25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

Why Cant I Save Money?

If you can’t save money, it’s due to spending more than you earn each month. The only ways to solve this are to reduce certain expenses, eliminate some expenses, and/or find ways to earn more income.

Coming up, we’ll look at easy ways to accomplish all three of these steps so that you can save more money.

15. Set up a split deposit

Saving automatically is a great way to save. Have some of your paycheck deposited right into a savings account. Or your bank might be able to set recurring transfers from checking to savings.

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Guerrilla Warfare Tactics to Save Money

This one really depends on where you’re at in life. It’ll be easier for people who are single or married without children. But the basic idea is to radically lower your cost of living. That will mean targeting your major expenses, rather than trimming around the edges of your budget.

The possibilities here are enormous. Let’s say you’re single, and currently living in an apartment that costs $1,000 per month. By taking in a roommate, or becoming a roommate in someone else’s apartment, you might cut your rent down to $500. That would enable you to save $6,000 in one year.

Another example: You have a late model car with a $500 monthly payment. You sell the car, pay off the loan, and buy a “beater”. Sure, you’ll have higher repair bills, but it’s unlikely those will total anything close to the $6,000 that you’ll save on car payments.

Both options seem extreme on the surface. But if you’re looking to save money fast, these efforts will get you there.

2. Put your food budget on a diet

Groceries and restaurant costs are low-hanging fruit (pun intended) when it comes to saving money fast. Food budgets can be an easy place to find extra savings, if you shop carefully.

Do you spend more than average on groceries? Here’s what other Americans spend on groceries each month:

  • A 30-year-old woman typically spends $164-$327 per month.1
  • A 30-year-old man typically spends $185-$369 monthly.
  • A family of 4 with young children typically spends $561-$1,095 each month.  

Feel like you’re spending a bit more than the “typical” amount? Check out these tips to save money on food and the monthly grocery budget. If you eat out regularly, consider cutting back to just a couple times a week to save up money for your financial goal.

9. Earn cash back on your purchases

Even when times are toughest, you’ll still need to spend money on essentials, so you might as well be rewarded with cash back. There are cash-back credit cards that can help you collect cash back on your purchases. Some don’t even have an annual fee.

Your existing credit card might also have cash-back offers at certain retailers, but you might need to opt in to redeem this reward. These offers may have an expiration date or other terms and conditions, so double check to ensure you’re not caught off-guard.

Cash-back apps might also be an option to consider before you start shopping for new credit cards.

Home Savings Tips

42. Comparison shop for homeowners insurance. Before renewing your existing homeowners insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies.

43. Refinance your mortgage. Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan. And, you will accumulate home equity more rapidly, thus increasing your ability to cover those pesky unexpected home repairs.

44. Audit your home energy use. Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years, usually will save you lots of money in the long-term. 

45. Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.

46. Keep the sun out. Keep your blinds or curtains closed during hot summer days. Blocking the sunlight really does help to keep your house cooler.

47. Use less water. Install low-flow shower-heads and faucet aerators to reduce your water usage and water costs.

48. Cut laundry detergent use in half. Many laundry detergents on the market sold today are highly concentrated. Be sure to use the smallest suggested amount. Making laundry detergent is said to be relatively cheap and easy, especially if you prefer to use greener, natural products.

49. Go natural. Speaking of making your laundry detergent, using everyday items you already have around your home to clean works for many. You’d be surprised what you can do with vinegar and lemon!

50. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. For every 10 degree reduction in temperature, you can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs.

51. Ditch the paper: Cutting out paper towels and using cloths and napkins that you can simply wash and reuse is a simple way to save.

52. Become a Coupon King or Queen. We all know that couponing can save you lots of dough! Even simply couponing for those essential household staples like toilet paper and cleaning supplies can add up quickly (and so will your stockpile!)

Save Money by Increasing Your Income

5. Get to work. Of course, one of the best ways to save money quickly is to bring home more of it. Talk with your boss, if needed, for approval to work overtime. Increasing your hours temporarily may be just the boost you need.

