You’ve probably heard it before: “You can’t save money if you don’t have any.” But what does that really mean? If you’re like most people, it means that as soon as your paycheck comes in, all of your hard-earned cash is already spoken for. You get bills and commitments and lifestyle expectations to keep up with every month – there’s just not enough left over for savings. What’s a person to do? Well, it’s time to make some changes.
The ultimate goal of saving money is to reach financial independence. And the only way to achieve this is by maximizing your income, minimizing your expenses, and being smart with your finances. But it’s easier said than done! That’s why we put together these simple tips for you that will help you save more every month without having to break a sweat!
Save Money Tip #01: Start a Budget and Stick to It
Become aware of where your money goes – If you don’t know how much money you’re spending on things like clothes, restaurants, or entertainment each month, then there’s no way for you to cut back on these types of expenses. To find out what percentage of your monthly budget these kinds of purchases take up, create a spreadsheet and list them all out in one column with the amount you spent next to them. Then, add up the total at the bottom of the column and divide by your monthly budget number (either an estimate or what you actually spend).
It is important to set aside an amount for savings as well so you don’t accidentally spend too much on things like clothes or home decor. The most important thing? Be realistic about what you can afford!
Save Money Tip #02: Track your expenses for one month
It’s easy to overestimate how much we’re spending when the number of transactions happening in our bank account is so many! By tracking each expense, whether that be cash or card purchases, online orders, or any other kind of transaction, you’ll be able to see exactly where your money is going and how much. This can make it easier to set up a budget and figure out which expenses need more attention!
Save Money Tip #03: Don’t be afraid to say “No”
This is an easy one. If you know that something will cost more money than you’re willing or able to spend, just don’t do it! You won’t succeed in saving if your budget keeps getting upset by purchases and commitments outside of your control.
Save Money Tip #04: Save on small things every week
This one isn’t always possible for everyone since some people have irregular income or hail from countries where saving in the bank isn’t an option. But if you can save a little bit of money every week, it’ll really add up! For example, put aside $20 from each paycheck and before you know it your savings will be in the tens of thousands!
Save Money Tip #05: Eat out less or cook at home more often
Eating at restaurants can get expensive fast! If you’re trying to save money, it might be a good idea to eat out less and instead prepare meals at home. It’s also important not only to think about the cost of food but the time spent cooking as well. Our tips on how to cook cheaper are below!
Save Money Tip #06: Buy in bulk when possible
This tip can really take off when you live in a city or near an urban center. When grocery shopping, try to buy groceries in bulk and only take home what you need for the week (or month). This will save time and money by buying only what’s necessary while also saving on gas from trips back and forth across town!
Save Money Tip #07: Buy generic instead of name-brand
The cost of generic and name-brand products can vary greatly! To save money, try to buy the more affordable option when possible. If you eat a lot of cereal or snacks, for example, this might be an easy way to cut back on your food budget without giving up too much quality.
Generic doesn’t always mean lower quality – it just means that the company who made it doesn’t spend money on advertising!
Save Money Tip #08: Find a cheaper gym or work out at home more often
Gyms are wonderful, but they can also be really expensive. We’re not telling you to drop the gym altogether – just try and find one that has better prices than the ones in your area. If this isn’t an option for you (or if it is and you don’t want to!), then there are plenty of ways you can exercise at home. You could rent a bike from your local library, take up yoga or do some stretches on the ground! The key is to find something that works for you – it might be as simple as changing how much time per day (or week) that you work out!
The key is to find something that works for you – it might be as simple as changing how much time per day (or week) that you work out.
Save Money Tip #09: Pick up a side hustle now and then
We all have different needs and abilities, but if you can spare some time every so often to do some freelancing or odd jobs, it’ll be a great way to earn extra money. You might not want to do this every day and you may need some time in between gigs (or even weeks) but if you’re trying to save money then having little side hustles here and there is a good idea!
Save Money Tip #10: Put some of your paycheck into a savings account every month
This one can be tough if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, but if you set aside $50-$100 in a high-interest savings account monthly or biweekly, then over time you’ll be saving a lot of money! The key to this tip is to make it automatic. You might hear about someone who saved up $25,000 by doing just that – they set the amount aside before anything else so they never even noticed what was happening in their checking account until one day when they checked and saw over six digits worth of savings!
Save Money Tip #11: Find cheaper ways of doing things that you do every day
Sometimes when we’re trying to save money, it’s not always about the big things. It can be as simple as finding cheaper ways of doing things that you do often! For example, if you buy coffee every day at $50 a week, that’s more than $1000 per year. If you’re trying to save money, try getting your caffeine from cheaper sources such as coffee shops or tea! Or, instead of buying a pre-packaged salad, you could take the time to make your own. It might even be as simple as turning off lights when they’re not needed or taking shorter showers!
The key to this tip is that oftentimes we don’t notice how much money we’re spending every day until we do a little inventory of our routine expenses.
Save Money Tip #12: Avoid spending money when you don’t need to
It might seem like an obvious idea, but we all know how easy it is to impulse buy or just have a bad day and want something that we can’t afford! The key here is really simple – try not to do anything unnecessary if at all possible. If you’re at the store and find yourself looking around for something to buy, try asking yourself if it’s actually worth your money. If not, then leave without buying anything!
