How To Save Money: 101+ Easy Ways To Get Started
Let’s be honest…
None of these expert money-saving tips will singlehandedly change your life, but collectively, they will allow you to take control of your finances.
If you’ve been wondering how to save money, this epic list is bound to have 10-15 tips you can realistically implement. Once you start, you’ll never stop.
Let’s get into the steps that will shape your budget and what you are saving for.
If you’d rather skip to the 101+ money-saving hacks, you can click right here.
7-Step Guide to Saving Money
I’m sure these questions are on your mind:
- How do I save money?
- How do I cut down on my desires?
- How do I start?
These are a few questions that boggle our minds when we think about saving money. Most of us cling to saving money irrespective of our financial status, but we fail to understand how to begin.
While saving money on major items seems like rocket science, it’s really not. The hardest task is deciding how you want to save money, utilize your savings, and achieve your financial goals.
Just get started with this simple plan!
Step 1: Write Down Your Expenses
The most important step of this saving guide is keeping track of how much you spend on a daily or weekly basis and understanding the ins and outs of that. Write down every penny you spend, starting from how much you spend on your coffee, newspaper, etc.
Now that you have a good record of your expenses, start organizing them with categories such as gas, groceries, outings etc. Once you categorize the information, you will have a fair idea of how much you spend on each thing and where you can cut down the cost.
Step 2: Your Budget Plan
Now that you have the record of your expenses and an organized list, the next step is to make a workable budget that suits you. Learning how to budget your money is critical in starting to save money.
One of the most common ways to budget your money is create a table on paper or on the computer with columns of your income, expenses, and savings. This will help you to cut down on the over-spending and unwanted expenditures.
Step 3: Commit to Saving Money
Always keep track of your miscellaneous expenses, such as party expenses, candlelight dinners, taxis, entertainment, etc. These are generally classified as your discretionary expenses because they can be minimized as they are not essential to the operation.
The savings category in your budget plan will determine how much you want to save every month. Plan in such a way that you put at least 10% to 15% of your income into your savings column. Sometimes, the figures may vary.
You can always try a 52-week money saving challenge as well.
Step 4: What to Save for?
Set a financial goal.
This includes things like buying your dream house and going on a vacation.
Choosing something that is meaningful will keep you motivated. Once you have a goal in mind, you will have a fair idea of how much you need to save every month and how long it will take to achieve the goal.
Step 5: Break Into Bits
Sometimes it becomes hard to save the same amount every month. It’s better to prioritize and divide the dream goal into short-term and long-term goals. This will help you save money depending on your priorities and you will have clarity on your savings plan.
For instance, you can create a short-term plan like this:
My Short-Term Goals (1-3 Years):
|Short-Term Goal||Budget||Savings per Month||Duration to Reach Your Goal|
|Vacation to Greece||$10,000||$2,000||5 months|
|Emergency Fund||$5,000||$1,000||5 months|
My Long-Term Goals (4 Years & Above):
|Long-term Goal||Budget||Savings per Month||Duration to Reach Your Goal|
|Down Payment for Home||$30,000||$1,000||3 years|
Step 6: Set Priorities
It is very much important to set priorities in life. This will help you to plan better in just about every part of your life.
A simple urgent, important, and moderate classification will work. Once you have laid out all of your savings goals simply classify them to make sure you are focusing on the most important ones first.
Step 7: Save the Right Way
Look for ways to utilize a bank savings plan that can yield a good interest rate in return. Sign up for every free customer rewards program to get discounts and cash-back offers. There are a lot of ways to get hot deals that might add to your savings.
Every small effort adds to a big amount when it comes to saving money.
Now, let’s get to the different ways you can save money!
100+ Easy Ways to Save Money Today
As you go through this list, write down each tip that you think is feasible in your life. Then, just whittle them down to 10-15 and you’re on your way to being a savvy saver!
If you want to learn more about how to save money in a certain part of your life, click on the link below to jump to that section.
- How to Save Money Grocery Shopping
- How to Save Money With Food
- How to Save Money in College
- How to Save Money When Traveling
- How to Save Money at Home
- How to Save Money on a Budget
- How to Save Money on Utilities
- How to Save Money Shopping
- How to Save Money on Transportation
- How to Save Money on Entertainment
How to Save Money Grocery Shopping
The next time you go to the grocery store, make sure you utilize these amazing tips.
1) Don’t Grocery Shop When You’re Hungry
If you’re a hungry shopper, you’re going to spend more, plain and simple. It’s always best to shop after a meal and with a plan. When you are full, you will be far less likely to pick up snacks and junk food that you don’t really need.
2) Invest in a Keurig
Do you drink coffee in the morning before work? Did you know the average American spends over $1,000 a year on coffee? Making your own coffee to bring with you can save you a ton of money throughout the year.
We buy reusable K-cups from Amazon. This is one of the many ways to save money at home where you don’t compromise on quality. And, if you buy in bulk, you won’t pay the ridiculous amount of money for individually flavored cups.
3) Plan out Your Meals for the Week
Instead of grabbing fast food throughout the week, plan your meals out. After talking to your family about what meals they want, prepare your list. Head to the store and only buy what is on your list. If you have not seen the trend yet, having a plan always helps you save money.
Do you struggle to figure out what to make each week? Get weekly meal plans delivered every Friday morning to your inbox using a program called $5 Meal Plan (14-day free trial).
