I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want to save money. It’s true. Never have I come across someone who thought saving money was stupid and shrugged it off. I’m sure there are a few out there, but most want to know how to save more money. This is why I work so hard to show you different ways to rock your savings! I want people to know how to save more money each and every day. This is how you change your financial picture. This is how you get out of debt. This is how you become financially independent. Savings isn’t just the process of putting money into a savings account. It’s much more than that. If you want to start saving more, you need to see how many ways there are to save.
To help you learn different ways of saving, I found a cool infographic from GetVOIP with 43 easy ways. That’s right, here are 43 easy ways to save money today. It’s so easy a caveman can do it (sorry Geico!). Let’s break each savings method down and hopefully it will fuel your desire to pocket more of your money.
I’ve focused a lot on getting my banking fees and expenses down. Trust me, banks love to make you pay fees on everything they can. I hate banking fees, which is why I’m with a credit union and only bank a big banks when they offer me free checking accounts. I shouldn’t have to pay a bank to hold my money when they are going to make money off my money anyway. Not cool!
1. Investment/Savings Automation
This should be on the top of your list. I love automation and is one reason why I have an account with Betterment. I can have it auto-draft my checking account to pull in more money each money. These get invested and I rinse and repeat every month. This is a sure-fire way to make sure you are investing every month to grow your net worth. Trust me. This is important. You can check out other investment brokerages that also offer the same luxury.
You can do the same thing for saving money as investing. Set it on auto-pilot and watch your savings account grow. I used to just set up automatic transfers, but once I found Digit, I didn’t have to do that anymore. This is a free app that does automatic savings based on your spending and income. It’s great and completely free!
2. Keep that Change
Not many people keep their change. I know I hate holding change, especially after I found out my bank wouldn’t accept it. I’ve since learned how to cash in my coins for Amazon gift cards at Coinstar. Coins can add up over time, so make sure to keep them somewhere. You can put them in a jar or little safe. When the time is right, you can take them to your bank (check to see if they accept rolled/unrolled coins), deposit them, then take that money and do something with it. I would suggest put it in your emergency fund or investment account.
3. Track Your Spending
I used to hate tracking my spending, but since getting out of debt, I do it often. I want to make sure I’m not killing my budget and that I’m staying on track. You can only grow your net worth by spending less and saving more. If you spend more than you earn, you’re not doing it right. This is why I require the help of Personal Capital. It’s the best, free financial tracker out there and one that I recommend everyone try. It makes tracking your spending so easy and completely free.
4. Create a Budget
The “B” word is so nasty, but you need one. Trust me here. I went through most of my life without one and that’s one reason I ended up in over $75,000 of debt. I didn’t track spending or keep a budget. You can easily set one up with the help of many online tools. There is even a simple budget creator on Debt Roundup. This will show you where your money needs to go and where it is going. Stop right now and create a budget if you don’t have one.
5. Check your Bank Account Often
You should be mindful of how much money you have, but this is also a good practice to make sure you don’t rely on credit too often or over-extend yourself. Check our bank account regularly to make sure you’re not paying any fees, aren’t about to overdraft, or just have enough to get by. You can use Personal Capital for this as well, but just check your accounts regularly. You never know how much you’re paying in fees unless you’re watching!
6. Set Savings Goals
One thing I did when paying off debt was saving at the same time. I even created a method for it, which changed my money mentality for the better. I love savings goals and I think everyone should have one. Goals allow you to aim for something, strive for something, and fixate on getting there. We all have goals in life, so why shouldn’t our savings be any different. A good way to implement savings goals is to create savings buckets.
7. Avoid ATM Fees
I don’t use ATMs often, but I despise having to pay a fee to do so. If you’re bank doesn’t help you out here when you use an ATM out of your network, then it’s time to switch banks. My credit union doesn’t charge me for any ATM usage in the credit union network. There are other accounts, like the Charles Schwab, which just refund you for any ATM fees.
