money saving tips

How To Save Money: 45 Tips & Tricks

Regardless of who you are, or where you’re at in life, everybody has room to save money.

Yes, everybody!

“What about billionaires like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates?” Well, obviously this is aimed at more everyday people, but, because it always gets asked: Warren Buffet still lives in the same house that he bought back in 1958. Bill Gates still waits in line for inexpensive haircuts.

If you’re in a bad spot financially, saving money can be the key needed to turn your life around. If you’re in a good spot financially, saving money can be what’s needed in order to take you to the next level financially.

Maybe you want to save up for the down payment on a new home. Or perhaps you’re looking to pay off high-interest credit card debt a little faster. Whatever your reason(s) for saving are, we’ve got you covered!

Anybody from any financial or economic standing can find at least something here in this list that applies to them. So sit back and take notes!

Before You Start Saving Money

The hardest part about saving money is staying motivated and having the discipline needed to consistently save and not spend the money that you have saved. One of the very best ways to stay on track is by identifying goals.

Short-term and long-term goals will be instrumental in the success of your savings endeavors. Saving aimlessly is better than not saving at all, but having some sort of end goal in mind will help give you something to strive for and will give you a sense of accomplishment once it has been achieved.

Why Most People Struggle With Saving Money

Humans are wired to seek out rewards. It’s an evolutionary trait that was once needed to survive. These days we can trigger that reward section of our brain simply by making an impulsive purchase on Amazon.

These easily triggered rewards are why it’s so hard for people to save money these days. Saving money isn’t exactly some sort of instant gratification. In fact, the only gratification comes from you hitting your savings goals, and that can take years to happen.

If you want to save money — and I mean truly want to save money — you have to recognize that your brain wants you to spend that money for immediate gratification and you need to have the discipline to say no. Once you start hitting your savings goals, those reward triggers will start to rewire themselves in a way that will make you actually enjoy the feeling of saving money.

Enough with the boring stuff, let’s save some money!

BONUS TIP! Join Honey, the money-saving app. Honey automatically finds the best coupon codes while you shop online. On average, their 17 million users save $115 on their online shopping every year. Best of all, it’s free.

Save Money On Food

  1. Stick To Your Grocery List: Write out a grocery list of everything you will need to eat throughout the week, and stick to that list. In fact, studies show that eating a snack or a small meal before grocery shopping can actually prevent impulsive spending.
  2. Plan Meals Around Sales: Your local grocery store undoubtedly has at least a weekly flyer, many have daily flyers. These flyers contain “loss leaders” — items priced so low that the store won’t make a profit on them — which get you in the door to buy other items with higher profit margins. Plan your meal around these loss leaders to save a ton of money. It’s an especially great tactic for meats and proteins.
  3. Try Meal Prepping: Buying in bulk, cooking and portioning all of your meals out, and learning how to store and properly reheat them is one of the best money-saving decisions you can make. Especially if you’ve got a big family!
  4. Store Brands Are Okay: A lot of store-brand foods are made at the same factories and manufacturing facilities as the name-brand foods are. There’s no need to pay extra when the only difference is the packaging and logos!
  5. Bring Your Lunch To Work: Even “cheap” fast food these days can run $8-$10 for one meal. Most companies that have somewhere to dine will charge at least $5 to eat there. Bringing your lunch is healthier and it’s a great way to save literally hundreds of dollars per month for most people.
  6. Eat Breakfast At Home: Many on-the-go adults avoid breakfast altogether. This can lead to them impulsively eating out once lunchtime rolls around. Eating breakfast will give you some great energy to start the day and will help curb your lunch appetite.
  7. Drink More Water: The more soda you drink, the more your body will crave soda and sugary drinks. Switching to water will be healthier and it will save you money as you stop buying sodas from vending machines and convenience stores.
  8. Leftovers Are Delicious: All too often food goes to waste because somebody can’t be bothered to heat up leftovers. For some people, saving uneaten food in the fridge for 5 days before throwing it out is the most attention their leftovers will get. Hop on YouTube or even the recipe boards on Pinterest or Reddit and learn how to spruce up your leftovers in a way that will make them just as good (or better than) when they were first cooked.
  9. Cash-Back Grocery Shopping: There are cash-back shopping apps that will give you cash back for items that weren’t even purchased online. Apps like Honey will let you earn cash back for shopping at grocery stores you probably visit weekly — Walmart, Target, Albertsons/Safeway, Kroger/Fred Meyers, and 300+ others!
  10. Going Out To Eat: Nobody says you have to stop going out to eat altogether. Sometimes you need to treat yourself, your spouse, and/or your family to a nice evening out, and that’s okay. But here are some ways to save money while doing so:
    • As mentioned above, stick to water.
    • Beware of alcohol’s high mark up, it gets expensive!
    • Reduce your restaurant trips by just one per month. No TO once per month, but BY once per month. Normally go out 4 times per month? Try going out just 3 times instead.

