At the end of the day, there are only a couple ways to save money, and it all comes down to one simple truth: you have to earn more than what you spend. Ultimately, you can do this in two ways, by increasing your income, as well as decreasing your expenses. However, there are so many things you can do to cut some corners in the meantime. Here’s some of the best money saving moves you can make.
Stop paying for your cable TV
I’m not saying that you should stop watching TV altogether, but there are plenty of ways to watch TV without a cable, even free of charge.
Cut your landline
In my case, this was a life saver. Not only that it saved me some cash, but I also didn’t have to deal with window salesmen, and my mother-in-law any further.
Find a better home for your pets
As it happened, my son used to get a highly allergic reaction whenever my dog got near him. That meant that I had to find a different home for my pup, and luckily, my aunt took good care of him.
It was only then when I realized how expensive it was to own an animal, and take proper care of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should abandon your beloved pet at once, but if you’re having a hard time making ends meet, think twice before bringing an animal into the household.
Stop wasting money on storage units
Think about it for a second. Do you actually need to hold onto stuff you never get a chance to use?
Find a goal and strive to achieve it
This is quite a general advice, but it can work wonders when it comes to keeping yourself motivated and driven to succeed. With a clear goal ahead, you’ll work twice as hard in order to achieve it. Buy a new car, renovate your house, or go on a nice holiday. Conceive whatever it takes to keep you going.
Think about moving
If the costs of living are too steep in your current neighborhood, you might want to switch something up. I know that there are many factors which determine whether this is possible or not, but do the calculation, and find out how much money you can actually save if you only moved a couple blocks down the road. It can be well worth it sometimes.
Use public transport
Having your own car is nice and comfortable, but you’ll be able to save so much gas money if you only used public transport now and again. You also won’t have to deal with an impossible task of finding a parking spot in a busy city center. Do I have your attention now?
Get rid of all materialistic people from your environment
What good will they do for you? At the end of the day, they will only take away from your life, regardless of whether we’re talking about money or life energy.
Be smart with your choices
You don’t have to use the most expensive gym in town, just because it’s right next door to you. It wouldn’t kill you to walk 3 blocks down to the one that costs half as much. Similarly, don’t be lazy to check out your options when it comes to the insurance companies, mobile plans, and car repair shops. Some might call it penny-pinching, but I call it being smart with your money.
Shop for your groceries online
Not only that you get a chance to remove yourself from any impulsive purchases, but you also get to save some cash when it comes to gas money. The only downside of online grocery shopping can be found with fruit and vegetables, which can be a bit past their prime, but other than that, it’s a home run. Check out this article on how to save money when shopping online to learn what’s the best place to start.
I’ll admit that this is one of my pet peeves. I personally use a company phone, as well as their car (they like to keep high standards when it comes to these things).
Last summer, I got a brand new iPhone from them, and naturally, I dropped it a couple days afterwards, where the screen shattered into pieces.
Truth be told, this is not the first time I’ve done such a thing, I have at least 5 phones with broken screens at home. In case you might be wondering, I haven’t yet learned my lesson, as I still don’t have a phone case on.
Reduce consumption of meat and dairy products
They are full of hormones anyway.
Save on your haircuts
Nope, I’m not saying that you should abandon your personal hygiene. Instead, buy a decent hair clipper, and receive a haircut from your loved ones from the comfort of your home. I’ve been using this model for years, and I highly recommend it.
Stop buying coffee at drive-through places
It’s not that this coffee is particularly bad or anything, it’s just that it creates a nasty habit you won’t get rid of so easily.
Do I even have to explain this one?
These things sneak up on you when you least expect it. Just recently, I went through my subscription list and I found a lot of those that I don’t ever remember signing up for. Worst of all, they were not all free either.
Go through your subscriptions today, you never know where your money might be draining from.
Yes, I know I already mentioned it, but this time, I decided to cancel my membership altogether. Who was I kidding, it’s not like I would ever go there.
I know, I know…this is a bad advice and here’s a counter-argument to canceling the gym. Going to the gym actually saves you money in not losing income.
Stop paying when you don’t have to!
Monitor your electric and gas bills
You would be amazed with how much money you can save if you drop the thermostat by just a couple degrees, and walk more.
Start with potty training as soon as possible
Most people aren’t even aware of how much diapers cost. The shorter your kids get to use them, the better.
Switch to using cloth paper towels and save some money. Even better, cut up all worn out clothes and use them as towels instead.
Do not make impulsive purchases
Whenever I get an itch to buy something dumb, I usually force myself to wait one additional day before doing so. It’s an effective tactic that has saved my bacon a couple of times so far.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Plenty of people would be more than willing to pay full price instead of bargaining for a few minutes. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and get that discount when you have the chance to. You’d be foolish not to.
Buy a laundry drying rack
Stop using a clothes dryer and buy a traditional drying rack instead. Not only that you will save a lot of money on electricity, but your clothes will be less prone to wear and tear when dried naturally as well.
Do not order water at restaurants
You really want to pay 3x more than what you would if you bought the same bottle in a supermarket? If you decide to drink in a restaurant, order a glass of fine wine instead.
