U.S. Market:
AIG - 55.125 +0.145 0.264% Apple - 115.60 +0.97 0.846% Bank of America - 17.21 +0.11 0.643% Cisco - 27.695 -0.125 -0.449% Citigroup - 54.645 +0.285 0.524% Coca-Cola - 43.90 -0.64 -1.437% Facebook - 75.11 -0.35 -0.464% Ford - 16.105 +0.205 1.289% GE - 26.3784 +0.3284 1.261% Hewlett-Packard - 38.885 -0.065 -0.167% Intel - 37.69 +0.09 0.239% JPMorgan - 61.1299 +0.0499 0.082% McDonald's - 95.22 +0.11 0.116% Microsoft - 48.1635 -0.2965 -0.612% Pfizer - 31.38 -0.19 -0.602% Starbucks - 80.2903 -0.0797 -0.099%

Could You Be Making Serious Savings?

Making savings on a daily basis is a great way of freeing up cash that can be better utilised elsewhere, the most obvious being the ability to add it to an ISA or savings account. A big ticket purchase, a holiday, a family celebration or just a rainy day are all great reasons to start putting money aside – but if your budget is quite strict already, how do you make changes to boost what you can put in?

Regular savers will know that whether through a standard account or an ISA, funds can soon add up, although many people may feel as if they are unable to make the most of this. Whether this is due to the post-Christmas financial hangover that feels as if it lingered a little too long or just the seemingly constant stream of bills that arrive on your doorstep, there are ways to cut corners.

One thing you can do to help make more money available for your cash ISA or savings account is to watch how you spend money on energy. The first thing to do might be checking that you are getting the best deal and there are many online facilities where you can compare providers. But on a daily basis it is also important to make sure that appliances and electricals that are not in use are switched off and unplugged. TVs, computers, small kitchen gadgets, DVD players and many other items can consume power when not in use and this can soon add up.

It might also be prudent to make sure you – and others in the home – are switching off lights in rooms after they leave; turning down the thermostat on the hot water heater by just a few degrees can lead to serious savings over time. Washing clothes at a cooler temperature wherever possible is also a good idea and, if the weather permits, why not hang out your laundry rather than using an energy-hungry tumble dryer? Opening the door on the dishwasher once it has performed a cycle and allowing the items to air-dry is a more frugal option than using the heater dry setting and another well known tip is taking showers rather than baths. You can limit using the oven in favour of the more efficient microwave in many cases and, when summer arrives, why not try breaking out the barbeque whenever you can.

All of these things could help make your next bill much lower and this should mean you have a little extra cash to make available for your savings account. Once you know what kind of impact this is having on your finances, why not use an online savings calculator to see how this might add up over the next 12 months?