Looking for money saving ideas for 2021?
I love to help people find new and realistic ways to save money. Learning how to save money helped me pay off my nearly $40,000 student loan debt, and I practiced many of the money saving ideas you’re going to learn about today. I budgeted, cut my bills, started side hustling, and more.
There are so many different money saving ideas you can try — over 50 ways to save money each month on this list alone.
Finding new money saving ideas can be a life changing thing. I know it can be hard at times, especially if you are already living frugally. But, this list includes many ways to save money on a tight budget too.
Learning how to save money, no matter what your situation is, can help you:
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck
- Pay off your debt
- Go down to one income
- Save for a vacation
- Put more in your emergency fund
- Start investing more
- Have more flexibility in your budget
No matter what your reason is, this post has money saving ideas for everyone. You can get out of a bad cycle and start living the life you want.
Like I said, I know saving can be hard at times. I remember getting frustrated at times when I was paying off my student loan debt. I was saving every last dollar I made to put towards my debt, while lots of the people around me were spending money like crazy.
From the outside, it looked like they were having more fun, but I have no idea if they were taking on debt, living paycheck to paycheck, spending because they were stressed, etc.
I learned that I had to focus on my own goals, which was paying off my debt. Once I hit my goal, I kept practicing many of the same money saving ideas that I used to pay off my debt. That’s how I was able to quit my job, become a full-time blogger, travel full-time, and more.
Learning how to save money opens you up to new possibilities. Set goals for yourself along the way, and think about how saving money will change your life. Focus on those things to keep you going.
What I love about learning how to save money is that you can take it one idea at a time. Look through this list of money saving ideas and pick one or two that make sense for you. Pay attention to how much you’re saving, and let that motivate you to try other money saving ideas on this list.
Always remember, every little bit helps when you’re trying to save money. $10 here, $20 there, etc. It all adds up over time!
Related content with more money saving ideas:
- 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money
- How To Live On One Income
- 8 Things To Sell To Make Money
- How To Save Money Fast
- How Much Should A Person Save Each Month?
Below are over 50 money saving ideas.
Seek out creative ways to save money.
I’m sure we’ve all done some super embarrassing things to save money. I know that I have, haha!
I recommend reading 60+ Extreme Things People Have Done To Save Money to see some of the most interesting money saving ideas used by personal finance experts. That list also includes some of the extreme money saving ideas that my readers have told me about.
These include extreme money saving tips such as:
- Shaving your head. This is a great way for men (and women!) to simplify hair care and save money on hair care products.
- Cut your own hair. Hair cuts are extremely expensive, especially if you get your hair colored too. Instead of spending money at the salon, Wes now cuts my hair, and he does a great job!
- Fill your name brand cereal box with an off brand. If your family says they “need” brand name cereal, then this is one of the money saving ideas that will help you save on groceries.
- Dumpster dive for free food. This is super extreme, but there are people out there who dumpster dive to save money on food. Surprisingly, restaurants and groceries throw out a lot of food that is still considered good.
- Move your whole family into your parent’s basement (or house). One of the money saving ideas I used was renting from family while I was paying off debt. It helped me save hundreds of dollars each month because owning and renting your own place can be extremely expensive.
- Make your own toilet paper. I know this sounds extreme, but I know many people who make their own toilet paper because it’s one of the money saving ideas that’s also environmentally friendly. You can make your own toilet paper by cutting up things like old t-shirts or rags.
- Freeze water bottles instead of using the AC. Not only will this help you save money on cooling costs, it’s one of the money saving ideas that’s good for the environment.
Find alternatives for cable TV.
The average cable bill is around $100 a month, and I know that many people pay even more than that for cable each month.
If you are looking for one of the easiest money saving ideas, no longer paying for cable is easier than ever. There are so many low-cost alternatives now, and many streaming services carry major cable network shows.
Here’s what some popular streaming services are currently charging per month:
- Netflix – $7.99 to $13.99
- Sling TV – $20 to $40
- Amazon Prime Video – $8.99 (requires an Amazon Prime subscription, which is $119 per year)
- HBO Now – $14.99
- YouTube TV – $40+
- Hulu – $7.99 to $39.99
You can read more about this at 16 Alternatives To Cable TV That WILL Save You Money.
