How to save money fast? This is a question which is often on our minds. Of course, we are not talking of the richest people in the world. But, the rest of us, we always worry about this factor.
Regardless of your financial journey, you ought to know that you can turn your financial life around. At times, all it needs is to take the first step on the correct path.
like most things, this first step is the most challenging part.
That’s why we made this list of 100 great ways to get you started. None of these methods are life-altering on their own. But, over time they can make a big difference if you can execute more than one. Some of these tactics take only a couple of minutes. In contrast, some regular demand effort. Still, they’re so simple that anyone can follow them.
Apparently, not every suggestion applies to everyone. So, how to approach it? Go through this list and pick the ones which apply to you. Then use them. You don’t need to find 50-60 tips; even 10-15 will do. And when you finally use these tips, you’ll see that you’re saving more than you ever imagined.
How to Save Money Fast: Best 100 Tips
Tip 1: Moving Bank Accounts to Benefit from Perks and Get More Interest
You must be giving a regular fee for your savings or checking account. In this case, you may want to research about the newest offers out there. Some of the top banks provide sign-up bonuses just to open an account. Besides, some even offer good interest rates to new clients.
It’s a fact that interest rates aren’t what they were once. But, it’s still worth looking for. You can find the best free savings and checking accounts online.
Tip 2: Stay Away from the Television
Turning off your TV is a big step in saving money. There’re many financial benefits to it. These include low electricity bill, little exposure to ads that induce you into buying things. Plus, you get more time to focus on essential things in life.
Want to get real serious about this? Cut the TV cable cord altogether.
Tip 3: Stop Accumulating and Instead Start Selling
Once, people believed their collection would bring riches to them. Longaberger baskets were a big fad, and so were Beanie Babies. Now you can find these products in garage sales and Craigslist for a fraction of the MRP. So many people who put a lot of their investments were left wondering what happened.
If you wish you avoid this situation, then avert collecting products of questionable value. And if you want to recover some amount already spent on such products, then start selling them. You can then use that money to fulfill any financial goal of yours. Go through our “Guide to Selling Unwanted items” to get simple tips.
Tip 4: Sign up for All the Free Customer Rewards Program
Regardless of where you stay, you’ll get many retailers willing to reward you for buying from their store. We’ll tell you the basic strategy to maximize returns from these programs. Create a Yahoo or Gmail id only for these emails. Collect all the cards possible. Then check the account for additional coupons as and when you’re willing to shop.
You can even add to these discounts and rewards by using rewards credit cards. Through this, you’ll get points on purchases at several stores. You can redeem these points for cash backs or other offers.
Tip 5: Diy Gifts Rather Than Buying from the Stores
It’s also possible to save money while giving away generously. How? By making your gifts. You can make candles, freshly-baked cookies/bread, food mixes and many types of gifts at home. It’s both easy and cheap.
Besides these make incredible gifts as there’s a personal touch. Something you can never buy from outside. Also, they’re often consumable, implying they don’t end up as junk in someone’s closet.
Tip 6: Hone the 30-Day Rule
One of the most important rules of personal finance is to avoid instant gratification. Instead, you should wait for 30 days to decide whether to buy a thing.
Very often, once a month has passed, you’ll see your urge of buying has passed too. Who knew merely waiting can save you so much money! Waiting gives you a better idea of whether a thing is worth the money or not!
Tip 7: Make a Shopping List and Stick to It
This is one of the simplest ways of saving money. Shop only when there’s a list of you. Because without a list, you’re likely to make impulse purchases. This burns a big hole in the pocket.
Making a list of grocery shopping is especially needed. It helps you purchase products which suit your meal plan. Besides, it’ll also assist in avoiding the purchase of products you may waste. Hence, never go shopping without a list. More importantly, stick to it. You may also use a cash-back rewards card which offers bonus cash at retail/grocery stores. But ensure paying off the balance every month.
Tip 8: Rather Than Going Out, Invite Friends to Your Home
When you go out for lunch/dinner/clubbing, it destroys your entertainment and food budget. It’s always cheaper to invite friends over, plus it’s more fun too.
Hence, rather than painting the town red, host a pot-luck lunch/dinner with your friends. Watch movies, play cards or just talk with your friends. You’ll not only save money but will also have a blast.
Tip 9: Fix Your Clothes Rather Than Throwing Them Away
Don’t throw away a dress due to a broken button. Instead, sew a new one onto it. Don’t toss a shirt if it has a hole in it. Stitch a patch onto it and wear them when you’re working indoors.
Anyone can do the primary sewing job. And with a little practice, you can go a long way. Hence, learning basic sewing is an excellent way to save money. Plus, it also increases the life of your clothes.