BONUS TIP! Save money on your online purchases. MyPoints members get up to 40% back with every purchase at 2,000 top retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot & Amazon. Plus you get a $10 gift card when you sign up. For UK readers, we recommend TopCashback — the highest paying cashback site in Britain.

Save Money On Entertainment

  1. Cut The Cable Bill: With a myriad of streaming services, all for just a few bucks a month, there’s no need anyone should be paying an $80-$120 cable bill on top of the cost of their internet bill.
  2. Libraries Are Gold Mines: There is so much free entertainment at most libraries these days that it shocks people, especially people that haven’t been to a library in the last 10-20 years. Obviously they’ve got more books than you could ever imagine, but they’ve also got movies/DVDs, audiobooks, games, classes and seminars, and some even let you check out video games or gaming systems.
  3. Your City’s Local Entertainment: Many cities have got a lot of free or low-cost entertainment around town, you just have to know where to look. Check out your city’s web page or Facebook group. You might even want to try the local tourist center for info on some fun stuff to do that you may not know was even an option.
  4. Invite Friends Over: Going out gets expensive very quickly, even if you’re just doing something relatively lowkey and simple. Invite your friends over for a night in instead. Your true friends will still want to hang out with you outside of the local bar/club scene and, even better, store-bought alcohol is much cheaper.
  5. Kids’ Entertainment Is Cheap: You don’t need to spend tons of money entertaining your little ones. Remember, kids used to have a ton of fun simply playing outside and letting their imaginations run wild. Go on a nature hike, create a scavenger hunt, plant a garden together, teach them something new. These are the memories your kids will look back on and cherish the most.

BONUS TIP! Sign up to Truebill. Their app makes it easy to optimize your spending, manage subscriptions, lower your bills, and stay on top of your financial life.

Save Money On Bills

  1. Credit Cards: As of mid-2020, there are over 189,000,000 credit cards that are currently active in America. It’s safe to say that almost everybody reading this has credit card debt. Did you know you can call your credit card company and simply ask for a lower rate and ask them to waive any fees from the last 30-90 days?
  2. Zero-Balance Transfer: You have the right to transfer your credit card balance to another credit card company. Many competing credit card companies will offer 0% interest for 12 months anytime you transfer your balance to them. It’s a great way to save money if the tactic listed above doesn’t work.
  3. Monthly Services: You can negotiate lower monthly bills on recurring services like cable tv and internet. You can call these providers up, ask to speak to their customer retention departments and tell them you’re thinking of going with a cheaper competitor.
  4. Mortgage Refinance: A mortgage refinance will replace your old mortgage loan with a new one. Because of Covid-19, interest rates are at an all-time low. It may be worth it to consider refinancing for a lower interest rate.
  5. Other Refinancing Options: Other debts can be refinanced as well, not just mortgages. Many consumers are refinancing their student loans and car loans to take advantage of the lower interest rates as well.
  6. Shop Insurance Rates: If you’re a homeowner or if you’ve got a car, then you most certainly have insurance. You may have other kinds of insurance, like rental insurance, as well. Every 6-12 months when these insurance contracts are almost up for renewal, you should be calling around and shopping for better insurance rates. This is a highly competitive industry and better deals are always one click or one phone call away.
  7. Automatic Bill Payments: It’s a good idea for everyone to set up automatic bill payments. For starters, you will know your bills are paid on time to avoid any extra penalties or late fees. And, as an added bonus, many banks and credit unions give you a discounted interest rate if you agree to have your loan payments automatically deducted.
  8. Medical Bills: There are A LOT of medical bills that go unpaid and, sadly, medical debt just keeps on growing. Here are a few ways you can save money on your medical bills:
    • Call the hospital or medical provider and tell them you need to negotiate a discount. They’d rather you pay a discounted bill than not pay at all.
    • Double-check a detailed copy of your statement. There are over 71,000 billing codes and up to 78% of consumers may have been improperly billed at some point in their lives
    • Apply for medicare/Medicaid. If you don’t have insurance you can apply for these social programs and they will retroactively pay any past medical costs up to 90 days before you applied!