We don’t pay for any form of TV, not even Netflix! This is one of the best money saving ideas we use because it’s helping us simplify and enjoy life even more. Plus, we were spending way too much time just browsing Netflix looking for things to watch, haha!
Find ways to live more simply.
Trying to create a better financial life for yourself can be difficult while you’re trying to balance the rest of your life. Everyone has a lot going on these days — work, kids, paying bills, managing relationships, and more — and it can be exhausting!
By living a minimalist lifestyle, you can learn how to minimize some of the physical and mental clutter in your life. This can help you waste less time, be in better control of your life, live happier, and more.
Simplifying your life is one of the best ways to save money and can include:
- Learning to be more organized.
- Paying off your debt.
- Spending less time on social media.
- Paying expenses annually or semiannually.
- Decluttering and maybe even downsizing your house.
- Having less clothing options.
- Automating your payments.
For money saving ideas that will simplify your life, read Are You Making Your Life Difficult? 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life.
Investing is a long-term strategy, and by investing now, you can start earning and saving more in the future.Investing now will help you become prepared for retirement, and it may even help you retire early.
Investing has gotten much easier these days, and I honestly think it’s one of the money saving ideas that anyone can do because you can start investing with very little money.
Think before you make a big purchase.
I’m sure we’ve all made a purchase at one point in our lives where we realized later that it was a huge mistake. Maybe you don’t realize it at first, but later on you realize you’ve wasted money, taken on debt for something you didn’t need, and more.
Thinking before you make a purchase may sound like one of the most simple money saving ideas, but it’s still difficult for many people to practice.
To make it easier, ask yourself these questions before making your next purchase:
- Can I afford it?
- What else is the item going to cost?
- What else could I spend this amount of money on?
- Can I wait 24 hours to make the purchase?
- Can I borrow the item from someone instead of buying it?
- Is there a return policy?
- Do I actually need this?
This is one of the money saving ideas that will help you for years to come, especially after you get in the habit of asking yourself those questions. You can read more at 11 Things To Ask For A Regret Free Spending Decision.
Get your credit score for free.
It’s easier than you think to get your credit score for free, but there are still many people who pay for their score on a regular basis.
Checking your credit score is a good thing to do, and you can save money on future interest charges by building your credit score, but you don’t need to pay for your credit score.
If you don’t know your credit score, you can use Credit Sesame to check your credit score for free, and there is absolutely no reason to pay for your credit score. Plus, checking your score is the first step to improving your credit score. So, this is two money saving tips in one!
You can also receive one free annual credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Yes, this means that you get one from EACH, so three per year. I recommend spacing them out so you get one every four months. You can read more about this here.
Go on almost free vacations just by using your credit card.
Yes, you can use credit cards to your advantage.
One way I do is that I get bonus points and cash back on my credit card purchases.
For more information on this vacation money saving idea, I recommend reading How To Take A 10 Day Trip To Hawaii For $22.40 – Flights & Accommodations Included.
You need to be good with credit cards to start using them to earn points and travel miles. That means you pay off your balance each month. If not, this money saving idea can cost you a lot in the long run.
Sign up for birthday freebies.
You can score a lot of free birthday stuff by simply showing your date of birth date on your driver’s license or by signing up for a company’s email club to receive a coupon for your birthday.
Start meal planning.
Meal planning is one of the money saving ideas that has completely changed our lives. We eat healthier than ever, we are saving money, and we have less food waste.
But, did you know that the average person wastes over 40% of the food they buy? Yes, 40%!
If you have trouble eating at home, then try the $5 Meal Plan. It’s only $5 a month, and you get meal plans emailed directly to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to plan meals anymore, and it will save you money as well!
Learn more about weekly meal planning at The Power of Weekly Meal Planning.
Sign up for a cell phone plan that is less than $30 per month.
How much do you spend on your cell phone bill each month? If you’re spending more than $30 a month, this is one of the money saving ideas you should seriously consider.
Many people don’t realize that there is a growing list of affordable cell phone companies that provide great service and even use the save networks as the larger expensive carriers.
I know it’s hard to switch to another company if you have a cell provider you like, but think about how much money you could save each month? If you have multiple people in your family on your cell phone plan, then this is one of the money saving ideas that can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
If you are looking for a more affordable cell phone plan, then check out Republic Wireless. They have monthly cell phone plans for as low as $15 per month.
