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At MAX, every customer has a savings account. This year, make it a goal to see that savings account grow.

Here are 18 tips for saving cash in 2018:

Be realistic.

Most likely, you are not going to make yourself a millionaire overnight – regardless of the stellar savings plan you wish to establish in the new year. Set a savings goal that is realistic, measurable, and achievable. This will help you stay on track and stay encouraged.  It’s important to sacrifice, but don’t overreach.

Write your goal down. And don’t change it.

Once you establish your ultimate savings goal for 2018, jot it down and keep it visible so you can meditate on it. Try to keep your savings goal in mind anytime you feel tempted to take money out of your savings account.

Make saving money automatic.

Don’t give yourself a chance to blow money you have earmarked to save. Most of us don’t have the self-discipline to put aside a portion of our paycheck, every paycheck. Make sure your cash makes it to its storing destination by using MAX Mobile Banking to set up automatic transfers. It’s smart and it’s easy – simply set up recurring transfers and watch your savings grow. If you have a MAX checking account, it becomes even easier. You can control all of your cash and move money instantly.

Disconnect if you must.

The easiest way to find new cash in 2018 is to stop unnecessary expenses. Review all of your bills and paid subscriptions to determine where you can cut costs. Do you really need cable, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video? Are you paying extra for unlimited data services on your phone? Are you spending money on streaming services you don't use more than twice a week? Find the leaks in your piggybank and determine how you can plug them.

Review your insurance premiums.

It’s a must-have for pretty much everything – from your home, to your car, to your pets, to your actual existence. It’s best to make sure you are getting the best coverage for your cash. As life changes, so should your insurance. Did you buy a new vehicle recently? Did you get married, have a baby, or adopt in the past year? Have you just purchased a home? Are you taking care of your elderly parents? Check out MAX Insurance Services and compare your insurance to MAX’s offers. MAX offers customized insurance protection for almost everything you cherish at a great price.

Find a better credit card.

You can throw away a lot of cash by sticking with a credit card that requires you to pay outrageous annual fees, or doesn’t let you benefit from its perks in the way you chose. You also throw away cash every time you don’t pay off the balance each month.  If you utilize a credit card for purchases, find a card that rewards you for utilizing it. Also, ensure that the rewards or points can be redeemed for things you find useful. There’s no point in having a million miles to travel the world if you hate flying. The MAX Smart Rewards Visa may be the card you need. The card has no annual fees and flexibility to redeem your points how you choose. You can redeem points for merchandise, travel, or even cash. The MAX Smart Rewards redemption site lets you get a peek at some of the amazing rewards your points can get you.

Speak up, and speak often.

Asking simple questions before making a purchase can save you a ton of money. Rather you are at a restaurant or a department store, looking for savings can be game-changer. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Will this item be on clearance soon?
  • Is there a coupon available that will help me save money today?
  • Are there any specials I should know about before ordering?

Provide your own resources during the work week.

Stop the daily leak of cash dripping from your wallet or purse. Bring your own coffee to the office instead of grabbing a latte during your commute to work. Take a lunch to work or school instead of eating out every day. Don’t waste money at the vending machines – instead purchase your soft drinks in bulk and bring a can or bottle with you to the office. Need a snack? Bring a sandwich bag of goodies from home.

Try to designate days for spending.

Can you go an entire day without spending a penny? For most of us, this seems impossible – but why? Start by trying to designate one day you will go without spending money. After a month of success, you may be able to turn your “Moneyless Mondays” into “No Swipe Sundays” AND “Moneyless Monday”. How far can you push the challenge? Before you know it, you may have a routine that saves cash more than giving it away.

Avoid ATM fees.

There’s absolutely no reason you should pay to get your own money.  With over 55,000 ATMs available to you, MAX provides great convenience and savings at ATM locations across the globe. With MAX, you have access to surcharge-free ATMs at a number of retail locations across the nation. You can get cash and avoid non-MAX (foreign) ATM surcharge fees when you use the following network of surcharge-free ATMs. Any and all Allpoint ATM is surcharge-free for MAX customers.

Don’t pay full price – for anything.

Yes, we are serious. Can you go the entire year without paying full-price for anything you purchase? Excluding the obvious necessities, make it a goal to go the entire year with paying full price. The rules are simple: Don't buy it if it’s not on sale, discounted, or you don’t have a coupon or promo code for it. You can even take it a step further to maximize your saving potential. Make your own advanced rules and establish a mandatory "percentage-off requirement" and use it to determine if you should make the purchase. For example, if the item is not 30% less than the original listed price, you don’t even consider it for purchase. This rule also helps you determine your wants versus your true needs.

Find a cheaper alternative.

Its date night! This usually means going out to watch a movie or play, followed by dinner at a fancy afterwards.  If you’re looking for a way to save, opt to watch a movie from one of your steaming subscriptions or grab a Blu-Ray from a local Redbox. Pop microwavable popcorn for the movie, and then enjoy a home-cooked meal afterwards. A $100 outing can quickly turn into a $20 stay-in date.  This is just one of many examples where an alternative approach can help you save big!

Shop online – the smart way.

Shopping online can save you money in many ways you may not consider. Obviously, you save gas and time by shopping online. You’re also less tempted to “shop” for other items if your trip for one particular item was not successful. The delayed gratification of needing to wait on the item should also help you make wise purchasing decisions – simply knowing that you won’t see the purchase until days after paying for it naturally decreasing the temptation to make an impulse purchase.

Track spending - all of it.

The best way to gain control of your money is to constantly monitor where each dollar is going, and why. Every dollar you spend should have a purpose.  If you must question the true purpose of the expense, you probably shouldn’t spend it. The good news is that MAX makes it easy to track your spending. MAX’s Smartfolio makes budgeting easier than ever by giving you the tools you need to successfully manage and track your finances. Your MAX accounts are pre-loaded into Smartfolio, so you’ll see them the very first time you sign in as long as you have MAX Online Banking. You can also use Smartfolio on our MAX Mobile Banking app.

Align your investment strategy.

Investing shouldn’t be convoluted or cluttered up with hard-to-understand terms. MAX’s Wealth Management team members are eager to share their wisdom and advice in a straightforward way that empowers you with information.

Only hang out with your thrifty friends – or find some.

It may sound harsh, but if you wish to reach your goal you’ll need your friends’ support. If they can’t support your budget, lose them. You can’t save money if your social circle is always finding new ways to spend your money.  The cost of going on trips or hitting the town every weekend adds up. It may be difficult to bail out on the fun, but keep your goal in mind. Find a way to forgo invitations to concerts, movies, games and other events that require a lot of money to have fun. Besides, you don’t need to spend money to socialize and have fun. Plan alternative activities that bring everyone together for the fun, like a potluck event or movie party.  

Change your self-identity.

No. Don't become a undercover secret agent. Just start calling yourself a saver, not a spender. See yourself as someone who always finds a way to save a buck. Shifting your thinking is probably the most important tip on this list. Instead of saying you “can’t” spend money on unnecessary expenses, say that you “don’t” spend money on unnecessary expenses. The difference is subtle in terms of verbiage, but monumental in changing how you live your life. 

Utilize a digital wallet. 

MAX debit and credit cards are available for use on all the top digital wallet services. Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay bring simplicity to every purchase. You can complete your purchases without entering a single piece of information. One of the major advantages of digital wallet services is tokenization. Instead of depending on debit and credit card data, all transactions are made using tokens - so merchants (and possibly hackers or thieves) never have access to your actual card data. It's nearly impossible for fraudsters to steal card information and make fraudulent transactions. Using a digital wallet, like Android Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay, will not only save you cash, but time and possible headaches in the future.