Being able to save money is really important because we could all use a little extra cash here and there. It’s nice to have as much money as possible in our bank accounts at the end of the month! This is why I’ve compiled this epic list of 50 ways to save money this year, I hope you enjoy!
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50+ Ways to Save Money
#1 – Start a Budget
Budgeting is the first step to being able to make money, save money, and really meet your financial goals. It’s so important to know where your money is going and where you can do better. I suggest you start out with the Zero-Based Budgeting method because it’s simple and easy to use. Budgeting can teach you where you are throwing money away and this is the best way to start saving more money!
#2 – Pack Your Lunch for Work
Packing your lunch even once a week can save you up to at least $10 each week which is $500 a year! Imagine if you made your lunch every day. If you’re like me, you probably aren’t the best chef, so I always turn to food bloggers on Pinterest. There’s a great post over on Making Sense of Cents called 10 Budget Lunch Ideas and Cheap Easy Meals You Should Try! These meals are both easy on the wallet, and on the taste buds.
#3 – Ride Your Bike/Walk
Riding a bike instead of driving to work or school can cut your car usage down so low that you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on gas and car maintenance. If you’re only using your car when it’s absolutely necessary you can really help the environment and save yourself tons of money in the process.
#4 – Turn Off Lights
Utility bills are never going to go away. Every month you’re going to need to pay for lights and water. You can easily cut your consumption of these things down to save easy money. This post from Smart Cents for Life called 30 Smart Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills can really help you find ways to do it!
#5 – Give Yourself Manicures
Manicures are one of those things are so incredible when you have them but they cost you buttloads of money. One single manicure is at least $30-40 if you go to a decent place. You can get a decent manicure kit for less than $10 and save a ton of money!
#6 – Cut Cable and Use Netflix/Hulu
Do people really ever watch every channel they pay for when they have cable? Is it even possible to watch all the channels you have? You can easily save at least $50 a month by switching from a traditional cable package to Netflix or Hulu!
#7 – Drink Only Water
One of the best ways for me to cut a few dollars a day out of my budget is to stop drinking redbull and soda. If you treat these beverages as just a treat for the weekend and not an everyday necessity you can save at least $10 a week! Not to mention, drinking water is just so much healthier for you. All you need is a nice water bottle and a brita water filter!
#8 – Thrift Shop
So many people look down on thrifting because the items are used, so what? You can find such awesome stuff at thrift stores and some of the time it still has tags! Wash it a few times to get that thrift smell out and you’ll be good to go! You can usually find a shirt that would be $50 full price for less than $20 at a thrift store, and really, nobody needs to know.
#9 – Collect Your Coins
If you take every coin that you get from daily purchases for an entire year and save it for the next Christmas, you could easily have at least have a hundred dollars. But please, do not use those coin star machines to count the coins. They take at least 13% of your money! You can get some cheap coin rollers at the dollar store and just invest a bit of time and you’ll save a bunch.
#10 – Buy in Bulk
I’ve talked about buying in bulk on the blog before because it’s seriously a huge money saver and it’s so much better for the environment. We all seem to just love tiny to-go packages because they’re convenient, but we are throwing money away! You can buy some small tupperware containers and go to a bulk store to buy these same snacks!
#11 – Cancel Subscriptions
Has anyone else noticed that every company seems to be transitioning into a subscription-based system these days? Seems like they are really banking on people signing up and forgetting about them (I’ve done that… oops). These is a huge chance that you have some kind of subscription service that you never use or you don’t actually need.
#12 – Change Your Phone Plan
Some companies charge insane amounts of money a month for phone plans, especially here in Canada. It’s super important to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal and only paying for what you need and what you’ll actually use.
#13 – Use Ebates for Cash Back
This one isn’t necessarily saving money but getting money back when you buy things is pretty great too! Have you ever used Ebates? Ebates is pretty awesome, it’s a completely free website to use and they give you CASH when you use their links to shop online. Try Ebates for free!
