21 Best Ways To Save Money

Cash
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck via Unsplash

Save money with all of these mentioned tips. Saving money seems like a simple enough concept, right? When you don’t have the largest income it can be kind of a struggle to find the means to save. Saving is really important, though!

Reasons to Save:

  • Have an emergency fund
  • Add to retirement
  • Save for a new car
  • Save for a house

There’s only a few main reasons why it’s important to have a savings. Granted, three of those reasons are long term goals, and maybe you don’t plan on buying a new house or gar soon. You should, however be saving for an emergency fund and retirement at least! With these 21 tips, you can take an income, no matter how big or small and save extra cash. Let’s get into it.

Save Money With These Tips:

1. Pay Off Debt

Okay, this already seems counterintuitive, right? How does it make sense that dumping money into debt will grow your savings? Well, your first priority before you can even begin to imagine saving will be to pay off that debt.

Important to note:

  • Set aside emergency fund
  • Put any extra income towards debt

First of all, you will want to save for that emergency fund. It’s really important to make sure you’re secure before you throw all your money at debt. As soon as you have debt paid off, you can start worry about saving for retirement, a new car, house, etc.

Paying off debt doesn’t have to be hard or impossible either. Let’s take a look at the snowball method to make it a little more digestible. Find your smallest amounts, like perhaps a credit card. Pay that off first, then start working on the larger amounts like student loans.

By doing this, you will visibly be able to see progress. Starting off with small amounts will also allow you to find a way to fit debt payments into that budget, which will help in the long run with money management and budgeting.

2. Open a 401k or Roth IRA

Investment save money
Photo by Austin Distel via Unsplash

If you work at a company where your employer offers a 401k, make sure to take advantage. It’s even better if they offer a 401k match! This is where your employer will match up to a certain percentage of your contribution. For example, if you contribute 6% to your 401k, your employer may match 3% of that contribution.

Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity for more income by your employer. Ideally, you want to be contributing 15-20% of your annual income to your 401k retirement savings. This won’t always be possible based on how much you’re actually making, but keep in mind a goal.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401k, which will be the case especially if you work part time, open a roth IRA. A roth IRA will be your ticket towards saving for retirement.

3. Save Money by committing to an amount

One of the simplest ways to save money is by committing to an amount. You need to have a clear amount you want to save each paycheck, each month, or every two weeks etc. even if it is as small as $10 a week, you will see the accumulation over time and it WILL make a difference. 

Perhaps you have a goal of saving $100 in 2 months, figure out what amount you need to commit to each week to make that goal happen. Making goals is going to be the next step towards increasing your savings. 

4. Make Goals

It’s true guys, people who write down their goals on a hard piece of paper are able to achieve them. Thinking a goal in your mind is a nice intention, however you need to stick to it. Write it down where you can see it frequently and ask yourself if you’re there yet. 

It’s easier to start off with a tangible goal. Saying you want to save $100,000 by the time you’re 50 is great. But saying you want to save $1000 by your next birthday is actually achievable. 

By making your goals something that you can actually accomplish, you will feel more confident about the long term goals. Watching yourself make an achievement you set out to do, is the best feeling you can give yourself!

5. Save Money By Cutting Out Unnecessary Expenses

Go through your transaction history for your debit and credit cards and find where you can make adjustments. By looking through your transaction history you may find trends in your spending you didn’t realize were happening. 

Maybe you go out to eat 3 times a week, and you can cut that down to 1 time. Other unnecessary expenses can be an overload of subscription services which brings me to my next point. 

6. Cut Down on Subscription Services

netflix subscription
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It’s totally unnecessary to subscribe to Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, HBO, and the plenty other streaming services that exist. If you have more than 3, it may be time to decide who gets the axe. 

The best way to optimize your streaming services is through sharing. I pay for my own Prime video service through my Amazon Prime account, but I share Hulu and Netflix with my boyfriend and my parents. 

I only have to pay for one streaming service and I have access to three! Perhaps there’s a service you don’t even use that much, you should probably cancel it. 

