Looking for more money saving ideas?
You know you need to spend less money in order to save more money. And maybe you know a few ways to save.
But are there other things you can do to save money so you can achieve your financial goals faster?
You bet there are!
Check out this epic list of 100 ways to save money this month. There’s definitely some you haven’t tried yet on this list.
Try a bunch of them and you’ll be a giant step closer to getting out of debt, building an emergency fund, saving for a home/baby/wedding/retirement, or whatever financial goal you want so badly to achieve.
#1 Thing To Do To Save Money: Create a Budget.
If you don’t know where your money is going, then how can you save it?
First and foremost, you need to make a budget every single month. With a detailed outline of where you spend your money each month, you can more easily find areas to cut back spending and boost your savings. This is the absolute best way to find money to save.
Quick Budgeting 101
If you’re new to budgeting, don’t fret. It’s simple and with a bit of practice and discipline, it can completely change your financial life. Here’s how to start budgeting in a nutshell:
- Start with a budgeting spreadsheet, worksheet, or use an app and determine the categories where you spend money (e.g., housing, insurance, food, vehicle, entertainment, debt, etc.) **You can get my personal budgeting sheet below**
- Before the month begins, determine how much you want to spend in each category the next month. Review your bank and credit card statements from last month to better predict how much you typically spend.
- Make sure the total of all your expenses (what you plan to spend) is LESS THAN than your estimated income (how much you’ll earn).
- Each day, track the money you spend in each category. Add it up as you go to make sure you don’t overspend.
- At the end of the month, review all your spending from the month and create a plan (budget) for the next month.
- Rinse and repeat.
You can get the budgeting spreadsheet template I use sent right to your inbox below. This is how I find extra ways to save money every month!
If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, don’t worry. There are lots of other ways you can budget. Check out my resources page for a bunch of apps or software you can use get create your budget.
Then, here are areas of your budget you can review to see if you can slash your expenses and hack your way to saving more money every month. We’ll look at ways to save money on groceries, entertainment, insurance, cell phones, housing, shopping, gift giving, and more.
10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Yes, we all need to eat to survive. But the truth is, most of us could (drastically) save money on the food and drinks we buy. Try these ideas to cut your next grocery bill:
- Use ibotta. You can use the completely FREE ibotta app to easily get cash back on practically anything from 300+ qualifying stores. Milk, cookies, crackers, pasta, bread, even kombucha. Just browse the app to find deals on things you need to buy. Scan your receipt. And earn free money. They even have $10 and $20 gift cards you can earn for trying things like Hulu and Amazon Prime. One of the easiest ways to save is to check out ibotta to get money back on things you already buy.
- Shop at a store that offers lower prices every day, not just a few good deals each week. Hello, Aldi! Aldi is my favorite place to buy groceries! I save at least $80 per week on groceries by shopping at Aldi’s compared to my local supermarket. Need more convincing to start shopping at Aldi? Check this out.
- Eat the food you already have. More than likely, there’s already food in your cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer. Eat those first to save on groceries this month. There’s no need to buy a cart full of groceries or go out to eat when your deep freezer and pantry are packed with food.
- Make a plan. Plan all your meals and snacks for one week and only buy the food you need for your plan. I’ve planned meals for a month at a time too and just bought fresh produce weekly. Both work well to cut back on grocery bills and going out to eat.P.S. If you’re new to Meal Planning or tried it before and didn’t stick with it, you need to try $5 Meal Plan. It is super easy and will make meal planning a breeze! You could save a ton of money on unnecessary groceries or going out to eat by having a simple plan for your meals each week. Plus, they even have a 100% risk-free free trial for 14 days if you want to test the waters first. I think you’ll love it!
- Create a shopping list–and stick to it. After you plan your meals, create a list of the food you need for those planned meals and stick to it! I like to use the FREE app Wunderlist for my grocery lists. I even got my husband on board with this app! (It’s that good.)P.S. I forgot to mention, $5 Meal Plan not only includes your delicious, easy, and budget-friendly recipes for the week, they also create your grocery list for you! If you’re tired of the question “What’s for dinner?” do yourself a favor and at least give the free trial a shot. This one thing could save you $100 each month by eating at home instead of going out to eat.