Install the GasBuddy app on your phone
Stop paying premium prices for gas when you don’t have to. Cheap gas is oftentimes just one click away.
Wash the dishes by hand
Yes, I used to think that getting a dishwasher was such a great idea, until I saw how much water and electricity these things spend!
Washing the dishes by hand will take up only a couple minutes of your time, and it’s also a more eco-friendly option, especially if you fill up half of your sink with water and soap, instead of leaving the faucet run all along.
Check out: 7 Weird Ways To Save Money At Home
Don’t buy a car you cannot afford
Sure, having a sweet ride can be great for your self-confidence, but what happens when you run out of money? New cars have a high depreciation rate and, depending on the model, can be a nightmare to ensure.
When you factor in gas expenses, registration fees, and costs of maintenance, you often end up with a head-scratching figure. Have all of these things in mind before you splurge on the latest sports car you like.
Collect your spare change
Do not underestimate the power of spare change. I usually collect it in my car, as I hate the sound of metal rattling in my pockets.
At the end of each month, I collect the change and exchange it for cash. It’s not much, but it usually rounds up to $15 – $20.
You can also use an app called Acorns, which collects the spare change from your bills, and invests it automatically.
Earn you cash back with Paribus
A simple app that puts the money back in your wallet. Best of all, you won’t even have to do a thing, and the money will roll in entirely passive.
Monitor your snacking habits
An ice cream and some chocolate every once in a while couldn’t be all that bad, right? Well, besides putting some extra pounds around your waist, it can also affect your finances in a way you never realized.
Do not throw away your leftovers
Most restaurants have a “today’s special” section of meals that they offer at slightly reduced prices. I hate to disappoint you, but chances are that that food is not exactly fresh, and that it comes from the leftovers their customers left uneaten the previous day.
Well, if you can eat leftover restaurant food, why wouldn’t you do the same thing at your home as well?
Do you need all of that mobile data?
Thousands of people are constantly paying for expensive data plans, without even using it. If this describes you, I’d advise you to consider switching to prepaid.
Use coupons whenever you can
Do not be afraid of using coupons as much as you can. People will sometimes call you cheap for doing so, but who cares for their opinion? Take some time to look at all the available deals, and find as many promo codes as possible. Websites such as eBates will help you track down all the offers.
Make a wish list on Amazon
Add as many products as you want on it. Amazon will let you know when the price drops for any of the items off your list, and you can make your purchases at that time. This is a great tool for long-term planning.
Buy stuff from eBay
Thousands of items off eBay get lost through the cracks, because they have spelling mistakes in the title. Websites such as fatfingers.com will help you track down those specific items in no time.
Because less people will get to view that product, you will have a better chance of buying it for cheap.
Join a library
Reading books is a great hobby to have, but it can be downright expensive as well. Have you thought about joining a library instead? Most libraries nowadays also have a special section dedicated to video games, and I can bet you didn’t even know that!
Sure, you might get a couple weird video recommendations as a result, but you’ll also end up paying half of the price each month. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.
Look at the food labeling
Just because one can of tomato sauce costs $1.55 it doesn’t mean that it’s actually cheaper than the $1.60 one.
Plenty of people don’t even pay attention to the packaging.
Let’s say that in this case, the first can weighs 12oz, while the second one weighs 16oz.
Notice the difference is the $/oz. ratio?
Make your own laundry soap
You can save a few bucks for just two minutes of work.
Save money with smarter dental care
Browse through the web and find a dental school in your area. After that, go through a quick appointment process, and start saving money immediately.
However, if you choose this route, know that students will be the ones responsible for your dental hygiene.
Shop for clothes during the offseason
While this idea might seem downright crazy to some, take a moment to realize the genius behind it.
If you decide to buy winter coats during the summer and T-shirts during the winter, you will be getting them at heavily discounted prices.
Teach yourself some patience and plan ahead. There’s just one slight catch here. Do not do this with your children.
When I was a kid, my mom used to employ this tactic every year.
Unfortunately, one year, she failed to prepare for my growth spurt, so I ended up with a whole bunch of school clothes I wasn’t able to fit in.
Use Bing as your primary search engine
There’s a good reason why Bing should be your choice when it comes to the homepage. Each user gets a certain number of points for every search, and those points can later be exchanged for gift cards on Amazon!
It might sound silly, but it actually works.
Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
This one is pretty much self-explanatory.
Always buy in bulk
At first, it will seem like you’re wasting a fortune, but you’ll quickly realize just how much money you can save this way.
Start a hobby
Having a fun hobby will immensely cut down on boredom spending. Trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience here.
Check out: 7 Hobbies You Can Monetize for Extra Income
Sell all of the stuff you rarely use
By doing this, not only that you’ll earn some money, but you’ll actually finally get around to cleaning up your cluttered garage. It’s what you call a win-win situation.
Switch banks and collect bonuses
Banks are in constant battle for new clients, so use it to your advantage. More often than not, they will be willing to dangle some bonuses to get the job done. Always explore all of our options.