You might consider taking on a job after work or on the weekends. Many people find success with a side business, using a site like Etsy to sell their creations. The practice of earning extra income will serve you well through all of the Baby Steps.

6. Offer your services. Maybe you’d like to keep things simple as you work to earn more cash. By offering services to your neighbors and community, you can control your schedule and the amount you bring in.

Get the word out online, like through your local Facebook group. You might babysit, do yard work, clean homes, organize basements, help with errands, or make dinner. Aim for any task people need, but don’t want to do—or simply don’t have the time to do. That’s where your extra money is!

7. Declutter. There’s something powerful about resetting your priorities. When you decide to take control of your money and save $1,000 for an emergency fund, other things start to look less important. And by “things,” we mean stuff.

Dig around in your garage, attic and closets for stuff you haven’t seen or used in a while. Can you sell any of it? Put up a post online! There are tons of websites dedicated to helping you sell your stuff. You can even drop off items at your local consignment shop for quick cash or host a garage sale.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Investing with Robo-Advisors

If you’re looking to invest your money for even greater returns, consider putting your savings into a robo-advisor account, like one of the following:

Betterment

Betterment allows you to open an investment accoun

Betterment allows you to open an investment account with no minimum deposit, and creates and fully manages a custom portfolio for an annual fee of just 0.25% of your account balance. That’s $25 per year on a $10,000 account.

You can invest in stock and bond ETFs through Betterment, which ensures that you have a diversified portfolio at all times. And since Betterment is a robo-advisor, they’ll do the rebalancing for you.

Wealthfront

Wealthfront has a similar pricing structure to Betterment, but requires a minimum $500 initial investment. They’ll also create and fully manage your investment portfolio for you.

What makes Wealthfront unique in the robo-advisor world is the fact that they also offer a place you can stash your money (so it can grow) and invest it later. And even though Wealthfront is not a bank themselves, your money is still FDIC insured through Wealthfront’s partner banks.

M1

M1 works a little differently than other robo-advisors.

You can help design your own portfolio – referred to as “pies” – with up to 100 exchange-traded funds and/or individual stocks. M1 will then manage the portfolio for you, free of charge.

Whether you choose to put your newfound savings into high-interest savings or invest it through a robo-advisor, you’ll be creating that all-important endgame for your savings strategy. And once you do, you’ll be building the foundation for future financial independence.

If you can focus on financial independence as a goal, saving money can even become fun!

Entertainment Savings Tips

24. Take advantage of your library. Libraries are gold-mines of free entertainment. They offer several entertainment options including classes, e-books, and audio-books. Some libraries even allow you to borrow things like tools and sewing machines!

25. Browse online for free or low-cost local entertainment. Check out local events on Facebook or Eventbrite to plan some downtime. There are often events and activities listed that you probably aren’t aware are happening.

26. Volunteer at festivals. Cultural festivals and events often offer free admission to event volunteers. Contact the organizers of your favorite event to ask about volunteer opportunities and benefits.

4. Trim those taxes

This is an easy but often-overlooked strategy for getting money fast: If you’ve got a tax refund coming, there’s no need to wait until April 15 to cash in. Instead, consider changing your tax-withholding status on your paycheck at work. Simply fill out a new W-4 form and ask to have less federal taxes taken out of your salary.

In 2016, the average federal tax refund was $3,050.4 Anyone who was eligible for that refund, but instead adjusted their tax withholding all year long, instantly had an extra $254 per month back in their pocket. Use a tax-withholding calculator to figure out how to fill out a new W-4. Check that the withholding amount isn’t too low, however, so you don’t end up paying a penalty.

By your next paycheck, a few hundred bucks could be automatically deposited to a high-yield savings account.

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

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About the Author

Barb Nefer has been writing professionally for nearly 30 years, cutting her teeth as a news writer for the Daily Southtown in Chicago. She’s a doctor of psychology, and her eclectic expertise includes personal finance, psychology, travel and the pet industry. Her work reflects that diversity, with pieces appearing in places like About.com, CBS Local, Yahoo.com, WebPsychology, and Animal Wellness magazine.

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