4) Plan your Meals Around What’s on Sale
Grab your local grocery store flyer and use it to plan out your meals. If there are items on sale you are already going to buy, that’s great!
Using the store’s discount flyer is an excellent way to save money on items that you are incorporating into the week’s meals.
5) Start a Garden
Gardening can be a great inexpensive hobby if you have the right yard.
Find a place where you can plant some seed, have access to water, and keep it weed-free. Growing produce yourself is much better for your health and your wallet, as well as the freshness of what you consume. You can even replant some produce seeds you already bought from the grocery store.
Gardening is a great way to get outside and get some exercise too. Here are the best vegetables to grow in your garden to help you save money.
6) Stick to a Shopping List
One of the simplest ways to save money is only go shopping when you have a list. Without a list, you are much more likely to make impulse decisions and unplanned purchases that all cost money. Creating a list is a great way to ensure you are only purchasing what you need.
Always have a list and stick to it!
7) Stop Buying Junk Food
It’s much easier to put weight on than it is to take it off. It’s also much easier to spend money than save money.
Junk food is fine to have within moderation, but letting it be a staple in your diet is never a good idea. The health and medical costs of being overweight far outweigh the costs of buying whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins.
How to Save Money With Food
Whether cooking for your family or dining out at a restaurant, these are some simple solutions to saving money.
8) Cook in Bulk
The next time you cook a casserole, make a double batch. This will allow you to throw one in the freezer for later. When you make meals in advance, you can shop in bulk, which in most cases is an easy way to save money.
The next time you’re in a rush to put food on the table, you won’t have to worry since you’ve got dinner waiting to be heated up.
9) Limit Your Meals at Restaurants
The average millennial spends $2,639 eating out every year.
For the sake of your financial future, work on cutting that back. Anytime someone else is preparing your food, you are going to be paying a premium. Get in the habit of having a restaurant budget and stick to it.
We have a budget of $50 a month, which basically means we dine out no more than two times a month. On average, this is far less than normal, but we do not prioritize eating out so we save money here to use on something else, like vacations.
10) Drink Lots of Water
Drinking the right amount of water has financial and health benefits. Just by drinking a glass or two before a meal, you will curb your appetite and avoid overeating.
We both try to drink close to a gallon a day. This is definitely not needed, but you should aim for six to eight cups per day. Whether you use a reusable bottle or order water at a restaurant, you’re going to be saving money.
Try to ditch the expensive sodas, teas, and juices to really save money. As a last note, NEVER buy bottled water! Did you know that bottled water is more expensive than gas?
11) Eat Breakfast
Our parents were on to something when they told us from a young age to eat breakfast. Eating breakfast in the morning is a surefire way to stay full of energy and help you resist that expensive lunch.
We regularly have scrambled eggs or homemade breakfast burritos. Some other alternatives are oatmeal, fruit, and cereal.
12) Eat Leftovers
This goes right along with cooking in bulk. We try to never let food go to waste. To save money on a daily basis, eat leftovers from the night before.
These containers are great for bringing food to work!
13) Eat Less Meat
Compared to vegetables and fruit, meat is very expensive. Consider the nutritional value when shopping for your produce. You don’t have to become a full-fledged vegan, but try having a vegetarian meal once a week.
Another thing to consider is swapping out meat for lower cost, protein-packed alternatives such as beans, nuts, and eggs.
14) Eat Your House Clean Once a Month
Each month we have a week that we “eat the bottom of the barrel.” Basically, we eat our house clean before going shopping again. This is a great practice for not wasting food, trying new meals, and never buying something you already have.
Give it a shot this month and you will be surprised how easy it is to save money on your monthly grocery bill.
15) Own a Large Freezer to Store Food
A large freezer is worth its weight in gold after the initial purchase. Check Craigslist to see if anyone is selling one used. Buying in bulk and having a place to store your food go hand in hand.
A large freezer will prevent you from having to throw out and waste your food. But, don’t let it stay in the freezer for too long because it will get freezer burn, which means your food will go to waste.
16) Pack Your Lunch
Get out your lunch tote the night before and fill it up. Not packing your own lunch means you will be forced to purchase a meal throughout the day. This can become very expensive!
Another benefit of packing your own lunch is that you get to choose what you eat. Try packing a well-rounded healthy meal each day.
17) Save Your Loose Change
For coffee, of course!
Gone are the days in which people carry around a pocket full of change. That doesn’t mean that saving your loose change is no longer a savvy move. We often eat breakfast on the weekends for free by saving our change.
If you are looking for a great way to invest your digital loose change Acorns is a great option. We started using this app while we were in college and it’s perfect for the beginner investor.
18) Share meals when eating out or save half for another meal
Restaurants usually give you too much food. To save money, split a meal with your significant other or friend. You can also ask them to only bring out half and box up the other half.
Not only will your wallet thank you when you have leftovers, but you won’t be in a food coma on the way home.
19) Stop Drinking Every Weekend
As millennials, we are notorious for going out every weekend and drinking. Spending $30 at the bar every weekend is insane!
You’re so much better off investing that money or paying off your debt. There is nothing wrong with drinking with your friends every now and then, but going out every single weekend is excessive and hindering your ability to save money.