Tip 10: Don’t Spend Much Fulfilling Whims and Fancies of Children
It’s straightforward to entertain children cheaply, especially younger ones. Just give them a newspaper and allow their creativity to run wild. Plant a sapling. Go to the park. Play ball. Train them to ride a bike.
Remember that your child wants your time the most and not the material things. If you do this, there’ll be money in your account plus happiness in the heart.
Tip 11: Negotiate Interest Rates with Your Credit Card Issuer or Do a Balance Transfer
Are you paying too much interest on the credit card? Then you should know that you hold some power, given you’re making timely payment. You have the authority to negotiate your existing rate of interest with the credit card company. Plus, you can also transfer the balance to a different card.
Begin by calling the card company and telling your request. If this doesn’t work out well, then check the balance transfer cards. Find one that has an initial 0% APR. Doing this can save you a lot of interest over time.
Tip 12: Clean the Closets
Dig in your closet and separate anything that you don’t use any longer. Then don’t just discard them. Instead use it smartly.
You can either sell it on Craigslist or have a garage sale. You may even donate it to get a tax deduction or take it to any consignment shop. Some money is always better than no money. And who knows, you may even strike an excellent deal on some stuff. Besides, it also gives a mental peace cleaning the closet.
Tip 13: Buy Video Games with High Replay Value. Avoid Buying New Ones Until You’ve Become a Master at What You’ve
There’s a change in our video-games purchasing habits. And this difference is for good. Now, our focus is more games which we can play over and over again. Plus, we focus on honing the games we buy.
Once you’re a master of a game, take it to a resale shop like GameStop. Check out if you can exchange it for store credit which you can use to buy another one.
Tip 14: Drink Lots of Water
Yes, you heard it right. Drinking lots of water are great for your health, agreed. But, it also has financial benefits. When you drink a glass of water before every meal, you stay full longer. And eventually, you eat less. Not just will you save on your eating bill, but you’ll feel much better after proper hydration.
Even better. Drinking more water means spending less on tea, soda, and juice. Note: Tap water is just as hygienic as bottled water. Plus, it’s free as well.
Tip 15: Avoid Junk Foods and Convenience Food
Rather than eating junk food when you get home, cook something easy and healthy. A couple of hours of preparation a weekend will give you lots of easy and cheap meal options for an entire week.
You may also want to break out the old crock pot to get some cheaper meal option.
For times when you just can’t avoid eating out, use reward credit cards and coupons to maximize your savings.
Tip 16: Quit Smoking. Please!
You should know by now that smoking is not just costly, but it also kills. Hence, to save lots of money and lead a long life, quit smoking. You can even quit cold-turkey. There’re many anti-smoking products on the market. Or try an electric cigarette. It’ll buy you some time. No matter which way you choose, you’ll be a lot better without it.
Tip 17: Make Multiple Batches of Casserole
All of us know that casseroles are easy and tasty dishes to make. So, the next time you make one, prepare four batches and put 3 of them in the freezer. Then, when you’re out of time and want a quick meal, just heat those up.
When you cook in bulk, you can buy the ingredients also in quantity. This means extra savings. Plus, having casseroles in your fridge helps you avoid junk food when you’re in a hurry.
Tip 18: Switch off the Lights
When you keep the lights on at your home, it might not be costly on a per-watt basis. But, it costs prominent over time. Hence, to save maximum, switch off the lights when not in use. If your house gets ample sunlight, you may not even need lights during the day. Try it for some time, and you’ll see your electricity bill going down over time. The bottom line is – turn off light if you’re not using it.
Tip 19: Exchange Books, DVDs, and Music at Library or on the Internet
It’s effortless to exchange the DVDs, CDs, and books you no longer need, online. Just clean your media collection and swap them with others on sites like PaperBackSwap. If you have a library nearby that loans books and DVDs, then it’s even better. The more you can trade with others, the more you’ll save.
Tip 20: Make Full Use of Yard Sales
You can score great deals at yard sales. This is an excellent place to get things you need anyway. Think shoes, housewares, clothing and even sporting equipment. But, you need to be careful as well. Because low prices may entice you to buy items you don’t need. Hence, at your next yard sale, restrict yourself to things that you were already planning to buy.
Tip 21: Install LEDs or CFLs Wherever It Makes Sense
Light bulbs which are energy efficient may cost more initially. But their life is much longer than the regular bulbs. Plus, they consume far less electricity. It could be challenging to decide which types to install. But, both CFLs and LEDs will be an upgrade from what you’re using currently.
CFLs use only one-fourth of the energy of incandescent bulbs. They last for years and are the cheapest choice for traditional bulbs. But, there’re some drawbacks too. They contain some amount of mercury and take some time to give full brightness.
LEDs, on the other hand, are more expensive. But, the good news is that they’re becoming cheaper with time. Plus, they’re undoubtedly the best lighting choice available. They’re quick to light up, are efficient akin to CFL and last for years. And they give a warm glow without becoming too hot themselves.
