How To Save Money: The Complete Guide | 115 Simple Ways To Save Money

how to save money fast

Are you living paycheck to paycheck and want to break the cycle?

Are you making a good income but just can’t seem to save any money?

If you want to learn how to save money you’ve come to the right place.

In this post I am going to show you how anyone, regardless of your financial situation can start saving money quickly.

Even if you have a hard time saving, I will show you simple ways to make it happen.

117  Simple Ways To Save Money

Now we get to the good part.

Ways for you to start saving money.

I’m sharing with you 117 simple money saving tips.

You can use these savings tips for both short term goals and long term goals.

And you can cherry pick and stack the ones that will work for you and use them.

This means you don’t have to just pick one from the list.

You can pick 5, 15, or more savings tips and really skyrocket your savings.

I’ve broken these simple tips down into groups so you can easily find what you are looking for.

In the list you will learn:

  • How to save money fast
  • Ways to save money on groceries
  • How to save money on a wedding
  • Ways to save money in college
  • How to save money on food
  • Ways to save money on a car
  • Ways to save money on a house
  • How to save money on gas

You can use these tips to save each month, even if you are on a tight budget.

I promise if you follow these tips, you will be amazed at your annual savings going forward.

So let’s get started!

General

how to save $100,000

#1. Save First

When you get paid, make it a point to put a portion into a savings account.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, just get in the habit of saving something every time you get paid.

When you save first, you are free to spend whatever is left over.

By doing this, you don’t make the mistake that others do, which is trying to save what is left at the end of the month.

#2. Automate

As important as it is to save first, it’s not always ideal to remember to make a savings transfer when you get paid.

The solution is to set up automatic transfers.

When you automate, you ensure you save all the time and never forget.

Just set up a plan to move $10 into savings every month.

If you can afford to save more, then do it.

#3. Create A Budget

A budget, or a spending plan, is huge if you want to save money each month.

By following a budget, you see your spending habits and in some cases, this may shock you.

But the benefit of knowing where you are spending is critical if you want to save.

You will see where you are spending money you didn’t realize and make it point to reduce it.

#4. Make Savings Goals

Saving money is a lot easier when you have a goal to aim for.

But before you make your goal a huge number, step back and create milestones along the way.

This ensures that you stay motivated to reach your goal.

For example, if your goal is to have $5,000 create milestones and try to hit $500 first.

Saving this smaller amount is more manageable and will keep you engaged much more.

#5. Create Long Term Goals

A great trick to save money each month is to create long term financial goals.

What is it you want to achieve financially?

Do you want to retire by age 50? Maybe take a year off work to travel the world?

Whatever your dreams are, stop letting them be pie in the sky ideas and write them down and turn them into goals.

When you do this, you will be less likely to spend on things you don’t need.

Instead you will be faced with a question as whether or not buying the item is getting you closer to your goal or farther away.

#6. Understand Needs Versus Wants

Do you know the difference between a need and a want?

Over the past few years, this line has blurred and many wants are now seen as needs.

This results in us having much higher living expenses and much less in savings.

Take some time to sit down and look over your budget.

Look at everything you spend money on and determine what is a need and what is a want.

Then try to slowly eliminate the wants from your budget.

But don’t get rid of every want.

You still need some wants to enjoy life.

But if you find you are overspending on wants, it is time to find ways to cut them down.

#7. Review Your Habits

What are your habits?

You probably never thought about this, but take some time and be mindful of what your habits are and how they cost you.

For example, maybe you stay up late to watch a television show.

This causes you to get less sleep and make poor financial decisions.

The solution could be to record the show and watch it at another time.

Or maybe you go to happy hour for drinks after work.

Maybe you can cut this out a few times and stash the money instead.

By reviewing your habits, you can find areas where you spend and opportunities to save that you otherwise never realized.

#8. Understand Your Values

Earlier I talked about looking over your budget and finding needs versus wants.

You should also take some time and figure out what your values are.

What things in life add value to your life and make you happy?

You will find that many of the things you spend money on add zero value to your life.

In other words, they may give you a temporary high in feeling good, but long term, they do not add any value.

Once you figure out what you value, then you can spend on things that matter to you and stop spending it on things that don’t matter.

#9. Follow A 365 Day Challenge

This is a savings challenge that has you put aside a set amount every day of the year.

Most people taking part in this challenge have a goal of $1 per day. At the end of the year, you grew your savings by $365.

The great thing though is that you can choose any amount.

If your budget is tight and $1 per day is doable, then save that amount.

But if you can put away more, then do that.

Just remember to automate this so you never forget to put money aside!

#10. Follow A 52 Week Challenge

This is the same concept as the 365 challenge above but with a twist.

Instead of saving $1 per day, you save $1 during the first week, then $2 the second week and $3 the third week.

52 Week Saving Challenge

Eventually you get to saving $52 for the last week of the year. This gets you to $1,300 for the year.

This challenge starts out easy but gets hard as the year progresses so you have to pick the right amount to start with.

#11. Save Windfalls

What do you do with money you weren’t expecting?

Most people do nothing with it other than deposit it into their checking account.

Then they end up spending it.

Instead, make it a point to save instead.

Put it into an account and forget about it.

You won’t miss it and having it stashed away will earn you more interest.

#12. Save Tax Refunds

Getting a tax refund is great because it is money you weren’t expecting.

And if you are smart with how you use your tax refund, it can launch your finances into better shape quickly and easily.

Unfortunately, most people waste their tax refund by spending it on things instead of saving it.

I’m not here to tell you to save your entire tax refund, but instead of just spending the whole thing, set up a plan.

For me, I divide my refund into groups.

The first 10% I spend however I want. The other 90% I put away.

Doing this allows me to get the enjoyment of buying something with the money and at the same time, save a lot and improving my finances.

When I was in debt, I put 10% towards anything I wanted. I then took 70% of what remained and put that towards my debt.

Whatever amount was left I saved.

It is up to you to determine how much you save or put towards debt, but the key is to make it a substantial amount.

The average tax refund is over $3,000.

If you save 70% of this, which is $2,100 each year for 5 years, you have more than $10,000 saved!

And this isn’t taking into account interest or growth of your investments.

Saving your tax refund is a simple thing to do and has a major impact on your finances down the road.

#13. Save Loose Change

If you still pay with cash, what do you do with the loose change you get?

Keep it in your cars cup holder? Toss it in a jar?

When I spend this way, which isn’t often, I put my loose change in a jar.

Then at the end of the year, I take the loose change and save it. It usually works out to be a few hundred dollars.

In the past, I would take it to my bank that had a free coin counting machine.

But they got rid of it and everywhere I go, banks or stores want a fee for counting my loose change.

Instead of paying a fee, I bought some coin sleeves and roll up the change myself and take it to my bank and deposit it into my account.

#14. Save Your Raises

This is the same concept as saving windfalls and your tax refund.

If you get a raise at work, be sure to save some portion of it.

Seeing as you were surviving on your old salary, you should be able to put away a portion of your new, higher salary.

The easiest way to do this is to increase your 401k contribution.

When I would get a raise, I would email my human resources department for the form and increase my contribution by 1%.

It’s a simple thing to do that took me less than 5 minutes.

But it helped me to quickly grow my 401k balance into one much higher than average.