A good alternative to the bar scene is going to the store and buying your own alcohol. Invite some friends over for a campfire or to watch the game. Staying at home is always going to help you save money.
20) Use Gift Cards at Restaurants
Gift cards are a great way to save money when eating out. We save our gift cards from birthdays and holidays to spread throughout the year.
It’s a good habit of not spending them all at once. Spreading them out makes going out to eat more of a special occasion (which it should be).
21) Use Your Crockpot Often
Instead of spending 30-45 minutes at dinner time preparing the meal, consider busting out the crockpot. Not only can you find really cheap crock pot meals, but it will also save you precious time.
Having simple crock pot meals regularly will limit the number of times you run to a fast food restaurant.
How to Save Money in College
From textbooks to student loans, these hacks are great for making sure you’re not in debt for the rest of your life!
22) Buy Your Textbooks Used
The goal is to get a cheap textbook, especially if you won’t need it afterward. Renting is a great alternative as well.
You can also see if renting the textbook is an option. If it’s not a major course, you probably won’t need it afterward.
23) Head to the Library Instead of Buying Textbooks
Most of the time, the textbooks you need are offered at the library.
That means FREE.
As long as you don’t procrastinate and do your work when the library is open, you won’t need a textbook. Consult with your professor first as you may need to have the textbook in class.
24) Refinance Your Student Loans
Interest rates on student loans seem to get higher and higher each year. With rates as high as 15%, it’s no wonder people struggle to pay off the principal when the majority of payments go toward interest.
Head over to SoFi to compare student loan refinance rates. They are truly the best in the business! We partnered with SoFi when we started our blog and they have helped many of our readers decide if refinancing is a good option for them.
This is a money-saving lesson every college student should learn.
25) Sell Your Textbooks on eBay or Amazon
If you have not learned by now, college textbooks are expensive!
Now that you are done your semester and got straight A’s, what do you do with all your textbooks? The first thing to do is stay FAR away from your school’s bookstore. They often offer you 10% of what the book is actually worth because of supply and demand.
Head over to Amazon or eBay and set yourself up a sellers account. This whole process should take around 5 minutes.
After setting up your account, do some research using the ISBN number on the back of the book. See what other sellers are listing your books for and price yours competitively. A majority of the time you can get back 50%-75% of what you paid for the book.
26) Establish Automatic Payments for Your Loans
Trying to pay off your student loans?
Many lending companies will offer a reduction in your interest when you sign up for an automatic payment. This is the most efficient way to never miss a payment. It’s also extremely convenient to not have to go in each month, transfer funds, then pay the bill.
27) Use Your Student Discount
One great perk that many college students don’t take advantage of is their student ID. Many establishments have a student discount they can give you if you ask.
Next time you head out to the movies, ice cream shop or coffee shop, whip out your ID and see how much money you can save.
How to Save Money When Traveling
Whether by plane or on the road, traveling isn’t an excuse to just spend money. Don’t forget to save some when you can!
28) Go Camping Instead of Staying in an Expensive Hotel
Camping offers so many benefits over an expensive hotel. For a fraction of the cost, you get to spend time with nature, get dirty, eat some bugs (kidding), and spend time relaxing around a campfire with your family.
Some campgrounds charge as little as $10 a night, compared to hotels. That’s a steal!
If you’re nervous about giving it a try, buy a cheap tent at Walmart and set it up in your backyard. Spend the weekend camping to see if you have what it takes.
29) Go on Hikes
Hiking is an awesome way to exercise and get out with nature. If it’s your first time going, start out on a small hike and work your way up.
Hiking is challenging, but the reward at the top of the mountain is unbelievable! No gym needed here as hiking is completely free.
30) Pack Food for Road Trips
If you’re planning a road trip or vacation, take the time to pack your own food to eat on the go.
This will prevent you from stopping multiple times during the trip, driving around, wasting gas, adding time to your trip, and spending money on fast food. Fast food chains conveniently placed right off the highway are always going to be inflated in price.
31) Plan Your Vacations
Vacations are expensive!
If you are like us and love traveling, build a vacation fund right into your budget. Spreading the savings out throughout the year make it less of a burden when your vacation comes around.
32) Use Airbnb When Traveling
Airbnb has become huge, especially for millennials. The next time you plan on taking a trip, check out Airbnb to see if you can find a cheaper alternative to a hotel. In most cases, you can rent an entire house to yourself for a fraction of the cost.
Use our exclusive link to earn $40 credit towards your first trip on Airbnb.
33) Use Booking.com for Last Minute Travel
We recently used Booking.com for our Virginia Beach vacation. If you wait until the last minute, you can find some incredible deals! We got an awesome nightly price at our hotel, which was right on the beach and had a free breakfast every morning.
Try to always find a place to stay with a free breakfast. You can basically eat for free besides dinner each day. Load up on breakfast food and take a bagel and some fruit for a nice lunch later.
34) Use Your AAA Discount
Many places offer discounts if you are an AAA member. A few places you should always ask are campgrounds, hotels, and really anything travel related.
Anytime you can get a discount using a membership you already have is a huge win!
35) Use Your Credit Card Reward Points
Credit cards can be a wonderful tool if used properly. Find a credit card that matches your life’s priorities. If you want to earn cash back, get a cash back card. We love to travel so we use the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to earn miles.
