or wash your car at home. Get the kids involved; it’ll be fun!
  5. Use Credit Card Rewards
    Redeem your points for airline tickets for your next vacation and use the savings for other expenses.
  6. Cut Unnecessary Auto Insurance Coverage
    If your vehicle is paid in full and over 10 years old, speak with your insurance agent about removing comprehensive insurance. The insurance might cost more than your vehicle is worth.

Clothing

  1. Shop End-of-Season Sales
    Purchase coats, swimsuits, and other seasonal attire at deep discounts as retailers work to empty racks and prepare space for new inventory.
  2. Accessorize Inexpensively
    Instead of buying a new outfit, search for versatile accessories like belts and scarves to freshen your look.
  3. Participate In A Clothing Swap
    Trade gently used clothing with friends or other families to save money and give everyone in your home a fashion update.
  4. Pass On Dry-Clean Only Clothes
    If a jacket or new dress has a dry-clean-only tag, look for  a machine washable option instead to eliminate the cost of dry cleaning.
  5. Sign Up For Free Loyalty Programs
    Some retailers reward shoppers for their loyalty with special pricing, coupon codes, and cash certificates that can be used on future purchases.
  6. Sell Before You Buy
    Use an online app or consignment shop to sell clothing you no longer wear. Then use that money to help pay for new items.
  7. Rent Formal Wear
    Tuxedos and evening gowns can be rented for a fraction of what it costs to purchase new — or even used. If you only plan on wearing an article of clothing once, buying it could be costly.

We think you’ll agree, that’s quite a list! But you don’t have to try all 60 tips at once;  instead, select a few over the next several months and you’ll find that even a few small changes in spending can make a difference in your account balance.

Do you have a great savings tip that isn’t included in this list? Let us know! If we get some some good suggestions, we may feature them in a future post.

Here’s to another 60 years of saving! 

Back to Financial Insights


Share this post

Related Content

July 11, 2017

What Does “Financial Success” Mean and How Do We Get There?

Many times over the years, people have asked me, “How can I be more financially successful?” Each of us …

Read More about What Does “Financial Success” Mean and How Do We Get There?

June 27, 2017

A Vision for Your Future

My niece called me on Christmas Eve. “We found one” she said with excitement. “We found a house that …

Read More about A Vision for Your Future

May 30, 2017

Graduation Presents and Wedding Gifts: 8 Money Saving Tips for June

As we get ready for summer vacations and the last day of school, June also signals the start …

Read More about Graduation Presents and Wedding Gifts: 8 Money Saving Tips for June