8. Automate Bill Paying
When you forget to pay a bill, you typically see a late charge come in. This is especially true for credit cards. Don’t miss another bill and start using bill pay from your bank. This allows automatic payments to come out of your checking account and ensures your timely payment. This will help you avoid fees and paying for a mistake. It’s easy to set up, but check with your bank first. If you can’t do bill pay, then setup reminders in a Google Calendar to make sure your payment are on time.
9. Have a Savings Buddy
Accountability is huge in personal finance. If you want to achieve something, make sure to bring along a friend. If you want to save money for something, find a buddy to go in with you to keep each other accountable. Create a game to keep the savings interesting, but when you have someone there will you, it makes it much easier to stick with the plan.
Who doesn’t do some shopping? If you haven’t ever driven past a mall on the weekends, then you might not know, but people love to shop. I’m no different. While I don’t shop at malls, I do my fair share of shopping online. I’m a huge fan of Amazon and look for the best ways to save money while shopping there. As with any online store, I try my hardest to find the best deals and the internet makes that so much easier. Just take a few minutes before you check out to find a deal!
10. Take Advantage of Discounts
This one is huge, yet so many people don’t take the time to look for discounts. You should always look for online coupons, check the cash-back sites, or just ask for a discount at some stores. Did you know some places will give you a cash discount if you choose that payment over credit? It’s cheaper for the merchant to process. This is especially true at some gas stations, but I’ve found it possible with many retailers.
11. Put Cost into Perspective
I’ve used this method before and it can really put how much you spend into perspective. Instead of looking just at the price, take that and figure out how many hours you would have to work to pay for it. Figure out your hourly wage and put it into the equation to break down the cost of the product. Are you willing to buy something that will take you 40 hours to afford? What about 15 hours? This will really put the true cost of something into perspective.
12. Buy Used
I’ve been known to troll Craigslist for a good deal and there are many to be had. Why not buy used when you can save so much money? Do we just like the new luster and being the first owner? I know I used to be that way, but I’ve changed. Buying cars is especially important to think about going with used. They have already lost the majority of their depreciation, but you still get a good vehicle with a good safety record. Think of a Honda or Toyota. Anything can be bought used, you just need to look for it.
13. Make a List and Stick to it
Have you ever gone into the grocery store for just a few things, yet you come out $100 lighter in your bank account? Yep, been there and done that more times than I care to count. No matter where you shop, make sure to create a list and stick to it while shopping. It can be enticing to pick up the latest and greatest gadget, or find a new snack in the grocery store. If you stick to a list, you’re less likely to overspend and you can keep your money for other things.
14. Get Things Repaired
This is harder and harder to do these days with disposable items all around us. Manufacturers are making items break much quicker than they used to, but it is what it is. Having said that, you still have opportunities to get your broken items repaired at a fraction of the cost of buying a new item. The best part is if you can repair them yourself and places like Youtube have made that possible. There are repair videos for almost anything and I’ve fixed quite a few broken items in my house with the help of a Youtube video. The savings can be quite significant!
15. Rent or Borrow Items Instead of Buy
I’ve been on the fence about buying a power washer to use around our house. We have a lot to clean off, but then I realized in order to get a good one, I would need to fork out nearly $800. I can rent one for a day at a big box store for only $70. That seems like a better deal to me. Renting/borrowing from friends and family is an awesome way to save money. If you know someone who has a tool or item you need, just ask them to borrow it. I will say you need to take care of someone else’s stuff and don’t abuse it just because it’s not yours. That isn’t how this works.
16. Consider the Quality
Remember, saving money isn’t always about being cheap and getting the lowest price item. It’s also about quality. If you can buy an item that will last you 10 years, but costs $100 more, would you do it? Compare that to an item that is cheaper, but only lasts for four years. The upfront cost might be a factor, but I would rather have something I can keep for 10 years instead of four. That’s just a reminder to always balance the price with the quality.