Some credit cards have a yearly fee. Be careful when choosing these types of cards. They will require you to calculate if the rewards earned outweigh the fees.
How to Save Money at Home
There are so many little ways to save money at home, but they definitely add up!
36) Become a DIY Expert
You can learn anything you want from YouTube. Learning how to do things on your own without having to call in the professional is a great way to save money.
If you are having trouble, chances are someone else has before you and has found a solution. Do some google searches and 99% of the time, you will find your answer.
37) Buy a Small House That’s Easy to Maintain
We currently live in a 1,300 square foot house that is the perfect size for us. A smaller house is easier to maintain, costs less to heat and cool, accumulates fewer messes, uses less electricity.
You do not need an enormous house to live in. Buy something modest that is easy to maintain and fits within your budget.
38) Buy Household Staples in Bulk
Nonperishable items you use regularly on a monthly basis should be bought in bulk. Toilet paper, paper towel, trash bags, and laundry detergent are all likely to save money if you buy them in bulk.
Buying in bulk comes with a higher upfront cost, but the cost per item is significantly lower.
39) Buy Quality Appliances That Will Last
We have all seen those $20 appliances that are shown all over the TV.
They’re usually junk.
Appliances are items you use on a daily basis in your house. Take the proper steps to make sure you are getting a quality appliance. The last thing you want to happen is to buy a piece of junk that breaks down a month later.
40) Cut Your Hair at Home
How much do you pay monthly to get a haircut? I know as a guy I pay around $20 every month, or over $200 a year!
Seems crazy for something you can do on your own right? While I was working in law enforcement I use to buzz my own head on a weekly basis and it was FREE. Not the best look of all time, but it worked and saved a lot of money.
If your looking for a great set of hair trimmers check out Amazon’s large selection.
41) Cut Your Lawn
Time is limited and very valuable in life. Depending on the size of your yard, it most likely does not make sense for you to pay someone to do it for you. Just like anything in your budget, a little bit here and there all adds up.
Strap up some old sneakers, put on some sunscreen, head outside, and cut your own lawn.
42) Fix Things Yourself
Learning how to be a handyman or woman can save you a TON of money. The cost of a plumber just showing up to your doorstep is going to cost you anywhere from $50-$100 for the visit, not including the work done.
Learning simple jobs like patching a leak, replacing the O-ring on a toilet, and fixing an outlet are great ways to save money.
43) Have a Garage Sale
Do you need to buy a lawnmower, a set of plates, or toys?
A garage sale can be your best friend.
Take inventory of the items in your own house and you will find that you have way more than you need. Run a small garage sale over the weekend and earn some extra cash for items with zero value to you.
A quick story…
When I was fifteen, I found a 55 inch rear projector TV on the side of the road. I called my dad and we picked it up in the van (not sure how it fit). After getting home, I took it apart to discover why it was not working properly. I could never get it to work again, but I did sell the motherboard on eBay for over $200!
The saying one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure is so true.
44) Look for Low-Cost Areas to Live
Using a tool like the one found on Money.com is a great way to do some research on the cost of living before moving to an area. Having an understanding of the cost of living in certain areas can help you make the savviest decision on where to live.
If you have kids, make sure the school district is up to your standards before you move in.
45) Maintain Your Household Items
This goes without saying, but if you take care of your stuff, it will last longer. You pay good money for your household items, so don’t let them deteriorate.
Routine maintenance is not only for your cars. It’s for all your appliances, tools, electronics, etc. When is the last time you cleaned out your laptop fan? Dusted your entertainment center? Cleaned off your refrigerator coils?
All of these things should be done on a regular basis as routine maintenance. The longer you make your household items last, the more money you save.
46) Recycle Your Cans
We live in N.Y. state and there is a $.05 return for all bottles and cans. It’s worth the few minutes to collect them and return them on your own to get that deposit back.
Our biggest return netted us over $80!
47) Become a Landlord
Do you have an extra room in your house? Two extra rooms? Why not rent them out from time to time to earn extra cash with Airbnb? You can totally offset the cost of living by renting your unused space in your house.
Make sure you take the proper precautions before renting out your unused space. Protect your family and their possessions before renting your unused space.
48) Take Care of Your Belongings
Taking the simple step of taking care of your belonging will increase the lifespan of them. The longer you can maintain an item, the more value you receive from it.
I wear basketball shoes with holes in them for a reason. I get to save money by not having to buy new ones.
49) Use Your Dishwasher
It’s been proven that you use more water washing your dishes by hand than if you used your dishwasher.
If you are looking to conserve your water make sure you check your setting and turn off any unneeded cycles such as extra rinse, heated dry, etc. Not only will this help you save money but it will also help you save time.
How to Save Money on a Budget
Setting up a budget is easier than sticking to one. These tips will give you that extra oomph to make your budget a success!
50) Cancel Your Memberships
Memberships are becoming more and more common as companies realize it’s a great business model for steady cash flow.
There is nothing wrong with subscribing to membership services like Netflix, Hulu, Dollar Shave Club, and BarkBox as long as you’re actually using the service.
Make sure you look through your credit card statement every couple of months to ensure you’re not paying for a service you no longer use.
If you’re not ready to totally cut ties let a company like Trim automatically negotiate a lower monthly bill for you.
