There are many ways to save money–but there’s no reason to spend hours searching through endless articles trying to find them all. In this article, we’ll share with you ten simple ways to save money that you can implement today.
1. Shop at thrift stores
Thrift stores aren’t just full of amazing deals on clothes and shoes. Your local thrift store is also an amazing place for finding furniture, kitchenware, office supplies, toys, electronics, books, housewares, and other items. And if you’re looking for things like these, it’s worth checking out thrift stores anyway.
You may be surprised by how much stuff you can get for free or very little money. For example, you can score some great deals on TVs, computers, microwaves, and even appliances at thrift stores.
2. Buy in bulk or online
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money. Buying in bulk means that you only have to purchase a single item rather than purchasing numerous small products.
If you’re not sure what to buy in bulk, think about all the household items you use every day. You might be surprised by how much you use toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, cleaning supplies, and so on. If you buy in bulk, you won’t need to go to the grocery store as often. This will help you save time and money.
When you shop for groceries online, you can also save money by using coupon codes and promo codes. Some websites offer discounts on everything from diapers to makeup to snacks.
3. Use coupons and promo codes
Many websites offer discount coupons and promo codes that you can apply to your purchases. These savings can add up quickly over time.
For example, if you regularly shop at Target, you could sign up for their eCoupon app to receive coupons and offers directly to your phone. Then, when you’re ready to make a purchase, simply scan the code on your phone to redeem the discount.
The same goes for Amazon Prime members. Each month, Amazon sends out promotional codes that you can redeem right on Amazon’s website. The codes are usually good for free shipping, but they also include discounts on products.
If you don’t want to join Amazon Prime, you can still benefit from its code club. Just click on the “Shop Now” button at the top of any Amazon page, then select “Code Club.” Select the type of product you’d like to purchase, and Amazon will send you a code that you can enter into the checkout process.
4. Get a freebie when you buy something else
Sometimes, companies offer rewards programs where you can earn points or credits for making purchases. There are two main types of reward programs: cash back rewards and points.
Cash back rewards are essentially gift cards that you can use toward future purchases. With points, you earn points by making purchases. Points can be redeemed for free merchandise, gift cards, and other perks.
To learn more about how to use rewards programs, check out our guide on the best rewards credit card.
5. Do your laundry less often
While it may seem convenient to do your own laundry, many people end up wasting money because they don’t know how to properly care for their clothes.
For example, you should never put your clothes straight into the washing machine without first prewashing them. Doing this can damage your clothing. Instead, you should wash your clothes separately and hang them up to dry.
If you live alone, you may not need to wash your clothes as frequently. But if you live with roommates or family, you may need to wash your clothes more often. In either case, it’s important to understand the proper way to wash your clothes in order to avoid damaging them.
6. Cook leftovers instead of buying new food
Do you eat out too often? If you do, you could easily be spending hundreds of dollars each year on restaurant meals. Instead, you can save a lot of money by cooking your own food.
It doesn’t take much effort to prepare healthy meals like chicken stir fry or spaghetti. All it takes is a few minutes of prep work before you head out the door. Once you’ve prepared dinner, you can serve yourself and save thousands of dollars each year.
7. Take the bus, train, or bike
If you live near a major city, chances are you have access to public transportation. Whether you take the bus, train, or ride a bicycle, you can save a ton of money by taking advantage of these options.
Taking public transit allows you to travel for cheaper than driving alone. Riding the bus or train also reduces pollution and saves you money on gas.
Biking is another great option. Not only does biking reduce pollution and provide exercise, but it can also save you money. Many cities now offer free or discounted passes for residents who bike to work.
8. Switch from gas-powered appliances to electric ones
If you have a gas stove or oven, you probably think that switching to an electric model would cost you thousands of dollars. But in reality, you can switch to an electric oven or stove for around $100.
This is especially true if you already have a gas range. If you’re thinking about buying a new one, however, make sure you consider the energy costs associated with each appliance. An electric range will typically cost between $300-$500.
But you can also save money by replacing your refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/dryer, air conditioner, and more. We’ve written guides on how to replace your fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and air conditioner for free.
9. Eat out more often (and cook at home)
Eating out isn’t cheap. So if you enjoy eating out, you may be tempted to skip a meal once in awhile. But if you want to save money, you should try to eat at home as often as possible.
Not only will you save money by doing this, but you’ll also lose weight and improve your diet. Plus, cooking at home gives you control over what ingredients you’re putting into your food.
10. Donate old clothes for charity
Chances are that you have a closet full of clothes that you haven’t worn in years. And while you may feel guilty about throwing away perfectly good clothes, donating them to charity can be a great way to save money.
You can donate your clothes to a local donation center, which will pick up your clothes for free. Or, you can drop off your clothes at your local Goodwill store. Goodwill also accepts donations of gently used coats and jackets, as well as men’s and women’s underwear.
If you’re having trouble deciding what to give away, you can always turn to eBay. You can sell your gently used clothes for a fraction of their original price.
And if you’re feeling generous, you can donate your unused clothes to charity. You can help children in need by donating new clothes to organizations like Dress for Success.