- Stock up on deals. When there is a great deal on a few essentials you know you will need and have a very long shelf life (like noodles, dry beans, or TP), buy several to stock up instead of buying them when they are full price. You can even stock up on things like blueberries when they’re in season (and thus, cheaper) then freeze them to use in the winter months when they’re much more expensive in the store.
- Buy real, yet cheap, food. Think bananas, carrots, rolled oats, rice, beans, potatoes, and eggs. These are inexpensive foods that will actually fill you up.
- Buy the generic brand. Replacing name-brand foods with the generic brand will noticeably cut your grocery bill. Many food items taste the same, while others you can get used to the taste difference if you’re looking for an easy way to save money. Many generic brands are even made by the same company, they literally just have different packaging! So don’t be afraid to give generic a try.
- Get a water filter instead of bottled water. Investing in a water filter and drinking your own tap water (which is safe for most people) will save you a ton of money if you’re used to buying bottled water. I’ve used a faucet filter like this one for years to save hundreds of dollars on safe drinking water.
- Use EBATES when you buy online. If you order any groceries online, like I do, make sure you sign up for EBATES first to get cash back on all your online purchases. You can watch my video for how easy EBATES is to use at one of my favorite online health stores.
3 Ways to Save Money on Drinks
- Drink lots and lots of water. Unless your tap water is unsafe, skip the bottled water. Use a water filter and refillable water bottle instead. When I leave the house, chances are I have my water bottle with me so I don’t buy overpriced concession stand, fast food, or gas station drinks. If you haven’t started this habit yet, get a quality water bottle and bring it with you wherever you go. I’ve tried more water bottles than I care to admit, and my this water bottle continues to be my favorite.
- Eliminate or cut back on any purchased liquids. Have you ever calculated how much you spend on liquids in a week? This includes soda, juice, milk, energy drinks, coffee, lattes, smoothies, protein drinks, beer, liquor, wine…Replace some of these drinks with water and this is an area you could potentially save a LOT of money each month. Your body and your wallet will probably feel better once this one becomes a habit.Psst! The FREE ibotta app has deals on beer, liquor, and wine too!
- Make your own coffee at home. Look, I’m a coffee lover too, but the saver in me cringes at the cost of just one latte at coffee shops. And is one really enough? Even if you’re hooked on the convenience of a Keurig (oops…), if you keep your eye open for deals, you can still brew your own coffee for less than 50¢ per cup. Even if you’re more of a latte or frappuccino drinker, Pinterest has plenty of yummy recipes you could use to create your own special coffee drink at home, like this Iced Vanilla Bean Latte, a Mocha Frappuccino or these 15 Easy Coffee Recipes.
P.S. If you really, really love to splurge on coffee (this is ranked at the top of your budget for luxuries and you’re willing to cut back elsewhere instead), ask for gift cards to your favorite coffee shop for your birthday, Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day, or Christmas. Then you can splurge once in a while on a yummy latte without sabotaging your budget every month.
12 Ways to Save Money at Restaurants & Fast Food Joints
- Cook at home. Honestly, you can save a ton of money by cooking in your own kitchen. Pinterest is my best friend for finding new recipes. Or this is where $5 Meal Plan could save the day (and your budget!)
- Make going out to eat a rare splurge. Instead of being the norm, create the habit that going out to eat is a special event in your household. Make cooking, trying new recipes, and even theme nights (Taco Tuesday) something fun to do together.
- Look online for coupons, Groupons, or discounted gift cards. When you know you’ll need to get food on the road, look ahead of time for any special deals to save a few bucks.
- Use BOGO sandwich deals. Certain fast food places almost always have coupons for BOGO sandwich deals, so use those and get two sandwiches. Skip the fries, they really aren’t filling anyway, and the sandwich should be enough to hold you over.
- Skip the appetizers, desserts, sides, and drinks. Just get the main dish and your bill could be half the size.