#15. Find A Mentor

Successful people find others who have achieved what they want out of life and use them as a mentor to learn from.

Your task is to figure out what it is you want out of life and then find some people who have reached that goal.

Then seek them out and see if they will mentor you. Don’t be shy about it.

Most successful people are willing to mentor others who show drive and determination for reaching their goals.

#16. Find Like Minded People

Find others who are financially smart to keep your motivation high.

By being part of a community, you can lean on others when you don’t feel like saving.

If you hang around with people who have bad financial habits, you are going to waste a lot of money too.

But if you spend time with people who are smart with their money, you will learn from them and start making smarter financial decisions.

#17. Get Some Sleep

Sleep is huge in accumulating wealth.

The more tired you are, the more likely you are to give into your urges.

This could mean eating out for lunch or not thinking through a purchase.

Plus getting sleep is great for your long term health.

Aim for 7-8 hours each night. If this is hard at first, here are some great tips to help you get more sleep.

#18. Exercise

In addition to eating well, you also need to exercise.

And you don’t have to join a gym to get a good workout. You can walk and do body weight exercises.

By making an effort to exercise, you will make yourself healthier over the long term, which can save you a ton of money on health related expenses down the road.

And you will tend to not put on weight, which is another way bad health ends up costing you.

#19. Read More

Reading books expands your mind and help you grow as a person.

As you learn and grow, you will start making smarter decisions in life and with your money.

Pick some topics that you find interesting and find some books you would like to read based on those topics.

Eventually, as you read more and more, you will watch less TV.

This will make it easy to cancel cable and save the most money long term.

In the short term, you’ll lower your energy costs by having the TV turned off.

If you are interested in personal finance or success, check out my recommended resources section for my favorite books.

#20. Stay In

Do you tend to go out a lot with friends on the weekends?

Dinner and drinks can really add up.

Of course, I am not suggesting you become a hermit and never leave your house, but pick a couple times to stay in instead.

Here is how my friends and I make this work.

We rotate between each of our houses.

The host makes dinner, usually something simple and cheap, then we play board games or watch movies.

It is always a great night and we never miss out by not going out.

In fact, we began to quickly enjoy staying in more than going out!

#21. Cancel Emails

You probably get a mountain of emails from various companies all trying to sell you something.

Many times, these emails work too.

You will be enjoying your day and then get an email that says 40% off.

You click through and suddenly you have a cart full of things you didn’t know you needed.

The solution? Unsubscribe from the mailing lists.

You can keep the emails from the companies you shop with regularly so you can take advantage of sales when you do need something, but for all the others, unsubscribe.

Many times, you can find a coupon code online that will be just as good as the sales in the emails, so you won’t ever be missing out.

#22. Save On Subscriptions and Memberships

How many memberships and subscriptions do you have that you rarely use?

If you are like many, the answer is a lot.

To stop wasting money, you need to cancel them.

But how do you do this? Use a free service called Trim.

They will scan through your expenses and highlight ones that they think you can cancel.

They will also highlight others that they think you can get discounts on as well.

They even will negotiate your cable bill for you too!

Click the link below to see how much you can save!

Trim

#23. Stay Off Social Media

It used to be that social media was a great way to stay in touch with old friends and relatives.

Now it is a marketing machine.

Advertisers are clever in advertising on these platforms and entice you to spend.

Just as bad, most people only post the positives in their lives and this gives us a false sense of reality.

As a result, we want the same great things they appear to have and go into debt to get them.

Be smart with social media.

Understand how it works and how it steals your money without you realizing it.

The less time you can spend on social media, the more money you will keep in your pocket.

#24. Use Flexible Spending Account

If your employer offers you a flexible spending account, you need to take advantage of it.

When you do, you save money on taxes.

Here is how it works.

You determine an amount you want to put into your account for a year and your employer will deduct a portion of that amount from each paycheck.

Then when you have a medical bill, you use this account to pay it.

The only catch is that you have to use the money in the account by the end of the year or you lose it.

To avoid this, make sure you are conservative in your estimate of how much you spend on medical care in a year.

#25. Use Health Savings Account (HSA)

This option is even better than the flexible spending account.

You can save money in an HSA if you are covered by a high deductible health plan at work.

This plan works much the same as a flexible spending account.

The difference is that you don’t have to use the money in the account by the end of the year.

In fact, you can keep the money for as long as you want.

You can even invest it in the stock market.

This is what I am doing and basically makes my HSA account a Roth IRA.

#26. Know Your Perks At Work

Do you know all of the benefits you get at work?

Sure you probably know about health insurance and paid time off, but chances are your company offers other discounts too.

I was clueless to these additional discounts until I read through an email our human resources department sent out.

I was blown away at the various benefits.

I could get discounts on theme parks, movie tickets, car washes, dry cleaning, flowers, auto insurance and even on cell phone plans.

The very next thing you should do is email your human resources department and ask if there are any discounts you can get through work as an employee.

#27. Use Online Banks

Online banks provide higher interest rates on savings than your typical brick and mortar bank.

And the difference adds up.

So if you aren’t using an online bank, you need to find one immediately.

My favorite is CIT Bank, because they have one of the highest yield online savings account in the country.

It’s easy to get started and build your wealth with CIT Bank

CIT Bank Button

#28. Open Bank Accounts

Another way to accumulate cash is to open up bank accounts.

Many times, banks offer bonuses on new accounts.

And all you have to do to earn the account bonuses is to open the account with a certain amount.

Most times, you might need to complete a direct deposit too.

In some cases, you can earn much more but you will have to deposit a larger amount.

You can see a complete list of current offers here.

#29. Open Credit Cards

Just like opening up bank accounts for bonuses, you can also get bonuses for opening credit cards.

In most cases, you have to spend a certain amount each month for a few months to score the bonus.

You can click on the link below to find the best credit card offers available right now.

Credit Card Button

#30. Have An Accountability Partner

If you can’t find a community of like-minded people, then reach out to a close friend or family member.

Tell them your savings goal and keep them up to date on your progress.

They will instinctively ask about your progress from time to time, helping you to stay on track.

#31. Find Free Entertainment

Looking for something to do?

Instead of doing the same routine and paying for things, see if you can find free things to do instead.

On almost any weekend you should be able to find free things to do in your community or close by.

For example, in the summer you should be able to find free movies or music in your local park.

Community days and car shows are also great things to do for free as well.

To find free things to do in your area, be sure to look through your local newspaper or follow your community online.

#32. Take Advantage Of The Library

Your local library is an amazing place.

Instead of spending on a book you will read once, you can borrow it from the library.

Same holds true for movies too. You can borrow them from your library and lower your entertainment costs.

The best part is that more libraries are now partnering with Amazon.

This means you have a large collection of digital books that you can download and borrow on your device for free.

While you won’t have access to it forever, it is another way using your library saves you money.

#33. Use Community Sites

Instead of buying everything you need, you might be able to get it for free.

Many sites like Craigslist and Freecycle have people post things they no longer need and offer them for free.

You could even use Facebook Marketplace to get deep discounts, saving you hundreds of dollars.

You will have to check out the condition of the item and make sure it meets your needs, but this is a simple way to save money.

#34. Take Advantage Of The Sharing Economy

Related to the point above is to take advantage of the sharing economy.

There are many community sites that have members share tools with each other.

