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Posted September 1, 2020 | 1:54 PM

Dream Big, Start Small: Put Extra Money in Your Pocket

It's easier than you think when you see how small expenses add up

You may tell yourself you can't afford to save money each month. Maybe you rationalize that there's nothing left over after all the bills are paid. America Saves Week, and the local initiative Tampa Bay Saves, is here to help you make the most of your money through the pledge to save.

Whether it's the dream of homeownership, a new car, a child's education, or a well-deserved vacation, no matter what your savings goal, you can start by making small changes, and see how quickly it adds up. That's the underlying message of the America Saves Week, which is Feb. 25 through March 2.

Here's how small expenses add up.

Item Cost Each Purchase # Per Month Cost Per Month
Soft Drinks $1 30 $30
Television/movie monthly subscription $8.99 1 $8.99
Lunches out $6 12 $72
E-Book download $9.99 3 $29.97
Coffee drive-thru $2.25 12 $27
Impulse snacks $3.50 10 $35
Total $202.96

Eliminating all of these small expenses results in a one-year savings of $2,435, and $12,177 after five years. If it's unrealistic to give up everything, select those you can live without.

Here are three easy ways to jumpstart your savings:

  1. Take the pledge
  2. Get your taxes done for free at Hillsborough County Extension Service.
  3. Sign up for free personal finance updates and newsletters. Once on the page, scroll to Personal Finance, and fill out the form.

Go ahead and dream big, even if you have to start small. Any consistent effort to save money or clear debt is better than not trying. And who knows? You might finance your dream sooner than you imagined possible.

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