51) Automatically Establish Your Savings/Investment Accounts
Always put your savings straight into your budget as an expense. This is the only way that you will make sure you save a certain amount each and every month.
For years we have used Betterment to save for our “nest egg”. It’s a great way to not only have automatic savings set up, but our money is also working for us invested in the market. Compound interest baby!
52) Budget Down to Every Dollar
If you truly want to learn how to save money, budgeting is a must. The only way to really understand your monthly cash flow is to keep track of it.
We have used Mint for the last 5 years and swear by it. If you use your credit card for most purchases and monthly bills Mint is your best option.
Creating a budget will allow you to see the big picture of your spending. You will define areas that you are spending too much money and be able to make adjustments to correct it. By organizing your finances, you can better control them.
53) Cancel Your Magazine Subscriptions
Do you still have a stack of magazines that have been taking up space for years? Chances are you are signed up for a magazine subscription you don’t read, or not enough to make it worth paying for.
If that’s the case, cancel it immediately. Although magazine subscriptions are relatively cheap, the monthly expense will add up throughout the year.
54) Donate to a Good Cause Instead of Splurging on Yourself
Donating can change your life.
There is no better feeling than helping others in need as it’s scientifically proven to impact your life positively. The next time you are planning on going out to splurge on your wants instead of needs, consider donating the money instead.
Your money is going to be much better spent and you will feel great about it afterward. Some deductions might even be tax deductible, which will help you save money during tax season.
55) Embrace the Frugal Lifestyle
Being frugal by definition means getting the most value out of every dollar. For some, being frugal is looked down upon. It should be common sense as you work HARD for your money, so get the most value out of it in everything you do.
Drive your car into the ground, wear your shoes until they have holes, don’t upgrade your phone every two years, buy generic rather than name brand, save more than you spend, own a small home and eat your house clean once a month.
56) Go Through Your Monthly Bills and Negotiate Lower Pricing
Having a monthly budget has countless benefits. One of our favorite benefits is seeing when a bill goes up. Sifting through your budget every month makes it simple to see when a company raises your bill.
When this happens to give them a call and find out why. Most of the time it’s a promotion that ran out. Ask them to keep the price where it was at. You will be surprised that a majority of the time, they will honor it.
57) Learn the 30-Day Rule
Learning how to control your need for instant gratification is one of the most important rules in personal finance. Waiting for 30 days to decide if a purchase is necessary is an excellent way to save money.
Obviously, this rule works best with larger purchases. We do not recommend you wait 30 days to see if you really need that gallon of milk.
More often or not, after waiting for 30 days, your desire for a certain purchase will fade and you will realize that you made the right decision. Taking this extra time is also a great way to do more research and really make sure you are getting the most value out of your money.
58) Never Leave a Balance on Your Credit Cards
Make sure you are responsible enough to own a credit card before applying for one. You should understand that carrying a balance on your credit card should never be an option. The interest rates on credit cards will bury you in debt.
To save money and avoid paying interest/late fees, NEVER leave a balance on your credit card.
59) Set Saving Goals Every Month With Your Budget
If you truly want to save money, set up a budget to do so. Every month when you are going over your budget, decide how much you want to save.
Take that goal and put it right in your budget. The cash left over at the end of the month should be zero as every dollar should have a purpose. The only way to achieve financial success is by talking about it and making a plan.
60) Stay Away From Debt
Debt can be a very scary thing, especially credit card debt. You should avoid debt at all costs. A rule we like to follow is if you can’t pay cash for it, you don’t deserve it (besides a house). Paying interest on finances items is like throwing your wallet out of a moving car.
If the interest on your debt is low enough, you might be better off investing and paying the minimum. Consult a professional financial advisor before making any decisions.
61) Stop Using Credit Cards
If you are holding a balance on your credit cards, you are throwing away money left and right.
Interest rates on credit cards are astronomical!
The proper way to use a credit card is paying off your balance each and every month. If you struggle to do that, you might want to consider switching to a cash system or debit card instead.
62) Take Your Time When Making a Large Purchase
Never rush into making a big purchase since it can wreck your financial freedom quickly! Buying a house needs to be taken seriously. It’s best to take as much time as you need, plan it out, and make a list of pros and cons.
It’s also a good practice when making a big purchase to consult family and friends. Using a third party eliminates the emotional part of buying and offers you some great insight.
How to Save Money on Utilities
If you rent an apartment and utilities are included as a part of the rent, you’re lucky! For the rest of us, minimizing these expenses means less money owed and more money saved.
63) Buy and Program a Smart Thermostat
Having your furnace or air conditioner run all the time is a HUGE waste of money. Save money by buying a programmable thermostat. These thermostats will allow you to set the hours that your heating and cooling systems come on and off.
There are even some smart thermostats now that will program themselves based on when you come and go via motion sensor.
We have a Nest thermostat that we highly recommend. It’s a self-programming mastermind. Ours paid for itself within the first year of owning it.
64) Buy and Install LED Lights
LED household lights are a great long-term investment. The upfront cost can be kind of scary as they are not cheap, especially if you plan on using them throughout your entire house.
LED lights use far less electricity than indecent lights, helping you save money on your utility bill. Do some research for how much you will actually save before jumping all in.
65) Eliminate the Landline
We live in the 21st century, where everyone has a cell phone.
If you’re still paying for a landline, you’re probably wasting your money. Call your provider and cancel your landline service.