17. Buy Generic Over Brand Name
I buy generic whenever possible. This is especially true in the grocery store. Considering most of the big brands are the same manufacturers as the store brands, what’s to lose? You get quality food at a good discount. Most people will point to the savings with brand name items when you couple that with coupons. While you can save a lot of money with coupons, think about that for a minute. The only way big brands can do that is because they overcharge for their items in the first place. You have to use coupons in order to get those items at a good price. If you pay full price, you’re getting ripped off. Just make sure to check out generics and compare them to your favorite brands. You might find some real money savings.
18. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can be hit or miss. I know some love Costco and I have a membership at a similar warehouse club. I get more savings with gas than anything, but you can find some good deals in there. I save a lot on dog food and some snacks for my son. My wife and I have compared Target with our warehouse club and it really depends on what you’re buying. Just make sure you do the proper comparisons between your favorite shopping spot and a warehouse club, because buying in bulk can save a lot of money, but it can also cost you a lot.
Ever since being a homeowner, I’ve tried to save money where I can. We moved into our new(ish) house two years ago and we have added new insulation, changed our our lights, added a programmable thermostat, and done a few other money saving things. Since we can really rack up savings with a few changes, I look at my house as a place to save some real change.
19. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are so 1999. I had switched to many CFL bulbs in our house, but I’ve slowly transitioned to LED. They price has really come down over the years, but you can get some good deals on LED bulbs that look just like the style you’re used to. I find good deals at Home Depot and Amazon. The Spring is the best time to stock up as they typically have some good sales.
20. Unplug Electronics Not in Use
Unplugging your electronics can be a real hassle unless you put everything into one power strip. I would recommend you unplug electronics you don’t use regularly, but don’t unplug your cable boxes if you have them. They require a long start-up time and that’s just not worth the hassle. If you want to know how much you can save, look to purchase the kill-a-watt meter. I have one and it’s awesome. You can plug it in, then plug your appliance/electronic items into it. It will show you how much energy it uses and it’s cost (you have to input how much you pay per kilowatt hour). I love my meter.
21. Get Control of Your Home
There is a trend going on in home electronics and that is the advance of connected devices. You can control your home with your phone. While the technology is cool, it also has practical uses in saving you money. If you accidentally left on some lights, you can log in via your phone and turn them off, thus saving you money. You can turn up/down your thermostat while you’re away and many other things. Some get a little carried away with the amount of things they control, but be practical with it and the money savings will follow.
22. Use Less Water
Saving water is essential. We often forget that water isn’t available everywhere around the world at a flick of a handle. We are very lucky to live in a country where water is accessible without going anywhere. Everyone relies on water for survival and we need it. When you brush your teeth or take a shower, be cognizant of how much you’re using. Don’t take 30 minute showers. Don’t leave the water running while your brushing your teeth. Those are two very easy ways to save water and money.
23. Automate HVAC
In both of our homes, we have owned and used programmable thermostats. They are essential in saving money and keeping your house at a comfortable temperature. There are so many of them, from that basic program to those like the Nest, where it learns based on you. No matter which on you get, setting up a programmable thermostat should be you on your list if you own/rent a home. It’s instant savings you can see on your bill each month.
24. Air Dry Your Laundry
This savings tip can be hard for many, but air drying your laundry will save you some good money. It costs a lot to use your dryer. It’s an energy hog, so if you can help it, put your clothes out on a line or rack and air dry them. This can be very easy in the Spring/Summer time, but just be careful of potential rain showers. That will cause you to use the dryer and defeat the potential savings.
25. Wash with Cold Water
I rarely wash my clothes in warm water. Most of my laundry is put into cold water and using cold water detergent. I’ve never had any issues, but not using hot water brings down my costs. I don’t have to use my water heater to pump water to my washer and the cold water is cheaper because of it. The only time I use warm/hot water is when we wash our sheets. I feel those signify a warm water type of clean.
