Set Priorities And See Your Savings Grow

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Saving money isn't always easy, but putting aside a few dollars here and there can add up. International Frugal Fun Day, October 6, is the perfect time to begin the habit of making small adjustments so you can have a frugal fun night and put the savings toward something even bigger later.

"Being financially responsible includes setting priorities on how to spend and how to save, but being responsible doesn't necessarily mean being boring," said Kara Kaiser, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank. "With a little creativity, it's possible to have fun with family and friends and still stick to your budget that should include saving toward specific goals."

Here are some suggestions from Kaiser on how to be frugal but still have fun.

Rent a movie. Before spending a small fortune to see a recent release, rent a movie you forgot to see before it left theaters. Spend $15 on the rented movie and snacks from the grocery store and put the remaining money in your savings account. What would have been a $45 date night is now a frugal movie night.

Savings: $30 on the cost of movie tickets and theatre snacks

Take a picnic to a public park. Instead of spending your play money to go out to eat all the time, pack up a picnic basket and head to a nearby park with your loved ones. Enjoy the outdoors by bringing a ball, kite or frisbee so you can play after lunch. Many state parks require a small fee, but most local public parks are completely free. A day in the sun is the perfect time to save for a rainy day, so deposit the money you would have spent eating out straight to your savings account.

Savings: $40 on the cost of an appetizer, two entrees, and drinks at a restaurant

Visit the museum and zoo on free days. Many entertaining destinations like these have a designated day each month for the public to enter at a free or reduced rate. Instead of paying around $40 for two adults to park and be admitted, you can check out cool fossils, paintings and animals in person for less.

Savings: $40 on the cost of parking and admission

Take a bike ride. Who decided exercise had to be boring? Take a new bike path or explore a neighborhood you've always wanted to see. You'll find out more about the area in which you live and make yourself more fit in the process.

Savings: $5 on the cost of gas

Go to an orchard to pick apples. Fall, food and fun—you can't go wrong. Take some friends to pick apples, and later, spend the evening baking apple pie. If you pull the money for apples out of your grocery budget, you will have spent no money on entertainment at all.

Savings: $0 total—but your monthly budget now allows $5 more for entertainment!

By participating in a little frugal fun, you can work toward your savings goal without radically changing your lifestyle; if you do one of the ideas mentioned each weekend, you can save your way to something even more fun, like an island getaway. Make sure to tell everyone on the beach how you did it.

For more information on budgeting and saving, visit or stop by your local BMO Harris branch.

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

SOURCE BMO Harris Bank