Are you struggling to save money? Or maybe you just wanted some good ideas about how to save more money?
If you are looking for practical and useful ideas to save money each month than you came to the right place.
And if you started reading this post probably is because you have figured out the importance of saving money, even if you are debt-free – I hope this is the case. Or in the worst case, if you have a big debt and are desperate in learning how to save money fast, this article will also help you.
Saving money seems to be a simple task, however, it’s very common to see people with financial problems having huge difficulty in cutting expenses.
Usually, this happens because when you are worried about paying your debts, your mind gets so much focused on the problem, that finding the solution becomes very difficult and sometimes complex – even if the solution of your problems seems to be very obvious and in front of yours.
In this article, you’ll discover 17 practical ideas on how to save money.
If you really implement these ideas and tips to save money, I can’t guarantee that you’ll save a fortune every month, however, it is totally possible to easily and quickly save a few hundred dollars per month. And the best thing is that if you invest this money you can easily quit your debts and save a good amount of money after a few years, due to the compound effect of your investments.
Below is a list with my best tips and ideas to save money quickly:
1. Change your mindset and get serious about saving money
There’s a serious reason why this is my first advice to save money.
How do you deal with money?
Are you the kind of person that loves to spend money on stuff that you think is useful but after only one month you even forgot why you bought it?
Are perhaps, you are the kind of person that loves spending money on luxurious stuff?
Do you want to work until your 65+ or want to retire earlier?
Do you want to save money for a house or for a car?
You need to make these questions and think sometimes about it. What are the priorities of your life?
One famous theory says that “every action has a reaction”. And the interesting thing that many people don’t realize in their lives is that this law also applies to their financial lives…
If you have a great salary, but you are the kind of person that spends everything on expensive stuff, dinner on expensive restaurants, parties and so on, it is probably that you’ll always be poor.
If you dream about getting rich, it’s extremely essential that you learn and develop the good habits of saving money, every single month.
Now it doesn’t mean that you should quit your social life and don’t spend one single cent on parties and this kind of stuff. What you need to learn is how to have a balanced life between having fun and saving money.
2. Get serious about a budget
It’s extremely essential to learn how to manage your money. No matter how much money you earn per month, if you don’t create a serious budget you’ll always have financial problems, even if you have a big salary.
Ideally what I recommend is the 50/30/20 budget rule.
How this rule works?
This is a simple but smart rule to manage your money: It’s a recommendation to devote 50% of your income to your necessities (groceries, clothes, cellphone bills, etc), around 30% to wants like entertainments (making a trip, spending money to realize your dreams, etc) and 20% to saving and investing.
Certainly, if you earn the minimum wage it will not easy to follow this formula. But on the other side if you have a good salary or income, making a real effort to follow this budget rule is a great idea to save money.
And with no doubts, if you can save 50% or more and learn how to invest, you’ll be on the path to create good wealth in your future.
3. Think before making a purchase
Probably this is one of the simplest and most important tips to save money. It’s easy to understand the importance of not wasting money purchasing things that are really not necessary, but for many people, this is a difficult task.
Honestly, we all experienced that regretful feeling after purchasing something very expensive and “figured out” that this was a huge mistake.
And sometimes we have nightmares when we finally realize how much money we wasted purchasing things that weren’t really necessary.
Even worst is when you think about how many other really useful stuff and better investments you could have done if haven’t made these big mistakes.
We are all humans and sooner or later we’ll waste money just because we are impulsive and we don’t stop thinking twice before making a purchase.
To overcome this problem you should always think before making a purchase. Before you make your next big and expensive purchase, you must always ask these questions:
- Is this purchase really necessary for me?
- Can I afford it?
- Is there something more important to buy instead of this item?
- Should I really purchase it now? Or I can wait and buy it in the future?
These simple and maybe stupid questions can help you save money for example when you are browsing the web and you suddenly find something that you wanted to buy with a big discount.
Making you very excited to buy… Even if this item with a 40% discount is totally unnecessary to you at this moment.
Not having the “ability” to shopping at the right moment is one of the biggest challenges to save money that almost everyone will face.
4. Simplify your life and go, minimalist
Trying to manage all areas of your life, including your financial situation can be not so easy and sometimes frustrating. Trying to pay all your bills and if possible save money is not a simple and easy task.
Include raising kids and saving money for your retirement, this can be depressing in many cases. And here comes why you should simplify your life and go, minimalist.
And how can you simplify your life? Below are some real-life examples:
- Avoid spending time watching television (and paying for it)
- Finding free forms of entertainment
- Having less clothing options
- Learning how to live with less stuff
- Only buying what is really essential to your life
- Automating your payments
- Learning that sometimes less is more.
