If you’d like to save money, rest assured you can stash away some cash without too much time and effort. There are plenty of easy savings tips that can help you spend less on everyday expenses and keep more of your hard-earned money. Here are 31 ways to save money.
1. Use the 30-day rule
Whenever you want to buy something — especially if it’s expensive — think about it. Don’t buy it on impulse. Write down what it is and how much it costs. While you’re deciding whether to get it, deposit the money you’d need to buy it in your savings account. If it still appeals to you after 30 days, go ahead and buy it. If not, the cash stays in your savings account.
2. Cancel your gym membership
Instead of going to the gym, which might be closed during the pandemic, exercise at home for free. Watch workout tutorials on YouTube, download a fitness app like Freeletics or Ladder, or go for walks or a run around your neighborhood.
3. Buy used
Thanks to thrift stores, used-car sellers like CarMax and Carvana, and online resources like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and LetGo, you can get clothes, cars, electronics, and other things at a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Promotional emails touting great deals may tempt you to buy things you don’t necessarily need. To snuff out the temptation, unsubscribe from them so that you don’t spend just because you find out about a flash sale or big discount.
5. Download money-saving apps
Money-saving apps can take the guesswork out of saving money by spending less. Download popular apps like Ibotta, RetailMeNot and Checkout 51 to get coupons or cash back offers on the things you’re already planning on buying.
6. Take advantage of the library
Paying for books, magazines and movies can cost you some serious cash. The good news is you can get them for free at your local library and stay entertained for hours without it taking a toll on your budget or bank account. If you don’t want to physically go to a library, use a digital public library.
7. Say goodbye to paper
Get rid of or reduce your usage of paper towels, paper napkins and other paper products. Use cloths or old clothing items that you can clean, save and reuse.
8. Never miss a payment
Missing payments on your loans and credit cards can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in late fees and interest charges. To avoid wasting money due to late payments, enroll in automatic payments or schedule calendar reminders on your phone so you don’t have to face late fees or other financial costs.
9. Buy generic
Compared to brand names, generic groceries, household products and medications are far more affordable. Plus they’re almost always just as good.
10. Choose cheaper cuts of meat
Meat can quickly cause your grocery bill to skyrocket, so opt for cheaper cuts of meat. Swap chicken and steak for pork and ground turkey or beef. If you do want to splurge on a Porterhouse steak, only buy it when it’s on sale.
11. Cut the cable cord
If you pay for cable, consider other less–expensive options instead. Hulu, Netflix and Sling are a few good streaming video alternatives that can give you access to your favorite shows and movies without the high price tag.
12. Sign up for rewards programs
Rewards programs are free to join and can save you some money on groceries, clothes and other products. If there’s a store or two you frequent regularly, sign up for them and start reaping the savings.
13. Buy in bulk
Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club offer a variety of items in bulk. If you become a member, you’ll be able to buy bulk products and save a lot of money over time.
14. Turn off the lights
Keeping the lights on for an extended period of time can definitely increase your energy costs. So, don’t forget to turn off the lights any time you leave a room or your home.
15. Invest in energy-efficient lightbulbs
You can also save on energy expenses by installing energy-efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, in your home. They may cost you more upfront but will use less electricity and last longer than traditional light bulbs.
16. Challenge yourself to a spending freeze
Go on a self-imposed spending freeze. Don’t make any nonessential purchases for a week or month. If you succeed, reward yourself with a prize or purchase of your choice.
17. Switch banks
Not all banks are created equal. Switch to a bank that offers higher interest rates and better perks than the one you currently use. If you run your life from your smartphone, consider online banks, which tend to pay higher rates and charge lower fees.
18. Use a reusable water bottle
Drinking from plastic water bottles purchased at the store can add up quickly. Use a reusable water bottle and drink tap water to avoid this expense.
19. Meal prep
Plan and prepare your meals for the week every Saturday or Sunday. This way, you’ll be less likely to order takeout or overspend on groceries.
20. Buy frozen fruits and veggies
There’s no denying that fresh produce is expensive. With frozen fruits and veggies, you can save some cash and cut down on food waste.
21. DIY gifts
The next time it’s your friend’s or family member’s birthday, make him or her a homemade gift instead of buying one. You’ll keep more of your money, and they’ll be thrilled by your thoughtfulness and creativity.
22. Shop around for car insurance
Get quotes from several car insurance companies. If you find a better rate elsewhere, let your current provider know to see if they can match it. If not, switch carriers.
23. Ditch bad habits
Not only can smoking and drinking alcohol damage your health, these habits can wreak havoc on your bank account. Quit them and change your life for the better.
24. Make a shopping list
Don’t go grocery shopping without a list. Once you’re at the store, say no to impulse buys and only buy the items that are on your list.
25. Create a zero-based budget
With a zero-based budget, you’ll allocate every penny of your monthly income toward a certain expense or savings goal that can be justified. This can help you avoid poor spending habits.
26. Don’t stress spend
If you tend to go shopping when you’re feeling stressed, find other ways to relieve your stress. Call a friend, soak in a warm bath or do some yard work.
27. Try to fix things on your own
It’s expensive to hire a pro every time something breaks. Use online tutorials and videos to learn how to make repairs by yourself.
28. Buy a crock pot
If you lead a busy life, a crock pot can save you a lot of cash on takeout and drive thrus. Dump some ingredients like meat, potatoes and carrots in the crock pot before work, turn it on, and come back to your kitchen hours later to a delicious meal.
29. Live in a smaller home
Chances are you’d be just as happy (and have less to clean and pay for) in a smaller apartment, condo or house. So don’t be afraid to move and downsize if it makes financial sense.
30. Refinance your mortgage
If you own a house, refinance your mortgage while interest rates are at historic lows. You can save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan and also have the potential to lower your monthly payment.
31. Stay healthy
Cook nutritious, well-balanced meals and exercise regularly to keep your health in check. You’ll spend less on doctor’s visits, medications and co-pays.