How much money do you save each month? Are you looking for the best ways to save money?
After being in the finance community, we have learned one key thing, there's a lot of bad advice out there.
We've seen posts encouraging people to use credit repair services, sign up for credit cards to boost their credit score (even if they have bad credit card management), and so on.
It's important to focus on money-saving tips that help you and not hurt you.
If you're looking for some of the best ways to save money, then this post is exactly what you need. There are a ton of different ways to save money. And we are going to give you 20 ideas.
Before we get started, make sure to visit our free resource library to find the best tools to help you with your finances.
Save Money To Reach Your Goals
Teaching people about money and how to save money is one of our favorite things to do. Simply because it helps you reach your goals.
During our debt-free journey, we used many of these tips to accelerate paying off our student loans. That is to say, it's what helped us pay off $240,000 in 27 months.
Certainly, there are a lot of reasons why you may be looking for ways to save money. Those could include:
- Pay off debt
- Stop living paycheck to paycheck
- Start a side hustle
- Buy your first home
- Start investing more
- Add to your emergency fund
Above all, you may simply want to extend your income so you have a little more flexibility in your budget. Regardless of your reason, this post will show you the best ways to save money. However, there will be some ideas you're already aware of. On the other hand, there will be some ideas you've never realized before.
Here are over 20 of the best ways how to save money
To clarify, we're aware that trying to find new ways to save money can be difficult. It sometimes feels like you're not making much progress and you've tried everything. We have been there before and heard it many times. But, if you're willing to sacrifice now, you can live the life you've always wanted to live later.
To begin, you must have the right mindset to start living frugally. When it gets tough just remember the dreams and goals you set for yourself. Ultimately, you will get where you want to go a lot faster when you learn about the best ways to save money.
Most importantly, we believe that finding good ways to save money can completely change your life. Without sacrifice and using the tips we are about to share with you, we wouldn't have paid off so much debt as fast as we did. Important to realize, start with a few of these ideas and see if they work for you. Even if it's just a few dollars saved each month, that's a start to a more stress-free financial life.
1. Stop paying for cable TV
The average monthly cable bill is over $100, and it's expected to reach around $200 according to research by the NPD Group. To point out, there are a lot of low-cost cable alternatives. No longer paying for cable is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Here are some services that are good alternatives:
- YouTube TV — starting price $64.99/mo
- Netflix — starting price $7.99/mo
- Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ bundle — starting price $12.99/mo
- Hulu + Live TV — starting price $54.99/mo
- Philo — starting price $20/mo
- Amazon Prime Video — starting price $8.99/mo (requires Amazon Prime membership).
- Sling TV — starting price $30/mo
You can read more about cable vs. streaming options at this review.
We haven't paid for cable in years. We love using streaming options and YouTube TV is our preferred option because of its selection of channels.
2. Plan your meals
Meal planning is a complete game-changer for us and has helped us eat healthier and save money. One of the best benefits of meal planning is you waste less food.
According to the USDA, 30-40% of food supply that people buy is wasted. Yes, that's a ton of food!
If you struggle with planning your meals and eating at home, try the $5 Meal Plan. It's only $5 a month and will save you money, time, and energy with their simple tasty weekly meals emailed directly to you.
To point out, you will receive the exact shopping lists you need in order to create the meals. If you're interested in joining for free, click here.
3. Think before you make purchases
This may seem like an easy tip, however, it can be difficult at times. To be honest, we all have those thoughts when we realize we shouldn't have purchased something and we made a mistake.
Ultimately, you may be upset at wasting money on something you never use or the fact that you added to your debt.
That is to say, sometimes you may realize it months later, but you eventually realize it was a waste of money.
It's very important to ask yourself a few questions before you make a purchase. The questions include:
- Can I wait to purchase this item?
- Can I afford it?
- Should I use this money for something else this month?
- Do I actually need this?
- Is there a return policy?
Certainly, this is a great approach to have to save money that will help you for years to come.
4. Create a budget
Budgeting helps you tell your money how to behave. It's that simple.
Budgets are great and will allow you to save money because it keeps you mindful of your income and expenses. Your income is your most powerful wealth-building tool.
Ultimately, you will know exactly how much is allocated to each category each month, how much is left to spend, and what areas need attention.
Most importantly, budgets help you reach your goals, pay off debt, and more. This is very important and one of the best ways to save money to will have you reach financial freedom.
5. Switch to a DIY home security system
There's a common misunderstanding with a home security system. It's often stated, the more you pay the more you get. But to be honest, you're paying for more markup, not security.
It's a lot less expensive to cut out the middleman and install your own home security system. The best DIY home security system according to Business Insider is SimpliSafe. You receive live professional alerts with no contracts for only 50 cents a day.