So instead of spending $50 on a tool you might only use once, you can borrow it for free.

But it doesn’t stop there.

You can go in with your neighbors too.

At out last house we shopped at warehouse clubs, bought fruit in bulk and split the cost and the fruit with our neighbors.

We even shared trash collection too.

There are a lot of ways you can save extra cash by splitting costs with your neighbors. You just have to think outside the box.

#35. Understand How Much Your Time Is Worth

Do you equate time and money? Most of us don’t.

But once you do, you will be able to save a lot more.

How does this work?

Look at how long things take you to complete and how much it costs for you to hire someone to do the job for you.

Then look at what you could do instead.

For example, it takes me 2 hours to mow my lawn.

If I hired a landscaper it would cost me $75.

Is my time worth that $75? What would I do instead?

I could use that time to spend with my family. Or I could use it to enjoy one of my many hobbies.

Only you can answer the question if it is worth it or not to pay someone to do a job for you.

But don’t just assume that it is less expensive to do everything yourself.

In many cases, you get more value and satisfaction out of life by doing the things you enjoy and paying someone else to the other things.

Investing

how to save money investing

#36. Invest In Your 401k

This is by far the easiest way to start saving money for retirement.

But it also helps you by reducing your tax burden.

This means you can keep more of the money you work so hard for.

So if you don’t invest in your 401k plan at work, make it a point to start as soon as possible.

#37. Auto Invest

As powerful as automating your savings is, so too is automating your investing.

When you invest on a regular basis, you take advantage of the ups and downs of the market and don’t risk your emotions clouding your judgment.

Plus, the most important thing to growing your wealth through investing is how much you actually save.

So if you don’t have an investment account, open one up today and start putting something away every month.

Don’t know where to start?

Here are my 2 favorites:

Betterment

You can start with as little as $10 and they will build a portfolio and handle everything for you.

All you have to do is set up an automatic transfer.

Betterment Button

Acorns

Acorns will build you a portfolio and take care of everything for you just like Betterment, but instead of setting up an automatic transfer, they round up your purchases and invest that amount for you.

You can also choose to set up a recurring transfer as well, but this isn’t required.

Acorns

#38. Invest In Low Cost Investments

You can make a lot as a result by investing in low cost investments.

When you invest in mutual funds or exchange traded funds, you are paying a management fee to the company for running the fund.

The lower this expense, the better.

Try to keep it under 0.50% for all of your investments. This will typically mean you move over to a passive investing approach, which is a good thing.

The lower the fee you pay, the more of your money stays invested and is able to compound and grow.

If you don’t know how much you are paying in fees, use Personal Capital.

It’s a free service that will show you how much you are paying in fees as well as help you to get a detailed picture of your finances.

Just by using this app, my wife and I have skyrocketed our net worth.

Personal Capital Button

#39. Invest Tax Efficiently

Sticking with the investment theme, make sure you are investing in the right types of investments in the right types of accounts.

Doing this ensures you pay the least amount of taxes.

And this not only saves you money, but the more you keep invested can grow and compound quicker.

Here is a great post on how to invest in a tax efficient manner.

Debt

get out of debt

#40. Pay Extra On Debt

When you are in debt, you are paying back the money you spent plus the interest on that debt.

So if your interest rate on your debt is 17%, then you are paying $0.17 on every dollar of debt you have.

While that might not sound that bad, when you look at the total amount of debt you are in, that $0.17 adds up quickly.

For example, if you have $1,000 worth of debt, that $0.17 in interest now comes to $170.

And if you are in debt $10,000 you are paying $1,700 in interest.

Therefore, the more you can pay towards your debt, the more you save.

In fact, when you pay extra on debt, you are getting a 17% return.

And you can’t get this kind of return anywhere else.

So make it a point to pay as much as you can towards your debt every month.

#41. Pay Off Debt

Related to the point above, you need to get out of debt and then stay out of debt for good.

When you are out of debt, you can take the money that was going towards your debt and put into a dedicated account to really grow your wealth.

So what is the best way to get out of debt? First you need to make sure you know what got you into debt in the first place.

From there, you need a plan.

The best plan for most people is the debt snowball method.

Then you can start the repayment process.

#42. Pay Your Bills On Time

Yes you can lower your bills by paying on time.

How is this possible?

In some cases, utility companies offer a discount when you pay before your due date. This is also true many times for property taxes.

But there is an even bigger reason for making sure you pay your bills on time.

It’s your credit score. The more you pay on time, the higher your credit score.

This is important when you go to take out a loan on a house as you will get a lower interest rate, thus saving you money.

Insurance companies also look at your credit score when determining your annual premium.

With a higher credit score, your premium will be lower.

If you don’t know what yours it, find out what your credit score is for free with CreditWise.

#43. Negotiate Credit Card Interest

If you have credit card debt, an easy savings tip is to call your credit card issuer up and ask for a lower interest rate.

By doing this, you will lower your interest costs as you work to pay off your debt.

There is only one catch here.

When you ask, make sure the lower interest rate is applied to your current balance and not only to new balances.

#44. Refinance Your Student Loans

Another big budget item is student loan debt repayment.

If your monthly student loan bill is taking out a big chunk of your income, you might want to look into refinancing it.

You can easily do this with Credible. They offer a free service that lets you compare your interest rate and monthly payment against other lenders.

There is zero obligation to go through with a refinance and it’s completely free to check out.

#45. Use Cash Back Credit Cards

If you use credit cards, then you need to take advantage of cash back credit cards.

As long as you pay your balance in full each month, you can easily earn money.

I use 3 credit cards that all offer cash back and over the course of a year, I easily average $1,000 in income.

I take this money and put it into an investment account and let it grow for the long term.

#46. Use Credit Cards Strategically

I just told you I use 3 credit cards.

But not all the time. I use them strategically.

I use my Discover card during times it offers 5% cash back on certain purchases. This includes gas stations, warehouse clubs and on Amazon.

I use my American Express card on groceries and gas when I don’t get the bonus cash back from my Discover card.

Finally I use my Citibank card on everything else.

By strategically using my credit cards, I earn more cash back than I would if I stuck to one card.

House

save money on house

#47. Refinance Your Mortgage

For most people, your mortgage is your largest monthly expense.

How can you reduce your payment each month?

The easiest option is to refinance your mortgage.

When you refinance to a lower interest rate, you end up paying less over the life of the loan.

And if you can swing it, try to shorten the term of your mortgage.

Doing so will save you even more overall. Though this could cause your monthly payment to increase.

#48. Fake Refinance

Maybe you don’t qualify for a refinance. Or you can’t get a lower interest rate.

No worries. Just do a fake refinance.

What is this? All you have to do is play with the numbers and write down your “new” monthly payment.

When you mortgage bill comes in the mail, start paying this amount. Just make sure the extra amount you are sending in goes towards principal.

While you won’t be saving money due to a lower interest rate, you will be saving because you are paying extra each month.

#49. Challenge Property Tax Assessment

Did you know you can challenge how much you pay in property taxes?

 I didn’t realize this until we bought our current house.

Our realtor pointed out that our taxes were much higher than other houses in our neighborhood.

After doing some research, I not only found out how easy this is, but that many attorneys offer this service.

In fact, the way they work it is incredible.

Here is how it works.

You provide the attorney the paperwork they need and they take care of the rest.