Please read Saving Over $2,000 A Year With Republic Wireless Review for more information.
Get rid of your timeshare.
Every once in a while I get a question from a reader about how to get rid of a timeshare. Sometimes the person is asking for themselves, but other times, they are trying to help a friend or family member.
The problem is that timeshares aren’t as amazing as the salespeople claim they are. They are expensive, you probably won’t use them as much as you think, timeshare resale values are incredibly low (making them hard to sell), and more.
I know many people who have been tempted to buy a timeshare after attending a presentation, and it can be very tempting. Companies get people to attend by offering free gifts or even vacations, and then you sit and listen to a presentation that makes it sounds like you could save thousands and thousands of dollars if you buy a timeshare.
Even though you told yourself that you weren’t going to purchase anything, the salesperson is well-trained, and you can’t resist something that seems like such a good deal.
But, timeshares are expensive because:
- They have annual maintenance fees.
- You may not actually use them as often as you thought you would.
- They are nearly impossible to sell (you may have difficulty selling them for just a $1 even).
- There are plenty of ways to vacation for a more affordable price.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, please read the free guide The Consumer’s Guide To Timeshare Exit.
Please read more at How To Get Rid Of A Timeshare.
Stop smoking (possibly the best money saving idea on this list).
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco kills nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. each year and costs the U.S. $333 billion per year in healthcare expenses.
Smoking cigarettes can lead to many harmful side effects, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and many other medical problems.
I’m sure you know how bad it is, but smoking is a hard habit to quit.
I know and understand this problem because my father (who I was extremely close to) passed away from lung and brain cancer in 2008. He was an extremely healthy man, except for his serious smoking problem. We tried for a very long time to get him to stop, and it’s something I will always regret not trying harder.
Not only is smoking extremely unhealthy, it is a very expensive habit. According to Business Insider, cigarettes can cost around $5 in states such as Kentucky, and they may cost as much as $15 in New York. If you smoke a pack a day, that can be as much as $450 a month.
Another interesting statistic: According to GlassDoor, smokers earn an average of 20% less than non-smokers.
Create a budget.
Budgets help people manage their money better, and I truly believe everyone needs a budget, no matter how much money they make.
Budgets are great and one of the best money saving ideas because a budget keeps you mindful of your income and expenses. A budget helps you plan for big expenses, not overspend on things, and help you find areas in your budget where you can save money.
No matter what your financial situation is, creating a budget is one of the best money saving ideas, and you can download a free budget printable here.
Budgets have helped people reach their goals, pay off debt, make more money, retire, and more. This is one of the best ways to save money that will completely change your financial life.
Find an online job.
Finding an online job is one of my favorite money saving ideas because it’s a way to make more money to put towards your savings.
Working online is more flexible than most traditional jobs, and there are lots of online jobs that allow you to earn a full-time income while working at home.
Being able to work online helped me pay off my student loan debt and quit a job I didn’t love. Now, it allows me to work while I travel full-time, which I love!
There are more online jobs that ever before, so if you want to make extra money or start a new career path that lets you earn money from home, here are some ideas:
- Sell on Amazon. Jessica Larrew, of The Selling Family, explains how to start selling on Amazon. She is a friend of mine, and I am blown away by her success! In the first year that Jessica’s family ran their Amazon FBA business together, working less than 20 hours a week total, they made over $100,000 profit! Jessica also has a FREE 7 day course that will teach you everything you need to know in order to start selling on Amazon. I recommend signing up for it now!
- Start a blog. I created Making Sense of Cents several years ago, and since then, I have earned over $5,000,000 with my blog and around $1,500,000 in one year alone. Blogging has changed my life for the better, and it allows me to earn thousands of dollars a month, all by doing something that I love. You can take my free How To Start a Blog course here.
- Become a bookkeeper. Ben, founder of Bookkeeper Business Academy, explains how becoming a bookkeeper may be a possibility for you. Ben helps people start and grow their own online bookkeeping business with his online bookkeeping course. And, guess what? You don’t have to be an accountant or have any previous experience! You can read more about how becoming a bookkeeper at Make Money At Home By Becoming A Bookkeeper.
Learn more at 12 Work From Home Jobs That Can Earn You $1,000+ Each Month.