- Get an appetizer as your meal. Some appetizers are big enough and cheaper than the main dishes. I’ve done this at restaurants that have large chicken quesadillas as an appetizer for just a few bucks, which can be enough for a meal at a fraction of the price.
- Drink water. It’s free. Ask for lemon to add some flavor.
- Take advantage of Happy Hour. Many restaurants have deals as much as 50% off if you eat or drink during specified times. Similarly, many have special deals like $1 taco days. This could be another way to satisfy your restaurant cravings while sticking to your budget.
- Go out for breakfast instead of dinner. Restaurant breakfasts are often half the price of their dinner entrees.
- Compare prices for the meals. If you’re on a budget and trying to save money, this is not the time to get the filet mignon and lobster platter. Find something cheaper.
- Take leftovers home and eat them for lunch tomorrow. If you do get a large meal (as most restaurant entrees are multiple servings), ask for a box and pack up half the meal to go. Then you have lunch already set for tomorrow. Yesss!
- Take advantage of birthday freebies. Just by showing your drivers license or signing up online, you can enjoy a bunch of goodies for free on your birthday every year. Here are 31 birthday freebies you could sign up for.
8 Ways Be a Money Saver with Your Vehicles
- Get rid of your car payments. Look at your budget and see how much money you’d have every month if you didn’t have a car payment. All the interest on your car payments is money that you could better invest somewhere else–such as a retirement or college savings account, which grows in value, rather than vehicles, which lose their value. Sometimes people don’t realize their financial dreams are completely within reach, if only they got rid of the gigantic car payments sitting in their driveway. Maybe you could sell your current vehicle and purchase an older one without the fancy extras, and without financing.P.S. Within just a few months of launching my book about getting out of debt, readers were already sharing that they used the strategies in my book to pay off their car loans! Without car payments, they have way more wiggle room in their budget. So proud of them for doing something to drastically change their lives for the better.
- Sell an extra vehicle. If you can get by with one less vehicle, sell one. Some families have one or two more vehicles in their driveway than they have drivers in the house. This could free up some cash, and maybe savings on registration and insurance too.
- Sell your vehicle yourself instead of trading it into a dealer. If and when you sell your next vehicle, you will get the most bang for your buck if you clean your car up nice and sell it yourself. It’s more work, but it will save you money.
- Wash your vehicle yourself. Automatic car washes don’t cost a ton, but throughout a year, washing your car yourself could add up to a decent amount of savings.
- Look for coupons. Your local newspaper, mechanic websites, or even Groupon often have coupons for oil changes or other car maintenance. While you probably want to stick to your trusted mechanic for big car repairs, you could take your business to whoever offers the best deal for simple things like an oil change or tire rotation.
- Combine errands in one trip. Rather than running into or across town every day for a different errand, combine them and let your car sit at home a day here and there to save a little on gas.
- Walk, bike, run, or rollerblade. Whenever you can, leave your vehicle at home and use a free form of transportation like walking or biking. Not only is it free, it’s good exercise for your body and mind, and it saves gas & wear on your vehicle.
- Carpool. Whether it’s for your commute to work or a trip to your kids’ tournament this weekend, carpool when you can. It’s not always the most convenient, but my husband and I both carpooled with co-workers for years to work. When we stopped carpooling, the increased amount we spent on gas and oil changes nearly doubled. Plus, when we carpooled with others, there were a lot fewer temptations to stop for coffee in the morning or at the store on the way home…saving us even more money in other categories.
9 Ways to Save Money on TV, Movies & Books at Home
All right, you knew this one had to make the list. TV and movies are total luxuries, yet they make a sizable dent in most people’s monthly budget. Each month it might not seem like a ton, but multiply that number by 12 and the amount you pay for TV in a year might surprise you. Here are some ways to save:
- Assess what you really “need” for TV. It’s rare any of us “need” TV, but it’s a luxury many of us enjoy. But assess what you really need to get some pleasurable downtime in front of the screen, and consider how important TV is compared to the other luxury categories in your budget (like restaurants, entertainment, clothing, and travel).