Save Money Tip #13: Look online before going out
If there’s a product that you need but don’t want to purchase in person (or live near an Amazon warehouse!), just have a quick look online first. You might be able to find a better price, and if not then it’s worth considering because you’re saving yourself some time!
Save Money Tip #14: Buy what you need, not just what’s on sale
This doesn’t mean never buy anything new! But if the item isn’t something that will last a while or an investment in your health and happiness, consider buying it at full price. This ensures that you’re getting exactly what you need and not spending any extras.
Save Money Tip #15: Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
This one is pretty simple – if you’re not using something, then cancel it! You’ll be surprised how much money subscriptions can cost us in the long run. If we get so used to seeing that $120 bill every month but have no idea what for (or even remember signing up), this is a good tip for saving money.
Save Money Tip #16: Take your lunch to work!
This one can be tough if you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, but some people find that they spend a lot on food every day and don’t even notice it until their monthly grocery bill comes in at over $300-$400 for the month. If this sounds like something you do often, then start packing your lunch. It’s cheaper than going out and you might even find that this change can make a huge difference to how much money you’re spending every month!
Save Money Tip #17: Keep track of your spending
It’s hard to know if you’re saving money unless you keep track of your expenses. There are plenty of apps and other tools that can help with this, such as Mint or You Need a Budget. (We recommend YNAB)
Save Money Tip #18: Pay off debt and save money on interest by paying more than the monthly minimums
This is one of those things that we know we should do but don’t. Paying more than the monthly minimums on your credit card will save you a lot of money in interest over time, and it’s not that hard to set up! This is especially true with higher-interest debt since the savings will grow exponentially with each year.
Save Money Tip #19: Pay off your high interest debt first
If you have credit cards or personal loans, focus on paying these down before working to save money elsewhere in your budget. Your higher-interest debts are costing you more, so it’s worth prioritizing them and focusing on getting rid of them. Once you start paying off debt, it’s also a good idea to put that money towards something else, like your emergency fund.
Save Money Tip #20: Make an emergency fund
Ideally, you should have at least six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. While this might be a difficult goal to achieve, it will help you feel great knowing that if anything were to happen (such as a job loss), then you’d be able to keep your lifestyle going for at least six months! This will provide you with peace of mind and some wiggle room when an unexpected expense crops up.
Save Money Tip #21: Use a credit card to save money
This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s possible! A lot of people think that using a credit card will lead them into more debt and problems – however, if you have discipline then this is actually an easy way to earn some money back on your purchases. This works best in the long term, but you can still use your credit card to save money in the short term. For example: if you have a $100 purchase and spend $25 on cashback rewards from your credit card, then that’s an easy way for saving!
Save Money Tip #22: Use cash back or points when purchasing anything
Again, this might sound like a counterintuitive tip, but it can be an easy way to save money. The best part is that there are tons of cards out there with cashback or points – so if you’re spending $500 anyway (on groceries for example), using one will still help you earn some rewards.
Save Money Tip #23: Measure your success with money in terms of time, not just dollars
Figuring out how much you save rather than what that savings amount is worth can help avoid the trap of focusing only on things like dollar signs or percentages. It’s also a lot more motivating to see all those hours spent at work or not eating out as a result of your budgeting!
Save Money Tip #24: Forget about being perfect and just try
Saving money is all about trying. If you’re doing the best you can with what limited resources you have, it’s worth celebrating those small successes on their own merit rather than wishing for something better that might never happen.
Save Money Tip #25: Set a goal
Goals are what make saving money worth it. Whether you want to pay off your debt, save up for something big or just get out of living paycheck to paycheck, setting goals can help motivate you and give focus in the process.
Don’t forget to reward yourself! If you’ve been sticking with your budget all month and you reach your goal, it’s time to celebrate! Tell yourself that the next thing we’re going to do is enjoy a nice meal or watch a favorite TV show. Bonuses are great too – for example, if you hit your six-month debt-free mark and pay off all of your credit cards at once, give yourself an extra $100 in your savings account.
It’s so easy to get discouraged, especially when you’re trying something new like saving money for the first time. But remember that everyone has their own financial journey and it will take some experimentation before you find a plan that works best for you. Remember: You can do this!
Don’t be too hard on yourself: If you’re trying to save money and are having a rough day, don’t beat yourself up. It’s not easy being frugal all the time. Recognize that this isn’t about perfectionism or making every penny count- it is about developing healthy habits over time so your
In this post, we’ve shared a few simple ways you can save money. If your goal is to become financially free or live the lifestyle of a digital nomad – there are plenty of things that you can do today in order to get started on that path! You might not be able to implement every single tip right away but remember: Rome wasn’t built overnight. Implementing one new idea at a time will help make saving money more manageable and achievable for you. Finally, remember that you’re doing a great job, even if things don’t go as planned. Give yourself some love and pat yourself on the back so you know how much progress you’ve made. Small successes are still worth celebrating!
We hope these tips will be helpful and encourage you to share your own! What are some other easy or low-cost (but highly effective) ways for saving money? Let us know in the comments below.