#14 – Negotiate Your Car Insurance
Car insurance is crazy expensive, especially when you’re young and they still see you as a giant liability. These things are always negotiable. Shop around. Find a better deal and go back to your company with what someone else was willing to charge and see if they’ll budge. Even if they don’t, you can switch and save that money another way!
#15 – Eat Out One Less Time a Month
Eating out is one of the most expensive things that all people enjoy doing. It’s crazy expensive to eat out especially if you have children. If you were to just cut out one meal out every month, you could save hundreds of dollars a year. If you don’t feel like you can cut eating out that much, you can always learn ways to save money at restaurants!
#16 – Drink Less Alcohol
This should be a no-brainer. Alcohol is expensive, especially when you buy it at bars or restaurants. If you’re able to drink less alcohol or at least cut back on the expensive stuff, give it a try.
#17 – Meal Plan
Failure to plan is planning to fail. If you have a plan for exactly what you’re going to eat every day, you’ll obviously save money. When you come home after working 9-5 and you have nothing prepared and no plan, chances are you’re going to either order takeout or go right back out the door to get something expensive and unhealthy! Meal planning is key to both financial success as well as being healthy!
There’s this awesome website called $5 Meal Plan where you can get a weekly meal plan and a detailed grocery list every week for only only $5 a month! I’d pay $5 a week for this service but it’s only $5 a month! Get your first two weeks free!
#18 – Switch to Free Banking
This one should be a no-brainer. Why pay a bank every month just to use YOUR money? How is that even fair? Most traditional banks still have fees but more and more often there are incredible no-fee banks popping up everywhere!
Are you Canadian? If you are, I 100% recommend a Tangerine bank account! I’ve been with them for a year now and it’s the best bank I’ve ever used. If you use my orange code 50681730S1 when you sign up, you’ll get $25 FREE when you deposit $100.
#19 – Use More Blankets
During the colder months of the year, it’s pretty common that people turn the heat up way too early. Using more blankets and wearing more layers can save you tons of money on heating costs. Even if you just turn the heat down a few degrees you can save some good money and put it towards a better use like debt repayment!
#20 – Brew Your Own Coffee
With all the different directions we’re being pulled these days, caffeine is a necessity but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Expensive specialty coffees are the worst for your pocketbook. You can get a Keurig coffee maker for less than $100 and spend less than 50 cents a day on coffee! The coffee maker will pay for itself in no time!
#21 – Pay Down High-Interest Debt
Debt accounts that have interest rates of 20% or higher are just ridiculous. These accounts can take many different forms but are usually credit cards. If you have a $5,000 limit on a credit card and you keep it maxed out all the time, you’ll be paying $1,000 a year in just interest. Paying down these debts can really help you to save tons of money.
#22 – Track Your Spending
Knowing where all of your money goes can really help you to know where you can save. Tracking every penny you spend for a month shows you exactly where you’re throwing your money away! You’ll learn all the places you can do better and you’ll be able to formulate your own list of ways you can save money that’s personalized for you!
#23 – Set Financial Goals
Where do you want to be financially in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? Do you know what you want? When would you like to retire? There are so. many. questions.
Knowing your why and your goals is a great way to stay motivated to save money and work harder. If you have a goal to be out of debt in 2 years, you’ll be able to motivated yourself much easier than if your goal was just “get out of debt” without a timeline.
#24 – Plan Your Purchases
When are you going to need new underwear? This is a kind of expense you can plan for (unless your dog eats them like mine does…). If you know when it’s going to come up, you can wait until the store you like is having a great sale and save some good money. You also have a general idea of when you’re going to need to replace the big stuff. You can easily plan for a new car and start saving money now if you want one in 5 years so you can pay cash and avoid high-interest rates. How? Use sinking funds to gather up the money!
#25 – Implement a Meatless Monday
When you go grocery shopping, what is usually the most expensive thing in your cart? I’m going to assume it’s some kind of meat or poultry. Meat is crazy expensive and you can get all of your protein from veggies one day a week! You can save at least $20 a month by cutting meat out one day a week. If you’re clueless about vegetarian recipes check out this pinterest board!