26. Clean During Off-Peak Hours
Some energy providers have what they call “off-peak” hours. This is when the electrical grid is not being used as much, so they energy costs are cheaper. You would need to check with your provider to see if they have off-peak hours, but if they do, then use your appliances during that time. You get to pay less for using the same energy. You can do your cleaning and cooking off-peak and the savings are immediate.
27. Recycle on Your Own
This is not the case in every state, but some states will pay you to recycle your cans. You can take them to the recycling center and they will pay you a set fee per can or weight. They will pay you in cash and you will be on your way. If you’re state doesn’t do this, then think about dropping your recycling service you pay for each month/quarter. If you have a recycle center near you, you can just load up your stuff and drop it off there for free. That saves you the monthly fee and allows you to make sure your stuff is actually getting recycled.
On top of our housing payments, many are spending a lot on transportation costs. This can be acquiring those vehicles to drive, maintaining them, and just using them every day. It costs money to buy, use, and maintain a vehicle over its lifespan. My wife and I have three cars, one being a play toy when the sun is out, but it can be expensive to pay for these unless you shop around for insurance and make sure you maintain them throughout their use. That’s how you keep more of your money when dealing with vehicles.
28. Carpool to Work
Do you live near your co-workers? If so, try to come up with a way to run a carpool to work. You can take turns each day/week and that can save you money in gas and parking if you have to pay for that. It’s also an easy to way to get to know those around the office.
29. Maintain Your Tire Pressure
Did you know that under-inflated tires can hurt your gas mileage and cost you more money at the pump? It’s not going to bring home the bacon, but keeping your tire pressure at the recommended level can keep more money in your pocket as you drive and keep you safe. That’s a win-win!
30. Drive Smoothly
You’ve probably seen them next to you jumping off the line when the green light hits. Heck, I used to be one of those guys. I thought I was so cool gunning the gas in my car to beat the person next to me. Fortunately, I’ve grown up quite a bit and now I drive smoothly. I accelerate properly and I know this helps me keep more gas in my car for a longer period of time. That is a direct savings for me. Don’t mash the gas and keep more of your money.
31. Stop Storing Junk in Your Car
Simply put, the less weight you carry around, the more gas mileage you get. Don’t store junk in your trunk and enjoy those little dollars more. It’s always nice to get rid of clutter anyway.
32. Walk or Bike When Possible
This surely isn’t possible for many, but I know some who do it regularly. If you can walk or bike to work, then do it. Not only does it save you in operating costs of a car, but it promotes good health. What’s better than that? If you can’t do either of these things, think about jumping on some public transportation. You never know how much you can save by offsetting your costs and taking the bus.
33. Always Compare Insurance Rates
I had been with the same insurance company for all of my driving life until a few years ago. We moved and it was time to get a new plan. They wouldn’t give me a good price, so I searched around and found many who would beat their price and increase my coverage. Now, anytime my insurance is up for renewal, I look around and shop rates. It’s so easy to do with the internet that I believe everyone should do it. You really can save by switching.
Remember, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and then sell it! There are so many ways to save money on our lifestyle expenses. These are typically what we feel are necessary in our lives, but are really just wants. These can be cable TV, entertainment, eating out, and other aspects of our lives we deem important. The saving opportunities are bountiful, so don’t waste them thinking you need this or that. Just find out what you can live with and save money on the rest.
34. Sell Stuff You Don’t Use
This is a simple one, but a lot of people won’t do it. If you’re not using something, then just sell it. Why not get more cash for something you haven’t used in months or even years? With the ease of sites like Craiglist or even Facebook groups, you can have something out of your life and make a little money doing it. This can be even better if you have something that costs you money to use. Get rid of it, make money, and keep those monthly/annual savings from no longer operating the item.
