Finding ways to save more money on everything is one of the best things you can do to keep from spending more than you make every month. But if you need to save more money, where do you start? When there are so many ways to save available, it can get a little overwhelming in no time. That's where this huge list of money saving tips comes in!
In today’s post, I’ll show you a ton of ideas for saving money- many of which you may not have ever thought of before! It’s a long list, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Just pick out the top four or five you think will work best for you and get started saving more money today!
Here we go:
Save Money and Get Paid to Shop With Rakuten
If you’re like me, you do most of your shopping online. But did you know you can save money and get paid to do your regular online shopping? Rakuten has affiliate agreements with over 1,800 online stores (including Amazon, Kohls, Walmart, Target, and others).
Each time you make an online purchase, Rakuten gets a referral fee. Then they share part of that fee with you! You can also earn more money when your friends and family sign up!
Here’s my Rakuten tutorial to show you how to Get Paid to Shop with Rakuten- Earn Free Money Shopping Online how it works.
Once you sign up (and earn a free $10 signup bonus), all you have to do is visit Rakuten.com anytime you shop online. You can shop directly from their home page, or use their handy browser extension.
I typically earn anywhere from $25-$100 every month, just by buying our groceries and other online purchases!
Just Click the logo below to join now- It's easy and free!
Keep Track and Set Goals
Another great way to save more money and spend less is to do a better job managing your money. Most people don’t do this effectively, so they end up wasting money and spending more than they make.
Tracking and setting spending goals helps you use money more efficiently, saving you money you would have wasted otherwise.
The powerful (and FREE!) tools at Personal Capital help you keep track, set goals, and manage all your financial accounts in one simple dashboard!
Learn more about Personal Capital here (It's FREE!).
Save More Money Switching to a Cheaper Cell Phone Plan
Most people pay more than they should for cell phone service. It’s easy to let your cell phone bill to get out of control, especially if you have a family.
However, there are cheaper (yet still high quality) options available if you know where to look. One of my favorites is Republic Wireless, where you can save more money (up to hundreds of dollars a year) on your cellphone bill!
Their plans start as low as $15 per month, with phones as low as $99.
If you’re in the market for an extremely affordable cell phone plan, then you can check coverage for your area here.
Get Rid of Your High Cost Health Insurance (and Use This Instead)
Health insurance costs are out of control! Even with Obamacare and healthcare reform, insurance is still expensive.
But there is a lower cost alternative.
If you are a Christian and don’t mind following a few basic rules, you may be eligible for Medishare.
Medi-Share is a Christian health insurance alternative that costs much less than normal health insurance. My friends that use it tell me they are saving around 50% on their health care spending.
It works similar to regular insurance, but the costs are less because the members cooperate and follow a few basic guidelines to keep costs down. You can find out more about Medishare on their website.
You can also read my post about how Medi-Share works here.
Refinance Your Student Loans at a Lower Rate
Student loans are a huge thorn in the side for many people. But you can save more money and pay them off faster by refinancing your student loans at a lower rate.
I’m a big fan of SoFi for student loan refinancing to save money on your student loan payments. SoFi can help you significantly lower the interest rate on your student loans, which can help you save thousands of dollars over time.
It’s free to apply, and you can find out how much money you can save pretty quickly once you fill out your info.
You can find out all the details about SoFi in this post, or you can visit the SoFi home page for more info.
Save More Money on Electricity by Using LED Bulbs
Replace your incandescent bulbs to LED’s. LED bulbs use about 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and last upwards of a decade or more. There is a larger up-front cost, but it’s definitely worth it, as the energy savings over time pays for the bulb many times over.
You don’t even have to replace every bulb in your house. Replace the bulbs you use most frequently and you’ll still get a significant savings on your electric bill!
Install a Dual Flush Converter Kit for Your Toilet
Most toilets can be more efficient if they have the right hardware. That’s where a dual flush converter comes in! It helps you save more money on your water bill by using less water to rid the bowl of “number 1” than it does to flush “number 2”.
