Are you looking for some money hacks so you can start saving more money? Are you looking for tricks to make it easier to save money?
First, what is a money hack? According to Merriam-Webster, a life hack is “a usually simple and clever tip or technique for accomplishing some familiar task more easily and efficiently.”
And, a money hack is something similar but related to money.
A money hack is a simple and clever way to save money. It could be something that quickly stops you from spending money, something that makes saving money more mindless, etc.
The purpose of using money hacks is to make it easier to save money. This can help you pay off debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, or even retire early.
However, most people say that saving money is easier said than done, though. That’s exactly why I’m sharing these tips with you today.
Learning how to save money doesn’t have to be hard.
With the creative ideas in this post, you will be able to take a new approach to saving money. You can find tips and new ideas that work for you, and that’s what makes it easier. It’s almost like tricking yourself into saving money.
Some people are born savers. I mean they are conscious of how much they spend and save, but I think it takes more work for the majority of people. I know that is true for me. I have had to find new ways to make more money, and learn what some of my spending issues are to start saving money. I also use several of these money hacks to make it easier to save,
No matter how great you are at saving money, by taking part in some of the tactics below you may be able to save even more.
Related content on the best money hacks:
- 50+ Crazy Things People Have Done To Save Money
- Why Save Money Now? 9 Reasons That Will Help You Start Saving
- The Ultimate Guide of Over 50 Money Saving Tips For 2020
Here are 12 money hacks for you to try.
1. Pay yourself first.
Paying yourself first is when you put money into savings as soon as you receive your paycheck. Or, I know some who “pay themselves first” by putting extra money towards their debt as the first thing they do each month.
Both putting money into savings or towards debt before you take care of anything else is something I definitely recommend. They are both good options, and neither one is wrong.
Paying yourself first means you don’t pay any other bills or spend money on anything else until you put money towards debt or savings. Try to think of savings (or debt) as the very first bill you have to pay each month.
Here are my tips so that you can pay yourself first:
- Take a look at how much you are currently saving and spending each month. Start tracking your spending a little more closely and see how much of that is actually unneeded. Calculate how much money you should be saving each month and set that aside at the beginning of each month.
- Make it automatic. To make it easier and to simplify your finances, you may want to set aside a specific savings amount each month automatically. You can schedule a bank transfer or split the direct deposit on your paycheck.
- Start with a small amount and work your way up to paying yourself more each month.
- If you feel uncomfortable with paying yourself first, then you may want to find ways to cut your budget or make more money.
If you talk to anyone who has been able to save a lot of money, this is one of the money hacks they have probably used. It easily becomes a regular habit, and most people stop noticing the difference in what they have left to spend each month.
2. Declutter with the hanger trick.
If you find that you have way too many clothes, then I recommend the hanger trick.
This is where you hang all of your clothes in the same direction. Then, as you wear something, you flip that item’s hanger so that it is opposite from where you first started.
This way, you can see exactly what you are wearing and what you are not. At the end of the month, season, or year (whatever timeframe you want to use), you will see what items you are actually using and what is still not being used.
The hanger trick is great because you’ll see what items you may want to try to reincorporate back into your outfits or what items you’ll want to donate and get rid of.
The reason I’m recommending this on my list of money hacks is because many people find it too easy to buy clothes they never wear or only wear once. The hangar trick reminds you what you do and don’t use, so you can stop spending so much on clothes.
3. Round up your purchases for real money hacks.
Even though I don’t use cash a lot, I still like to keep my change when I can. Whenever you receive change after making a purchase, put it into a coin jar and cash it out once it’s full.
If you don’t usually pay with cash, you can always see if your bank will round up your purchases. Many banks do this nowadays and you may be able to save up a nice chunk of change without even realizing it.
Another way to use this money hack is to try an automatic savings or investing app like Acorns. You connect a debit card to your Acorns app, and the app automatically rounds up transactions to the next dollar amount and saves the difference.
Acorns also lets you apply multiples to your round-ups. For example, if you have multipliers set for 2x, a $0.63 round up would turn into $1.26 saved.
4. Put a certain amount away each day or week.
If you find it hard to save money, then you may want to divide your savings goal into smaller amounts so that it can seem much more doable.
This is one of the money hacks that has different ways to approach it, including:
- Save $1 (or $10 or whatever you want) each and every day. The small amount most likely won’t seem like much, but by the end of the year you will have a little chunk of money saved without much effort.
- Start by saving $52 a week and keep going until the very last week when you only have to save $1. By doing this, you will save around $1,400 in one year and it only gets easier as each week passes!
5. Use cash.
This is one of the simplest and easiest money hacks, but so many of us have gotten away from it.
You can save more with cash because cash is tangible, and you actually have to give up your money when you spend it, unlike with a credit or debit card.
If you are having a hard time and want to learn how to save money, then you may want to stick to an all-cash budget to see if that works better for you. This means taking out a certain amount of cash for food, gas, and so on each month.
This can also be applied to the “envelope” method where you pull out a certain amount of cash each week or month and divide it into different envelopes for each budget category.
Then, you can only spend what you have in the envelope or less. You will see the cash in each envelope dwindle away as the week or month passes, and you’ll have to start analyzing each purchase.
6. Give yourself an allowance.
An allowance is when you set aside a certain amount of money each month to spend on yourself.
And, allowances aren’t just for children.
An allowance for an adult, such as for you or your partner, allows you to not feel bad about spending money. It also helps you stay within a realistic budget when you do spend money.
This can help keep you in line, and it also helps you scrutinize what you spend money on since you have a limited amount to spend each month.
I also find that it helps you to appreciate what you buy since you have to think harder about what is and isn’t worth it.
