Timing your shopping with a good sale and scanning a coupon here and there can save you a few bucks. And let’s be honest — nothing beats the feeling of discovering that deep-discount clearance rack tucked away in the back of a store.
But the truth is, coupons and sale items tend to have a minor impact on your savings account. If you want to build your nest egg more effectively, you need to find better ways to squirrel away cash on a regular basis. It’s also helpful to set up passive forms of savings income so that you don’t have to put in as much time and effort for each dollar saved.
Upgrade Your Utilities
High utility bills can be one of the most persistent drains on your bank account. If your utilities are expensive, it may be a potential spot to tap into some passive savings. One way to do this is by upgrading to a more abundant fuel source, like solar power.
This traditionally requires a steep initial investment, but companies like PosiGen are making solar power easy, accessible and affordable for every homeowner. The company offers zero-cost home energy audits and financing options that can help homeowners gain access to cleaner power and lower energy bills — which equate to savings over time.
Invest in New Appliances
Many HVAC systems are dated and inefficient. An old oil furnace, for instance, uses expensive fuel — and more of it. Swapping out an old furnace for a high-efficiency option can save you money over time. All-electric units, like inverter heat pumps or mini splits, can also save on your energy bills versus spending on expensive fuels like propane.
Each home’s heating and cooling systems are different. Businesses like HVACDirect.com can help you explore HVAC options for your home. The company is staffed by HVAC technicians who can help homeowners ensure that they’re purchasing a cost-effective model that can still get the job done. While this one may come with a little more upfront investment, the long-term savings are well worth it in the long run.
Round Up Your Charges
It’s exciting to use a coupon or buy a sale item and watch the price on the checkout screen go down. But sometimes, the best way to save is to embrace the opposite mentality. Round-up credit cards are one way to put your savings on auto-pilot, and Acorns is the poster child for this concept.
The savings brand rounds up each purchase to the nearest dollar. The extra change is put into an Acorns Invest account, where it adds up over time. If you struggle to save money, this is a great way to force the habit, even when you aren’t trying.
Get a Smart Thermostat
The temperature fluctuations of a home vary with the outside weather, but they can also vary based on inside use. For instance, there’s no need to keep the house at a comfortable temperature while you’re at work or on vacation. It’s also a good idea to lower the temp when you’re sleeping.
Smart thermostats can regulate your home’s climate — and save you money in the process. More advanced models, like EcoBee’s range of devices, can learn your regular routines over time and track who’s home at any given moment. It can then adjust your heating and cooling in the most efficient manner possible.
Invest Your Savings
Once you begin to see your savings build up, you can use the money itself to passively save more. There are multiple ways to invest in passive income, some of which are simple and safe ways to automate your savings growth.
For example, you could use a peer-to-peer lending platform, like Upstart. This accessible, AI-powered investment solution lets you lend your unused savings to others like you. As they pay you back, you earn interest. Other common passive investment options include index funds and real estate through investment tools like Airbnb, REITs and crowdfunded platforms.
Passively Unlocking Effective Savings
There’s nothing like the emotional high of scoring a deal while you’re shopping. But it’s important to remember that effective long-term savings comes from more thoughtful things. Lower utility bills, more efficient appliances, round-up charges and smart investments can all have a bigger impact on your savings account than a coupon or sale ever could.
The best part? Once they’re set up, these are passive options that run themselves. All you need to do is sit back and watch the savings build.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Save Thousands With Passive Saving — 5 Ways To Do It