If they do not get you a reduction, you pay nothing. If they do get you a reduction, their fee is a percentage of the savings capped at a certain amount.

For us, our attorney fee was 25% of the first year’s savings capped at $500.

In their initial letter to us, they said what they thought they could get the assessment and our property tax down to.

In the end, they reduced our property taxes by $1,200. We paid them the $300 and are saving the rest.

#50. Cancel Cable

How much television do you watch?

Chances are you are paying for a lot of channels you never watch.

You could try to negotiate for a lower cable package price, but that usually ends in headaches.

Another option is to have someone negotiate your bill on your behalf.

This is where Trim comes in.

They will actively work to get you a better price on your cable bill. Even if they can’t they will try again the following month.

They are very successful at getting a reduced price too.

They save 70% of their users $30 a month on their cable bill.

You can see how much you will save with Trim by clicking on the link below.

Trim

The solution to lower your cable bill the most though is to cancel cable completely.

This doesn’t mean you can no longer watch television.

There are a lot of lower priced streaming services out there that allow you to put your own channel package together.

Here are a few popular ones:

  • SlingTV: offers various packages depending on your likes and starts at just $20 a month.
  • PureFlix: this is a package that offers family friendly shows and movies.

#51. Declutter

Take a weekend and clean out your house.

Go through room by room and get rid of things you no longer use or want.

If the items are in good condition, you can try to sell them for extra money, or you could donate them.

If they are in poor condition, you can just throw them out.

How does this help you save?

It helps you to see how much you wasted on things you rarely use. It is a real eye-opener for many people.

#52. DIY When You Can

If something breaks is your solution to call someone for help or to just replace the item entirely?

If so, you can save a good amount of money by learning to fix and repair things yourself.

And thanks to the internet, it is easy to learn how to fix things.

Your first step is to do some research to see if the issue is a problem you can tackle and if it is even worth it.

If so, you can jump on YouTube and watch countless videos on how to make the repairs.

I’ve replaced toilets, replaced attic access stairs, a screen door, and more just by watching some videos.

And fixing things myself gives me a huge boost of self confidence too.

So before you shell out your hard earned money to have someone else fix something, see if you can do it yourself.

#53. Be Smart With Laundry

Don’t make the mistake thinking that once you wear an item it needs to be washed.

You can easily wear some outfits a couple of times before washing them.

Doing this not only saves you money on water and electricity, but also on the life of the article of clothing.

For example, when I had to wear business casual, I would wear an undershirt under my dress shirt.

As a result, my dress shirts rarely got dirty. So, I only washed them after the second or third wear.

#54. Wash Cold, Avoid The Dryer

Sticking with the laundry theme,

There are other tricks you can use to reduce your costs.

The first is to wash your clothes in cold water.

Using hot water costs money to heat it up.

Next, try to avoid using the dryer as much as possible.

Not only does it cost you to run it, but it also shortens the life of your clothes.

If you must use the dryer, put a dry towel in with the wet clothes to speed up the drying time.

#55. Downsize

This one is a bit on the extreme side, but one option is to downsize.

Maybe you have a house that is bigger than what you really need. If so, sell it and move into a smaller home.

Not only will you lower your monthly mortgage payment, but all of your utilities will be less and your property taxes will be less.

In all, you will save a ton of money.

If you just can’t accept moving out of your house, another option is to rent out a room.

The rent you earn can offset the bills of keeping the house.

Electric

electric savings

#56. Get An Energy Audit

By far this is the best money we spent since we moved into our house.

Our electric company offers energy audits where a licensed professional comes to your house and points out areas where you are wasting money.

For us, there were a few areas we could add insulation to keep the temperature in the house more stable.

I made the updates myself and our electric bill is now lower.

Another benefit is they gave us a bunch of LED light bulbs for free and coupons for discounts on other energy saving appliances and devices.

They even gave us another smart power strip!

#57. Buy A Programmable Thermostat

Another simple saving tip on electricity costs is to buy a programmable thermostat.

Pay attention to when you are home and away and then set it based on these times.

My favorite is this one from Honeywell. In fact, it is the same one I use.

If you want to lower your cost on electricity but don’t want to manually program a thermostat, the best solution is a smart thermostat.

These detect when you are home and adjusts your thermostat accordingly.

You can even control it manually with an app on your phone too so that your house is warm when you get home.

#58. Replace Lights With LEDs

The cost of buying an LED light bulb is more than an incandescent, but it is much more energy efficient.

This means it reduces your utility bill each month. And they last a lot longer too.

When we moved into our house, I replaced the key bulbs that were on a lot.

This meant the kitchen, master bedroom and master bathroom.

The month after I did this, we saw a meaningful decrease in our electric bill.

I recommend LED lights and not CFLs because even though they say CFL lights last a long time, I’ve had many burn out after a few uses.

Add in the higher purchase price and I lost money there.

So skip CFL bulbs and stick with LEDs.

#59. Buy A Smart Power Strip

When I bought my first house, money was tight.

So I was doing everything I could think of to lower my bills.

One solution I stumbled upon was to turn off my power strip when I left for work.

Even though the television, cable box and receiver were turned off, they were still drawing phantom power.

Thanks to technology, you don’t have to manually do what I had to do.

They now have smart power strips.

You simply plug everything into the power strip and one device into a special port.

When that device is turned off, the power strip cuts off power to all the other devices.

It even has a port for a device that you want to always be on.

For example, you want your DVR to stay on in case you are recording an upcoming show.

My favorite smart power strip is this one.

#60. Raise Your Air Conditioner Temperature

In addition to controlling when your HVAC unit runs, you can also control the temperature to save money.

In the summer, raise the temperature for the air conditioner.

I keep ours at 75.

It feels great coming inside from the hot air and as a result of keeping it warmer inside, our unit isn’t always running, costing us money.

#61. Use Ceiling Fans

When you raise your air conditioner temperature, turn on your ceiling fans.

They will move the air, making it feel cooler than it really is. This helps you raise your air conditioner temperature even more.

And if you have a ceiling fan over your bed, keep it on a low setting.

The cool air moving across your body at night will really keep you cool.

#62. Lower Your Heat

Same idea as above by reversed for the winter. Just lower your heat.

I keep ours at 68. To some this sounds cold but only a few times during the day am I actually cold.

And when this does happen, I just grab a blanket or put on a sweatshirt.

It’s a small price to pay for big time savings on my electric bill.

#63. Boil Water In Microwave

When you boil water on the stove top, do you know how much electric or gas you waste?

You can save a lot of time and money by boiling water in the microwave instead.

Just be sure to know how powerful of a microwave you have so you don’t waste electric and water by boiling it for too long.

Shopping

saving money

#64. Complete A No Spend Challenge

A no spend challenge is where you challenge yourself to not spend in a given budget category for a set amount of time.

This could be a week or a month or even 6 months.

To be successful, you should pick categories that you can go without spending money.

In other words, eating out would be a good place to start.

On the other hand, your rent is not since you have to pay your rent in order to have a place to live.

The key to doing a no spend challenge is to actually save the money.

This means transferring it over to your savings  and not leaving it in your checking account to spend at a later date.

#65. Try The Pause Test

The pause test has you wait before you buy anything.

You can pause for 5 minutes or 30 days. You just have to find the length of time that works for you.