Search for ways to make passive income.
Passive income is when you are able to make an income while doing very little work to maintain that income source. It’s different from the normal income you earn from your job, which pays you for your time.
Passive income allows you to earn money while you sleep, travel, work another job, and more.
Building passive income is one of the money savings ideas that I’ve been working on for the past several years. I want to bring in an income while also focusing on things that will likely never generate income, like doing more hiking or biking.
Plus, earning passive income helps you diversify your income sources so you’re never too reliant on one thing. As someone who is self-employed, this is really important for me to think about.
Now, every passive income source takes some kind of investment to start, and that can be either a time or financial investment. But, your investment gets easier to manage over time, and income continually comes in without much effort from you. This makes it one of the best money saving ideas that will help you save money for years to come.
There might be a little maintenance here and there after you set up your passive income source, but overall the passive income stream should continue to operate on its own.
Various passive income ideas include:
- Affiliate marketing
- High yield savings accounts
- Rental real estate
- Rent out a room in your home
- Writing a book
- Starting an online store
- Creating an online course
- Shopping at cashback websites
- Earning credit card rewards
- Paying off your debt
Please read 12 Passive Income Ideas That Will Let You Enjoy Life More to learn more.
Drive a more affordable car.
According to credit reporting agency Experian, the average monthly payment on a new car loan in the U.S. is $530 and $381 for a used car payment.
While those payments may sound affordable to some people, they don’t include paying more for taxes, registration, and insurance.
On top of all of that, many people take out high-interest loans in order to pay for their car. My husband used to work in new car sales, and he occasionally told me about new car buyers who would take out loans with rates close to 20%.
I am a big believer that your car expenses should be less than 10-15% of your monthly income in order for it to be affordable. That includes payments, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.
Remembering that there are alternatives to taking out high-interest rate car loans on expensive new cars is one of the best money saving tips that can save you hundreds of dollars each month.
Make saving money fun.
One of the best ways to save money is to start making it fun. This is one thing I realized when I was in the middle of paying off nearly $40,000 in student loans.
So many people get tired of paying off debt and saving money because it can feel so monotonous. And when it feels boring, it gets even harder to stay motivated.
This is why I believe one of the best ways to save money is to learn how to make saving money fun. This can help keep you motivated and interested in saving money.
Here are some fun money saving ideas:
- Take part in the $20 Savings Challenge and easily save over $1,000.
- Create a challenge between you and someone else. You can turn it into a fun challenge between your friends, family members, or coworkers.
- Create a graphic that demonstrates your financial goal. An example of this would work for something like paying off your house. You could have a picture of a house and section it into 100 pieces. Each time you reach a small payoff goal, you can color in a piece.
- Make an inspiration board for what saving money and/or paying off debt means to you. You can have images of amazing places you want to visit, ideas about retirement, and more.
- Find ways to have frugal fun.
Learn more at How To Make Saving Money Fun.
Get rid of (some of) your subscription services.
There are a lot of really fun subscription services out there — clothes boxes, meal kits, streaming services, beauty products, craft kits, dog treats and toys, shaving kits, and much, much more.
Subscription services can feel really affordable at first. A $20 month beauty bag doesn’t sound that expensive, but that’s the problem. The costs add up quickly when you subscribe to too many because you feel like you’re getting a great deal month after month.
For this tip, go through your subscription services and start evaluating which ones are actually useful. Also look at which ones you’re spending the most on. Cancel ones that are too expensive or not being used.
This is one of the fastest ways to save money each month because all it takes is going to the company’s website and clicking “cancel.”
Money saving ideas for the grocery store.
Learning how to save money on food and groceries doesn’t have to be difficult.
You can save money on groceries by:
- Planning your grocery trips better.
- Use this cell phone app for cash back on your groceries.
- Start meal planning.
- Always shop with a grocery list.
- Look for things above or below eye level — eye level is called the “buy level” for a reason.
- See if there are any sales for the items you are already buying.
- Use coupons when grocery shopping.
- Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.
- Skip the pre-made and pre-cut items.
- Pay attention to the per unit cost of each item.
- Sign up for a grocery store’s loyalty card.
These are tips you can use week after week at the grocery store to keep saving more over time.
Refinance your student loan debt.