Make sure you’re only subscribed to services you’re actually using. One time, I had accidentally subscribed to a service that was charging me for 3 months before I even noticed. I had no clue I had been a subscriber at all. I only noticed when I went through my transaction history (way too late I know). Because of this, I always make sure to check where I’m being charged and what for. 

7. Don’t Buy That New Car

Frequently, I see my friends or people I know buying brand new cars. It sends me screaming internally! Let’s start by saying, if you have a safe and reliable car that gets you from point A to point B, don’t buy a new one!

My car is 12 years old now with 130k miles (not too bad) and is still working great. Would I like to purchase a new car? Yes, but I know it’s such an unnecessary purchase right now. 

The time will come however, when you have to buy a car. Don’t buy new! When you buy a brand new car, the second it’s driven off the lot, it depreciates in value by thousands. There is no monetary benefit to investing in a brand new vehicle. 

When you need to purchase a new vehicle, you should look into used cars, or cars coming off lease contracts. These ones will be basically as if you’re driving a new car, for the right price. 

Personally, I believe in buying over leasing because I believe in having equity in something. When you lease you’re making the same payments you would if you bought the car, but you don’t own the car. 

8. Save Money By Not Saving Payment Information 

Make purchasing items more difficult for yourself, and you will be less inclined to purchase them! Today, it’s so easy to spend money. Don’t have your wallet? Your Apple wallet has you covered! Left your credit card in the other room? Don’t worry your computer saved all your information!

By making yourself have to get up and grab your card just to type in the payment information gives you extra time to think twice. That delay can make you question whether or not this purchase is totally necessary.

9. Use Cash Envelopes

Seems so archaic now, but use cash instead of card. Go to the bank, pull out enough cash that you have decided to budget for your bills and regular spending. Allocate an envelope for each expense. For example, gas gets $200 for the month, groceries gets $250 for the month, bar/restaurants get $150 for the month. 

Using cash to pay for necessities and for fun times allows you to visibly see how much you spent and how much you have. Putting everything on a card hides the transparency of your spending. Only until you go online and calculate the damage you’ve done to your bank account will you know how much you actually spent. 

10. Save Money By Putting Your Tax Return In Savings

Plenty of people look at their tax return as “extra money to spend”. Don’t have this vision! You should view your tax return as money set aside being saved because that’s essentially what it is. 

Take that big tax return and throw it right into your savings account. If that money wasn’t missed the whole time it was accumulating from your paycheck, then it won’t be missed in a savings account. Using your tax return can be a sure way to meet your savings goals as well especially if you are expecting a large return. 

11. Save Money Through Automatic Transfers

Easily save money by automating the process. If you think you can’t rely on yourself to be able to move money into the right accounts, then set up automatic transfers. This is a sure fire way to make sure you’re saving the amount you committed to saving. 

Each time you get paid, your account can automatically send a portion of it to savings. Automatic transfers can also help you with your budgeting and money management skills. You will have to work with the leftover money in your account after everything has been allocated to the right place. 

12. Open A Savings Account At Another Branch 

save money bank
Photo by Etienne Martin via Unsplash

This is something I have said before in other finance posts, and it is huge. I have never been able to save more money than I have by opening a savings account at a different branch. 

It’s absolutely way too easy to gain access to savings when it’s linked to your checking account already. The transfer is instantaneous!  By having a long term savings at a separate branch with no checking account attached, you can’t easily access the money. You will first have to initiate a transfer which will take 2-3 business days. Waiting on this transfer will give you plenty of time to be able to think about your spending. 

Of course you should have an easily accessible savings account for emergencies, but the bulk of your savings should be harder to access. 

13. Pay Your Credit Card On Time

Do not let your credit card accumulate debt. Credit card debt can be crippling and so difficult to get out of especially with some of those interest rates. Every time you only pay the minimum payment, you are just giving away money to the bank.

If you don’t think you are able to make credit card payments on time whenever you use your credit card, consider shutting it down. Leave that credit card at home as well if you know you will be more inclined to use it. 