- Compare your options. My guess is with all the options out there now, you can find a better rate. Check out Sling, Hulu, Amazon Video, Cable providers, Dish, Direct TV, and I’m sure there are more I’m missing. After assessing what you need, check out how much it’d cost with each of the options available in your area.
- Call your current provider and ask for a deal. Tell them you’re going to cancel and switch (and mean it), and if they won’t match the price you can get elsewhere.
- Get an old school antenna. Ah, the ultimate basic TV package. All ten channels I grew up with. I wasn’t deprived, so for the cost of an antenna, you could get the basics (like your local NFL games) and potentially save hundreds this month, and thousands over a year.
- Use Amazon Prime Video. If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, use the TV and movie perks you already pay for. They’ve added a lot of new trending TV series, kid & family shows, documentaries, and movies of every genre. You can add channels like HBO and Starz. Not sure this will do the trick? You can try it free for a month to test it out. Join Amazon Prime – Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now
- Sign up for the Redbox mailing list. You’ll regularly get coupon codes for FREE movies or game rentals.
- Borrow movies from friends, family, neighbors, or the library. Chances are they have some good ones you haven’t seen yet.
- Watch the movies you already have. Being content with what you already have is a huge part of saving money. Instead of insisting on something new or different, watch what you already have and be thankful for that.
- Get FREE audiobooks. Did you know that just by signing up for Audible you can get two free audiobooks? I loved audiobooks to pass the time and learn on the go while I commuted to graduate school, and now as a busy mom with an ever-growing list of “must read books,” I love audiobooks even more. If you haven’t yet, Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks. (Here’s the step-by-step tutorial for getting your free audiobooks to show you just how easy and FREE it is!)
2 Ways to Save Money on Internet
- Like TV, compare the options in your area. See if you can get by with a lower package or if there are any deals or promotions you could get for switching to a new provider. When you find a better deal, call your current provider and tell them other internet providers are offering you a better deal (give specifics). Tell them you’ve been a loyal customer for X years but you can’t pass up the savings this other company is offering you. Ask what they can do for you to beat or match that offer. You might be surprised what they will do to keep you as a customer.
- Use free wi-fi. You might be able to get by without the monthly wi-fi expense completely. Using your cell phone data (if you have it) and local establishments with free wi-fi, like coffee shops and the library, you might be able to save a good chunk of money every month.
10 Ways to Save Money on Cell Phones
Confession time…It took me about a decade to finally go to the dark side of owning a smartphone. I was focused on paying off my student loans and could now swallow the monthly increase the upgrade would bring. After years and years of paying like $30 a month for my phone, it just seemed ridiculous to suddenly start paying that much for a phone! Even after we got out of debt, it took me nearly a year (and having our first child) to take the plunge. So you can bet I am all about finding ways to save with your phones.
- Check out Republic Wireless. They have legitimate cell phone plans as low as $15 per month! Last I looked, they have expanded nationwide, but still didn’t have optimal service in my area. I sure wish they did! I’ve heard awesome things about this cell phone company and for just $15 per month, you could save a boatload! See if there’s coverage in your area.
- Invest in a heavy-duty case. Protect your phone with a quality case like the OtterBox Defender Case so your screen does not shatter.
- Buy a used phone. Some cell phone companies have used phones you can buy, or websites like Gazelle and Swappa have Certified pre-owned iPhones for a fraction of the price and free standard shipping on all orders.
- Sell your old phones. Similarly, you can use Swappa or Gazelle to sell your old smartphones you have lying around.
- Check your current data usage. See if you can lower to a cheaper data package. When I first signed up for a data plan, the salesman tried convincing me that I should go with 10GB of data per month. Thankfully, I knew that sounded outrageous and I started with 3GB. I quickly saw how little data I really needed and have been using <1GB per month for over two years. So check out your usage yourself and see if need all the data you’re paying for.
- Use wi-fi whenever you can. If you have access to wi-fi, make sure you phone is connected to that instead of using your phone data. This is how I’m able to use such little data each month.