35. Cut Unnecessary Services
I’m a proponent of cutting cable. We’ve been cable free for close to four years and we love it. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime to support us. We also use Sling TV (here’s a 7 day free trial) when we want to watch a few more sports channels. Over the course of the years, we’ve saved thousands by not paying for cable. Think about any service you pay for, but don’t really need. Those should be the first on the chopping block when you want to save more money.
36. Switch Services
If you’ve ever been to this site, you’ll know that I’ve tested a lot of cellular plans. I’m on Republic Wireless right now, but I’ve had Verizon, Walmart Family Mobile, Boost, Straight Talk, Cricket, and a few others. I don’t mind switching if I can get a better rate and not have any issues. I don’t have any contracts either, so I don’t have to worry paying any fees to leave when I’m not happy. Check you a few other wireless carriers, but you can switch almost any service if you find an alternate.
37. Eat More at Home
You can’t go wrong with a home-cooked meal. They cost less, taste better, and they save you some serious money. Just think about how much eating out costs you. You could pay anywhere from $25 to $100 for two people at restaurants. That’s a lot of money that could be used elsewhere. It’s easy to eat more at home, but there could be some planning involved depending on how active your lifestyle is. Here are a few tips.
38. Try Reusable Containers
If you buy bottled water, just stop it. Those are so wasteful and they cost a lot considering it’s just water. Some of the big water companies just use municipal water supplies and then clean it. That’s not as natural as they claim. Get some water bottles and start reusing them to save money on water. You can do the same with tupperware, so you’re not using bags all of the time. This is a cheap and clean way to save money.
39. Kill Your Expensive Habits
Are you a smoker or drinker? Those habits are expensive and they should be reigned in. Not only are you harming yourself with smoke and alcohol, but you’re paying the price with your cash. Those are two payments I’m not willing to make. Cut our any of your habits which cost you a lot of money and enjoy the savings as your years progress.
40. Take Advantage of Employer Benefits
I made a big mistake when I was young. I left money on the table with my employer’s 401(k) matching program. I didn’t follow their updates and found out they would match a higher percentage. I left money on the table for almost a year. Don’t do that. Take advantage of every benefit you get for working. Always take advantage of a retirement match. That is free money!
41. Use Cash When Going Out
This is probably the easiest way to save money on entertainment, yet it could be one of the hardest to stick to. Only using cash when going out can keep you right on budget. If you don’t have anymore cash, then your night is over. That will keep you from spending any money on credit cards and racking up debt or just blowing out your budget. You just need to stop at the ATM and pull out cash based on what you plan on doing.
42. Find Free or Discounted Entertainment
Around many cities and towns, there are typically free or heavily discounted entertainment options. You could go to a free concert, check out a night movie, or even just go to a museum. The easiest way to save money is by not spending what you earn. Take time to check your local papers or websites and see what is going on at night or weekend. You never know what you might find and not have to pay much to enjoy. Here are 5 ways to entertain when the budget is tight.
43. Turn Off Your TV
Last, but certainly not least, go turn your TV off and use that time to work on earning more money. Remember, there are only so many ways you can save money. We show you a lot of them, but when it comes down to it, if you want to change your financial picture, you need to start earning more. I started a blog and quit my job a few years later. I used my TV time to be productive and blog about money. There are so many things you can do in your spare time. Just look through all of these.
Before you check out the infographic below, lets get one thing straight. Saving money is only part of the process. What are you going to do with your savings? If you want to keep it safe, then you need to put it into your savings account (I like Capital One 360), or start investing it (Try Betterment or Wealthfront). If you don’t invest or truly save it, then you’re not doing anything. Just saving money and putting it back into your checking account isn’t going to do much for you. Try out this savings method if you want to make a difference.
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
Even if you don’t plan on getting a loan, a good credit score can affect your ability to get a job, a place to live, and will save you money whenever you need to borrow. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get yours free at Credit Sesame. It’s 100% free with no credit card required to signup. I’ve been using it for years to monitor my credit score.