We have been using SimpliSafe for years and it's easy to set up yourself. Our bill decreased by over $40 by switching to SimpliSafe.
If you're interested in saving money on your home security system with SimpliSafe, click here.
6. Search for work from home jobs
As technology continues to improve, there are more and more opportunities to make money online. Also, the trend is expected to continue well into the future.
Doing some extra work from home can bring in some money. Work from home jobs offer flexibility and are a great option for many people. You may be able to start your own business.
Starting your own business can create a full-time income while being able to work from home.
Here are some ideas if you're looking to start making more money or work from home:
- Start a blog. Blogging is our favorite choice on this list of work from home jobs! It gives the ability to work from anywhere and have a very flexible schedule. You can earn a somewhat passive income from blogging and help others at the same time. We started Secret to Finance in early 2020 and started making money within the first 3 months. You can take our free How To Start A Blog course here.
- Tutor online. If you have a passion for teaching others, online tutoring is a great option. You can give private sessions from home and use your knowledge to help others. In addition, you can choose your schedule if you have a specific time frame you’d like to use. Choose Chegg Tutors for online tutoring and earn some extra cash.
- Become a virtual assistant and earn money from home. Virtual assisting has become a popular industry that is growing very fast. The most attractive thing about virtual assisting is it’s mainly done online. That is to say, with the increase in more and more people working from home there is an increase in the amount of virtual assisting jobs.
Learn more at Work From Home Jobs: 10 Best Ways To Make Money.
7. Get rid of some of your subscription services
Having subscription services can be convenient and fun because it's easy to use. They can include a lot of things like meal deliveries, streaming services, and more.
However, it presents an issue when you have too many. You may look at your budget and realize you're spending way too much money.
The best approach is to consider which ones are actually helpful, and then get rid of the ones you no longer want or cost too much money.
Getting rid of the subscription services you no longer want or use is one of the fastest ways to save money.
8. Sell your car and buy a more affordable car
According to Lendingtree.com, the average car payment is up to $550 for new vehicles, $393 for used, and $452 for leased.
This data is sad when you consider that many people are taking out high-interest loans just to drive a car. We have heard a lot of stories on how people were convinced by car salesman to buy a car even though they couldn't afford it.
This would result in the person taking out a longer-term loan just to make the monthly payment lower.
This is a bad idea! The best approach is to pay cash for your car. If you can't pay cash for it, you can't afford it.
By all means, $550 may be affordable for some, however, we are going to assume it's a lot of money for most people. In addition, maintenance, gas, insurance, taxes, registration, and more will increase the amount of money it costs you to keep that specific car.
We highly recommend buying a car you can actually afford. Also, buying a used car is the best way to save money in the long run.
9. Pay off your debt as fast as possible
Making a decision to pay off your debt fast gives you the ability to pay less in interest on your loans and frees up your money for other financial goals.
The faster you get out of debt, the quicker you can focus on the next steps in your financial plan such as investing, etc.
Check out these related articles for motivation and to help you keep reaching your financial goals:
- How We Paid Off $240,000 in 27 Months
- Our Debt Free Journey: 5 Financial Secrets Why We Got Started
- Paying Off Debt: Is It Worth It?
10. Eat out less
First off, eating out is a common issue for many people today. How many times do you eat out per week? Do you keep track of how much you spend each month at restaurants?
It's important to create a budget and track exactly how much you spend each month.
A family can easily spend over $50 eating out if you think about having to feed your kids as well. If you do this multiple times a week, that can become a lot of money. That is to say, eating at home can save hundreds of dollars each month.
Certainly, one of the best ways to save money is limiting the number of times you eat out per month. Keep track of how many.
11. Sign up for cash saving apps
In this case, you can earn cashback at stores like Walmart, Amazon, Target, and more. Important to realize, this is another great way to save money because you're probably already shopping at stores that offer cash back through Swagbucks and Rakuten.
Most importantly, the services are free!
Also, when you sign up with our Rakuten link and make your first purchase, you will receive a free $10 cashback.
Swagbucks will give you a free $10 cash bonus when you create and confirm your account.
Ibotta gives you real cash for simply taking pictures of your receipts.
Honey automatically finds, tests, and applies the best coupon code at checkout on 30,000+ popular sites.
12. Refinance your student loan debt
We highly recommend using LendKey for student loan refinancing. So you can save money on your student loan payments.
Refinancing your student loans with LendKey can significantly lower your interest rate. Ultimately, it may help trim thousands of dollars off your student loan bill over time.
By using LendKey, you may be able to refinance your student loans to a rate as low as 2.99%! Remember, always choose a fixed rate.
Also, it's free to apply!
That is to say, LendKey is one of the best ways to save money while paying your student loans!
13. Make money completing online surveys
Paid online surveys are one of the easiest and best ways to save money. You won't become rich or cut back your budget, however, increasing your income can help add money to your savings.