Refinancing your student loans is when you take out another loan at a lower interest rate. It can be done with both private and federal student loans, but federal loan borrowers will lose protections like income based payments, deferments, etc.
Refinancing can be a good way to save money on your student loan payments if you’re the right candidate. And, I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing if you’re interested. You can significantly lower the interest rate on your student loans with Credible, which may then help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
Through Credible, you may be able to refinance your student loans to a rate as low as 3.35%!
Plus, it’s free to apply.
This is one of the best ways to save money while paying off your debt!
Ride your bike when doing your errands.
When we started sailing, we needed to find a way to get around once we docked in an area and wanted to explore, buy groceries, go out to eat, run errands, etc. We decided to get bikes, and it’s been a great decision!
We ride our bikes everywhere now and in pretty much any weather (it’s often 100 degrees or raining when we ride our bikes). It’s an affordable way to get around, plus it’s eco-friendly.
If you have errands to run that are close by, riding your bike is one of the money saving ideas that will let you get a great workout in too. Even though it might be hot where you live, I always think that being out in the sun feels so good and motivates me throughout the rest of my day.
I recommend getting a basket or saddle bags for your bike to make it easier to carry things. You may even become more mindful of what you buy because you can only carry so much on a bike.
Remember though, always bring a bike lock so that your bike is safe! And, of course, wear a helmet and use any other safety precautions that you deem necessary.
Get cash back on your purchases.
Signing up for a website like Rakuten where you can earn CASH BACK by spending how you normally would online is one of the easiest money saving ideas. If you’re already shopping online, you might as well get some cash back on your purchases!
You can use Ebates at stores like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Amazon, Kohls, and more.
Ebates is free to sign up for and use, too! Plus, when you sign up through my link and make your first purchase, you will also receive a free $10 cash back.
Have more meatless meals.
I know this one won’t be for everyone, but it’s been one of the money saving ideas I’ve been using more and more often. You don’t have to go completely vegetarian or vegan, but cutting meat out of one or two meals a week can save you a ton of money.
You can do something like a Meatless Monday or try having meat with just one meal a day. Not only will cutting meat out of your diet save you money, there are some studies that suggest it’s good for your health and the environment.
Figure out if you actually need your storage unit.
Nearly 10% of households rent a self-storage unit. However, many people don’t really have a use for them — it’s just unwanted stuff that people forget about and don’t want to deal with, so they continue to pay for their storage unit.
Instead, you should think about getting rid of your storage unit as one of the best ways to save money.
Getting rid of your storage unit would also be a good time to sell things you’re not using, and that’s extra money you can put towards your debt or savings.
Read more personal finance books.
There is a lot of valuable information, motivating stories, and practical advice in personal finance books. Reading them can completely change the way you approach money and help you gain control of your financial life.
Here are some personal finance books I recommend starting with:
- Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way
- Broke Millennial
- The Year of Less
- Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
- Mom and Dad We Need to Talk
You can find the whole list of personal finance books I recommend here.
Get paid to complete online surveys.
One of the easiest and best ways to save money is to take paid online surveys. Taking online surveys isn’t really a way to cut back your budget, and you won’t get rich doing so. But, you can earn a little bit of extra money without doing much work.
I used to take online surveys pretty often, and it’s one thing I did to put more money towards paying off my student loans.
I never made a lot from survey sites, but it did help me reach my payoff goals, which is why I definitely recommend giving it a try.
If you sign up for all of the companies I list below, you may be able to earn anywhere from $25 to $100+ a month by just taking surveys online.
The survey companies I recommend signing up for include:
- American Consumer Opinion
- Survey Junkie
- Branded Surveys
- Opinion Outpost
- Pinecone Research
- Prize Rebel
- Product Report Card
- Survey Club
These survey companies are free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
Negotiate your car and home insurance bills.
Insurance is a necessary expense, but many people are paying more than they need to pay for car and homeowner’s insurance.
The average person pays too much for various forms of insurance. It’s actually quite possible that you are currently paying too much for car insurance, so do something about it today!
I know someone who has full coverage car insurance with a deductible on a car that is worth $500. I know someone who pays for towing even though their new car comes with free towing, and there are even more situations like this.
