21 Smart Tips to Save Money Fast
Looking for ways to save money quickly? Check out these 21 ways to save cash fast. With a little creativity and persistence, you'd be surprised at how much extra cash you can save.
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.
Check Subscriptions Lots of people are signed up for subscription services and may need to remember 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 need a year-long Better Homes and Garden subscription or Amazon Prime.
1. Make a Budget
Making a budget is an excellent way to save money because you can see exactly how much you spend 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 monthly expenses. Budgeting turns your spending habits into actual numbers you can compare and see clearly what you spend money on.
2. Sell Old Stuff
If you are like most Americans, you 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 may not 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, sell very well and have a large market of second-hand buyers.
3. Cook for Yourself
Many people who start budgeting are shocked by how much they spend on food and drink. We understand that it's straightforward to 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 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. Consider creating a carpool route if you work in an office with coworkers. Carpooling is good for the environment and can 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.
5. Cut the Cable
Traditional cable is dying, and it's because of streaming. Getting rid of your cable subscription can save hundreds of dollars a year. Also, call your company and tell them you are leaving for a competitor. They often reduce your bills or find a cheaper package to keep you around. At the very least, you can find a more affordable cable package if you want to keep it.
6. Use Autopay
Most services allow you to pay bills online nowadays. Even better, many companies offer auto payment options and will cut off a portion of your bill each month by opting for autopay. For example, I save 10% monthly with my Sprint phone bill by setting up autopay on my account. Phone, power, and internet companies will usually allow you to sign up for autopay.
7. Spend with Cash
You might be surprised, but only limiting your spending to cash can help you save. Using your card for everything is psychologically misleading because you only see how much money you have left once you look at your account later. Limiting discretionary spending to cash can prevent you from swiping that card one too many times.
8. Buy Generic Brands
When buying a big brand, you are not 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 feel free to buy the generic peanut butter instead of the fancy jar of Jif.
9. Meal Plan
This point goes along with shopping at the grocery store, but you should sit down each week and plan 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. Meal planning is also an excellent way to eat healthier foods and not overeat.
10. Eat Less Meat
You can save much money if you cut down on the meat 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. It is also suitable for the environment and healthy for you.
This is one that I really could work on myself. We typically eat chicken, which is cheaper than beef and pork. I've been buying more fruits and veggies lately, which has also been helping.
11. Ponder Large Purchases
You can also try the 30-day rule. According to the 30-day law, you should wait at least 30 days when you want to buy something not planned out in your budget. The 30-day gap will give you time to think about the purchase to see if you still want it. The delayed gratification also feels much better when you wait a bit before buying something.
12. Switch Bank Accounts
You can also change your bank account to get more use out of your savings. Find a bank account that will give you a better interest rate on your savings. An interest rate over 1% is excellent for making savings work for you. CD, money market, and high-yield savings accounts can help you get the most out of your savings.
13. 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, try only to use cold water when doing your laundry. Using cold water to wash clothes is also better for your colors.
14. Wear a Sweater
Nobody likes being cold, but heat is expensive during winter. You should invest in a good sweater or thick blankets to keep your heat usage low during the winter. You can also buy a smaller, energy-efficient space heater instead of using your HVAC system.
15. 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 getting a small amount back in rewards when you buy things from select partner retailers.
16. Don't Forget Car Maintenance
Car costs are another significant monthly and yearly expense for most people. As such, you should ensure you take your car in for regular maintenance and service. Taking your vehicle in for regular service will keep it in good shape and prevent catastrophic issues.
17. Get a Bike
If you want to spend less on gas and your car in general, consider buying a bike and riding that around more. Biking is excellent because most cities nowadays have dedicated cycling lanes. You can often get to places you would go in your car with little effort. Biking is also very good for your heart and lungs, so you can save money and get some exercise at the same time.
18. Turn off the Lights
Many 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.
19. 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 much money. Buying in bulk also means that you have to make fewer trips to the store. I go to Costco. I'm not afraid to admit it's one of my favorite stores. Their pizza and chicken bakes are also pretty darn good :)
20. 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 by freelancing, starting a business, or doing odd jobs. A side gig could potentially turn into a new career path as well!
Money might be tight these days, but many ways exist to reduce spending and save more. These 21 tips are easy to follow and help you reach your financial goals.