It’s pretty easy to install if you’re a little handy. Once installed, you have two push buttons to choose from. You can do a full flush (for #2) or a flush using less water (for #1).
You can save hundreds of gallons of water every month, lowering your water bill in the process.
I installed a dual flush kit on one of our toilets at home. I’ve been very happy with how well it works and how much money it saves.
Get a dual flush converter kit here.
Use Low Flow Shower Heads
Another great way to save more money on your water bill! Installing a low flow shower head allows you to get just as clean while using less hot (and cold) water in the process.
If you don’t mind spending a little more to save even more money, get a shower head with ShowerStart technology. Either way, a low flow showerhead is an investment that pays for itself in no time, saving plenty of cash on your water bill.
Save More Money on Utility Bills- Get a Nest Thermostat
I’m a huge fan of the Nest thermostat for saving more money in utility bills! In fact, I’ve been using two Nests in my own home for several years now.
The Nest is an internet connected smart thermostat. It learns your routine and adjusts the temp automatically while you’re home and away.
The Nest thermostat is accessible on your desktop or mobile device. You can set up a heating/cooling schedule that works best for you and your family to save energy and keep you comfortable.
Buying our two Nests is the best thing I’ve done to save more money on our gas and electric bills over the years.
We save at least 10% a month on our utility bill- they paid for themselves within the first year! Buying a Nest thermostat is a bit of an upfront investment, but it can pay for itself within a year.
Learn about the Nest Thermostat Here
Seal Your Home from the Weather
Leaky windows and doors mean you are also leaking money. Not having your house properly sealed from the weather can be equivalent to leaving a window open 24/7.
Wherever you find air leaks in your house, seal them with the proper material and you will easily save more money on your utility bill. You can close up leaks by sealing your windows with caulk or plastic sheeting and sealing your doors with weatherstripping.
Get Out of Debt
This one is my favorite! The more debt you have, the more money you waste paying interest and fees for the privilege of using other people’s money to live your life. Getting out of debt is the best thing you can do to save more money and stop living paycheck to paycheck like everybody else.
Learn more about my online get out of debt course here
Unplug Electronics and Appliances When Not Being Used
When electronics are plugged in but not in use, they are still using small amounts of electricity. This electrical leakage adds up over time, especially when you have a large variety of devices that stay plugged in.
To save more money on your utility bill, unplug devices when they’re not being used. Plug your electronics into a smart power strip that allows you to turn several devices on/off at the same time.
Browse Smart Power Strips here
Purchase Quality Instead of Cheap Stuff
I’ve been accused of being cheap so many times it’s ridiculous! It’s just not true! The real truth is that I spend my money carefully. I only buy things I can afford, and I only pay with cash to avoid going into debt for the things I want and need.
Otherwise, I don’t mind foregoing purchases to save some money.
Whether it’s clothing, cars, or whatever else, my mantra is to buy high quality stuff that lasts longer and works better, even if it costs a little more. Ultimately, buying quality stuff saves more money because you don’t have to buy it as often.
Buy Used Cars Instead of New
When you buy a new car, it depreciates 30-35% in the first year. Unless you’re independently wealthy and can afford it, why watch your new car lose a ton of value as soon as you drive it off the lot? Let someone else lose that money!
I’ve been buying only used cars for years. I believe it’s easily the best way to save more money when buying a car.
By the way, I also pay cash for my cars.
Financing a car is a loser’s game, forcing you to spend extra money that’s wasted on interest and fees.
Don’t think you can pay cash for your next car? Think again, here’s how to do it.
Not sure if you should fix your car or just get another one? Read this.
Try Bartering Goods and Services
You probably have skills or physical items that are worth something to someone else. Instead of paying cash for things you need, try bartering. It’s easy to find people willing to barter with you through Craigslist’s bartering page and sites such as U-Exchange. Just be careful to do your research about the possible drawbacks to bartering before jumping in head first.