You don’t need to replace all bulbs at once. Even changing the most used 4-5 bulbs can help you save $45 a year.
Tip 22: Use a Programmable Thermostat
It’s not rocket science to install a programmable thermostat. This’s a great way to cut your energy usage when you aren’t home or just for temperature regulation. By programming it to cool or heat, you can be sure that your utilities aren’t going to waste when you’re asleep or at work. Hence, you save a lot in the process.
Tip 23: Buy High-Quality Appliances
You should always research when buying a new appliance. Yes, an energy-efficient washer may cost you some money. But, if it saves you energy and works for 15 years rather than 5, then it’s worth a buy. Because you’ll save a lot in the long run.
So, always do your homework before buying an appliance. Begin with back issues of Consumer Reports. You can get these at any library. Hour-Long research may save you many dollars. If you’re sure you’ll be buying the appliance and have the cash ready for it, consider applying for a credit-card. And that too one with a massive signup bonus. It’s a secure means of earning some money on a purchase you were anyway going to make.
Tip 24: Change or Clean Your Car’s Air Filter
A clean filter improves your car’s mileage by nearly 7%. This way, you save over $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive. Cleaning your air filter is no big task. You can do it in few minutes. Just follow the instructions in the manual, and you are good to go.
If the air filter can’t be fixed, you may change it for a new one. An air filter is readily available for less than ten bucks.
Tip 25: Stop the Use of Credit Cards
If you tend to spend too much using a credit-card, hide them. Or keep them in a secure place but not in your wallet. It’s okay if you’ve to keep a card for urgent situations. But, don’t carry it with you always. If you’re someone who gets tempted to use a card, “out-of-sight-is-out-of-mind” theory may help.
Tip 26: Plan Your Meals as per Your Grocery Store’s Brochure
Don’t create your meal plan out of thin air. Instead, plan your meals around the flyer of your grocery store and what’s on sale there. Find the biggest discounts. Then prepare recipes as per those ingredients. Do this for some months. You’ll end up with a lot less in your food bill than your usual.
Tip 27: Compare Prices – Find a Cheaper Grocery Store
We tend to shop at the same grocery store. In fact, it becomes part of our daily routine. We mightn’t realize that we aren’t getting the best deal there. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find the cheapest grocery store. Just keep track of the 20 items you buy most often. Then shop these products at different stores. Ultimately, one store will emerge as the winner. Make this store your regular shopping destination.
Tip 28: DIY When You Can
Before I tried it myself, I believed baking bread at home would be a waste of time. Not to mention complicated. But, once I tried it, I found it was much cheaper, tastier, healthier and more manageable. In fact, better than a store-bought loaf.
We hardly buy bread from stores now. Mainly because our homemade bread isn’t just cheaper, but better too. Identifying what you can prepare at home is a right way of saving money. Plus, you learn a new skill in the process.
Tip 29: Don’t Do Stress-Spending
It’s convenient to justify spending just to vent off a stressful day. But, it’s never a great idea. Rather than buying items you don’t need, it would be wiser to find another way of de-stressing.
Meditation is a great option and so is exercising. Even the old nap is a great stress-buster. Watch movies, read or work in the yard if you’re feeling stressed. Unnecessarily spending money will only make you feel guilty afterward.
Tip 30: Share Your Dreams With Your Loved Ones
You may be thinking that what does this has to do with saving money. Right? But, think about it more. If you spend time with your loved ones and share your goals, it becomes easier to plan for it. Make a big, challenging goal together. Then motivate one another to be financially sound. Soon, you’ll see that you’re naturally doing it. Your dreams will be much closer than before.
Tip 31: Do a “Maintenance Check” of Your Appliances
Check them periodically to ensure there’s no dust clogging them. Clean the space behind the appliances as it tends to get dirty quickly. Check all the vents, particularly on cooling/heating units, refrigerators, and dryers. The less dust there is, the more their efficiency and life. Hence, you’ll save both replacement cost and your energy bill.
Tip 32: Withdraw Unused Club Memberships
Are you paying membership fees for clubs you don’t use? E.g., a country club membership or a gym membership? Just cancel all membership you never use. Remember, you may renew these memberships any day if you miss having them.
Tip 33: Use Second-Hand When You Can
You can find the exact product you need with some smart shopping. Consignment shops, used equipment stores, second-hand games store, etc. are great places to buy used things. Make such stores a part of your shopping routine. Whenever you need to shop, go to these stores first. Only if you don’t find anything useful, should you go to other stores? But, this is less likely to happen.
E.g., clothes cost pennies when you buy them second-hand. Even if the owners wore them just once. By buying second-hand, you can save boatloads of money.