- Inspect your bill. Inquire about any fees or charges you aren’t sure what they are for. Make sure you actually use any services you are paying for. Sometimes add-on perks sound good at the beginning, and only cost a few bucks a month, but years later you learn you’ve been paying $10 per month for something you never even used.
- Shop around. See if another company is offering a better deal to new customers. I recently saw one company advertising the latest iPhone for free for new customers. **Here’s a specific post for comparing and optimizing your cell phone bill**
- Pay for your phone in full. Rather than installment plans, if you can pay for your phone in full upfront, your monthly bill will be smaller and if anything happens to the phone, you actually own it (instead of just “borrowing” it until it’s paid in full from the cell phone company).
- Resist needing the latest and greatest. Stick with an older version of the phone instead of upgrading. If you already have the newest phone, consider trading it in for an older one to make a profit.
8 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment
- Look for events online or posted around town that are free. Enjoy free days or nights out with friends, a date, or family like concerts in the park or family fun nights.
- Eat beforehand or pack your own food. You won’t have to buy food from vendors, which are always overpriced (I’m talking about you, $4.50 hot dog and $3 bottle of water!)
- Invite friends over to your house. Host a meal, bonfire, games or a movie night at your house instead of going out.
- Get discounted tickets. Look on Craigslist, Facebook buy & sell groups, or sites like StubHub, Ticket Master, or Cheap Tickets to get discounted tickets rather than paying full price.
- Go to a matinee movie. If you’re set on seeing a movie in the theater, many theaters offer cheaper (like half-price) tickets for movies shown earlier in the day.
- Look for special discounts. Look online or call to ask about special deals. A local theater by me has military discounts, senior discounts, and student discounts. Even if you don’t qualify for any of those discounts, they have special ticket prices one day per week. Take advantage of these to save on entertainment.
- Use Groupons. You can get 25% off your first Groupon if you’re a newbie. There are tons of deals for restaurants and just about anything you can think to do, like paint nights, amusement parks, wine tasting, comedy clubs, cooking and dance classes, museums, theaters, concerts, and more.
- Explore outside. Step away from noise and technology and find some entertainment in nature. Go for a hike, a bike ride, walk the dogs, go to a park, pack a picnic, go camping, fishing, sledding…just go outside.
7 Ways to Save Money on Insurance
Would you believe I recently saved/earned over $700 through our various insurance companies?! It’s true.
I finally did the dreaded task of comparing insurance carriers for our home and auto insurance, which I’d thought about doing (for a couple of years…) and ended up finding we could get better coverage for $400 less than we were paying before. It was one of those things that wasn’t fun, but seriously made me wonder why I put it off so long?
Plus, my husband and I earn $300 every year by taking a health assessment for our health insurance company.
So what are some ways you might be able to save on insurance?
- Compare insurance companies. A few hours of getting quotes could equate to hundreds of dollars saved each year.
- Negotiate your rate. Once you know what other companies offer, you can better negotiate with your current insurance provider. Let them know the rate they need to beat or you will switch to another company. **Here’s an exact script you can use to negotiate lower car insurance, thanks to Ramit Sethi.**
- Complete health insurance assessments. If your health insurance offers an incentive for completing an assessment (ours has been either an online survey or a quick, in-person assessment at our place of employment), it can be an easy way to earn a few hundred bucks. We either get gift cards or prepaid Visa cards worth $150 per adult.
- Get healthier. You can lower your life insurance rates and possibly your health insurance premiums by being healthy (e.g., be at a healthy weight, don’t smoke, manage your stress, etc.).
- Drive carefully. Traffic tickets and accidents not only cost money immediately, they affect your car and life insurance rates too. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for every year you go without a claim, plus, if/when you have kids, you’ll want them to drive carefully too, so be a good role model while driving to keep your insurance costs down.
- Earn good grades in school. Car insurance companies often have discounts for students who excel in school. So if you’re a college student or if you have kids in school, stress the importance of earning good grades and do your part to help make that happen. Ask your auto insurance provider about good student discounts.
- Evaluate your coverage and deductible. You want to make sure you have enough coverage, but not too much.