BONUS TIP! Ask for a reduction in the interest rate for your home equity line of credit. Quicken Loans is a great place to check out available home equity loan options. For UK readers, check out Loan.co.uk for the cheapest homeowner loans.

Save Money Around The House

  1. Stop Collecting: I understand that different people have different types of hobbies. It may be time to sit down and decide whether or not your collection has served its purpose and is ready to be sold. This could be a collection of Star Wars figures, or it could be a collection of high-end bikinis. Ebay, Offerup, and Letgo will be your best friends!
  2. Clean Out Closets: If you haven’t worn the item since last season, then it may be time to ditch it. Consignment shops like Plato’s Closet and The Clothes Mentor will give you money that day for your unused clothing.
  3. “Buy It For Life”: Buy good, name-brand appliances. You will undoubtedly spend more money early on, but after a few years of use, a good appliance will have been well worth the money. Cheaper appliances are going to need replacing much earlier and they won’t be as energy efficient as newer, name-brand equivalents.
  4. Lower Detergent Usage: You are likely to be able to cut your laundry detergent usage in half at the very least. These products are extremely potent. The suggested amounts on the box or the bottle is a great way for manufacturers to trick you into overusing their products so that you run out much quicker and need to buy more again soon.
  5. Beware Of The Sun: Cooling your home off during the Summer can cause a huge strain on your utility bills. One of the best ways to combat this is to prevent your house from heating up from the sun. Something as simple as closing the blinds makes a difference, and blackout curtains will be life-changing for those hot, sunny days.
  6. Turn The Lights Off: The packaging that you lightbulbs come in should give you an idea of how much it costs to use that one bulb. That may not seem like much, but add it up to all of the other lights in your home, plus other appliances and TVs, and you’re probably wasting at least a few hundred bucks per year from not cutting the power when you leave the room.
  7. Install CFLs and LEDs: Speaking of lights, you might want to consider using more energy-efficient bulbs throughout your home. They last A LOT longer, so you don’t need to replace them as often, and they’re much cheaper to run throughout the year.
  8. Programmable Thermostats: If you want to cut down on energy use, then a programmable thermostat is an absolute must! You don’t need to run the a/c all day while nobody is home. You can set the thermostat to conserve energy during the day and then cool the house off right before you get off of work. These are great for both Summer and Winter!
  9. Rent out your car: Share your car whenever you’re not using it and earn an average of $700 per month on Turo, the world’s largest car-sharing marketplace.
  10. Tips for water usage: A decent chunk of your monthly expenditures likely come from water usage around the home, here are some simply corners to cut
    • Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
    • Install low-flow showerheads
    • Install faucet aerators

BONUS TIP! Rent out your unused space to store your neighbors’ belongings at Neighbor.com — it’s easy, safe, and free. For instance, renting out your basement could make over $2,000 a year.