There are often extras you may not realize you’re paying for. Also, many people don’t understand how insurance works. For example, raising your deductible can lower your premiums, but you’ll need to make sure you can afford the deductible before raising it too much.
You can stop wasting money on insurance by:
- Shopping around at different companies to see what other offers are out there.
- Evaluating whether or not you should change your deductible.
- Changing some of your coverage amounts.
- Understanding insurance terms better.
- Possibly taking a driving class.
I also recommend simply calling your insurance agent and asking for a discount, and many times they will have some kind of discount to offer. All you have to do is ask!
Taking a few minutes to find ways to save on insurance can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of the year.
Save money on your next vacation.
If you want to get out of town for vacation instead of doing a staycation, there are lots of money saving ideas for vacation planning. Here are a few of my favorite ones:
- Be flexible with your flight dates. A difference of just a day or two can sometimes save you over $100 per flight. Most booking websites will let you choose a flexible date option to browse rates and days.
- For tourist destinations, travel in the mid or off season instead of the peak travel season.
- Stay in an Airbnb. Airbnb is often much more affordable than a hotel, and you may get a larger space with more amenities as well.
- Ask for a discount at the hotel you are staying at.
- Eat like a local.
- Buy groceries and eat out less (if you’re staying in an Airbnb, this is easy because many have kitchens).
Related: How To Travel On a Budget.
Open a high yield savings account.
High yield savings accounts are one of the best money saving ideas because you earn money on what you save, but most people have their money in accounts with low rates. Unfortunately, that means many of you are losing out on some easy cash!
Savings accounts at brick and mortar banks are known for having really low interest rates. That’s because they have a much higher overhead — paying for the building, paying the tellers, etc. Many people still use savings accounts they opened years ago at a brick and mortar bank.
If you’re looking for a free online checking account and savings account that has a higher than average interest rate, I highly recommend Betterment Cash Reserve.
With Betterment Cash Reserve, you can start earning 0.40% APY (variable) with a balance as low as $0.01.
Compared to the average national average savings rate of 0.09%, 0.40% is a huge difference! If you are only getting 0.09% or less, then you are losing out on easy, passive money.
To get started and open a Betterment Cash Reserve account:
- Signing up is super easy. Simply click here and sign up.
See, super easy!
Read more at How To Earn Over 20x The National Savings Rate.
Visit the library.
The library is one of my favorite money saving ideas because many libraries let you borrow more than just books these days.
Besides books, you can borrow movies, music, cameras, GoPros, even telescopes, and more.
I have even heard of libraries that lend kitchen utensils, power tools, and sports equipment!
This is definitely one of the best ways to save money because all you need is a library card, and those are free. Just don’t forget to bring your items back on time so you’re not charged late fees.
Sign up for Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
Swagbucks is a site that rewards you for doing things like using their website instead of Google, taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, shopping online, and more. Swagbucks pays in points called SB, and you can redeem your points for gift cards to Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, and more.
You can get a free $5 bonus just for signing up with Swagbucks today!
InboxDollars is another online rewards website that I also recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5 for free just by signing up!
Gambling at the casino and playing the lottery are both risky moves, and both of these things can cost you a ton of money. One of the best ways to save money is to either stop gambling entirely or know your stopping point and stick to it.
In the U.S. alone, people lose over $100 billion gambling each year (that doesn’t even include money lost playing the lottery).
And according to a study by Bankrate, consumers spend an average of $86 a month on lottery tickets. That’s over $1,000 each year on lottery tickets alone!
Gambling is not something I do often or enjoy because it always feels like I am throwing away money. I know for every time I’ve won money, I’ve lost many times more, and that’s the reality for most people.
Unfortunately, I have seen people file bankruptcy after gambling too much, and that is why it is such a dangerous activity to get into. A friend’s dad won a $1 million jackpot in Las Vegas, and he filed for bankruptcy less than six months later. He was buying more than he could afford and gambling his winnings away.
Gambling can be extremely risky, which is why it is a very dangerous hobby. However, if you do choose to gamble, you should always know your stopping point and be able to afford to lose the amount of money you are gambling with. Keep in mind that casinos exist for a reason — they make money when people lose money.
Have an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is something I believe everyone should have. It may not sound like a way to save money, but let me explain how it can.