These are just some examples of simplifying your life, and no, I’m not telling you that you should live your life like a poor person… The point is that we are so used to spend time and money into things that are not really necessary for our lives.
5. Sign up to Rebates and Rewards program
This is one of the simplest tips to save money that most people don’t know.
There are countless free apps to your smartphone that offer rebates or cashback if you make purchases using their platforms.
Rakuten is probably the most famous apps that give you rebates for shopping through their platform. There are 2,500 available stores to buy and save money with rebates and discounts.
Using these apps is very easy, you just need to download them and shop using their platform and you’ll receive cash backs every 3 months by Paypal.
You’ll not save fortunes every month, making purchases using these apps is so easy and simple, that you’ll ask yourself why you haven’t started using earlier.
6. Save money automatically with these apps
Everyone knows the importance of saving at least 10 – 20% of your salary, however probably due lack of control or bad habits, saving a small percentage of our income every single month is a hard task.
There are some apps like Digit that will automatically save a pre-determined amount of money “forcing” you to save money automatically and effortless. All you have to do is to install the app on your phone, link up your bank account with the app and then every few days, the app will look at your income and expense habits to see how much money you could save. Then Digit will automatically move money from your checking account to a Digit savings account.
This app is great because it will force you to create a constant habit of saving money, even it’s a small amount. You can check this article with the best apps to save money now.
7. Start a savings challenge
This is a fun way to save money if you are broke or in huge debt. Do you struggle to save a few bucks at the end of every month? Then this challenge is made for you.
Essentially all you need to do is saving $20 per week for a year. The simplicity of this challenge is what makes it so special.
If you end a full year saving $20 per week, in the end, you’ll have saved $1,040. The main goal of this challenge is not saving a lot of money, but creating the habit of saving money.
The good thing is that after you feel comfortable saving only $20 per week, the next step is to start saving a bigger amount of money each week.
8. Stop paying for watching television
At least for me, I think that watching television is a complete waste of time. Even if you pay for that expensive plan with hundreds of channels, you can count on your fingers how many of them are good.
And considering that the average monthly cable bill is over $100, you are wasting $1,200 per year or $12,000 in ten years into an entertainment that is not so useful for your life.
Just try to imagine that for every 10 years you are wasting the value of a cheap car… Now try to imagine if you cut your expensive cable plan and every single month you start investing this “small” amount of $100 into stocks or any other profitable investment?
At least for me, I consider a better “entertainment” reading a good book that can teach me something valuable that will potentially make my life better, at the same time that I’m saving a good amount of money in the long run.
In the last case, you can replace your cable bill for Netflix is you want to have some fun occasionally.
9. Start a blog
Obviously starting a blog is not an idea to save money, however, it’s a safe and cheap way to earn an extra income.
If you want to save money is because you want to see a good extra income in your pocket, right?
And starting a blog is an effective way to earn more money and at the same time an online business that requires a low cost to get started. Initially, you can start a blog investing only $100 or less and after some time if you take it seriously you can earn anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month.
Also by starting a blog, you can learn how to be a more productive person and develop new habits and skills that can help you earn more money and save more.
Creating a blog was the best decision of my life, I’m making over $5,000/month and although I’m living a frugal life and saving money every month, I don’t have worries about not having enough money to pay for my bills.
10. Save money on rentals by living with your parents
In many countries including the USA, living with your parents if you are 20 years old or more is a big shame.
But, let’s think one minute… Do you really care about what other people are thinking about your decisions and what do you do with your life?
Do your friends or neighbors are the ones responsible for your retirement and for paying your bills?
Certainly not. So stop caring about what other people think about you.
Depending on the location where you are living the rental price is easily over $800, now depending on your situation, let’s consider that you can live with your parents for an extra few years.
Imagine saving $800 for five years? In this situation, you have saved $48,000 and this value is without considering that you haven’t invested this money.
The point here is that if you want to save a lot of money and achieve big financial goals you need to do things that other people are not willing to do.
11. Start investing
It’ seems so obvious that if you can’t save money then, investing money is impossible. But it’s extremely important that as soon as you start having some money in your pocket you start investing. And the sooner, the better.
Why you should start investing right now?
Because of the power of compound interest.
A simple way to understand it is that if you started investing $300 per month with an interest rate of 0.8% per month, at your 20 years when you are 60 years old you’ll have 1.68 million dollars in your pocket.
Sounds great right?
That’s why is so important to start saving and investing when you are young, the compounding effect takes time to work for you. And if you started saving money when you are young, in the future, you’ll not have to worry about saving money.
12. Find extra ways to make money at home
This is another obvious but important way to save money. If you have extra income aside from your job, you’ll earn more money and consequently, you’ll have more money to save.
And thanks to the internet and new technologies, there are countless ways to make an extra income from home, even if you are not an expert.