Make a Shopping List and Stick To It
Before you go to the grocery store, always make a detailed grocery list of everything you need. When you get to the store, buy only what’s on the list. Don’t be swayed by a special sale unless it’s for an item that’s already on the list.
Sale items are usually put at eye level or on an end cap where you will be most likely to see them. Supermarkets are set up to influence you to buy on impulse and purchase items with a large profit margin. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you’re a savvy shopper you can avoid their marketing techniques and buy only the items on your list.
Buy Used Stuff
As I said above, I only buy used cars. But cars aren’t the only use merchandise I buy. In fact, I’m writing this post on a refurbished Dell laptop which cost me about $200 less than the brand-new version.
You’d be shocked at the awesome deals you can get on stuff that’s barely been used!
Sometimes you can find “open box” items that haven’t been used at all, but can’t be sold as new because the package has been opened or damaged.
I get killer deals on EBay on open box merchandise all the time!
I buy my shoes on Ebay from sellers that specialize in returned merchandise. Usually I only buy high-end brand name shoes such as Johnston-Murphy and Allen Edmonds. But instead of paying $200-$400 a pair, I usually pay around $50-$100!
Believe it or not, my wife even found some awesome glass and wrought iron shelves someone had set out for the garbage collector that had absolutely nothing wrong with it. They didn’t want the shelves anymore and were too lazy to give them away or sell them (price = FREE!).
There are tons of ways to save more money on almost anything you want or need, you just have to know where to look. Never pay full price if you don’t have to!
Cancel Your Gym Membership
If you’re not using your gym membership, you’re wasting money. Unless you start using it, you should go ahead and cancel it- NOW!
There are plenty of ways to get an excellent free workout both at home or somewhere else. Personally, I often work out to some of the great exercise videos on YouTube.
Ask Questions Before You Make a Big Purchase
Have you ever experienced regret after making a big purchase and realized that you made a huge mistake? Maybe you realized you just wasted a lot of money, or maybe you bought on pure emotion without thinking about the consequences.
Whatever the cause of your retail regret, you probably realize that you need to find a way to prevent that from happening again.
Before you make your next large purchase, ask yourself a few important questions to make sure you know why you’re buying, and the potential consequences. The questions include:
- Can I really afford this?
- Are there additional costs I need to consider?
- How long did it take me to earn the money I’m about to spend? Is it worth the time I spent earning that money?
- Can I wait 24 hours to think about it?
- Am I buying out of emotion?
- Can I borrow the item from someone instead of buying it?
- Is there a return policy?
- Do I actually need this?
When you take the time to truly consider what a large purchase will truly cost you, you may discover you really don’t need it. Taking time and asking questions will save more money in the long run.
Get Freebies for Your Birthday!
Got a birthday? Of course you do! You can get tons of free stuff for your birthday just by showing your birth date on your driver’s license or by signing up for a company’s perks program. This is easy money saving tip is a no-brainer, it’s easy and free for everyone!
Check out 31 Birthday Freebies to Sign Up For.
Quit Keeping Up with the Joneses
Let’s face it, we’ve all tried to keep up with the Joneses at one time or another. Whether you’re driving a car you can’t afford or living in a house that’s draining you dry because you want to be like everyone else, it’s a recipe for financial disaster.
The result is an excessive amount of debt that sets you back years with your financial goals, if not decades.
Stop using loans and credit cards to buy stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t really care about!
Leaving that attitude behind will save more money on everything you buy in the long run!
Set Savings Goals
Set a goal for how much money you want to save every month. Setting goals helps you stay on task financially and save more money that might have otherwise been wasted.
Making sure you’re committed to a savings goal is a great way to ensure you build wealth for the future, instead of spending everything you have with nothing to show for it.
Find Ways to Increase Your Income
Finding ways to make extra money can have a huge impact on your savings account. Even a small side hustle can help you save $200 a month. Increasing your income makes a massive difference in how much savings you accumulate over time!
