It seems like everyone is hurting for money nowadays. As such, many people are looking for ways to cut their spending and save money quickly. Changing your spending and saving habits requires you to rethink your priorities and values. Thankfully, we have 21 great ideas to help you save more money.
1. Check Subscriptions
Lots of people are signed up for subscription services and they may forget about them. $9.99 a month for Spotify might not seem like much but that’s over $100 a year! Consider going through your list of subscription services and see if there are any that you could do without. Ask yourself if you really need that year-long subscription to Better Homes and Garden or Amazon Prime.
2. Make a Budget
Making a budget is a good way to save money because you can see exactly how much you are spending on what. Budgeting is not rocket science but you would be surprised how many people don’t do it. Budgeting is as simple as calculating your total income and figuring out your monthly expenses. Budgeting turns your spending habits into actual numbers you can then compare and see clearly what you are spending money on.
3. Sell Old Stuff
If you are like most Americans, you probably have a bunch of extra stuff around you don’t need anymore. For example, you may not play that old game console you have or maybe you don’t watch your dvds anymore. You can sell all that old stuff on the internet to make some quick cash to save. Old electronics, in particular, tend to sell very well and have a large market of second hand buyers.
4. Cook for Yourself
A lot of people who start budgeting are seriously surprised by how much they spend on food and drink. We understand that it’s really easy to just order a sandwich for dinner from the place down the street, but a $6 sandwich every day adds up quickly. Buying ingredients from the grocery store and cooking food for yourself can potentially save hundreds in food costs every month. You can buy an entire month’s worth of groceries for a single person for $150-$200 a month.
Gas is another major monthly expense for most people. If you work in an office with coworkers, then maybe consider putting together a carpool route. Carpooling is not only good for the environment but it can also save everyone substantially on gas prices and maintenance costs over the month and year. You can also carpool for non-work events with your friends.
6. Cut the Cable
Honestly, traditional cable is dying and it’s because of streaming. Getting rid of your cable subscription can save hundreds of dollars a year. Also, if you call your company and tell them you are leaving for a competitor, they will often reduce your bills or find you a cheaper package to keep you around. At the very least, you can find a cheaper cable package if you really want to keep it.
7. Use Autopay
Most services allow you to pay bills online nowadays. Even better, a lot of companies offer autop[ayment options and will cut off a portion of your bill each month by opting for autopay. For example, with my Sprint phone bill, I save 10% every month by having autopay set up on my account. Phone companies, power companies, and internet companies will usually allow you to sign up for autopay.
8. Spend with Cash
You might be surprised, but limiting your spending to cash only can help you save. Using your card for everything is psychologically misleading because you never actually SEE how much money you have left until you look at your account later. Limiting discretionary spending to cash can prevent you from swiping that card one too many times.
9. Buy Generic Brands
Most of the time when you are buying a big brand, you are not really paying for quality but the name itself. Sticking to brand loyalty can be a severe financial handicap in the long run. Non-brand name items can cost up to $2-$3 less than brand name items. So don’t be afraid to buy the generic peanut butter instead of the fancy jar of Jif.
10. Meal Plan
This point goes along with shopping at the grocery store, but you should sit down each week and plan out your meals. Meal prep will save you money as you will be less inclined to buy food during the week if you already have meals ready to go. Meal planning is also a good way to eat more healthy foods and not overeat.
11. Eat Less Meat
You can actually save a good deal of money if you cut down on the meat that you eat. Meat is usually relatively expensive compared to fruits, vegetables, and other raw ingredients. Cutting down on your meat consumption can help you save money on groceries and it is also good for the environment and healthy for you.
This is one that I really could work on myself. We do eat chicken typically which is cheaper than beef and pork though. I've been buying more fruits and veggies lately which as also been helping.
12. Ponder Large Purchases
You can also try the 30-day rule. According to the 30-day rule, you should wait at least 30 days when you want to buy something that is not planned out in your budget. The 30-day gap will give you time to really think about the purchase to see if you still really want it. The delayed gratification also feels much better when you wait a bit before buying something.
13. Switch Bank Accounts
You can also change your bank account to get more use out of your savings. Try to find a bank account that will give you a better interest rate on your savings An interest rate over 1% is excellent to make your savings work for you. CD accounts, money market accounts, and high-yield savings accounts can help you get the most out of your savings.
14. Use Cold Water When Possible
You can also shave a few bucks off your monthly bills by using cold water as much as possible instead of hot water. For example, when doing your laundry, try to only use cold water. Using cold water to wash clothes is also better for your colors.
15. Wear a Sweater
Nobody likes being cold but heat is a major cost during the winter. So, you maybe should invest in a good sweater or some thick blankets so you can keep your heat usage low during the winter. You can also buy a smaller energy-efficient space heater instead of using your HVAC system.
16. Use Cashback Apps
Cashback apps will reward you with money for any purchase that you make. With these apps, you can often get good discounts and deals while also getting a small amount back in the form of rewards when you buy things from select partner retailers.
17. Don't Forget Car Maintenance
Car costs are another major monthly and yearly expense for most people. AS such, you should make sure that you take your car in for regular maintenance and service. Taking your car in for regular service will keep it in good shape and prevent catastrophic issues from cropping up in the future.
18. Get a Bike
If you want to spend less money on gas and your car in general, then consider buying a bike and riding that around more. Biking is great because most cities nowadays have dedicated cycling lanes and you can often get most places you would go with your car without too much effort. Biking is also very good for your heart and lungs so you can save money and get some exercise at the same time.
19. Turn off the Lights
A lot of people leave their home lights on even when they are not there. It might not seem like much but even keeping the lights on can add up over time. Consider switching to ultra-efficiency LED bulbs and make sure you turn your lights off when you are not home.
20. Buy in Bulk
For things that are non-perishable and have long shelf lives, buy in bulk to save money on the price per unit. For example, you can buy soap and toilet paper in bulk and save a lot of money. Buying in bulk also means that you have to make fewer trips to the store. Personally, I go to Costco. I'm not afraid to admit it's one of my favorite stores to go. Their pizza and chicken bakes are also pretty darn good :)
21. Find a Side Hustle
We know you already work all day at your regular job but a side hustle can be an easy way to make some extra spending cash or savings on the side. Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to make money online, whether it’s by freelancing, starting a business, or doing odd jobs. Who knows, a side gig could potentially turn into a new career path as well!
Money might be tight these days but there are lots of ways to cut your spending and save more. These 21 tips are easy to follow and can help you reach your financial goals.