7. Find ways to be more motivated.
Saving money isn’t easy for everyone.
Eventually, many will get tired, go back to their old ways, stop practicing these money hacks, and so on. In order to stay motivated, you may need to reward yourself.
You can reward yourself in a monetary or non-monetary way. You can treat yourself to a fancy coffee, take a few hours just to yourself, have a drink with a friend, and so on.
You can break your big goal into smaller goals and use those rewards to motivate you along the way.
Here are a few more ideas to keep you motivated with your money:
- Make your goal visual, such as with a graphic that demonstrates your financial goal or keep a picture of your goal on hand.
- Keep track of your progress.
- Think about how you will feel in the future.
- Surround yourself with people who motivate you.
Learning how to stay motivated is incredibly important if you’re paying off debt, trying to reach a savings goal, learning a new skill, or doing anything challenging.
Motivation will help you continue to work hard towards your goal, even when it seems impossible. Motivation is what keeps you going so that you don’t give up on yourself. This is one of the money hacks that will help you in other parts of your life as well.
Related: 12 Ways To Stay Motivated So You Can Reach Your Money Goals
8. Have a separate email to save on online shopping.
This is one of my favorite money hacks because it’s so easy. Just set up a separate email address that you use for online shopping.
This is the email address that you will give out to stores when they ask for it, and this is the inbox where you’ll get promotions, coupons, sales, etc. You won’t be as tempted to spend money because those emails won’t be coming to your regular inbox.
This is great idea for even more reasons, such as:
- You can keep all of your shopping separate from everything else in your life.
- You can worry less about giving out an email address of yours.
- Your email inbox won’t look so overwhelming every time you open it.
So, if you are sick of being inundated with sales emails, but you also don’t want to miss out on a sale, then this may be something for you to try out.
9. Meal prep for the week.
Many people go over their food budget for the week or month.
That’s because cooking dinners and making lunches can feel like a lot of work when you are already busy, so you may go out to eat or buy more expensive prepared meals to save time. But, finding delicious and easy meal prep ideas can keep your budget (and maybe your diet) in shape.
Meal prepping works so well because you do all of the work ahead of time.
You cut the vegetables, cook everything, and then portion the meals into individual containers. Then, you have a meal all ready to go.
You can find some ideas at 10 Easy And Affordable Meal Prep Ideas.
10. Try a no-spend challenge.
A no-spend challenge is when you challenge yourself not to spend money for a certain period of time. You can do it for specific budget categories, or you can completely eliminate all of your spending.
No-spend challenges can be done for a weekend, week, month, etc.
No-spend challenges have many benefits, like:
- Prevent impulse purchases.
- You can use up things you already have at home.
- It will help you become aware of your spending problems.
I will admit that this is one of the harder money hacks for some people, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Plus, you get to make the rules of the challenge.
11. Use the 24-hour rule.
This is one of the money hacks I try to use as much as possible, and here’s how it works: whenever you see something you want to buy (online or in-person), you stop yourself and wait at least 24 hours to make the purchase.
The reason this works is because most of the things we buy that aren’t in our budgets are impulse purchases, and those 24 hours helps you realize that’s all that item was.
The 24-hour rule can also give you time to see if you’ve already purchased something similar, if you can find a better price, etc.
12. Take your company’s 401(k) match.
A 401(k) is a type of retirement account that you get through an employer.
It allows you to invest a portion of your paycheck before taxes are taken out, and the amount in your 401(k) can grow tax free until you withdraw. Once you reach retirement and take money out of your 401(k), the amount you withdraw from this account is taxed.
Your 401(k) is an account that holds investments, similar to how your bank account holds your money. You may choose to place investments such as stocks, mutual funds, and more in your 401(k).
You’ve probably heard the term “employer match” or “company match.” But, what do they mean?
A company or employer match is when your employer contributes to your 401(k).
For example, an employer may match 100% of your contribution, up to 5% of your salary. So, if you contribute 5% of your salary to your 401(k), then your employer will match that and put 5% in as well.
Because this is basically free money that will help you grow your retirement savings, this is one of the top money hacks you should take advantage of if you can!
Do you have to trick yourself into saving money? Why or why not? If so, what money hacks do you use?
giulia lombardo says
Agree with entire post now that ‘m trying to save more I use cash more often and think at least 24 hours help to stop impulse shopping…lovely tips, thanks for sharing!!!
We used the envelope method when our 4 kids were younger & we had less income & paying off debt quickly. It was very helpful for me (not so easy for my husband) to break the habit of ‘I want it’ or ‘I’m hungry NOW’. It was not fun keeping a calculator in hand at the grocery store with an overflowing cart BUT I like to challenge myself so I made it a game especially if a child was with me & running the calculator. The envelopes were for gas, groceries, spending cash/eating out. It was definitely an eye opener for my husband to see that by Thursday, we could not go out for fast food if we’d gone out twice before! 😉
Oh great tips! I feel really good about my financial health journey past three years that I, we, do over half of these.
The hardest was the no spend. We did it in Feb 2020 and boooy did we save some mula though.
Love these tips :). I like the idea of the round up method.
I definitely use hacks #1 and #8. Having my saving goals get taken out of my paycheck really helps reach my goals. Also, instead of having a separate email I just set up a rule to archive all the shopping/promotion emails I receive so I only look at them when I want to.
Jack @ Turtle PF says
The 24 hour rules and no-spend challenge are great tips. I like to thin of myself as pretty decent with managing finances but it is good to keep these tips in mind.
Chrissy @aplantoprosper says
Love the pay yourself first method. We oftentimes pay ourselves last and wonder why we are broke.