Tip 34: Keep Your Hands Sanitized
This is an easy one. Wash your hands correctly every time you handle raw food or use the loo. You’ll save yourself from harmful bacteria and viruses, hence saving on medical bills.
That doesn’t mean you mustn’t explore the world and get some mud on you. Sometimes, it’s good. But essential cleanliness and hygiene are also must.
Tip 35: Delete Your Credit Card Info From Online Accounts
It’s easier to shop online when your credit-card info is fed into the account. Just pick, click and buy. The ideal way to break this tendency is deleting your credit-card from the account.
This way, even if you want to spend, you’ll have to find your card. It will buy you some time to think if you want the product or not. Sometimes being pushed to find the card is all it takes to tell yourself you don’t need the product.
Tip 36: Gift of Labour
For new parents, offer a day of babysitting as a gift. If you’ve some pet owners around, suggest looking after their pets while they travel. Offer lawn care to a new house-owner as a gift.
Such gifts are eternally a hit. We know it from personal experience. As a parent of a new-born, we just loved getting a babysitting gift. In fact, even more than any other material gift, we may get otherwise.
Tip 37: Do Holiday Shopping Just After the Holidays
Many people use this strategy for Christmas. But, it applies to all holidays. Wait until a couple of days after any holiday. And then go shopping for things you need which are specific to that day.
Buy a Father’s Day card for following year the day after Father’s Day. Get Halloween decorating stuff on Nov. 1. Buy cards, gift bags, wrapping paper and bows after Christmas. The offs are huge, and you may store this stuff for next year.
Tip 38: Join a Volunteer Program
Volunteering helps you meet new people. You involve yourself in a constructive project which may lift your spirit. It also doesn’t cost anything, but can give a lot of entertainment. In a few cases, it may even help delete your student loan).
I spend much of my time volunteering. This involves serving different groups and committees in the society. Undoubtedly, this is the best thing I’ve ever done.
Tip 39: Declutter
Go into your room and look at every single thing in there. Are you okay that an item is there, or it would be okay if it weren’t? If you find things to get rid of, discard them. It’s only creating clutter and may be of use to someone else. In the process, you’ll get most of the cleaning done. Hence, it’s a total win-win situation.
Tip 40: Use Generic Brands of Products You Regularly Buy
Rather than taking the standard brand of a product you buy, try some generic version. You’ll not just save few dollars, but you’ll find the generic name to be same in quality as name-brand. Usually, the only distinction between the two is that of marketing. And, I would rather not pay more just for marketing. Once you board the generic train, you’ll see your grocery bill becoming lesser and lesser.
Tip 41: Cook at Home
Get a handy cookbook and try to cook some of the recipes inside. You’ll see that making a meal at home is way easier than you think. Plus, it’s much healthier and cheaper too. Even better, you may cook meals in advance. Our favorite cookbook for beginners is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”
Tip 42: Go for Term Life Insurance
Mark my words: insurance isn’t an investment. If you’re caught in a costly whole-life policy, pick cheaper term insurance. Use this difference in money to clear your debt and start creating wealth.
Whole-life and universal policies are costlier and give fair investment opportunity. In nearly every case, you’ll be better off with cheaper term insurance. Plus, there’ll be more money in your wallet.
Tip 43: Use Fuel-Efficient and Reliable Cars
A fuel-efficient and reliable car will help you save thousands in the long-run. Let’s suppose you drive a car for 80,000 miles. If you pick a car which gets 25 miles/gallon over one which gets only 15, you end up saving 2,133 gallons of gas. At $3 a gallon, you are saving $4,600. Reliability also pays similar dividends.
Do some homework. It will pay off. Even learning simple tips for fuel-efficient driving can be helpful.
Tip 44: Try Avoiding the Mall
The mall is a fun place to go. But, it is packed with temptation. Hence, you must avoid going to a mall unless you need to buy something.
Window shopping while on a tight budget is torture. Free yourself and find something else to do. A good movie, a walk outside or even a fun game can replace your mall expeditions.
Tip 45: Hone the 10-Second Rule
You’re out shopping or say doing online shopping. Whenever you choose a product and are about to take it to the checkout, wait for 10 seconds. During these few seconds, ask yourself if you need the item or not. If there’s no good answer, put the product back. This will help you avoid impulse shopping.
Tip 46: Rent out Extra Parts of Your Home
Do you have an unused bedroom or an in-law suite? Rent it out on sites such as Airbnb.com. If you’re living in a tourist area, you may earn lots of money. But, be sure to know the risks involved and take all the steps to protect your possessions and family.
Tip 47: Make a Visual Reminder of Your Liabilities
Putting your debts into easily understandable terms is critical. For this create a big progress bar. This bar will start with your debt amount and end with zero. Every time you pay some of it, fill in a part of the progress bar.