#26 – Attempt a No-Spend Weekend
No spend weekends are one of the best ways to save money. If you aren’t familiar with a no-spend weekend, it’s a pretty basic concept. You literally just don’t spend any money for a weekend! There are so many other things you can do that are fun and it’s all about spending time not money. The practical saver has a great post called 50+ Things to do on a No-Spend Weekend which is a great resource!
#27 – Use What’s in Your Pantry
Chances are you’ve found yourself grocery shopping without a list and just purchased a bunch of things you already had in your cupboards! If you’re trying to save money you should definitely do a nice clean out and reorganization of the food you already have. There’s a high probability that you can make a whole week’s worth of meals with what you already have!
#28 – Stop Using Credit
When you aren’t using credit cards correctly you’re going to go into debt, it’s a financial hole that you shouldn’t have to fall into. There’s a psychological disconnect between credit cards and actual money which means you’re going to spend money you don’t truly have. If you stop or at least cut down your use of credit, you can save not only on interest but also by not buying things you don’t really need.
- Related Post: Credit Card Rules You Should Be Following
#29 – Go To The Library
Reading books is super important for your personal development and it can really help you make better decisions financially but books are so expensive. This is why libraries are awesome! They give access to books that you otherwise couldn’t afford and you can find all the great reads at the libraries. Also, there are many libraries that allow you to rent kindle books as well!
#30 – Have an Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund of even just $1,000 can save you so much money. How? Well, when an emergency arrives you will already have the money to cover it which means you don’t have to put it on a credit card or a line of credit which saves you the interest and the stress. A lot of people are scared to pay off debt because they don’t have any money set aside for emergencies, which means they end up in this cycle forever. It’s important to build up that emergency fund!
#31 – Make DIY Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies are one of those necessary things that you can’t really avoid. DIY cleaning supplies are really awesome because you know exactly what chemicals are in them and they’re a lot safer for you. A lot of the time DIY supplies won’t have any harsh chemicals that you can’t pronounce and they even work better! You can check out this post from popsugar with 50+ DIY Cleaning Products!
#32 – Reuse Old Clothes as Rags
You know those really gross cleaning jobs that you just can’t bring yourself to wash the cloth afterward to reuse? Yeah, those reallllllly gross ones. Why not use your old beaten up clothes that you can’t wear anymore, and cut them into cloth sized pieces!? This way you aren’t throwing money away with paper towel and you can get a use out of your raggedy old clothes.
#33 – Create a Birthday Calendar
Sometime’s it’s so easy to forget when a friend or family member’s birthday is. Then it’s the day before and you have to spend $40 of unbudgeted money on a gift so you don’t look bad. I get it, I’ve been there. Why not have a specific calendar just for birthdays? This will help you organize all of your gift giving and your budget will thank you.
#34 – Bring Back Old Clothes from Your Closet
There is a huge chance that you have some cute stuff in the back of your closet that you haven’t worn in months. It is easy to bring back those clothes from the dead and restyle them to bring back the love! You spend your hard earned money on these clothes and you should wear them to the ground before you’re just willing to throw them away!
#35 – Switch to Paperless Banking
You may not know this, but most banks actually charge you money for getting a paper statement in the mail. How ridiculous is that? Switching to paperless, online banking can save you that dollar a month which over your lifetime is a ton of money!
#36 – Transfer Debt to Lower Interest
If you have a ton of different kinds of debt that all have varying interest rates, it can get pretty confusing. Which one should you pay off first? How about transferring them all to one single lower interest debt so you can get be less confused each month! This will save you good money because interest is insane.
#37 – Use Coupons
Couponing isn’t just for moms with a hundred kids and no money. It’s a great way to save a bunch of money at the grocery store. If you’ve never used coupons before Thrifty Nomads wrote a great post called How to Start Couponing for Beginners and it’s super informative and even gives you places to find coupons!