Below are just some easy and simple ways to earn extra income from home:
- Start a blog: I make over $5,000 per month with this blog and much probably you’ll not make this amount of money overnight. But if you invest at least one or two hours per day sooner or later you’ll start making money blogging.
- Sell on Amazon: it’s possible to sell stuff on Amazon and earn money, you can create eBooks and sell them on Amazon. And even if you don’t have the expertise to create your own products, you can make money as an Amazon affiliate just by promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for it.
- Become a Virtual Assistant: This is one of the easiest jobs to make money from home. Virtual assistant tasks may include social media management, editing content, support by email and many other simple tasks that require no expertise. You’ll not get rich, but it’s easy money.
These are just some examples, you also can check these online jobs that don’t require advanced knowledge and are easy to get started.
13. Unsubscribe from promotional emails
Do you have the habit of subscribing to receive promotional offers from your favorite online stores?
I used to do this a lot in the past and I just regret it. Online stores are good at sending promotional emails to make you purchase that stuff with an amazing 30% discount.
It seems contradictory but subscribing to promotional emails is not a good way to save money. Simply because you’ll almost always end up purchasing stuff that you really don’t need.
14. Quit smoking and all other bad expensive habits
There’s no need to say that smoking tobacco is harmful to your health, right? According to the American Lung Association, believe it or not, tobacco kills around 500,000 people just in the U.S each year.
Not only it is extremely harmful to your health, but it’s also expensive, cigarettes can cost from $5 to as much as $15 depending of the location you are living.
Stopping smoking can be very profitable for your pocket and your health.
Do you want to die earlier and poor?
I know that the answer is negative, so there’s no excuse, stop smoking now or the price will be expensive.
And there’s no need to tell you about other habits like drinking and having an unhealthy diet eating junk food very frequently, it’s expensive for your pocket and your health.
15. Save money on groceries and meals
You’ll be surprised about how much money we could be saving if we have started planning and making a budget with meals and groceries.
I know this, but eating at home can easily save you a few hundred dollars per month. If you have a problem eating at home it is much probably because of the lack of time to cook and you don’t want to spend more time thinking about what will be your next meal.
And here’s a simple way to resolve this problem, there’s a company called $5 Meal Plan, that will save you tons of time and money fast preparing your meals.
If you join a $5 Meal Plan they’ll send you a delicious meal plan every week that will cost you an average of only $5.00 to prepare your meals.
Planning meals is boring, stressful, time-consuming and if you join this program, certainly it will easily help you save money fast.
With no doubt, this is one of the best ideas to save money at home. We all have to eat, and depending of the size of your family you can easily save a lot of money if you follow this $5 Meal Plan.
Another tip to save money is on groceries, it’s very common to end up buying things that are really not necessary, just because we had a momentary “desire” to buy it.
16. Drive a more affordable car
I’ll ask you one question. Are you one of those people that take out a high-interest loan to pay for your expensive car?
I hope not, but if this is the case, you are not saving money and just making your bank richer. Paying a high-interest for purchasing a car is one of the most common mistakes that people are doing. Not just in the USA, but especially in poor countries where the interest rates are ridiculously high – pay two cars and receive one, this is what happens in many countries outside America.
Now, consider gas, maintenances, taxes, insurance and you are throwing money to space.
Owning your own car is just for people that are in a comfortable financial situation.
Many people are wasting the opportunity to save money and invest just because they are focused on working 40 hours per week to just pay for luxury items like a car that they can’t afford.
17. Remove from your life those countless subscriptions services
Do you know that $9.90 monthly fee that you pay for a virtual Magazine, audio streaming, Netflix, games, apps for your phone, etc, etc?
Although they are fun and you think that they are really essential, think twice. Are they really necessary?
Maybe you have 10 active subscriptions paying “only” $10/month, but this is $1,200 per year that you are not saving.
Surely some subscription services are really important. My recommendation is that you analyze them and cut those that are really not important for you.
Do you want to know the truth? Above are the best tips and ideas on how to save money that is essential and can help you to save hundreds of dollars per month or even a few thousands depending of your situation (if you have a family or not, for example).
Now (it’s funny) but if you make a quick search online, you’ll find another gazillion weird and even extreme ideas and tips to save money like:
- Eating much less
- Not using toilet paper (ugh)
- Wash clothes in the shower
- Take a vacation at Christmas to save money on gifts
- Make your haircut
- Etc, etc.
Honestly, these are some stupid ideas to save money, because, in the end, the savings will not be worth the discomfort you’ll face.
Every person has a different financial situation and goals and while for some people the tips and tricks to save money listed on this topic can be extremely essential, for other people, they won’t make any significant difference.
Finally, I hope this long article has helped you in some way to save money fast each month or at least paying your debts faster.