Be sure to carefully assess your insurance needs to ensure you have enough coverage, and speak to a professional if you’re unsure before making any big insurance changes.
3 Ways to Save Money Using Your Local Library
Public libraries are an often-overlooked FREE resource for all sorts of things. Check out what your local libraries offer this month.
- Free music, movies, TV series, books, ebooks, and audiobooks.
- Free internet. If you can get by without it at home, you can use the library for the times you really need it.
- Classes, clubs, and fun events. For example, my local library offers toddler yoga, toddler story times, reading to therapy dogs, Pokemon club, movie & popcorn nights, family trivia nights, potluck picnics, book clubs, reading programs, and other teen and adult programs throughout the year. And they are all FREE!
10 Ways to Save Money on Housing
Housing is the biggest expense for many people, so it also has the most potential for the greatest savings.
- Finding a cheaper place to live. If you’re up for doing something drastic in order to save money, do some research this month to find cheaper rent or downsize to a smaller home with a smaller mortgage.
- Get a roommate. You can get someone to split all your living expenses.
- Rent out your space on Airbnb. You can rent out your entire place on Airbnb for special occasions, such as big sporting events, or just a room or certain area of your house, such as a finished basement. This extra income can help pay for your housing costs.
- Use High Efficiency (HE) appliances. When it’s time to update your appliances, go with high efficiency to cut your monthly expenses, and possibly get a tax credit.
- Adjust the thermostat. Saving on housing expenses doesn’t have to be drastic measures. Even adjusting your thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter will help save money on heating and cooling expenses. While you might not notice a difference after one month, you will notice the savings over a year.
- Use a programmable thermostat. This small investment could save you money on heating and cooling because you can schedule times to automatically adjust the temperature of your home. No need to run the A/C when everyone’s gone at work, right? There are plenty of reliable programmable thermostats under $50.
- Get a fan or window a/c unit. That way you can cool only the room(s) you use most often, rather than the whole house.
- Use a room heater. Likewise, you can heat just the room(s) you need during the colder months instead of heating the whole house.
- Turn off or unplug fans and electronics. When you’re not using electronics, such as toasters, cell phone chargers, or lamps, unplug them to lower your electric bill.
- Use a rain barrel. Collecting rainwater to water your plants and garden can save a bunch on your water bill.
6 Ways to Be a Money Saver with Gifts
Generosity is admirable, but there are lots of ways you can be a money saver and still be a giver.
- Give your time. Your time is the only gift that is irreplaceable. When you’re looking for the next gift for a kiddo, instead of wrapping up yet another toy, take the child to a park or beach, pack a picnic, bring a ball and a kite, and play with them. Create memories all year long for free with this gift in a jar.
- Cook a nice meal and dessert. Host or deliver a meal to show kindness to a loved one.
- Volunteer your time. Instead of donating money for a cause that’s meaningful to you, donate your time.
- Reuse. You can easily reuse gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, and bows instead of buying new ones.
- Use newspaper to wrap presents. For those you know don’t care, wrap their gifts in newspaper instead of wrapping paper. For me, it’s a joke with my dad. Both my gifts to him and his gifts to me are often wrapped in newspaper. It ends up in the trash anyway, and we’re both ok with that!
- Make a handmade card. Instead of buying another greeting card, write your own message. If you have kids, ask them to help color and design it with you. Not only will your card stand out among all the other store-bought cards, it will probably be more meaningful.
9 Ways to Be a Money Saver While Shopping
- Buy used. With all the places to buy and sell stuff online and in person these days, there isn’t much you can’t buy used. Check Facebook buy & sell groups, Craigslist, eBay, consignment stores, thrift stores, or even your friends and family to see what they are selling. From furniture to clothes and baby gear, buying used can save you a load of dough.
- Cut convenient yet costly subscriptions. If you have any monthly subscriptions, examine the value of what you are paying for. Many times you’re paying a hefty price tag for convenience, so ending an unnecessary subscription might be an area you could save money each month.