Here is how this works.

Advertisers get us to buy on emotion. A few days later when we think about the purchase we made, we frequently regret it.

This is because the thinking part of our brains need more time to catch up.

By pausing, you give yourself a chance to think through a purchase and decrease the chances of buyer’s remorse.

While this trick does work on major purchases, it really works best for small, everyday spending.

This is where many of use buy on emotion and this overspending is what makes getting ahead financially hard.

This test is powerful and I encourage you to give it a try.

#66. Use The ‘Would You Rather’ Test

This is a variation on the pause test.

Instead of pausing, you ask yourself if you would rather have the item you are thinking about buying or the cash.

If you decide on the cash, then don’t buy the item.

As with the no spend challenge, if you skip on buying something, transfer that amount over to your savings account.

#67. Use The ‘Right Now’ Test

This is yet another twist on the pause test.

Here you ask yourself if you could, would you use the item right this moment.

This test works best for clothing

When you are thinking of buying something, ask yourself if you would wear it right now as you walk out of the store.

If you answer no, then you should put the item back.

While this test doesn’t work 100% of the time, it has saved me from buying clothes many times.

As I look at myself in the dressing room mirror, I know I wouldn’t wear the item out of the store, so I put it back.

#68. Remember The Affordability Rule

This rule is simple to understand but thanks to our urges, is tough to follow.

It basically states that if you can afford to buy something, then you can afford to save instead.

So if you are looking at buying a new home theater system and can afford it, then you can afford to not buy it and move the cash into your savings account instead.

This works by making you think differently.

Too often we don’t think we have enough money to save.

But we do. We just find reasons to spend it.

#69. Try Clothing On

Before buying clothes, I now try everything on before I buy it and this saves money fast.

I see how the shirt or pants look on me and if they don’t look right, I don’t buy the item.

By doing this, I avoid taking the clothing home, trying it on there, and then having to run back to the store to return it.

And many times, I end up trying it on again and again, hoping for a different result.

By the time I admit I don’t want it, it is too late.

#70. Use Cash

Cash is powerful.

There is a psychological connection we have with cash and when we see it leave our hands, we are less likely to spend it.

On the other hand, there is credit, which swiping a piece of plastic has zero emotional connection.

This is why we easily overspend with credit cards.

The solution then is to use cash whenever possible.

The more you use cash, the less stuff you will buy.

#71. Round Up Your Purchases

A simple way to reduce costs is to use technology. There are two great options out there that round up your purchases.

The first is called Qapital.

They will round up your purchases to the next dollar and transfer that amount into a savings account from your checking account.

It’s incredible to see how fast your savings adds up when you do this.

You can click the link below to get $5 just for trying Qapital out.

Qapital Button

Another option is called Worthy Bonds.

This works a little differently than Qapital.

With Worthy, you are investing into bonds that Worthy uses to make loans to small businesses.

You earn a flat 5% return on your investment.

You can have Worthy round up your purchases to buy bonds and earn 5%.

I’ve been using them for a few years now and love how easy it is and how much more I earn.

Click the link below to get started.

Worthy Button

#72. Ask For A Discount

Before you buy anything, make it a point to ask for a discount.

This could be a discount for paying in cash. Or it could be asking if the cashier has any coupons or discounts they can apply.

You will be amazed at how often this works.

On average I save about 5-10% every time I am successful.

Of course, I don’t always get a discount, but more often than not, I do get some discount on the items I am buying.

This even applies to buying a car.

You have to negotiate the price of a car if you want to save money.

And if you don’t like to negotiate, use Edmunds Dealer Quotes and score an amazing deal.

If you are nervous asking for a discount, just remember, the worst they can say is no.

#73. Don’t Go Cheap

Do not buy the cheapest version of everything to save money.

In the long run, it ends up costing you more because the quality of the lower cost items is not as high, meaning it needs to be replaced much sooner.

I’m a perfect example here.

When I bought my house, I bought the lowest priced bath mats I could find. After a couple of washes, they were falling apart.

I ended up buying higher quality mats that lasted me much longer.

So make sure you buy quality items that are going to last. They may cost more upfront, but they will save you even more down the road.

#74. Shop Using Lists

If you don’t shop with a list, you are throwing money away.

And I’m not talking just a grocery list.

Whenever you go shopping, you need to use a list.

Using a list keeps you focused on what you need so you tend to get your shopping done faster.

It also helps you from wandering down aisles and falling victim to clever advertising.

You can either write a list manually, save a list in the notes section on your phone or download a free shopping app.

So before you do any shopping, make sure you write down a list and follow it so you can avoid wasted spending.

#75. Shop Sales

If you aren’t shopping sales, you are a fool.

You can easily get a good selection of food that is on sale every week.

And after you shop sales for a few weeks, you will start seeing a pattern of how the sales work and rotate.

This will make it even easier to save large amounts.

The other week, I brought home a mountain of groceries for $30.

My wife couldn’t believe all that I bought.

Most items were buy one, get one free. Some were buy one, get two free.

You should incorporate this tip with the one above about meal planning to really knock down your grocery bill.

And this doesn’t end at the grocery store.

Shop after the holidays or the end of the season and you can score great deals on everything.

#76. Shop By Unit Price

When you are shopping, especially at the grocery store, don’t shop by price but by the unit price.

This is the smaller number near the bottom of the price tag.

What is the unit price?

It is the true price of the item taking into account the size. This makes it easy to compare two items that might be different sizes.

In general, the bigger the size, the lower the unit price.

But in some cases, the larger the size, the more expensive the unit price is, making it a bad deal.

Understand that if you are buying a larger size, the price tag will be more, but it is cheaper to buy the larger version than the smaller version.

Of course, you also have to take into account how quickly you will use something up.

For example, the gallon of milk will have a lower unit price than a quart of milk.

But if you don’t drink milk that often, it might be smarter to pay the higher unit price and get the quart.

#77. Shop At The Dollar Store

You can save a ton of by shopping at the dollar store.

The things I buy most there are greeting cards as they tend to be 2 for $1.00 and party favors.

This includes streamers, paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic utensils.

I also get some small toys and coloring books for our daughter at the dollar store as well.

It’s a great way to save on a lot of different things.

#78. Use Promo Codes

I love using promo codes to save.

My favorites was with Papa John’s. The day after our local sports teams win, we used the special promo code and get 50% off a pizza.

I got so many pizzas for $6 its crazy.

But it doesn’t end there.

I am always on the lookout for promo codes to help me save.

You can find promo codes on product packaging, on bottom of receipts and many other places.

Just keep your eyes open and you’ll be amazed at the various ways you can save.

#79. Pack Snacks

Just like with drinking water when running errands, you also should pack your own snacks.

Doing so will help you save by not buying fast food or other sugary snacks.

The best snacks to pack are nuts since they do well in both hot and cold temperatures and they keep you feeling full for a long period.

#80. Take Advantage Of Your Birthday

Many restaurants and stores now offer deals on your birthday.

While you shouldn’t be shopping just because you can get a deal, if you are going out to eat for your birthday, then it only makes sense to go to a place that offers you a deal.

Most places will offer you discounts and free items on your birthday. Just do a quick online search and you will find a ton of options.

In most cases you can sign up for free online.

#81. Don’t Buy Cheap Clothes

I know the idea of saving can be taken too far.