When you set money aside for emergencies, you are preparing yourself for unexpected expenses, job loss, a pay cut, etc. Instead of relying on credit cards or borrowing money (which can cost more in the long run because of interest charges), an emergency fund can protect you from taking on debt.
However, according to a report by Bankrate, 26% of Americans have no emergency fund whatsoever.
According to this same report, only 40% of families have enough in savings to cover three months worth of expenses, with an even lower percentage having the recommended six months worth of savings.
This is frightening to me, as this is one of the best ways to save money because you’re less likely to go into debt if you have an emergency fund.
Learn more at Why You Need An Emergency Fund and How To Start One Today.
Buy more secondhand items.
Purchasing used furniture, clothing, and more is one of the best ways to save money on a tight budget, but I honestly recommend it for everyone.
You can sometimes even get items for free by seeing what friends, family, and neighbors are trying to get rid of. You can also find free items listed on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. There are also local Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook that focus on gifting things as a way to build community.
Trust me, people want to give away their stuff! It’s much easier than trying to find a place to donate things (some places actually have too many donations and have to say no), plus it can mean the person doesn’t have to haul it away.
Split your costs with a roommate.
My husband and I have had roommates in the past, and while that’s not really a possibility now that we live on a sailboat, I do recommend that anyone with an extra room in their house think about giving it a try.
While renting a room in your house will not make you rich, you can earn a good amount of side income with little effort.
If you are interested in renting out a spare room on a short-term basis (such as for vacations), I highly recommend that you check out Airbnb. I know people who are making thousands of dollars a month by renting out rooms on this website.
Related content: What You Need To Know About Renting A Room In Your House
Buy a water filter.
Unless you live in a place where the water is not clean enough to drink, buying bottled water can be an unnecessary expense.
According to The Water Project, the average person in the U.S. spends around $100 per year on bottled water.
Instead of spending $100 on bottled water each year, you can probably drink the water from your own home. You can even buy a water filter if you want to and save money in the long run.
Start micro investing.
Micro investing is one of the best ways to save money for your future. It means you are investing small amounts of money, even spare change!
There are a number of micro investing apps that allow you to use small amounts of money to purchase fractional (or micro shares) of ETFs or stocks. These apps also help you realize that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to start investing.
Now, micro investing won’t make you rich. But, it is an easy way to learn how the stock market works and how to start investing on a larger scale.
If you’re interested in learning about micro investing as one of the best ways to save money, check out Acorns. Acorns will build a customized portfolio for you based on your risk tolerance. When you link a debit card to Acorns, you can add the Round-Ups feature to round your purchases up to the next dollar amount, and Acorns will invest the difference.
Downsize your house.
Downsizing is one of the money saving ideas that can be hard for a lot of people. Some people think a small house isn’t practical, but a large house isn’t practical for many people when you consider all of the costs. You are probably spending more each month on:
- Mortgage or rent
- Maintenance and upkeep
- Things to put in your house
Your home is an important part of your life, but it can cost you a ton if you don’t really need the space. You might actually be surprised by how little space you can comfortably live with.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to save money with a smaller than average home, read Smaller Can Be Better – Maximize Your Savings With A Small House.
Stop trying to keep up with others.
We live in a world where everyone shares their life on social media, and this can lead to feeling like you need to keep up with those around you. You might see the new house your friends just bought, new cars, new clothes, the newest cell phone, vacations, and more.
What people don’t share on social media is the debt or financial struggles they have to “afford” these things. Rather than thinking you need to keep up with others, stay focused on what will actually make a difference in your life.
Paying off debt and saving for retirement are what allow you to live a better and healthier long-term financial life. And, realizing that you don’t need what others have is one of the best ways to save money for years to come.
How can I save a lot of money fast?
I get this question often from people who suddenly find themselves in a tight spot. Fortunately, there are some quick ways to save, such as:
- First, start a budget and figure out exactly how much you are making and where your money is going. You’ll be able to see where you can save.
- Cut unnecessary spending like going out to eat, new clothes, entertainment, etc.
- Go through your house and see if there is anything you can sell.
- Find a side job — if you’ve exhausted everything else, you may need to find ways to make money.
Once you are through this stressful financial period, hopefully you can use some of the money saving ideas in this article to build a good emergency fund. This can prevent a lot of stress in the future.
What are your best money saving ideas? Please share in the comments below.