66) Have Expensive Electronic Devices on an Electrical Surge Protector
You paid good money for your entertainment center and laptop. A surge protector will prevent these devices from getting damaged during a lightning storm. A basic surge protector runs you anywhere from $10-$50 and is worth its weight in gold.
Speaking of electricity, did you know that electronic devices turned off but still plugged into the outlet are still using power?
If you really want to save money, unplug any device that you do not use on a regular basis.
67) Stick to WiFi Instead of Data
It’s almost impossible to find an unlimited data plan now. Whenever possible, make sure you are using WiFi so you do not pay overage fees.
Most providers will have an app that you can download to track your data usage. Verizon has a nice text feature that you can turn on to text you when you getting close to your data limit.
68) Flip the Light Switch
Can you hear your parents now, “don’t you dare leave that room without turning the lights off”?
Well, they were onto something. Leaving your lights on throughout your house can add up to an extra expense you don’t need. It’s good to get in the habit of shutting off the lights when you leave a room.
This money-saving tip has great benefits for your wallet and the environment.
How to Save Money Shopping
Any other shopoholics? The secret is shopping with a saving mindset!
69) Always Purchased Used Items
You will often find just what you are looking for with a little bit of savvy shopping. Thrift shops, used game stores, garage sales, consignment shops, etc. should be in your normal routine. A good practice is to always check out these used stores before purchasing a new item.
Another great avenue to look for used items is eBay. We have used eBay our entire life and saved a ton of money doing so. For example, our dog just needed a new in-ground fence collar. We were able to find a used one that was practically new for 50% of what it costs in the store.
Buying used will certainly help you save money.
70) Always Shop Thrift Stores
Do you think of Macklemore’s song when you hear someone say thrift store?
All kidding aside, shopping at thrift stores allows you to take control of your finances, especially if you’re shopping for a whole family.
71) Avoid Shopping Online When You’re Stressed
Shopping while you are stressed is never a good idea. Throw in online shopping and you’re in for an empty bank account.
Try to avoid stress shopping at all costs. It can be difficult, but self-control goes a long way in personal finance.
I am completely guilty of this. While working as a jail deputy, I would use Amazon as my stress reliever. It seemed like we had a package at our door every other day. There are good and bad ways to handle your stress.
Shopping is not a good one.
72) Buy the Generic Brand Over the Name Brand
Why buy a bag of chips that’s $2 more because of the branding and name on the front? Generic brands are underrated when it comes to shopping.
If you have the option between a name brand and generic brand, you should always consider the implications on your bank account. In most cases, both brands are equal in quality.
73) Buy Toiletries in Bulk
Disposable items like toilet paper and paper towels are great items to buy in bulk, especially if you can find a good sale. Any item that will not go to waste or get thrown out is worth buying in bulk.
Make a plan every few months to go to a bulk store and stock up on items you use on a regular basis.
74) Buy Video Games With Playability
If you enjoy playing video games as I do, you understand what playability means. Buying brand new $65 games that you are only going to get a few hours of enjoyment out of are not worth it. When buying a new game, try to find one that you will get hours upon hours of playtime with.
I have found that all sports games have a very good playtime and rarely ever get old quick. And let’s be honest, you can never go wrong with Call of Duty!
75) Do Christmas Shopping Throughout the Entire Year
Do you enjoy that massive hit your bank account takes every year around the Christmas holiday?
It can be prevented with a little planning. Instead of stressing out and rushing around last minute, consider buying them throughout the entire year.
Not having a time constraint will save your sanity and allow you to shop around for the best deals.
76) Do Your Holiday Shopping After the Holidays
If you really want to save money during the holiday season, wait until after the holiday passes. Prices will drastically lower, sometimes to the tune of more than 75% off. It’s hard to plan a full year ahead, but your bank accounts will thank you.
Grab New Year’s party supplies after January 1st. Buy 4th of July items on July 6th. Get your wrapping paper, Christmas lights, and presents a few days after Christmas passes.
77) Don’t Subscribe to Emails From Your Favorite Stores
It’s a trap!
Stay far away from email marketing. The chances of you shopping for items you don’t need after seeing a deal in your inbox are much greater. Save yourself the hassle and don’t sign up for email subscriptions from your favorite retailers.
78) Donate Your Time as a Gift
No one gets more than 24 hours in one day.
Sometimes, the best gift you can give others is your valuable time. Instead of going out and buying material things for your mom on Mother’s Day, consider making a coupon for a free dinner cooked by yours truly. Add in an hour of cleaning around the house and your mom just got the best gift around.
Another way to donate your time is through volunteering.
If you have volunteered in the past, you will understand how fulfilling it actually is. Plus, it might actually help you save money. Volunteering is a great way to spend your time without having to spend money.
79) Earn Cash Back From Online Shopping
Did you know you can get paid to shop online? Using services like Ibotta, Ebates, and Swagbucks when shopping online allow you to take advantage of some amazing cash back rewards. If you’re already spending the money, why not take advantage of these services?
80) Learn to Love the Dollar Store
Discount stores are filled with items you use on a regular basis for a fraction of the cost. Have a plan before you head out to the store.
Items like toothpaste, toilet paper, party cups, etc are great items to look for and then buy in bulk.
