Did you know that August 8th is National Dollar Day? The dollar we recognize and use today has been around since 1914, but even though it may still look pretty similar to the original 1914 version, many things have changed about our dollar today.

To really understand just how much things have changed, let’s take a look back at the year 1973. Did you know that 50 years ago, you could buy six Hershey’s bars for just one dollar? Today, the cost of just one Hershey’s bar varies, but it can range anywhere from $1.00 - $1.69 depending on where you live.

With these major changes, it’s no wonder you often hear your grandparents talking about “the good old days” when you could get more for your dollar. But even though things may look different now, every dollar saved still has an impact on your life and total savings. With inflation on the rise and talks of a recession in our future, now is a good time to ask yourself: How am I taking care of my dollars?

Impact of Saving a Dollar A Day

If you’re overwhelmed by the concept of saving and just can’t seem to get yourself out of a rut of spending, you’re not alone. More and more Americans are finding themselves in serious financial situations and are unsure of how they can escape the cycle. In fact, last year the average American was over $100,000 in debt. To help break it down for yourself, why not start with the dollar? For years we’ve been putting our dollars together to purchase all kinds of goods. Why not take one of those dollars each day and put it in savings? In just one year, you will have saved $365. In five years, that total will be $1,825. In 10 years, that amount will equal $3,650.

That may not seem like a lot, but everyone has to start somewhere. One dollar a day can help you develop the habit of saving, then you can grow from there. As you get a pay raise or save money somewhere else, you can always add to your dollar a day habit. These amounts also don’t include the savings you could gain with a savings account. The money you put into that account can then gain interest and help you save even more. This also keeps your money safer than if you only had it in a jar or box at home. If there’s a robbery or natural disaster, you’ll want to make sure your money is in a safe place, like a savings account.

Once you’ve gotten your dollar a day savings habit down, you can explore other ways to utilize that dollar a day, whether it’s through investments, retirement accounts, or other savings options. Small habits can have a big payoff if you stay committed and utilize the resources available to you.

How to Save a Dollar A Day

If you’re thinking about how hard it is to save a dollar a day, try some of these tips and tricks next time you’re faced with a spend vs. save dilemma.

  1. Create a budget – It’s easier to find ways to save when you have created a budget to fall back on.
  2. Cook at home – Most foods are actually cheaper to make at home, especially if you can carve out some of your free time for meal prepping and planning so that no food goes to waste.
  3. Shop smart – Research and compare prices, try to shop close to home whenever possible, buy in bulk when you can, and when you find a good coupon for something you use often, use it! Everyone loves a good deal, there’s no shame in buying something at a discount or using coupons at the register.
  4. Use public transportation – If you live in an area with reliable public transportation, it could be to your benefit to purchase a pass. If you’re not near any public transit systems, try to walk or bike to your destinations as often as possible to save money on gas.
  5. Avoid impulse purchases – Whenever you’re thinking of buying something, take some time to really think about the decision.
    1. Do you really want or need this item?
    2. Do you have something similar or can you repurpose something you already have?
    3. What value does this item add to your life?
    4. Are you getting the best price?

This will help you determine things you want vs. things you need and prevent you from making purchases that you regret later on.

6. Buy generic brands – Many times the generic brands have the same ingredients as the brand name item you’re trying to purchase, but cost a lot less. Take advantage of this whenever possible.

Contact Your Local Availa Banker

The dollar still has power if you know how to use it. Don’t let the overwhelming nature of a savings plan throw you off of your savings goals. If you’re interested in setting up a savings account, you can reach out to your local Availa Banker at any time. To learn more about our savings options, you can click here: Personal Savings & Money Markets - Availa Bank