14. Save Money By Keeping Your Change

Save money keep change
Photo By Michael Longmire via Unsplash

Of course this is one of the simplest ways to save money! Save your change in a jar! Nowadays it’s less common to carry change on you but you will notice when you start saving change how much you actually can save. 

Too often we are not keeping track of change or losing it. That’s still money! So treat change like it’s the money you earned. 

15. Re-do Your Grocery Budget 

Whatever you have for your grocery budget currently, can probably be looked over. Groceries are a big expense, but depending on what you’re buying. If you buy a lot of one time meals or pre-packaged items, you are going to be spending a lot more. 

Look into buying more produce, rice, pasta etc. Sure, these are things that you will need to cook, but in the end you will save yourself some cash. While I was in college, I was able to spend only $30 a week on groceries for myself because I only bought fresh produce, pasta, and bread. I was able to make meals with plenty of variety for only $30 a week!

Check your local grocery stores as well. Some places charge insane prices. Believe it or not, Trader Joe’s is so much more affordable than big brands like Ralph’s or Albertsons. Try out the grocery outlet, or bargain mart. There’s a lot of other shopping options out there if you look in the right places. 

16. Sell And Buy Clothes On Poshmark or Depop

This tip is HUGE. Want a new purse or new nice outfit for the holidays? Don’t spend the full price on either. There is a foolproof way you can buy nice name brands without spending the money. Shop on resale sites such as Poshmark or Depop. I’ve been using these apps for years and have saved so much money through them.

These are great if you’re planning on cleaning out your closet and have nice items that you don’t necessarily want to donate. You can make back some of that money that was previously spent by selling things! Offer Up is another great resale app for things like furniture, in case you decide to clean out your house.

17. Save Money Through No-Spend Weeks

If you have the self control, and budget mastery skills to do this, then you definitely should. Save yourself a ton of extra money by allocating a no-spend week. You can definitely accomplish this by setting yourself up in the week before. This doesn’t mean spend double, but buy enough groceries to make lunches and dinners for the week.

If you are able to implement these no-spend weeks into your regular life, you will have greater success learning self control and saving strategies. If a no-spend week is sort of impossible, try doing every other day. 

Start even smaller and decide not to spend money on lunch for one week. Packing a lunch to work will save you tons of cash before you even know it. Those little expenses can really snowball into significant amounts.

18. Have a Long Term Goal

save money with goals
Photo by Estee Janssens via Unsplash

We did talk about having tangible goals that you can work toward and accomplish within a reasonable time frame. You should also have those long term goals in mind. Make sure you write these down as well.

As you see your short term goals coming to light, you will also see those long term goals getting closer and closer. Don’t forget about the future! You really want to make sure you set yourself up to have a financially free and secure future. 

19. Evaluate Worth By Work Hours

This tip is the biggest reality check, ever. Before you buy something, think about how many hours of work it took to even be able to purchase that item. One time, I went to the beach and picked up a bag of chips and some drinks. When I realized that the gas station trip cost me 30 minutes of work I was a little deflated.

Think about if it’s reasonable to work a certain amount of hours just to be able to buy a certain item. This will definitely make you think twice about unnecessary purchases. This tactic specifically helps me.

20. Save Money By Waiting Before A Big Purchase

When you are about to make a really big purchase, give it some time. If this is a significant purchase that is going to affect your monthly budget or dip into your savings, give it a little thought. If you are able to wait a few days before you make that big purchase, you will be able to determine if it’s a necessary purchase or not.

For example, maybe you want to purchase a new computer that’s over $1000. If you can sit on that thought and make it a full week without buying that computer, maybe that means you don’t actually NEED that new computer.

21. Save Money With DIY Activities

In need of some cute new decor for that holiday party? Make it yourself! There is really a lot you create yourself. It makes things more meaningful as well. Don’t get hung up on whether or not you’re actually a crafty person. Anyone can pick up a hot glue gun and make things happen!

With all these ideas for saving money, you will surely achieve something. Persistence is going to get you the farthest. You have to believe you can make a change in your life and it all starts right now. You are never too late to start working towards financial freedom.

Be sure to check out my Pinterest page for more inspiration and tips, and view the Finance category for more money management strategies.

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