81) Go to Garage Sales
Check out Craigslist and set a plan of attack. Hit up a few garages sales when you’re out because it’s not worthwhile going to just one. Garage sales are great for saving money because most of the time items are priced to sell (people no longer want the items).
This is always a great place to negotiate a lower price. Don’t ever pay full price at a garage sale without first asking the seller “what are you willing to take for it?”
82) Negotiate Everything
This tip for saving money is HUGE!
How often do you negotiate a price? I bet your answer is not enough. Take your garage sale price haggling into the real world and start negotiating.
Every year we save thousands by calling the companies we have bills with and negotiating a lower price. For example, we pay around $600 a year for car insurance for 2 cars in N.Y. state. That’s unheard of.
The two big items you should always negotiate are cars and houses. Take the time to negotiate big-ticket items. This is the only time you can literally save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by putting a little effort into negotiating a lower price.
83) Stop Falling for Marketing Schemes
Marketers have gotten extremely tricky over the years. You can’t go on social media without ads being thrown in your face from all directions. The main purpose of marketing is getting you to buy their product/service, so don’t fall for it!
Good marketing can make you think you really need something when you don’t. Use the 30-day rule mentioned above to prevent you from making impulse decisions.
84) Stop Going Clothes Shopping so Often
Did you know the average American family spends $1,700 a year on clothing?! We might go shopping for clothes 2-3 times a year, including Christmas. Having a bunch of clothing in your closet you don’t wear is such a waste of money.
A good rule to remember is that if you don’t LOVE it in the store, you won’t wear it in the future. Always pick out clothes that will have a long lifespan.
85) Stop Going to the Mall
Shopping often, in general, is a bad practice.
Whether you realize it or not there is marketing all around us. If you put yourself in a position to see this marketing you are more likely to make an impulse buy and spend more money. Have a plan and only shop for what you need, not what you want.
86) Stop Killing Yourself by Smoking
If you’re a smoker, you already know how expensive your habit has become. Smoking is not only an expensive habit, but it’s a potentially deadly one as well.
Cigarettes have an inelastic demand, which means that a change in price is not going to result in a large fluctuation of items purchased. If you’re addicted to nicotine, you will pay an exorbitant cost to keep that addiction afloat.
If you want to save a ton of money and add years back to your life, the best thing to do is stop altogether.
There are a lot of products to help you quit smoking. Give one a try and if it doesn’t work, try another. It’s going to be worth the effort.
87) Use Coupons
If you really want to get savvy with your shopping, start use coupons alongside store flyers. Using this technique can help you save a ton of money.
You will not only get the savings from store sales but also get discounted savings from the coupon. Using coupons will also help you avoid buying items you don’t need that are not on sale.
88) Use the Honey Extension to Automatically Search Coupons
Have you heard of the Honey extension for Google Chrome? It’s an automatic coupon finder that works directly in your web browser. No more looking for coupons yourself.
This extension will find all the coupons a certain retailer uses and automatically pick the best one for you. It’s never been so easy to save money while shopping online.
How to Save Money on Transportation
Your vehicle has an untapped potential for saving your money. Try to implement one of these awesome tips!
89) Buy Used Vehicles to Avoid Depreciation
New cars depreciate close to 75% of their value within the first 3-4 years. To save money, always buy a used vehicle when it’s time to upgrade. It makes no sense to be a part of the major depreciation that happens on new cars.
Also if you can avoid it, don’t finance a car. Cash is king. Financing anything that is constantly losing value is a terrible investment.
Buying a new car straight out of college is a great way to wreck your financial future. A new car is just a status symbol. Sometimes, you have to abandon how others perceive you when you save money.
90) Buy Plane Tickets on Tuesday Afternoon
A little travel hack we have learned along the way is always buying your plane tickets on Tuesday afternoons. Prices on plane tickets fluctuate all over the place.
If you are planning a trip, give yourself a good month to watch plane tickets prices. Once the right deal comes along, hop on it.
91) Carpool Whenever Possible
Planning on going to the movies or dinner? Call up your friends and offer to carpool. Every other time, switch who drives. This is a great way to save money on gas and wear and tear on your car.
If you have a long commute to work, it’s completely worth talking to your co-workers to see if any of them have a similar commute. Setting up a carpool for the year can save you hundreds of dollars.
92) Change Your Filter for Better Mileage
Just like under-inflated tires, a dirty air filter can significantly impact the efficiency of your vehicle. Consider checking your air filter a few times a year and remove any debris that might be impacting airflow.
The more efficient your car is running the more money you can save on gas.
93) Use Public Transportation
Owning a car in a large city like New York is a total waste of money. Most large cities have a great public transportation, so use it.
The savings you’ll see on using public transportation over owning a car are significant. If you’re lucky enough, work might be close enough to walk to every day.
94) Inflate Your Tire
Did you know under-inflated tires can lower your MPG (miles per gallon) by up to 3%? On the opposite side, over-inflated tires can wear your tires out quickly and cause damage to your suspension system.
A good rule of thumb is to check your fluid levels (engine oil, transmission, brake, steering, coolant) and tire pressure at the beginning of every month.
The proper tire pressure should be on the inside of your driver’s side door panel or in your manual. The pressure labeled on the outside of your tire is the MAX pressure allowed in the tire, not what you should inflate it too. Refer to your dealership or mechanic for professional advice.