Place this reminder somewhere you can see daily. And fill it regularly. This will keep your eye on the target and take you directly to debt freedom.
Tip 48: Unsubscribe Magazines
Do you have a heap of unread magazines lying around in your home? Perhaps it’s due to a subscription which you aren’t reading. Not only must you not restart the magazine, but you must also give them a call for a refund. You never know. They may even pay back the prorated amount. I’ve culled my subscriptions earlier and have never had a regret about it.
Tip 49: Eat Breakfast
Having a balanced breakfast gives you the energy to last the entire day. It also curbs your desire for a substantial, costly lunch. Meanwhile, breakfast could be quite cheap, healthy and quick. A bowl of cereal in the morning usually helps me avoid an expensive lunch later in the day.
Tip 50: Do Babysitting for Neighbours and Vice Versa
We stay in a society that has many families with young kids. Due to this, many parents are keen on swapping babysitting nights with us. Hence, we save the money of keeping a nanny for an evening out. Some families take a new extreme altogether.
So, try to find one or two sets of parents whom you can trust. Swap days of babysitting with them. If all goes well, you’ll get some evenings free without having to pay for a babysitter.
Tip 51: Utilize Leftovers: Jazz Them Up
Many feel that leftovers are sub-standard residues for regular meals. But, there’s nothing inexpensive than consuming leftovers. In fact, you can make leftovers tasty by using a few techniques. You can come up with something exciting and delicious.
Our pet technique? Chaining. That means using leftovers to make an entirely new dish. E.g., your last night’s leftover includes rice and ham. You may use them to make black beans and rice or fried rice tonight.
Tip 52: Go Through All Your Clothes
If you have the urge to buy clothes every now-and-then, go through what you already have. Dig out clothes from every nook-and-corner and bring them in front of your eyes. Suddenly you’ll see a completely different wardrobe. You won’t feel like spending money on clothes anymore.
Tip 53: Take Your Lunch
Rather than eating out during lunch at work, pack your box. Even if you can’t do it every day, do it at least two-three times a week. With some quick cooking and only some of your time, you can make something enjoyable for your lunch. Plus, you’ll save lots of money in the process. Your colleagues mightn’t understand your wish to save money, but that’s their lookout.
Tip 54: Learn to Dress Minimally
Buy clothing which you can mix and match on several occasions. This way you won’t need too many clothes. So, if you’ve seven shirts, five pants, and seventies that complement each other, then you’ve endless options.
This is just what we do to minimize shopping for clothes and still manage to appear professional. We just mix and match what we wear by using simple, timeless pieces that go well.
Tip 55: Ask for Motivation and Help From Your Close Ones
When you feel de-motivated, talk with your near-and-dear ones. Ask them to help you. Tell them that you want to reduce your spending and you’d like if they give some advice.
Then, heed their advice. They may have some personal insights to offer which may be useful for you. At the very least, there’d be someone to understand your condition.
Tip 56: Try to Repair Things on Your Own
Decades ago, it was harder to repair things we had in our homes. But, nowadays it’s a piece of cake. There’re online videos and tutorials which show how to fix almost everything. And that too for free. So, regardless of what you’re trying to repair, it’s worth a try. Besides, you end up learning a new skill in the process.
Tip 57: Keep an Idea Notebook With You
I’ve wasted too much money and time just because I forgot some of my best ideas. But, now I keep a small notepad with me to write down thoughts the moment they come. This keeps me from forgetting anything significant.
Tip 58: Buy a Deep Freezer
A deep freezer is a good bargain after the first cost. But, it’s worth it only if you use it. Usually, having some additional freezer space helps you buy in bulk and pay less overall. Besides, you can make a lost meal in advance and store them. This way, after a long day at work, you just need to pop the pre-cooked meal in the oven. See this article, if you need help deciding whether a cold-storage is worth it.
Tip 59: Find a Cheaper Place to Live
Iowa’s cost of living is surprisingly low. Enough that I’m ready to sacrifice the cultural opportunities of other cities to live in Iowa. When I wish to enjoy the cultural frolics of different places, I can travel there. Because I can afford to do that as I save on living expenses for the complete year.
If you stay in a costly area, ponder if the extra money is worth it. A move can mean the difference between living hand-to-mouth and have money in abundance.
Tip 60: Find out the Free Events in Town
Our town has many free tennis and basketball courts, beautiful parks, walking trails, open disc golf, etc. One can go and enjoy for hours in the amazing outdoors, hiking trails or playing sports. And the best part – everything for free. All you need to do is find it. Here’re over 100 free things you can do if you want more inspiration.
Tip 61: Inflate Your Tires
You lose 1% on gas mileage for every 2 PSI of air pressure below the needed level in your tires. Most car tires are 5-10 PSI under the average level. This means, by merely inflating your tires, you can increase your gas mileage by 5%.