We take online surveys pretty often, and it was one of the best things to help us pay off $240,000 in 27 months. The most we've made in one survey is $250. That is to say, we highly recommend giving it a try.
If you take the time to sign up for all of the companies below, you can potentially early up to $100+ a month by simply taking online surveys.
The survey companies we recommend signing up for include:
Most importantly, they're free to join and use! You will get paid to answer surveys and give your opinion. We recommend signing up for as many as possible so you can have the chance to make the most amount of money.
14. Cancel your gym membership
It's very common for people to have gym memberships that they don't use. Gym memberships can be expensive if you're not using them. Cancel your membership ASAP if you're not getting the full value out of the membership.
Certainly, this is a great way to save money by cutting an unnecessary expense. It's beneficial for some to pay a gym membership, however, the majority of people don't get their money's worth from their gym membership.
Now more than ever, there are so many ways to get a good workout in that don't require a gym membership. For example, you can go for a walk, an outside run, a bike ride, do a home workout, and more.
This is a great way to save money and helps you get outdoors and stay active.
15. Negotiate your bills
Insurance and utility bills are necessary, but you may be paying too much money to those companies. A great way to save money on your bills is shopping around for better plans and lower prices.
Most people are paying too much for their bills. You could also be paying too much for your car insurance.
Stop wasting money on your bills by using Trim. This service automates ways to save money on your cable, internet, phone, cancels old subscriptions, medical bills, and more.
Click here to sign up for Trim and start saving money.
We also recommend calling your insurance agents and asking for a discount. Ultimately, this is a great tip to use yearly and most times you'll receive savings by simply asking.
16. Groom your hair yourself
Grooming your hair is necessary, but you do have options. You may be visiting the salon or barbershop too often. A great way to save money is by grooming your hair yourself.
There are great YouTube videos on how to maintain your hair and how to save money doing so.
We decided to start doing this and we save hundreds of dollars per month. The more you groom your hair, the better you will get at doing it.
Start slow by choosing certain parts of grooming to do yourself until you're comfortable doing it from start to finish.
17. Stop gambling
Gambling is both a risky move and addictive for most people. Ultimately, gambling can cost you a lot of money. That is to say, the best way to save money is to stop gambling altogether or stick to a strict budget and know your stopping point.
Certainly, it's easier said than done. However, in the U.S. alone, over $100 billion is lost each year to gambling. That is insane!
On the other hand, gambling is something that we've tried before. But, we are not fans of throwing away our money so we rarely go to the casino.
Staying away from the casino is a great way to limit the number of times you gamble.
Playing the lottery is another common thing people do. According to The Motley Fool, the average person who plays the lottery spends over $250 a year on lottery tickets. And, most of them lose more money than they win.
At the end of the day, gambling is a risky move and often leads to bad financial decisions. But, if you do choose to gamble, make sure you have a stopping point.
Also, you should be able to afford to lose the amount of money you're gambling with.
Always remember that casinos exist for a reason. They love when people lose money.
18. Save money while traveling
We all love to travel and get out of town for a vacation. There are many ways to save money just for vacations. Here are some of the best ways to save money on your next vacation:
- Ask for a discount at the hotel you decide to stay at.
- Eat out less if you're able to buy groceries and cook while on vacation
- Stay in an Airbnb for one of the best ways to save money while on vacation.
- Have flexibility with your flight dates. Flying at certain times and on certain days can save you over $100 per flight.
19. Start micro-investing
Micro investing is a great way to save money for your future. It simply means you're investing small amounts of money.
There are some good micro-investing apps that allow you to invest small amounts of money to purchase stocks or ETFs.
Above all, these apps show you that it doesn't cost a lot to start investing. On the other hand, micro-investing won't make you rich.
However, it's a great starting place if you're new to investing.
A great way to get started with micro-investing is with Acorns. Acorns will create a portfolio based on your risk preference and round up your purchases to the nearest dollar if you choose to use the Round-Ups option.
20. Stop comparing yourself to others
Certainly, we live in a world where everything is posted online and shared for others to see. It can create a different feeling when you see your friends traveling, buying new houses or cars, or the newest phones.
However, just because your friends or people around you are doing these things doesn't mean it's smart for you to spend money on them.
In fact, most of what people share online doesn't show the debt or financial struggles they experience to have the money for these things.
Above all, instead of thinking you have to keep up with others, focus on making the best decisions for your life.
Delayed gratification and paying off debt will allow you to live a better life and reach financial freedom a lot faster. Doing these things will give you the opportunity to invest and save for retirement.
To clarify, once you realize you don't need what others have, you will find another great way to save money.
What other tips would you add to this list in order to save money?
What new ways to save money did you learn about this year?
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