11. Learn How to Shop
The biggest mistake people make when trying to save money is making purchases without knowing what they really want. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll buy something because it’s cool, trendy, or popular. That’s why it’s important to learn how to shop before you start saving money.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying things just because someone else has them. Instead, think about what you actually need instead of just wanting it.
12. Use Your Credit Card Wisely
Credit cards can be useful in helping you save money if used properly. But too often people use credit cards for frivolous spending that they could easily pay off with cash.
For example, let’s say you have a $100 balance on your credit card from last month. The next time you go shopping, you decide to spend $50 on clothes. When you get home, you realize you only have $40 left on your card. What would you rather do? Spend $20 more and pay down your debt, or keep using your card until you run out of money?
Instead of using your credit card to buy items you don’t need or can’t afford, try setting aside a portion of each paycheck to put toward paying down your debt. Then, once you’ve paid it all off, you can invest that extra money elsewhere.
13. Pay Off Debt Early and Often
One of the best ways to save money is by paying off as much debt as possible. It might seem like a daunting task, but there are several different methods you can use to reach this goal.
The most obvious option is to simply pay off your debt. This works well when you have a lot of debt that you owe to one company. However, if you have multiple debts with different companies, there are other options available.
For instance, you may be able to negotiate lower interest rates if you pay off your debt in full every single month. You can also look into consolidating your debt into one loan, so you won’t have to worry about paying back two or three loans at once.
Of course, there are other options, too. One way to save money is to refinance your mortgage or car loan. Doing so will free up cash that you can then use toward paying down your debt.
14. Avoid Overdraft Fees
Overdraft fees are one of the worst parts of banking, especially if you don’t use checks. Most banks charge overdraft fees for any transaction that goes over your account limit.
This fee is usually around $35 per incident, which adds up quickly. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these fees altogether.
First, you should never carry a balance on your debit card. Instead, use a bank account that allows you to transfer funds between accounts. If you need to access your funds, you can always write a check.
Second, you should always set up automatic payments to cover your bills. The best way to do this is to set up direct deposit for your paycheck. In addition to avoiding overdraft fees, this method also helps you build up a decent amount of savings.
15. Take Advantage of Online Bill Payment Options
When you have a bill due, you should always consider sending it through online payment services. Many of these services offer low-cost options for managing your bill payments.
Some companies even allow you to manage your bills automatically. This means you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pay your monthly utility bill, rent, or mortgage. Just remember to log into your account to make sure everything is being taken care of.
In addition to reducing your stress level, going paperless will save you money. Paperless billing saves you the cost of printing, mailing, and postage, as well as keeping the environment clean.
16. Track Spending with an App Like Mint
Financial apps can make tracking your spending easier than ever. They track your transactions automatically, so you don’t have to manually enter your data.
Mint is one of the best apps around, and it’s completely free. Once you download the app, it will sync with your financial institutions and automatically pull information from them.
You can then view your spending history, create budgets, and even compare your spending habits to friends’ spending habits. Some apps even allow you to see how much money you’re spending on entertainment and recreation.
17. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help With Budgeting
It can sometimes feel like you’re alone in the world when you’re dealing with money issues. However, there are plenty of people who are willing to help you sort out your finances.
Ask your parents, siblings, spouse, roommates, or anyone else who knows you well to sit down with you and talk about your budget. Maybe they can give you advice on how to save more or cut back on unnecessary expenses.
Just don’t expect them to give you money. Instead, they can offer suggestions on how to save money and still live comfortably.
18. Plan Ahead So You Can Maximize Tax Refunds
Taxes are one of the easiest ways to save money. Not only do you receive a tax refund when you file your taxes, but you can also claim deductions for certain expenses.
However, if you don’t plan ahead, you might miss out on a big chunk of your refund. Here are five ways you can maximize your tax refunds.
Open a new bank account. If you open a new bank account, you can claim a deduction for the interest you paid on it during the year.
Use a prepaid debit card. Prepaid debit cards allow you to withdraw money from ATMs without incurring ATM withdrawal fees.
Claim your medical expenses. If you incurred medical expenses during the year, you can deduct those costs from your taxes.
Take advantage of student loan interest deductions. Student loans can come with high interest rates, so claiming the interest you paid on your loan could boost your return.
19. Keep Up On Financial News & Tips
Keeping up on current events related to finance is essential. For example, if you own stock or mutual fund shares, you should know whether the market is rising or falling.
Similarly, if you have investments outside of stocks and bonds, you should know whether the economy is improving or declining. If you don’t know what’s happening in the financial markets, you could lose thousands of dollars.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of knowledge about the economy and financial news, you might be able to make millions of dollars.
20. Set Goals And Stick To Them
Finally, you need to set realistic goals for yourself. While you shouldn’t set your sights too high, you should set goals that are attainable.
For example, if you want to save $500 a month, you should aim to save $500 a month. If you can achieve that goal, great! If not, you can adjust your goals accordingly.
Achieving your goals will likely require some sacrifice. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices now, you probably won’t be willing to make sacrifices later.
Once you’ve decided on your goals, you should stick to them. No matter how hard life gets, you should always stay true to your financial plans.