It’s simple too: Just go through your car’s manual to check the standard tire pressure. Then visit the gas station. Ask the attendant for a tire air gauge you can borrow. Then stop at the air pump. Feel your tires. Then using the pump fill them to the needed level. It’s a virtually free gas!
Tip 62: Start Gardening
Gardening is an inexpensive hobby if you have a garden. Rent a tiller. Till up an area. Plant some saplings. Keep the patch weeded. The result? A very inexpensive hobby which gives healthy food to you and your family.
I like planting tomato plants and caring for them. Then my family and I enjoy the abundance of tomatoes every summer. We prefer eating them fresh, canning them, and making tomato sauce, juice, pizza, and pasta sauce.
Tip 63: Check Your Community Calendar
Most communities have many free events. Though you mightn’t be aware of them at the time. So, if you wish to stay in tune with everything happening nearby, check your town’s newsletter. Or just stop by the city hall or local library and ask for a list of upcoming events.
You can even get free stuff, free meals and free entertainment by just paying attention. Plus, you’ll know what’s happening around you.
Tip 64: Use Public Transport
If the town’s transport system is available nearby, use it rather than driving to work. This’s way cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about the issues of parking.
When we were living in a big city, we issued a yearly transit pass. This pass paid for itself after not even two months of using it compared to driving my car. After that, for ten months, we could ride to work for free. That’s money in my account.
Tip 65: Learn to Cut Your Hair
This mightn’t be a popular thought, but it works if you don’t have a complicated hairstyle. E.g., I cut my hair using a pair of clippers. It may look like an impossible thing, but it isn’t that difficult to learn. Place a garbage bag on the washbasin. Get the scissors and clippers and get it done with. 2 or 3 cuts will cover the cost of clippers, and then you’ll be getting free haircuts. If you practice hard, you can make some stylish reductions too.
Tip 66: Carpool
If your co-worker stays near you, you may both benefit from carpooling to work. Or, if your spouse works close-by, commute by one car. You can drop and pick them up or vice versa. Doing so will save you money plus increase the life of both your cars.
Tip 67: Plan Your ‘Debt Snowball’
Everyone should have a plan to erase all debt. So, sit down and plan which debts you’ll be paying in what order. Merely having a design helps a lot in putting the plan into action. And, paying off your liabilities is one the definite ways to make you financially independent.
Tip 68: Buy a Crock Pot
A crock pot is a slow cooker. It’s possibly the best deal in the world to reduce cooking costs for a busy family. You just need to put the ingredients before work. Place it on the sim. And dinner is waiting for you when you reach home.
There’re many recipes for all types of foods. Every time you cook like this, you save money compared to dining out. Slow cooker meals are especially good as leftovers. Savings everywhere!
Tip 69: Do Some Basic Auto and Home Maintenance on a Regular Basis
Rather than waiting for something to break, make a periodic maintenance schedule. Under this, you check around your house and car and do some maintenance where needed. This small exercise will just take a couple of hours a month. But, it will prevent stuff from breaking down and help to detect issues before they turn disasters. When you maintain your home, it stays in great shape. Plus, it also increases the value of your property.
Tip 70: Purchase Staples in Bulk
With things we use regularly, we get them in bulk. This is especially for things that aren’t perishable. E.g., we buy diapers, laundry detergents and trash bags in bulk. This reduces their cost/usage and in the long run, contributes to savings.
Tip 71: Pack Meals for Road Trips
When you’re hitting the road, pack some meals and snacks you can eat easily. This way, you don’t have to stop and shop for food. Plus, you don’t have to look for a place to eat and waste time and money. Instead, you can just eat on the road. Or, stop by a beautiful area and stretch a little bit. Convenience foods are unnecessarily expensive. So, it’s better you avoid them as much as possible.
Tip 72: See Your Cell Telephone Bill, Find Services You Don’t Use, and Get Rid of Them
There’re many ways to save money on your telephone bill. This includes moving from a prominent service provider to smaller company that offers service in your zone for less. Besides, you must go through your phone bill to check if you’re paying for anything you don’t use.
Tip 73: Merge Your Student Loans
Interest rates are at an all-time low right now. So, determine what type of loan you have. Then merge your student loans into a single low-rate package.
This is just a single way to deal with student debt. But look at the different student loan consolidation offers and find how much you may save. Even a reduction of 1% on a loan of $10,000 saves you $100 annually. And your loan is perhaps more significant than that.
Tip 74: When Purchasing a Car, See Only the Used Models
It’s a fact that new cars are unjustified investments. Not just they fall in value the moment you drive it. But their value continues to drop every year.
So, if you wish to save maximum on transit, consider used cars only. If you look at vehicles just some years old, you may even get one within its warranty tenure.