I am a perfect example of this.

I was buying tee shirts for $3 apiece. I thought I was so smart.

But within a few months, they started to fall apart.

So I bought more.

A few months later, the same thing happened.

I quickly learned that paying more for quality is a way to save money.

I stopped buying the cheap t shirts and instead bought some for $12. They have lasted me for years.

In the short term, spending $12 instead of $3 sounds foolish.

But I was spending $3 twice a year versus $12 once every 5 years.

In 5 years by purchasing quality t-shirts I saved myself $22.

#82. Think About Potential Gifts

The next time you need to buy a gift for someone, don’t run out and buy just anything.

Stop and think about who they are and what they value. Then try to find items related to this.

I’ve found when I do this, I find gifts that are not as expensive as other gifts I had in mind.

And since I put thought into the gift, it has a much greater meaning to the recipient.

#83. Change Cell Phone Providers

How much are you paying for you cell phone service? If you switch to a reseller, you can save a ton and get just as good of service.

I did this a few years ago. I used AT&T and then used Cricket.

I got unlimited calls and texts and 10GB of data each month for $35. Compared to my old plan, I am saving $60 every month.

Another option is Gen Mobile, which offers fantastic coverage for a low monthly cost. Here is a detailed Gen Mobile review to learn more.

Take a few minutes to compare phone carriers and you could lower your monthly bill by 20% or more.

#84. Try Home Remedies

Before you run out to buy costly medicine to nurse yourself back to health, why not try some home remedies?

They can be more cost effective and they’ve worked for centuries.

Here is a great list of many home remedies to try.

#85. Sign Up For Rewards Programs

At most places where you shop, you can sign up for rewards programs to get discounts on what you buy.

The classic example of this is the grocery store. By using your club card, you get special discounts that non-members don’t get.

But it doesn’t stop with just grocery stores any longer.

More and more stores now offer some form of loyalty program.

The bad part of this trick is signing up for these programs and then getting endless emails for sales to try to get you to spend more.

Here is my solution.

I sign up for rewards programs at the stores I shop at most. For others, I simply ask for a discount.

#86. Leave Your Wallet At Home

A great way to save is to not take your wallet with you whenever you leave the house.

Sure you should take your ID just in case, but you don’t need your entire wallet.

This saves you from being tempted and wasting money on things you really don’t need but fill an immediate urge that you have.

Online

how-to-save-money-online

#87. Use Online Shopping Portals

There are a few shopping portals that you can go to that can save you a lot of money.

A few popular ones are Groupon, Restaurants.com and Living Social.

You can get incredible deals on these sites all the time.

You just have to make sure you don’t get sucked into the deals and spend money you weren’t planning on spending.

My favorite is Restaurants.com because I can get discounted gift certificates to my favorite restaurants for a fraction of the cost.

#88. Take Advantage Of Deal Sites

When you are shopping, either online or in store, you need to take advantage of discount codes, coupons and cash back.

When it comes to discount codes and coupons, I simply do a search for the name of the retailer and the word coupon.

This will bring up a number of sites with various coupon codes listed.

In the event I don’t see a coupon, or even in addition to a coupon code, I make sure to shop through online cash back portals.

These websites offer cash back on your purchases, usually in the range of 1% to 25%.

My two favorite sites are Rakuten and Swagbucks.

Both offer cash back at hundreds of retailers.

The reasons I recommend both are because they offer different cash back amounts.

This doesn’t happen frequently, but I’ve found a handful of times one offers a better deal than the other.

And since it is free to sign up for both, there is no reason not to.

New users to Rakuten get a $10 gift card for joining for free.

New users to Swagbucks get $5 for joining.

Swagbucks Button

Rakuten Button

Over the years of using these two sites, I have earned well over $1,000.

The bottom line is you need to take the 5 minutes to search for discount codes or cash back.

Not doing so is spending more money than you should be.

#89. Shop With Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime makes buying online simple.

And it can save you money too.

If you order a lot of stuff from Amazon, the free shipping more than outweighs the annual fee.

But you also get other add-ons with Prime.

My favorite is Prime Videos. This allows me to watch tons of movies and television shows at no cost.

You can see all the benefits of Amazon Prime here.

And this link will get you a free trial of Prime.

Food

how-to-save-money-on-food

#90. Meal Plan

How do you determine what is for dinner every night? Do you just wing it?

If so, you probably waste a lot of food and a lot of money by ordering out too much.

Instead, start meal planning.

Sit down on the weekend and figure out what meals you want to make for dinner.

Then shop for these items and make your dinners.

You can either make the dinners the night you plan to eat them or spend a Sunday afternoon making food for the week.

We’ve used the weekends to make dinner for the week and it makes the evening much smoother.

No more rushing around to get home to make dinner.

No more feeling too tired to cook a meal. Just reheat and dinner is ready.

#91. Buy Generic

A simple tip to save is to buy generic or store brands.

This is especially easy at the grocery store.

For most foods, I end up buying the store brand.

When I bought my house and cash was really tight, I did this out of necessity.

I bought the store brand version of my favorite cereal and couldn’t tell the difference.

I then expanded to other things like frozen vegetables, cheese and milk.

I no longer shop generic as a necessity, but as a tool to save extra cash.

#92. Buy In Bulk

Another trick to reduce your expenses is to buy in bulk.

I go to a warehouse club once a month and stock up on certain things that we use regularly.

But I don’t just blindly buy.

This is because not everything is a good deal at the warehouse clubs.

You have to shop smart.

Compare the unit prices to make sure it is a deal. Then you have to assess whether or not it makes sense to buy in bulk.

For example, when I was single, I bought a tray of eggs.

But it just wasn’t any tray.

It turned out it was 3 levels of eggs, or 128 eggs. I had to give eggs away to my family members because I couldn’t eat that many eggs.

But now with a family, that many eggs makes sense as we go through them quickly.

The bottom line is buying in bulk makes sense for many items.

You just have to make sure it makes sense for you.

#93. Eat Whole Foods

You can lower your grocery bill by choosing to eat whole foods.

This includes meats, dairy, vegetables and fruit.

In other words, skip the inside aisles at the store and just stick to the outside aisles instead.

Not only will this save you money, but it will save your health too.

When my wife and I tried a Paleo diet for a month, we lost over 20 pounds combined.

And we had a lot more energy and slept better too.

You can learn more about the Paleo diet here.

#94. Plant A Garden

Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot.

You can save a ton of cash by planting a garden. It doesn’t have to be a large garden either.

My wife and I picked out a few vegetables that we regularly buy and planted them.

We only planted 2 tomato plants and ended up with a mountain of tomatoes.

The key is starting small and working up from there.

#95. Drink Water

One the biggest wastes is buying soda and other flavored drinks.

The solution is to drink water instead.

In most cases, you can get water for free when eating out.

If you are out for the day running errands, don’t buy bottled water.

Take a reusable water bottle with you and drink from this.

There are two water bottles that I use.

This Camelbak water bottle is insulated and has a bite valve so water never spills.

And this Contigo water bottle is also insulated and has an auto-seal feature so it too never spills.

Not only will drinking water save you money by not buying drinks, it will keep you feeling fuller so you will be less tempted to buy snacks.

And it is much healthier which saves you money long term.

#96. Buy A Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a small investment that will save you money.