Use cash back apps
Each time you make a purchase, just make a quick snap of your receipt, and your job is done. The people behind these apps will do their best to negotiate some money back, and if they succeed, they’ll only take a small fee for their efforts.
If not, most of these apps are completely free of charge. What’s there to lose?
Shift to neutral when stuck in traffic
Yes, I know that getting stuck in traffic is highly stressful, and that saving money is the last thing on your mind during those times.
However, if you just repeat the process of putting your car in a neutral gear each time you hit a stop, this action will become automatic.
As a consequence, your ride will spend way less gas. It’s worth giving it a shot.
Eat seasonal fruit and vegetables
Once again, it’s a simple case of supply and demand. When in season, the fruit and vegetable prices go way down, only because there is an abundance of it to go around.
For example, bananas are always the cheapest during the early spring, while berries are at peak form during the summer months.
Set aside some money in your savings account
Write this off as expenses right after you receive a paycheck. Don’t go wild here, but set aside a certain amount, and do so each and every month.
The goal is to never look at these funds, as they’ll never get to stick around on your checking account for too long.
Build a home gym
If you are a fitness freak, this is the best option for you. Of course, it will be costly at first, but if you stick to it long enough, you’ll eventually pay it off, and from that point on, you’ll be in the bonus territory.
In case you have a house in the countryside, here’s a neat little hobby you can pursue. Not only that you’ll earn some cash by selling your products, you will also become healthier consuming it.
Buy quality items
Wait, doesn’t this go against the very premise of saving money? In most cases, you could say so, but there are times when quality items cost way less than the cheaper ones.
However, in order to see that, you’ll first have to step aside, and look at the big picture. Instead of buying a cheap winter coat every year, why not buy one that will keep you warm for years to come?
You still cannot see the forest from the trees? Check out this awesome quote by Terry Pratchett, and you’ll quickly realize that what I’m saying is true.
Stop buying lottery tickets
Who are you fooling, you’re never going to win a million dollars. All you’ll do is spend $10 bucks a week in order to earn $5 every once in a while. It’s simply not worth it.
The odds of grabbing the grand prize are 1 in 292.2 million, while your chances of being killed by a lightning strike are approximately 1 in 161,000.
Not only that it’s good for the soul, but chances are that you’ll get some T-shirts from time to time, and a lot of free publicity for your company. Ultimately, it will give you a chance to make somebody’s day a tad bit better. What more could you ask?
Do not increase your spending when you get a raise
Ah yes, we all dream about the day when our boss will finally notice our hard work, and award us with a much-needed raise. Sadly, once they get it, most people simply decide to up their spending habits.
Instead of falling into this trap, try keeping your feet on the ground, and redirect that extra money towards your savings account.
Track what you’re spending
Write down each and every expense you make over the course of one month, no matter how big or small. When you finally draw the line after some time, you’ll quickly notice where you’ve been splurging without even realizing it, and you’ll be able to save some big bucks by avoiding this unnecessary behavior.
Find the cheapest flights possible
You’d be amazed with how much you can save if you spend a couple minutes here and there eyeing the discount airlines. Even better, you don’t even have to travel economy in order to save money while traveling.
Install an app called Qapital
This app is similar to the abovementioned Acorns. However, instead of investing your spare change, this app stashes those funds away in a separate account.
The great thing about it is that you won’t even notice a difference, but give it some time, and the money will start to pile up.
Learn to create DIY gifts
Not only that you’ll save a lot of money on gifts, you will also learn a neat new skill. The best part of it all is the fact that people will simply love these personalized presents.
Where can you learn how to do so?
Start by browsing Pinterest or YouTube, and I’m sure that you’ll have no problem with finding your inspiration.
Use Airbnb when traveling
Instead of staying in expensive hotels, find a cheap accommodation on websites such as Airbnb. Why pay extra when you can find exactly what you need just a few clicks away?
Nowadays, there are plenty of self-help books that can turn your life around. It’s the easiest way to learn something new, while feeling inspired and motivated at the same time.
Join a Facebook group that deals with finances
There’s no need to be an active participant. In the beginning, all you have to do is pay attention and learn as much as possible. People are oftentimes willing to share some tremendous ideas when it comes to cost savings and budget maintenance.
Don’t be afraid to bargain
Whenever you decide to make a big purchase, don’t be afraid to contact as many retail companies to get exactly what you want. You’d be surprised with how much they would be willing to negotiate once they sense that you’re a serious buyer.
Buy used tools
Do you really need to own a brand new set of pliers and screwdrivers? Used tools go for much cheaper, and they do the job just as fine as the new shiny ones.
Have some handy guys close by
I’m not saying that you should be best buddies with your plumber, but would it really kill you to ask him and his family to come around for a dinner sometime? Trust me, that dinner can be way less expensive in the long run.
Learn how to fix your own car
There’s no need to become a full-blown mechanic, but if you learn how to fix some simple things around your ride, you’ll save a lot of money and time. Luckily, there are dozens of YouTube channels that can make the whole process quite fun.
Be a good student
If you get a scholarship to a University of your choice, you will save tons of money. Furthermore, once you graduate, you’ll be able to get a higher paying job. It’s a win-win situation.