Top 5 ways to keep money in your pocket in 2018

This content is sponsored by Commuter Connections- ‘Pool Rewards Program

In the spirit of the new year, do something good for you and your wallet. You’d be surprised by where most of your money goes or how these simple easy tips can help you stock up a savings. These five tips are every day ways to cut down on the amount you spend weekly, monthly and yearly on food, entertainment and travel.

1.) Meal prep and grocery shop for the week – USA Today reported on a 2015 study by VISA that found the average American spends $1,043 a year on eating out for lunch. To save money and avoid temptation, plan your lunches and dinners in advance. Cook food for the week in the beginning of the week and have meals ready to go so that it takes less time to bring lunch than to buy it. This will save you time in the long run, and money! Photo Credit: Thinkstock (Getty Images/iStockphoto/KucherAV)
2.) Carpooling and Vanpooling –  Take advantage of the Commuter Connections ‘Pool Rewards Program and save money on gas, parking, tolls, car maintenance and other driving costs! ‘Pool Rewards is a commuter incentive program designed to reduce rush hour congestion and improve air quality in the region! ‘Pool Rewards is a commuter incentive program available through Commuter Connections  to encourage commuters driving alone to and from work to start ridesharing in the Washington Metropolitan region. If you drive alone to work and get at least seven people together (including yourself) who wish to form a new vanpool, you may qualify for a $200 monthly ‘Pool Rewards incentive for your new vanpool. Vans are available to accommodate between 7 and 15 total occupants (including the driver). Commuters who currently drive alone to work may be eligible for a cash payment through ‘Pool Rewards when they start or join a new carpool! If eligible, each carpool member can earn $2 per day ($1 each way) for each day they carpool to work over a consecutive 90-day period. If your new carpool uses I-395 or I-66 outside the Beltway each carpooler could receive up to an additional $100. For more information and how to get started on the ‘Pool Rewards Program, learn more here. Photo Credit: Thinkstock (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Mark Bowden)
3.) Keep track of your savings account – According to Fool.com, any cash you may need within two years — including money in your emergency fund — should be invested in a basic savings account. There are many high-yield savings accounts you can open online. Designate a portion of your paycheck every month to savings and keep track of its accrual over time! Don’t even allow yourself the opportunity to access the money, keep it safe in a separate account and watch yourself start saving money! Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
4.) Money back on your purchases – Obtain a credit card that gives you money back every time you make a purchase on groceries, gas, travel and other expenses. Many credit cards now have some type of benefit back to the user. You can use the money you earn to pay back your bill or on gifts for yourself and others! Photo Credit: Flickr
5.) Travel and entertainment on a budget – Want to travel the world on a limited budget? Try doing shorter, cheaper weekend and day trips! Take note of when airlines offer sales and sign up for alerts, visit new places in the off-season when it’s cheaper or stock your points when traveling for business to take advantage of them when traveling for fun. Photo Credit: Pixabay
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