Buying a simple tire pressure gauge is a lifesaver!
95) Keep Track of the Maintenance Performed
Bringing your car to the mechanic and telling them to fix it is a great way of handing over your wallet to them. As simple as it sounds, many people don’t keep track of the repairs done on your vehicle.
Having an understanding of what has been fixed in the past will help you save money in the future by not having the same repair done twice.
Another great benefit of tracking your repairs is when you go to sell. A buyer is much more likely to pay a higher price when you took meticulous care of the car.
96) Stop Driving Like a Jerk
Do you find yourself accelerating hard, braking quickly, not using cruise control, and weaving in and out of traffic? You are only costing yourself more money. Driving like a jerk is wear and tear on your car that is not needed, which leads to more expensive repairs.
Accelerating and braking should always be as gradual as possible. The less you are on the gas pedal, the less gas you use. Similarly, if you are braking hard, you could have gotten off the gas pedal sooner.
Driving slowly with more control is going to help you save money.
97) Stop Speeding
How many speeding tickets have you gotten in the last 5 years?
Don’t raise your hands all at once.
Sadly, speeding tickets are expensive. I speak from experience. Not only are you wasting money on paying your tickets, but your insurance premium is going to increase because of your new risky driver status.
Did you know anytime you travel over 60 MPH, your MPG drastically decrease? Slow down since it’s not worth the extra cost.
How to Save Money on Entertainment
We’re pretty privileged with the entertainment options in the 21st century. Instead of splurging on the latest and greatest, save some money with these actionable tips!
98) Cut the Cable and Stop Watching TV
We cut our cable over a year ago and have saved over $1,500! It’s important before canceling to have a plan in place. The last thing you want to do is drop service and regret it, although we highly recommend you do. You will soon realize life gets better the less TV you watch.
We are obsessed with our Amazon Fire Stick. It’s extremely portable, quick, and easy to use. A good vacation hack is bringing it along with you.
99) Gym Memberships
Shop around before picking a gym membership. Monthly expenses add up quickly throughout the year so you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Find out what you need in a gym and search based on that.
Sometimes, you can get a new member discount or a referral discount. Most gyms will offer some type of incentive to join, so take them up on it!
We lucked out with our gym membership. We live right down the road from a private college that offers community memberships. Our yearly price is $45! That includes a weight room, cardio room, indoor track, basketball courts, swimming pool, sauna, racquetball courts, soccer fields, and outdoor track.
100) Invite Your Friends Over for Game Night
Struggling to find things to do with your friends that don’t cost a fortune (eating out, movies, bars)? Have them over for a simple game night.
It’s actually a blast!
Games like euchre, fishbowl, and poker are always hits. Have everyone bring over a board game and you’re bound to have a fun-filled night with some great laughs.
One of our favorite games has been shut the box. Super simple but totally addicting.
101) Reinvent Date Night
Date night doesn’t have to just be dinner and a movie. You can save money with dates such as going on hikes, DIY projects, exercising, blogging, read books, and watching a movie at home. A fun thing to do is sit down for 5 minutes and write down as many free date ideas as possible. Put them in a bowl and every month pick one.
This will prevent you from running out of idea’s and keep your relationship fresh.
102) Read More
How much money are you spending reading this article?
Reading is one of the cheapest hobbies around! Head over to your local library and browse for books you’re interested in. Reading more will help you save money and grow your intellect.
Check out the list of our favorite personal finance books.
103) Use Amazon Prime for Free Shipping and Entertainment
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership yet, you’re missing out. The best thing about an Amazon Prime membership is free shipping on all items, plus you also get some great digital entertainment. That’s a win-win scenario.
Amazon Prime can be used in a variety of ways to save money. To get a free 30-day trial use our exclusive link.
104) Use Youtube for Entertainment
The longer YouTube has been around, the more content it gains.
If you’re struggling to find entertainment, YouTube is a great alternative with a variety of content. Some of our favorites are daily vloggers like Gary V, Casey Neistat, and Roman Atwood.
105) Utilize Your Library
Libraries have more than books. Take advantage of their DVD collections, magazines, and desktop computers. Since you pay taxes for your local library, you might as well use the services they provide.
They also hold social events you can take your family to that won’t cost anything.
106) Understanding Needs vs. Wants
We saved the best for last. Learning how to say no.
Understanding the difference between wants and needs is a fundamental step in learning how to save money. Once you understand the difference your money will be spent much better!
Final Thoughts on How to Save Money
You’ve made it this far. You’re making a commitment, which is SO important.
Just to wrap things up, we started off with the seven steps to saving money.
Here they are again:
- Step 1: Writing Down Your Expenses
- Step 2: Your Budget Plan
- Step 3: Commit to Saving Money
- Step 4: What to Save For?
- Step 5: Break Into Bits
- Step 6: Set Priorities
- Step 7: Save the Right Way
We also broke down over 101+ money-saving tips to demonstrate to you how to save money:
- Grocery Shopping
- With Food
- In College
- When Traveling
- At Home
- On a Budget
- On Utilities
- On Transportation
- On Entertainment
There’s a bonus tip!
Share your journey toward becoming a savvy saver in the comments below! Plus feel free to join our private Facebook group The Savvy Couple Community to surround yourself with other frugal fanatics!
What are your favorite ways to save money? Comment below!