We all want to save more money. But, saving takes a lot of discipline to follow through with. Maybe that’s why so many of us decide to give-up on saving money before we even give it a chance.
By following these twenty ways to save more money though, you’ll notice that not only is saving money an achievable goal, it’s also quite easy and enjoyable.
1. Set Goals
Why are you setting aside your hard-earned money in the first place? Is it for a dream vacation to Australia? A down payment on a house? To pay off your student loans?
To keep yourself motivated, determine the goals that you want to achieve by saving money. Make sure that they’re S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented), written down, and placed in a spot where you can easily be reminded of these goals. And, don’t forget to celebrate each milestone.
2. Move Bank Accounts
If you’re getting charged a monthly fee for a checking or savings account you may want to consider switching to a different institution. For example, some bank may offer a bonus just for signing up for a new account. Others may have lower fees or interest rates than your current bank.
3. Save Your Loose Change
Have you cleaned out your car or under the couch lately? If so, did you notice that there was some loose change laying around? Whether if it’s a nickel or quarter, that’s free money that you can put towards your savings account. Think of this way, saving fifty cents a day for a year adds up to $182.
4. Automate Your Savings
Saving money is already challenging enough. But, it becomes even more difficult when you’re spending that money that should be set aside. You can prevent this from happening by automating your savings so that a certain percentage of your paycheck is deducted into a savings account.
The benefit of this is that the money is already set aside before you even have a chance to touch it.
5. Go Green
Utility bills are a huge expense each month. You can cut these expenses by becoming more environmentally friendly. Start by replacing your current light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs since they use 75% less energy. Secondly, turn off or unplug appliances when you’re not using them. And, consider updating your appliances with newer models that are are more efficient.
6. Shop Smarter
Before you go shopping, compare prices at various stores and be on the look-out for any coupons or discounts. After that, make a list and only purchase the items on that list. These methods help you find the lowest possible prices and avoid impulse purchases.
You can then take that extra money that you saved and put it into your saving account.
7. Enroll in a 401(k)
“If your employer offers a 50-cent match for every dollar you contribute, even adding $60 a month will net you over a grand a year,” says Jessica L. Anderson on Kiplinger. “Plus, you defer paying taxes on your contributions, so they take a smaller bite out of your paycheck.”
8. Be Wary of ATM Fees
Did you know that you pay around a total or $4.52 whenever you withdraw money from an ATM? Between the average ATM charge of $2.88 and the $1.64 for using an out-of-network ATM, it’s easy to see how these fee quickly add-up. You can beat these fees by searching for nearby machines that are fee free, finding a bank with better ATM fee, or opting for cash back when you checkout at a retailer.
9. Create a Budget
If you aren’t aware of how much money is coming in and out of either your home or business, then how can you start saving money? A budget gives you a better idea of your expense and how much you need you to set aside to pay those expenses. With this information you can then dedicate a certain amount of money each money towards your savings.
And, yes, even those with irregular incomes can budget as well.
10. Stop Collecting, Start Selling
A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far, I spent a bulk of extra income on Star Wars merchandise. When you didn’t have serious expenses, like a mortgage payment, this seemed like a harmless hobby. I had fun scouring around for items and thought that maybe someday they could be worth a fortune if I was ever in a pinch.
As I got older, I realized a couple of things. Unless you have an extremely rare piece of merchandise, your collector’s items aren’t worth as much as you think. And, when you have bills to pay, having a hobby like this isn’t always feasible. After realizing these points, I sold pretty much my entire collection. I made decent money and was able to pay off some debt.
11. Limit Credit Card Purchases
Let’s be honest here. If you don’t have the money to pay off your credit card each month, then don’t use it. Those interest fees add-up, after all. Instead, leave the plastic at home and pay with cash as much as possible.
12. Ignore Any Raises or Bonuses
Congratulations on that well-deserved raise! Your tax refund was more than you expected? Awesome!
Now, forget about those raises or bonuses.
That’s not because you didn’t deserve them. But, it’s been found that when you have an abundance of money, you end-up spending more than the original amount. So, for example, that extra $5,000 you received means that you’ll ultimately spend $10,000
13. Be Smart With Your Car
If you own a vehicle, you can save some money by taking simple measures like inflating your tires, having an empty trunk, keeping the speed under 60 miles-per-hour, and replacing your air filter. Also, have frequent oil changes and consider using only lower grade gasoline instead of premium.
And, if you’re not using your vehicle, or want to make a couple of extra bucks, rent it out or become a driver for Uber or Lyft.
14. Bundle Up
If you bundled your insurance policies, such as “homeowner’s, automobile, and other coverage, into a package policy with a single insurance company can often lower your total premiums by 10 percent or more.” You can also bundle your internet, cable, and phone services together under one provider.
While there are definitely ways to save here, make sure that compare a la carte prices and make sure that this isn’t an introductory rate before committing.
15. Slash Excess Expenses
Every now and then you want to review your purchasing history so that you know exactly where your money has gone. Not only is this part of creating a budget, it also gives you an idea of what expenses you can cut out. For example, why pay for netflix when your spouse has their own account? Why keep that gym membership when you’ve only gone once in the last year?
16. Sign-Up For Customer Rewards
There are more than enough retailers who are willing to reward you for being a customer, at least considering on becoming a customer. You may be able to earn for food or discounts just by signing-up for a reward program.
The Simple Dollar has a nifty guide explaining how this works. But, in a nutshell, create an email account specifically for reward programs and start reaping the benefits without having to give away personal information.
17. Avoid Instant Gratification
That new iPhone looks amazingly sexy, right? But, do you really need it a brand new phone at this very moment?
Instead of making impulse purchases, walk-away and sleep on on it for a couple of days. Weight out the pros and cons before making any major purchase. If the cons outweigh the pros, then don’t make the purchase.
18. Repurpose Items
Sometimes there are some items that you can’t reuse. But, if you can repair a pair of jeans or turn that broken dresser into a bunch, then you don’t have to make as many new purchases.
Besides using household items you already own into new items, you can also repurpose these items as gifts or sell them on sites like Etsy to make a couple of extra bucks.
Need some inspiration? Here’s 100 different repurposing ideas.
19. Don’t Go Out as Much
I enjoy going out, but doing so every weekend can become a financial burden. Instead of going out to dinner with your friends, invite them over to your home for a home cooked meal followed by a game of cards or just relaxing around your firepit.
If you have kids, order a pizza and have a family night that includes games and watching a movie together at home.
20. Take Advantage of Freebies
There are free products and events all around if you pay attention. For example, instead of purchasing Microsoft Word, use free software like Google Docs or Apache OpenOffice. Rent out DVDs for free at your local library. Open your local newspaper and look for any free events or activities that are taking place over the weekend.