Bonus Money-Saving Tips

  1. Automatic Savings: One of the simplest ways to save money is by having it set aside before you even have a chance to spend it. You can ask your HR department or employer to reconfigure your direct deposit amounts. You are able to put a majority of your salary in your checking account, and then dictate a percentage or an exact dollar amount that will go to your savings account. There are also some great apps that will automatically save for you and, if you so desire, invest that saved money so that it grows by the time you need it, an example is Acorns.
  2. Plan For Retirement ASAP: Investing in your future is the best thing you can do for yourself. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more money you will be left with. Because of the power of Compound Interest, planning for retirement at age 25 or at age 35 can mean the difference between a $1 Million retirement fund or a $3.5 Million retirement fund. Don’t believe me? Toy around with the compound interest calculator.
  3. Employer Contributions: Speaking of retirement, you should be maximizing employer contributions. If your employer will match you, even if it’s just a fractional match (ex: $0.25 for ever $1), you need to take full advantage. It’s literally free money!
  4. Beware Of Lifestyle Inflation: When most people get a raise they start spending money, as opposed to just living the way they were before and saving or investing the extra money. This is called Lifestyle Inflation. Just because you get a raise doesn’t mean you have to raise your standard of living as well.
  5. Act Like Windfalls Don’t Exist: “I can upgrade to a 65” TV as soon as my tax refund gets here!” should not be uttered by anybody. Pretend that tax refund doesn’t exist and toss it into savings. The same goes for bonuses at work, or other windfalls you may encounter.
  6. 10 Second & 24 Hour Rules: One of the best ways to control impulsive spending, whether it be at the grocery store, on Amazon, or anywhere else, is to instill a set of rules that forces you to think about the purchase(s) you’re about to make. 10 Second Rule: If you’re at the supermarket and start to purchase an item that wasn’t on your list, take that item out of your shopping cart and give yourself 10 seconds to consider whether or not you really need that item. It’s surprising how often you may find yourself putting that item right back on the shelf! 24 Hour Rule – Before making an unnecessary purchase or an expensive purchase, force yourself to take 24 hours to think about it. This is a great rule to follow if you’re the type of person that loves to just add items to app-based and web-based merchants’ shopping cars.
  7. Turn On Notifications: These days, many banks have options in their apps to turn on notifications for recent purchases. This is a great way to remind yourself how unnecessary some of your spendings may be. Those dreaded reminders in the morning may convince you to ditch Starbucks for a cup you brew at home.
  8. Your Time Is Valuable: A great habit to get into is to stop looking at items in terms of how much they cost. Instead, look at them as how many hours you would have to work to purchase these items. If you work $12 per hour and want to purchase some $60 jeans you should ask yourself “Are these jeans worth 5 entire hours of my day at work?”
  9. Buy & Sell Giftcards: Buy discounted gift cards for yourself at Raise.com and save up to 30% at thousands of your favorite stores. Or, earn up to 85% cash back when you sell unwanted gift cards and store credits.
  10. Embrace Technology: There are so many apps and tools out there available for saving money and budgeting. Here are some of our favorite, must-have apps that will sync up with all of your accounts automatically to help you account for every single dollar:
    • Mint: The OG of money-tracking apps
    • YNAB: Short for You Need A Budget and it lives up to its name
    • Personal Capital: Similar to the two mentioned above, but great for those that have investments or retirement accounts

BONUS TIP! Follow this budgeting course and learn how to save money by taking control of your spending. Find and eliminate excess spending in your existing budgets.

Stay Focused & Disciplined!

Don’t give up. There are millions and millions of people out there just like you that are trying to save money for a variety of reasons. And, as we mentioned earlier, the hardest part for everyone involved will be staying focused. As you start meeting these short-term goals your brain gets trained to enjoy savings, investing, and being fiscally conservative. This makes it much easier to achieve your long-term goals.

BONUS TIP! Take your money further, faster. AXOS Bank is an online-only bank offering higher yield savings than traditional banks, in fact, 8x the national average APY. No minimum balance requirements. The opening deposit is $250.

We explain how you can make money, save money and grow money.

Make money: learn how to build wealth and how to earn money from the internet.

Save money: learn how to save money and how to make budget plans.

Grow money: learn how to invest and trade.

Please note that under no circumstances should any information from this blog be used as replacement for professional financial advice.

More Stories
student money
How To Save Money As A Student – It’s Easier Than You Think