Just put some food in the slow cooker before you leave for work and when you come home you have a meal ready to eat!

Not only is it easy to make meals, but it costs a lot less too versus using your oven all the time.

If you are interested in trying out a slow cooker, this is the one we use.

And here is a great resource of slow cooker recipes to try.

#97. Get Creative With Desserts

If you love to eat dessert after dinner, see if you can make your own instead of going out to buy it.

For example, if you love ice cream, buy some ice cream at the grocery store and make a bowl for yourself.

You’ll get many more servings for much less doing it this way.

I do this with Oreo’s.

I love to get an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen. But it costs me $5.

So I buy vanilla ice cream and a pack of store brand Oreo’s that I blend in my mixer.

For under $5 I can make 10 Oreo shakes that would cost me over $30 if I bought the Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

Of course, it isn’t exactly the same, but it is close and I love it.

Eating Out

save-money-dining-out

#98. Eat Out Less

The cost of eating out is only increasing.

The solution is to simply eat out less often.

By eating out less, you save. You also potentially save your health too.

Have you seen how massive the portions are at some restaurants?

I remember when I traveled to Europe and was blown away at how small the portions were.

Then I realized this is what an actual portion size should be for an adult male.

At first, I was starving after meals because I was used to eating a lot more.

Fast forward to when I was back home, I went out to eat and was blown away at how big the portion sizes were.

I couldn’t even finish it now because I got used to the correct portion sizes.

#99. Split Meals When Eating Out

In know that for some reading this, not eating out isn’t an option.

So I have a few solutions for you to enjoy your meal out and still save.

The first is to split a meal.

As I just mentioned, the portion sizes are massive. You can easily split the meal in two and both people can enjoy it without overindulging.

But before you settle on this option, be sure to ask the restaurant if this is allowed.

Many have started charging you to split the meal. Depending on the cost, you might still be better off splitting.

#100. Only Eat Out At Happy Hour

Another one of my favorite ways to save money when eating out is to go during happy hour.

Most restaurants will offer discounts during this time.

Just make sure you only order things that are on special.

And make sure you don’t let your eyes do the ordering and order too much.

Order a small amount of food and if you are still hungry, then order more.

Car

car negotiation save money

#101. Drive Smarter

When you take off from a red light or slam on your brakes as you approach a red light, you are wasting gas.

Instead, drive smarter and predict red lights. Coast to a red light instead of locking your brakes up.

Furthermore, drive slower.

If you are taking a short drive, going 75 versus 65 isn’t going to get you to your destination that much faster.

In fact, I can’t tell you how often I see someone race past me only for me to catch up to them down the road because of red lights.

When starting from sitting at a red light, slowly ease onto the gas.

You’ll be amazed at how much better gas mileage you get.

#102. Empty Out Your Car

A big factor in getting good gas mileage is the weight of your car.

While you cannot control how heavy the parts of your car are, you can control added weight.

If you are the type of person who stores things in your car, take a weekend and clean it out.

The more weight you remove from your car, the better mileage you will get.

And here is another great reason.

If you are ever in a serious accident, anything in your car that isn’t tied down is a potential projectile.

While a piece of paper might not injure you, a book or a shoe lying in the backseat will hurt when it is racing towards you at 50 miles per hour.

#103. Inflate Your Tires

When you drive around with tires that are not inflated properly you get poor gas mileage and you shorten the life of your tires.

This means you need to buy new tires sooner than you otherwise would need to.

So make it a point to check your tire pressure on a regular basis.

And don’t settle on letting your tire pressure monitor on your car to tell you when you need to add air.

Many times the warning doesn’t come on until there is a variance of 10%.

This means if your car tires should be at 32psi, the warning will not come on until you are below 29psi.

You are wasting money on poor gas mileage all along.

Make it a point to check your tire pressure on a regular basis.

The best time is when you are getting gas since it is frequent and it will hopefully become a habit.

#104. Don’t Warm Your Car Up

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to start your car up and let it sit for 15 minutes to warm up.

Thirty seconds is all it needs to get the oil moving through the engine.

From there, drive easily for a few minutes to allow it warm up more.

Just having your car sit idling for 15 minutes wastes gas and decreases the life of the engine, which costs you in the long run.

#105. Shop Insurance Coverage

When was the last time you shopped for insurance? If it has been more than a year, you need to get some free quotes.

If you don’t shop around, odds are your insurance carrier is raising your premiums and you are paying more than you should.

Getting a free insurance quote will take you 15 minutes and you could save a couple hundred dollars in the process.

My favorite is Gabi.

Just enter a few simple pieces of information and you will have quotes from the top insurance companies out there.

Switching is easy and they even cancel your old policy for you.

The average user saved over $950 when they switch!

Click the link below to see how much you will save.

Gabi Button

Or you could you a car insurance comparison engine to compare quotes from the top companies in seconds.

A few years ago, I saved close to $400 a year simply by getting some free quotes and switching my coverage.

If you decide to do this on your own, just be certain you are comparing the same plans and features to get an accurate quote.

#106. Increase Your Deductible

Related to the above point, make sure you raise your deductible to the highest amount you can afford.

By shifting more of the liability to you and away from your insurer will lower your premiums.

How much can you save? Anywhere from 5% to 30%. That is a huge savings!

So if your deductible is $250, try to raise it $500.

Then after you save some money and build up your emergency fund, you can raise it again to $1,000 to save even more.

#107. Get Multi-Policy Discounts

Try to bundle all of your insurance polices with one company.

For example, you would insure your home and car with the same company and get a nice discount as a result.

#108. Look Long Term When Buying A Car

Too many people focus only on the monthly cost of a car and not the overall price. 

This leads them to spending more money, possibly hurting their finances.

Instead, account for how much you want to spend in total and go from there.

Another common mistake is buying a car thinking it will lower your car related expenses.

For example, some people think buying a hybrid is a smart financial decision.

While it will lower your cost of gas, the total amount spent is more than if you just bought a gas powered car in many cases.

The bottom line is, take into account the full picture, not just a one or two points.

Wedding

ways to save money on a wedding

#109. Buy A Used Wedding Dress

Yes, I am suggesting you buy a used wedding dress.

My wife did this and saved a lot of money.

Her dress looked brand new, she looked incredible in it and it only cost $600.

Compare that to close to $2,000 for a new version of the same dress.

No one will know it is used other than you, and you will be so focused on your wedding, you won’t even be thinking about it.

#110. Pay For What Matters

Staying on the wedding theme, only spend on what matters and skip the rest.

For my wife and me, we wanted good food and to have a party.

So we spent on the food and the music.

We did spend on the venue, but just found the cheapest one that had the biggest dance floor.

Five years later and people still tell us how much fun they had. No one mentions or remembers that we didn’t have centerpieces on the table.

#111. Marry In The Off Season

Another tip to save money on weddings is to not get married during the peak season starting in May.

If you can get married in the winter or on a day other than Saturday, you are going to save.

#112. Make Your Reception A Pot Luck

If cash is tight, then pay for a wedding but throw your own reception.

If you know someone with some land or a large gathering room, you can have your reception there.

And to save even more, have your guests all bring a dish.

College

ways-to-save-money-in-college

#113. Buy Used Text Books

The price of text books is insane. Buy used versions instead.