- Sign up for subscriptions that will truly save you money. While some subscriptions are more for convenience, others really do save you money. With Amazon Prime, for example, I can get the best price on my vitamins and diapers by using their “subscribe & save” option. These are things I will buy every month no matter what, so I might as well subscribe to get the best price. At first I assumed I had to pay every month no matter what, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out I have the flexibility to skip months if I don’t need an item. If you haven’t yet, you can Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial to see if it would save you money.
- Use EBATES for all online shopping. If you do ANY online shopping, you have to use EBATES. I’ve used EBATES for years to get cash back through checks in the mail. It’s super easy. They do all the work for you. The plug-in pops up a notification telling me the percentage I can get back on the current website I’m on, and all I have to do is click a button. Could not be easier. You get $10 for signing up and making your first purchase, so be sure to sign up before you buy anything else online. Plus, if you use my link, I’ll get a perk for the referral too. Win-win for both of us!
- Set “No Spend Days.” Start with one day per month and dedicate it as a day you will not spend any money. Increase it to one day per week and that’s four guaranteed days of not spending any money every month. Here are even more tips for successful no spend days.
- Wait 30 Days. Practice self-control and wait 30 days before making any purchases that are not absolute necessities. This will reduce impulse buys and help you stick to your budget. Chances are, you’ll either forget about it, no longer “have to have it,” or you’ll verify that you really do want it and it fits in your budget.
- Add a Zero. Before you buy something, mentally “add a zero” to the price tag. Then ask yourself if you’d still buy it at that price. Why? This number represents how much you could earn if you were to invest that same money in something like a retirement account, or how much you could save on interest if you used that money to pay off debt instead. This strategy makes that $50 shirt a lot less appealing. ($500? No, thanks.)
- Be a Mystery Shopper. If you want to earn money for shopping and don’t mind taking surveys, you can explore being a mystery shopper. You can get things like free meals and hotel stays too. Read more about being a mystery shopper here.
- Google “Promo” and “Coupon” codes. Before buying anything online, open another tab (anyone else have 8 tabs open right now?) and do a quick Google search for the store name + promo code or coupon code. One of my favorite sites for finding these discounts is RetailMeNot. Lots of times, you’ll find an extra 15% off or free shipping.
5 More Ways to be a Money Saver
- Cut your own hair. Hair stylists can be expensive, so if having a great looking head of hair isn’t at the tippy top of your priority list, consider finding a cheaper stylist or even cutting your own (or your significant other’s hair).
- Cancel your gym membership. Gym memberships can be expensive, and from my experience working at a gym, most people are not getting the full value out of there membership. If that’s you, stop pretending you’ll use it more next month and cancel it already. Ending your membership doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising either. There are awesome workouts for free online (BenderFitness has been a favorite of mine). Or just grab a pair of tennies and walk, run, skip, jump rope, lunge, squat, burpee, plank, then push-up. Repeat until you’re sweaty…then repeat some more.
- Refinance your loans. If you’re able to refinance debt, such as student loans, for a lower interest rate, you could save money and lower your monthly payments. I’ve friends who’ve had great success refinancing student loans with SoFi. Not refinancing was my big student loan mistake. (You can read the full details about refinancing my student loans here.)
- Stop comparing. If you continue to compare yourself and your life to those around you, you will continue to spend, spend, spend. There will always be someone with more than you. More clothes. More jewelry. More cars. A bigger house. More land. More money. More vacations. The sooner you acknowledge and accept that, the easier it will be to stop spending money to try and keep up with the Joneses. This will help you get and stay out of debt as well. Focus on your goals to save and don’t sweat what everyone else appears to have.
- Practice contentment and gratitude. Being content with what you have and being grateful for what you have are two keys to making your financial dreams (and happiness) become your reality.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Hopefully that list of 100 tips to save money gave you at least one new idea you can use to easily save money this month.
Did I miss any money saving tips? Which are you going to try this month?
Remember, saving money is half the equation. The other half is to boost your income and make more money. Bring more money in and allow less money out so you can work smarter, not harder, with your money.
Whatever you do today, let your light shine,
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