I’ve written quite a fewe articles on how to make extra money. You’ll find them at the link below:
The CFF Money Making Ideas Page
Air Dry Your Clothes
Clothes dryers use a huge amount of energy. Instead, hang up your clothes and let them air dry. If it’s wintertime or you’re not allowed to have a clothesline in your neighborhood, you can use a drying rack to dry your clothes indoors.
Get an Energy Audit from Your Utility Company
Most utilities will do a free energy audit on your home to see where you’re wasting energy, and give you suggestions for correcting the problem. Many utilities also have other programs available to help you save more money on your utility bill. Contact your local utility to discover programs that might fit the bill.
Planning meals ahead of time help you purchase groceries more efficiently. You will also save more money by avoiding unplanned stops for fast food because you failed to plan ahead. Planning meals can help you eat more healthy too!
My friend Lauren Greutman at IamThatLady.com is an expert on saving money through meal planning. She can show you everything you need to do your meal planning right!
Check out Lauren’s awesome meal plans here.
Lower Your Property Taxes
If you own a home you may be paying too much on property taxes. Experts estimate that 50% of homeowners are paying more than they should!
Call your county tax assessor and request a reassessment that could potentially lower your property tax bill. Keep in mind though, if home prices in your area have risen substantially over the last few years, your tax bill could actually increase.
Switch to Term Life Insurance
Life insurance is a terrible investment. If you’re stuck in an expensive whole life policy, cash it out and buy term life insurance for about 10% of what whole life usually costs. Use the money you save toward paying off debt or to put into investments.
When you study up on them, you’ll discover that universal and whole life insurance policies are far more expensive than term life. They are terrible investments too. In almost every case, you’ll do better with a cheaper term life policy that leaves more money in your pocket.
Use the Library
If you read a lot of books, don’t clutter your house and spend all your money buying books. Get books from your local library and save more money for something else!
Also, If you have a friend or family member who uses a Kindle, you can borrow books from them for a short period of time to read on your own Kindle.
Save More Money by Comparing Insurance Rates
Insurance is a very competitive business, so it’s easy to find a better deal on insurance when you need one. A good way to save money fast is to review your insurance coverage once a year. Compare the rates you’re paying for homeowner’s, car insurance, medical insurance and others to make sure you always get the best deal.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water has a ton of health benefits. But did you know drinking water can save a lot of money too? Drinking a glass of water before a meal fills your stomach, helping you to eat less. Therefore, you save money on food and consume less calories.
When you eat at a restaurant, drinking water helps you save more money on your bill instead of ordering soda or alcohol. If you drink lots of soda or sports drinks at home, you’ll also save money on your grocery bill.
Do Your Own Repairs
When something breaks around the house, try to fix it instead of trashing it or calling a repair service. Most repairs aren’t that complicated. If you’re not sure how to repair something, you should be able to find a video on YouTube that will show you how to do it.
I’m a pretty handy guy, so I repair a lot of things around the house to save money. You don’t have to be an expert to fix most things, you just need to be willing to take the time and learn a new skill if you need to.
Change Air Filters Frequently
Changing the air filter on your HVAC monthly is quick and easy way to save more money on your electric and/or gas bill. Most people don’t change their filter often enough, causing the unit to run less efficiently than it should. Keeping a clean filter in your HVAC saves money every single month, and keeps you more comfortable too!
Quit Using Credit Cards
Any time I write about saving more money, this one is always on the list! I’ll keep saying it ‘till my face turns blue- credit cards are easily the worst thing you can use to finance your life.
Studies show that most people who use credit cards carry a balance. That means they spend hundreds (or thousands) of extra dollars every year paying interest and fees. If you really want to save more money and get rid of debt, get rid of your credit cards for good!
Here are some of my articles on credit cards that can help with that.