You can either do this at the school store or online. I’ve found online to be far less expensive.

Of course, when you are using a new edition, chances are you have to buy new.

#114. Rent Textbooks

Another solution for textbooks is to rent them instead of buying.

This solution lets you save regardless if it is a new edition or not.

And in many cases, you can rent a digital version of the book, saving you from carrying a hulking book around.

#115. Move Off Campus

This tip could save you each month throughout your college years.

When I did the math, it was more expensive to live on campus versus renting a house nearby and sharing it with a friend.

So we moved off campus, split the rent and utilities and saved ourselves a lot.

#116. Use Your College ID Card

If you are in college, use your ID card as much as possible.

You will be amazed at how many places you get a discount just by showing your college ID card.

I’ve been able to save money at the movies, restaurants and even at sporting events and concerts by showing my ID.

#117. Check Out The Dumpsters At Year End

A lot of college students throw out perfectly good furniture and other items at the end of the school year so they don’t have to take them home or store them for the summer.

You can check out the dumpsters at this time to try to find good items to use.

Or you could eve find items to sell and make a side income!

Your Action Steps

To recap everything we went over, if you want to save money, regardless of the financial situation you are in, you need to do the following.

  • Turn saving money into a habit. By making it a habit, you can save no matter the financial situation you find yourself in.
  • Start off small. As you make it a habit, remember to start small. Going too fast only winds up in defeat. Take your time and allow the habit to form naturally.
  • Increase your savings. As it becomes a habit, review the tips I outlined and add more ways so you can easily increase your savings.

5 Steps To Saving $1,000 Fast

money piles

 

Here is the outline for you to save money fast and with little effort.

#1. Open a savings account.

Again, I recommend CIT Bank.

It’s fast and simple and gives you a dedicated place to put your savings.

This is a great first step to building your emergency fund.

CIT Bank Button

#2. Take advantage of Trim.

The automated assistant Trim will help you to easily find places to save money.

Even just using them to lower your cable bill is reason enough.

Just make sure you move the amount you save into your savings.

Trim

#3. Lower your auto insurance.

Use another automated assistant, this time Jerry.ai.

They will find you the lowest premium and potentially save you thousands of dollars in the process.

Again, make sure you move what you save into your CIT Bank account.

JerryAI Button

#4. Adjust your thermostat.

Lower the temp so your house is a little cooler in the winter and raise the temperature so your house is a little warmer in the summer.

In the fall and spring, pay attention to the weather and turn off the thermostat all together to save even more money.

#5. Pay extra on your debt.

Most of your debt carries a hefty interest rate.

You can’t beat this return on your money if you pay off your debt faster.

Pick one debt and try to pay extra towards it every month.

Even if it is just $5, it is better than nothing.

Final Thoughts

If you take the steps I’ve outlined above, you will set yourself on a path to creating wealth in your life.

And if you take just a handful of the 117 tips to save money I outlined, you can really boost your savings and set yourself up financially for many years.

The key though is to take that first step and to get started today.

The sooner you start, the sooner you can realize your financial dreams.

Below is a great infographic of all the tips I listed here.

Feel free to download it and share it so others can start saving money too!

115 Ways To Save Money Each Month Infographic

22 thoughts on “How To Save Money: The Complete Guide | 115 Simple Ways To Save Money”

  1. I really like the FutureMe.org idea. So many times we get pumped up about doing something only to see that enthusiasm wane over time. Writing yourself an email to be delivered sometime in the future seems like a great way to remind yourself why you got so excited about something in the first place.

    1. The cool thing too is that you can send yourself multiple emails. So if you know you lose steam every 3 months or so, then send a reminder email every 3 months.

  2. Hey Jon,

    I was at a seminar the other night and they spoke about savers and the mentality that people who save have. I myself save quite a bit and think of me as being good @ it. This was a new an interesting approach she mentioned.
    This concept with the Budget > Save then invest flow. The speaker then went on to say that we’re (people) are quite good at the budget and save part but then something comes up i.e. a hot water system or our engine blows up and we remain on a treadmill never really going anywhere.. She then went on to say that it’s about having a mentality/mindset of abundance. While this started to go a bit too philosophical for my liking it did raise a few interesting points.

    What are your thoughts on this Jon?

    1. Interesting. I agree 100% with the positive outlook part. That is why I started http://www.breathofoptimism.com. You can easily fall into a bad mindset when you worked hard to save and then have an unexpected expense crop up. But you have to fight through the negative thoughts, remain positive and keep saving. Bad things happen to us all. The better we are at shaking those times off and focusing more on the positive, the happy we will be.

      1. @Jon Dulin: Exactly my thoughts, I’ve always believed that the reason people don’t get anywhere is that they give up too easily, make excuses and take on a “victim” mentality :O.. Out of interest and off topic, have you studied @ college Jon and what do you currently do for work? If you haven’t finished with the corporate world yet 🙂

        1. I went to college for finance and received my graduate degree in finance as well. I’ve worked in the finance industry for close to 15 years. I left last Fall to give self-employment a shot. I haven’t given up on the corporate world, but the opportunity presented itself to take a shot at self-employment and that is what I am doing.

          1. @Jon Dulin: Oh okay awesome, makes sense then though that you have a personal finance blog :)..
            Have you found that it is earning a decent enough income? If you don’t mind me asking.. I accepted a job with an investment bank in Australia as an Business Analyst today, as much as I love the competition, not keen on the capped income or hour expectations..
            Btw this is an impressive site, building my own WordPress site now, the experts make it look easy :O haha

  3. That’s a pretty cool link – futurme.org! I can see lots of good uses for it, not just saving money! Thanks for sharing!

    On saving, it gets a lot easier if you pay yourself first by automating it. Worked for me!

  4. Our Fine Adventure

    I will echo many of the others and say that automating things has really been the biggest key for me. If I have to manually make a transfer, it’s easy to see that there is money in my account, so I can spend it. However, by automating, it’s almost like saving is another bill, and so I know I can’t spend that money. So automation is definitely the #1 key for me!

    1. You bring up a great point. If you automate, you know that every transfer will be $100 for example. But if you manually transfer the money, you might only transfer $50 or $25 if you have spent a little too much this month. The goal is to save as much as you can and with automation, you can do just that. You take out the human element from the equation.

  5. i think that more people are living paycheck to paycheck in this country than many realize… and living that way means that you are effectively trapped in your current job, and unable to jump on opportunities that may come your way.

    1. So true. When you live paycheck to paycheck you are essentially stuck. That just makes life more miserable.

  6. The First Million is the Hardest

    Automating your saving makes it so much easier. If the transfers are automatic out of each paycheck you wont even notice the money is gone. It’s the single best trick I’ve found to help myself save more money.

  7. Very great points here Jon! Saving is hard and tedious, I personally try to automate our savings as much as possible.

    1. Good to hear Marvin! It’s been a while since I’ve heard from you. Glad to see you’re back!

    1. Same here. I set it up and then I don’t have to worry about it. Life gets hectic at times and it’s just one less thing I need to take care of.

  8. Yep, been there! We used to live check to check and it was brutal. I’m so glad that we eventually saw the light and changed our ways. Life is much better now and a lot less stressful.

    1. Money adds so much stress to our lives. If we just take a few moments to set up automatic transfers, we can make money issues evaporate relatively quickly.

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