Tip 75: Make Library Your Go-To Place
Don’t think of a library as only a place to get books. Think of it as a free place where you can do all types of things. I used it to meet people, learn foreign languages, to grab local newspaper, using the internet and checking out CDs. Plus, I also get the news of all upcoming community events from my local library. And the best part? It won’t cost you anything.
Tip 76: Using a Simple Razor for Shaving
I’ve been advocating our basic safety razor since long. But this’s only a single piece of the puzzle. For regular shaves, we shave in the shower and dry the blade later on. Merely using soap for lather is also very cheap as I change blades once every 2-3 weeks.
What’s the point behind all this? Shave using a dull razor. Don’t use an electric one who goes out of order in three years. Or the latest swiveling multi-blade razor for that matter. The former is costly, and the latter comes with expensive replacement cartridges. Plus, do shaving on a wet face. You could get a nice shave with some practice. Besides, it’s frugal in the long run.
Tip 77: Find Daily Motivation to Make Intelligent Moves
I’m usually motivated by my children. Maybe you get inspiration from your spouse or from someone you respect. Perhaps, it’s a personal goal akin to early retirement.
Get something which pushes you to bring positive changes in you. Then use that thing or person as a continual reminder. Keep its picture in your wallet, on your bathroom mirror and your vehicle. Have it in your mind as much as possible.
Tip 78: Know All the Perks Your Company Offers
Spend some time with your company’s HR. Learn about the different benefits available at your job. You may be amazed at what you learn.
After discussing with our HR, we got free tickets to sporting events, career enhancement opportunities and so on. We even learned about the optional employee match on retirement funds. This reduced our spending on things like sporting events and training classes. Even better, it improved our retirement planning.
Tip 79: Prepare Cleaning Supplies at Home
We prepare our laundry detergent at home and even our Goo-Be-Gone. Besides, we also love making our Soft Scrub, Glade, and Windex. In all the cases, it’s far cheaper than purchasing the commercial ones.
Look around for recipes. You’ll be surprised to know the number of things you can prepare at home. And they don’t eat up a lot of time and energy. Our “Frugal Spring Cleaning Checklist” will give you more tips.
Tip 80: Propose Cheap Exercises When Meeting With Family and Friends
This can be a tricky job. But, there’re many techniques you may try. Our preferred one is to take the initiative to suggest something. This usually gives us the power to direct the group toward activities which are less costly. E.g., persuade your friends to visit a park rather than golfing. That fee will remain in your pocket.
Tip 81: Don’t Speed
Speeding is wasteful in respect of gasoline consumption. Plus, you’re likely to get pulled over and pay a hefty fine and a higher insurance premium. It’s way more cost-effective to drive within the speed limit. It keeps the gasoline in the tank and keeps the police off your trail.
Tip 82: Read More
Reading is the most beneficial and cheapest hobby. Most places have a public library. Go there and borrow the books that interest you. Then in your free time, find a cozy corner in your home, and read away.
You’ll have something new to learn. This will improve your reading comprehension. Plus, you’ll be enjoying yourself without spending a dime. Here are more ideas to get into the flow of reading.
Tip 83: Don’t Buy a Big House
There’re many reasons to buy a smaller house. The area of our current home is 2000-sq-ft. I live there with my wife and two children. Honestly, it’s the perfect size for us. And if anything, I feel it’s still significant.
We’re often in the same room, and the rest of the house remains empty. There’s no use for a giant space to live. Instead, buy something which is modest, and you’ll have plenty of room. Not to forget, plenty of money in the bank.
Tip 84: Take a New Route to Work
Do you have the habit of stopping for something on your way to work from home or back? Then change your route altogether. Get rid of this constant drain by picking a new direction which doesn’t have such temptations. Use it even if it’s longer than your regular route. You’ll still be saving time by not stopping and buying.
Tip 85: Ask for Waivers on Fees
Whenever you sign up for a service of any type which includes sign-up fee, ask them to waive it. You never know they may waive it. And you save money by being direct about not intending to pay high fees. I did this with my last phone sign-up and asked them to waive the fees. This reduced my phone bill considerably.
Tip 86: Avoid Overspending on Hygiene Items
Many people perhaps find that cheaper hygiene products are just as well off as the costly ones. Personally, we buy the toothpaste which is the most affordable. And the same rule applies when buying deodorants. The key is to use these products consistently and regularly. Shower daily, maintain personal hygiene, and you’ll just be alright. No need to purchase a $40 scrub if you properly scrub your face.
Tip 87: Avoid Overeating Meat
Meat is quite costly when you take into account its nutritional value. Especially in comparison to fruits and veggies. And in almost all cases, beans and other protein-packed staples give a higher value. You don’t need to become a total vegetarian if you don’t want to. But, you can still save a lot by consuming meat less frequently.