Take Your Lunch to Work
This is an easy one. Whenever you go out to lunch, you pay $8-$15 dollars every time. Taking your lunch to work is much cheaper. I make a six-figure income, but I’m certainly not too proud to take my lunch to work every day. I’ve been brown bagging it almost every day for 25 years! It’s not hard to save money fast when you don’t have to pay restaurant prices every day for lunch!
Free Entertainment and Community Activities
Find free activities instead of spending money going to dinner with friends, sporting events, or movies. Take a hike, ride a bike, or have a picnic in the park.
Most cities and towns have free activities available if you know where to look. Just do a Google search for free activities for your town and you’ll find plenty of free entertainment that you didn’t know was available.
Rotate and Balance Your Tires Regularly
Tires are expensive! Every time one of our cars needs them, it’s always $600 or more for a set. The best thing you can do to save more money on tires is to get them rotated and balanced on a regular basis.
Rotating and balancing on a regular schedule helps your tires wear evenly and last as long as possible. If you don’t, your tires can wear out in half the time, costing you a lot more money to stay on the road.
I usually get my tires balanced and rotated every time I have my oil changed, so I can knock out two birds with one stone.
Walk or Bike More Often
Drive your car less often to save more money on gas. Anytime you can walk or bike to your destination, do it. Not only is it good for your bank account, it’s good for your health!
Eat Out Less Often
Eating out costs 4 times more than eating a at home, on average. Many people have no idea how much they spend in restaurants every month. Instead of making excuses for why you can’t fix dinner at home, prepare your meals ahead of time (see the section on Meal Planning above) and cook them later as needed. You will be surprised at how much money you’ll save on food with this tip!
Switch Up Dinner for Something Cheaper
Dinner is typically the most expensive and elaborate meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be. Save your money and do something simple. Fix a large casserole, a chef’s salad, or even prepare breakfast food for dinner.
Making cheap, simple dishes with simple ingredients can save more money on your grocery bill if you do it on a regular basis.
Empty Your Storage Unit
Too many people store too much crap in storage units! It’s a monthly cost that never seems to go away.
Stop paying someone else to store your junk for you. Clean out that storage unit and sell all that junk. You might be surprised how much money you can make and save at the same time!
Sweat The Small Stuff
Save your pocket change and deposit it into an investment account periodically. Take your lunch to work. Plan to run errands all at once to save gas instead of making multiple trips. If you’re so inclined, you can even roast your own coffee (and make extra money doing it, here’s how).
There are always ways to cut costs to save more money you can put straight into savings. You will be amazed at how much you can save when you get creative.
Simplify Your Finances
Managing your finances isn’t always easy. It’s hard enough just to manage the non-financial parts of life! We all have a lot of clutter in our lives – not just physical, mental as well!
By making efforts to simplify your life, you can learn to be happier, waste less time/money, and be more in control. It’s all about making life more livable.
Simplifying your life can include:
- Getting more organized.
- Automating payments.
- Paying off debt.
- Decluttering and downsizing.
- Spending less time participating in social media.
- Paying some expenses annually or semiannually.
- Paring down your clothing options.
Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions
You can save more money on newspapers and magazines by getting the electronic version instead of the physical version.
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco kills nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. each year. It also depletes your wallet substantially every month.
Smoking cigarettes leads to many harmful side effects, such as heart disease, lung cancer, and other medical problems too numerous to count (and cost a lot of money to manage).
Not only is it unhealthy, it is also expensive. Depending on where you live, a pack-a-day habit can cost you $150-$450 per month. Smokers also earn an average of 20% less than non-smokers.
So, this may seem obvious but I’ll say it anyway- even if you don’t need to save more money- STOP SMOKING!
Take a Staycation This Year
Instead of taking an expensive vacation this year, save more money on travel by taking a staycation. You can still have fun during your time off exploring local attractions, playing golf or tennis, going out to eat, and generally enjoying life.
Even though you don’t travel, you can still do all the things you would normally do on vacation, but you’ll save tons of money on travel, lodging, and overpriced food. It’s an excellent way to treat yo’self and save more money at the same time!
