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With a looming pandemic, saving money may feel like a pipe dream. But by following the 8 tips below, it may be easier than you think to save money even in the most difficult of times.

1. Open a “Round-Up” Savings Account

A “round-up” savings account will allow you to save automatically when you buy items with your debit card. For every purchase you make, your bank will round-up the cost of goods to the nearest dollar, then transfer that amount from your checking to your savings account. Check with your bank to see if they offer such a service and see if it’s a good fit for you. You can take your savings one step further by signing up for an independent app that takes this same concept and invests your nearest dollar rather than transfer it to your savings. This option will allow you to invest your extra money to potentially earn more over time. There are several competitive options available and a quick internet search can help you get started. Either way, you might be surprised by how quickly your spare change adds up to real savings.

2. Cancel Unused Memberships

Another way to save money is to check your monthly bank and credit card statements to see if there are recurring charges that you no longer need or want. For example, you may have a music streaming service or a gym membership that you no longer use. Cancel anything you are not using or do not need.

3. Shop and Compare Service Providers

Call your auto insurance, internet, cable company, and other service providers to see if you can get a better deal. Always ask for any available discounts. For example, several auto insurance companies may offer discounts for good driving or if you install drive-recording software in your car for a month (providing you drive safely during that time period).

4. Improve Your Credit

Poor credit can potentially cost you hundreds to even thousands of dollars in avoidable deposits and high-interest fees. Meanwhile, having excellent credit will likely do the opposite and could lead to more approvals and more favorable loan terms – saving you cash. {Get your $0 credit score} to find out where your credit stands now. If your score could use a boost, click below to activate ScoreShuttle and access a variety of credit and dispute management tools you can use to make improvements.

5. Consider Consolidating Your Debt

Speak to a financial advisor about converting high-interest payments into one lower-interest payment through a debt consolidation. Depending on your unique qualifying factors, this could save you a significant amount of money each month. There may be fees associated with a debt consolidation and requirements you may have to adhere to. With this in mind, there are low-cost nonprofit credit counseling services out there to help, such as ScoreShuttle’s preferred partner, DebtWave Credit Counseling, should you need them.

6. Meal Plan

Meal planning is another great way to save money each week. Plan your meals ahead of time and take a list to the grocery store. Buy only the ingredients you will need to make meals and do not buy anything that is not on the list. Never shop for food when you are hungry and never take a picky eater with you to purchase groceries.

7. Lower Your Cell Phone Bill

Many people pay a premium amount for data while using substantially less than what they pay for. Track your data usage and switch to a lower-data plan if possible.

8. Direct Transfer a Portion of Your Paycheck

Similar to our first tip to save money, if you have a direct deposit, set up your checking account to transfer a portion of your paycheck into your savings automatically. Financial experts recommend having 6-months’ worth of pay in your savings account, in case of an emergency. Should you lose your job or meet unexpected medical expenses, you will be thankful for the money you have set aside.

If you find yourself running out of money during the pandemic or just at end of each pay period, try implementing these clever tips to stretch your dollars. Every little bit adds up.

Disclaimer: The information above is general in nature and you should always speak with your financial advisor before making any major financial decisions. DebtWave is a preferred partner of ScoreShuttle. ScoreShuttle may receive a referral fee for users who sign up for their services.