#38 – Shop Around
So, now that you have an emergency fund and you’re planning for all your small expenses, what happens when your fridge breaks? Uh oh! You’re going to use your emergency fund to replace it AFTER you shop around for the absolute best deal, finding coupons and online deals, and making sure you’re getting a good price. Any purchases you make over $50 should be shopped around for, it’s so unnecessary to pay extra money when you don’t have to.
#39 – Use Free Printables
Stationary is beautiful, I get that. But planners and budgeting notebooks are so expensive. There are so many beautiful printables on Pinterest for anything you could possibly need! You can find cute to-do lists, budgeting binders and so much more.
#40 – Don’t Pay Full Price, EVER.
Unless it’s something that’s an absolute emergency, wait for a sale. Sales happen all the darn time! Seasonal sales are my favourite because there’s a new one every couple months. You can buy next years winter coat at the end of winter and usually save at least 50% in the process!
#41 – Refinish Old Furniture
Sometimes you need to redo your house but you just don’t have the funds for it. There are so many great ways to refinish furniture without having to go out and buy a whole new set. Have you ever tried upcycling old furniture? It’s not as hard as it thinks, just do a search for upcycle furniture on pinterest and you’ll be amazed.
#42 – Buy Generic
Do you really need those brand name cleaning products? Is the expensive cheddar cheese really better than the generic brand cheese? Buy generic whenever you can, but make sure it’s actually cheaper and always look for sales before you choose!
#43 – Unplug Things You Aren’t Using
Saving money on utilities is pretty cool. A lot of appliances and other electronics are actually using a ton of power when they aren’t even turned on! If you unplug things like chargers when they aren’t in use, you can save a couple hundred dollars a year in electric charges!
#44 – Start Stay-Cationing
Stay-cationing is amazing. What is it? A stay-cation is when you spend your vacation time at home instead of going somewhere far away and expensive.You can plan all sorts of fun activities at home! You can organize your life, maybe redecorate, or more! No matter what it will be less expensive than going away!
#45 – Get Fewer Haircuts
Anytime that I’m trying not to spend money, haircuts are the first thing to go. For example, I got my hair cut and coloured in April 2016 and didn’t cut it again until the following year in March haha. I’ve always let my hair grow on it’s own for way longer than the recommended 4-6 weeks. If you don’t want to do that, you can also just start giving yourself a trim every few weeks!
#46 – Avoid The Mall
Sometimes just being in the mall can make you feel like you need something. There is no reason to make the mall your hangout place unless there’s a reason why you need to be there! Window shopping can be fun, but it can also be detrimental to your budget!
#47 – Freeze Meals to Avoid Eating Out
This is a lot like meal planning, but it’s really about focusing on the unknown. There’s always a chance that sometime can go wrong and you won’t have the time to really prepare a meal because you’re busy as heck! If you have meals already ready in the freezer, you can easily heat them in the oven while doing 100 other things.
#48 – Only Cary Cash
Like we talked about in #28, using credit cards and debit cards have a way of disconnecting us with the actual feeling of using money. If you limit yourself to only spend cash, you’ll make fewer impulse purchases and make smarter money decisions in general! You can start using a cash envelope budgeting system!
#49 – Move to a Modest Home
There are so many people out there that are living house poor. Being house poor is when at the end of the month after paying your mortgage and your other bills you’re unable to pay down debt or save any money. Sounds pretty crappy, right? Just moving to a more modest home that you can actually afford is a great way to save tons of money and put yourself in a better financial place.
#50 – Eat Leftovers
Leftovers are some of my favourite foods. Why? Because they require zero effort! Eating the leftover food you’ve already made can cut your grocery bills by a whole bunch and they’re delicious. Don’t just let them rot in the back of your fridge.
Bonus Tip: Get Finance Tips in Your Inbox
Well, now that we’ve reached the end of the list, I’m sure you’re wondering where to go next. I think the first step, is to join my email family so we can be friends, and so we can be on this money saving journey together. Every week I’ll send you a good piece of financial information that may help you pay off debt, make more money, and start working toward your dream future!