Get Books from the Library
All you need is a library card to save more money on books. If you’re an avid reader, why buy book after book when you can get them at the library for free?
Build an Emergency Fund
I don’t care who you are, everybody needs an emergency fund! Saving money for future emergencies is one of the smartest things you can do financially. However, most people don’t do it. According to Bankrate.com, 26% of Americans have no emergency fund at all. Even more have an inadequate emergency fund.
What happens when you have an emergency but no emergency fund? You end up in debt, and debt costs a lot of money.
Saving more money to an emergency fund not only makes you more financially secure, it saves tons of money in the long run because it helps keep you out of debt.
Take in a Roommate
If you have the room, you can take in a roommate to share expenses. This could potentially save you a lot of money on housing expenses that you can use to pay off debt, put into savings, or invest for the future.
Do Your Own Nails
Ok, I’m a guy, so I really don’t understand the whole “getting your nails done” thing. I know getting your nails done is not cheap, so you can certainly save more money doing your nails yourself.
Get Your Hair Done at a Beauty School
Getting your hair done is even more expensive. You can save more money on hair care substantially by going to your local beauty school and letting a student do your hair. They may not be as experienced, but they are supervised by an instructor, so you can be assured they will do their best.
Keep Savings and Checking Accounts at Different Banks
When you see your savings account balance every time you log in to your checking account, it has a psychological effect. When you see that you have a nice nest egg in your savings account, you’re much more likely to tempted to spend some (or all) of that money.
Keeping your savings at another bank solves this problem. You’ll save your savings for what it’s meant for, instead of spending it on things you don’t need.
Get on the Same Team With Your Spouse
Angie and I used to fight about money- a lot! Once we finally took a personal finance course and learned to work together financially, the difference has been amazing!
We haven’t had a money fight in over a dozen years, and both of us know where all the money is going at all times. Because we’re in agreement on our finances, we’ve saved tons of money over the years that otherwise would have been wasted.
Check out my online get out of debt course to learn how we did it.
Purchase Used Gift Cards
Most people don’t realize you can buy used gift cards at a discount– sometimes for as much as 15% off the face value of the card! Wouldn’t it be awesome to pay 15% less on everything you buy?
Just make sure to buy gift cards to store you’re absolutely sure you’ll use. Otherwise you’re just wasting your money.
Sites like Giftcardrescue.com and Cardpool.com or offer substantial discounts on gift cards to retailers such as Target, Walmart, popular grocery stores, and most large retailers.
Use the Envelope System
One of the best things Angie and I ever did for our finances was to use the envelope system. Instead of whipping out the plastic, we use cash from our envelopes for daily expenses.
The envelope system is awesome because it never allows you to spend more than you make!
Done in combination with a written monthly budget, it’s the best thing you can do to get your spending under control, save more money every single month.
Read my post on how to start using the envelope system.
Don’t Increase Your Lifestyle When You Get a Raise
Each time you get a raise, it’s easy to increase your lifestyle to match. Be careful though, I’ve seen a ton of people over the years who start making a lot of money, but are still as broke as they were in college.
When you get a raise, start putting most of that extra money into savings and investments. Ultimately, it’s the best use for that money, as it will grow exponentially over the years instead of going to pay for a fancier car that goes down in value.
Save Money on Your Morning Coffee
Oh yes, the old personal finance standby! Save more money by making your own coffee at home instead of spending $4-$6 at the coffee shop.
Better yet, you can roast your own coffee to your personal specifications and enjoy a more customized experience than you can get at the coffee shop! You can turn coffee roasting into a side business too. How cool would it be to make your own coffee brand and sell it to friends and family?
Here’s a great post showing you how to roast your own beans and make money selling them.
Lawn care services
Start doing your own lawn care instead of paying someone else to do it. You can easily save over $1,000 a year on lawn care depending on the size of your lawn.