Tip 88: Use a Coupon Strategy
To save maximum, use coupons with your shopping list and grocery store flyer. By doing this, you can save double the amount. How? Both through using the coupon and the first sale savings. This way you don’t buy items you don’t need just because you’ve discount or a coupon.
Tip 89: Air Seal Your House
Most houses have some air gaps which make it harder to regulate the temperature inside. And it becomes costlier too. Spend a day air-sealing your home and keep your money from leaking out. The DoE has an impressive manual on basic air-sealing.
Tip 90: Prepare Your Wine or Beer
Do you like an occasional drink? If yes, then this is an excellent way to enjoy your favorite drinks at a high discount. It’s straightforward to make 5 gallons of wine or beer in one go. Plus, it’s not that tough once you become a pro at it. Even better, it’s a fun activity to do with your pals. You get the equipment; they get the juice. And both of you get some bottles of tasty homemade beverage. Some free drinks plus some good entertainment. I think this is a fantastic deal!
Tip 91: Ensure All Your Electrical Devices Are Connected to a Surge Protector
This especially holds true for your computer and entertainment console. A high voltage may damage your devices quite easily. So, invest in a primary surge protector and keep most of your devices plugged into this device. To save more, unplug those appliances you don’t use frequently. This will help avoid phantom energy usage.
Tip 92: Sign up for an Automated Repayment Plan for Your Student Loans
Several student loans provide slight rate cut if you register for their automated debt-repayment option. Hence, you save some money every month. Plus, you don’t have to put the effort of paying your bill. Through our automated plan, we saved $60 a year.
Tip 93: Reduce Your Vacation Spending
Rather than going on an extravagant trip, do some sight-seeing in your nearby areas. One of my best trips was when our son was a toddler. We just packed our suitcases and drove around Minnesota. Eventually, we ended up camping for some days along the Lake Superior. For a full week vacation, this trip was dirt cheap and incredibly memorable. One more strategy is looking into travel rewards credit cards to earn free airfare and hotel stays.
Tip 94: Unsubscribe the Satellite or Cable Channels You Don’t Watch
Many people having cable often pay for a premium package which they don’t need. For the longest time, we held the subscription of Cinemax, HBO, and Starz. But, we would hardly watch it once a month. So, we discussed if it was worth paying for it or not. Because we could see a movie for much cheaper just by renting one. Hence, unsubscribe the channels you don’t want and put that money back in your wallet.
Tip 95: Exercise More
Go for a jog or walk every morning or evening. Do stretching or some light weights at home. You can easily do these exercises at home. And that too, for free. Plus, it improves your health a lot. Just keep aside some time every day to do some exercise. Your wallet and body will both thank you.
Tip 96: Use Online Bill Payment with Your Bank
This fulfills two purposes. Firstly, you stay in close touch with your money. Because it’s easier to keep a close watch on your balance.
Secondly, it saves money on paper checks and stamps. All you need to do is fill an online form, press submits, and your bill is paid. Try it and take its advantage if you haven’t already. Some of the best free digital checking accounts give this perk.
Tip 97: Connect Your PC and Entertainment Centre to a Smart Power Strip
SmartStrip cuts power to every device on the strip once you turn off a control device. It thereby reduces phantom power drains. So, if your workstation is connected to it, each time you power down your PC, every part powers down too. That is your monitor powers down, your scanner powers down, your printer powers down.
You can do the same with the entertainment center. When you switch off the TV, the cable box goes off too. And so does the DVD player, the VCR and video game console. This saves a lot of electricity and trims down your power bill.
Tip 98: Don’t Be Harsh on Yourself When You Make a Mistake
Even though you make ten great choices, but you can beat yourself for one wrong decision. And feel like a total failure. If you make a colossal mistake and realize it, ponder over it. Think why you understood it now rather than at that time. Then try applying this later on. The recollection of that mistake can become quite valuable, indeed.
Tip 99: Look Ahead – Always
Don’t let your past mistakes become a burden for you. So much so that you end up making more mistakes. Instead, look ahead to the future. Try to look past your mistakes. As eventually, they’re lesson meant to teach you something.
At times, you get the best lessons of life through life experiences. Be it good or bad. So, accept your past instead of running from it. Promise yourself to do better and set goals to improve every day.
Tip 100: Never Ever Give Up
When your fight against debt feels too much, read a blog on personal finance. Also, remember that many people are charging the same battle. Go through the archives and learn something new. Get motivated to continue fighting, no matter what.
On most occasions, we pay more than we should out of habit and apathy. If we change our perspective and look at everything as a chance to save money, it can transform our budgets. Without the need to add even a single dollar.
What’s important is to remember that when you look back, it’ll be the experiences that’ll stand out. Not the comforts you lived in. Living on a budget could teach you many things about how to leverage your pay-check. We live only once. So, why not make the most of each penny we earn?