Learning how to save money doesn’t have to be a struggle. That’s why we put this article together.
It’s full of easy money-saving tips to help you on your way to financial freedom and prosperity.
That said, it’s vital to note that saving money is a long-term game. So take it one step at a time.
You don’t need to learn all about how to spend less money or start using every money-saving tip at once.
Instead, focus on building healthy money-saving habits over time – you could even bookmark this page and refer back to it often.
Now, before we dive into how to save money, let’s answer an important question:
How Much Should You Save a Month?
Many people recommend following U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 50/30/20 budgeting rule. This rule of thumb suggests that you spend 50 percent of your income on needs, 30 percent on wants, and 20 percent on savings.
Specifically, here’s what each category includes:
- 50% on needs, such as groceries, housing, utilities, and health insurance.
- 30% on wants, such as hobbies, dining options, and shopping.
- 20% on savings, such as retirement plans, emergency savings, or college funds.
20 Tips for Saving Money
There are countless ways to save money, but it’s always best to start with the basics.
These 20 tips for saving money are broken down into four simple categories:
- Long-Term Money-Saving Tips
- Ways to Save Money on Living Expenses
- How to Spend Less Money on Non-Essential Purchases
- Bonus Money-Saving Tips
Let’s dive in!
(Psst!: While we feature certain third parties in this article, we receive no affiliate compensation for including them.)
Long-Term Money-Saving Tips
When learning how to save money, it’s important to think long-term. These ways to save money will pay dividends well into the future.
1. Automate Your Saving
Don’t make saving a chore. Instead, set up automatic payments to your savings accounts.
2. Consolidate Your Debt
Consider talking to a financial advisor about your debt. There may be a way for you to consolidate it into one monthly payment – this could make it more manageable and may even reduce the amount of interest you pay.
3. Track Your Spending with a Budgeting App
Knowledge is power! Tracking your spending can reveal much about your financial habits. Many budgeting apps also teach you more about how to save money.
Here are three budgeting apps to check out:
- Mint: iOS / Android
- You Need a Budget: iOS / Android
- Every Dollar: iOS / Android (as shown in the screenshot below)
4. Take Advantage of Your Employer’s 401k Match Benefit
If your employer has agreed to match your 401k contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary, take advantage and consider contributing the full amount.
5. Refinance Your Mortgage or Car Payment
Consider talking to a financial advisor about refinancing your mortgage or car loan to obtain lower interest rates.
Ways to Save Money On Living Expenses
It can be difficult to figure out how to save money on everyday living expenses. However, just like most money-saving tips, it’s the little things done often that make all the difference.
6. Become More Energy Efficient
Bills can add up. Turn off lights and unplug appliances when you’re not using them to help reduce your utility bills. You could also take shorter showers, and consider insulating your home.
7. Share Entertainment
8. Reduce Your Phone Costs
Try to switch to a cheaper phone plan, use WIFI wherever it’s available, and consider whether you need phone insurance.
9. Wait for Sale Periods to Make Major Purchases
Instead of paying full price, wait until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the January sales come around before you purchase that new TV or sofa.
10. Only Use Your Bank or Credit Union’s ATMs
ATM fees can quickly add up – one withdrawal a week at $3 will cost you over $150 per year. Skip the fees and use ATMs that provide free withdrawals.
11. Plan Your Grocery Shopping Before You Go
Avoid impulse buys by planning your shopping before you go – then stick to your list at all costs!
12. Use Discount Codes and Coupons
How to Spend Less Money on Non-Essential Purchases
When learning how to save money, it’s vital that you find ways to reduce the amount you spend on non-essential purchases. Here are some money-saving tips to help!
13. Cook at Home More
Eating food from restaurants regularly can quickly add up to become a huge household expense. Find ways to make cooking more appealing by searching the web for quick and easy recipes.
14. Borrow – Don’t Buy
Need a lawnmower or a BBQ grill? Try to borrow it from a friend or neighbor. Also, before buying new books online, take a trip to your local library.
15. Buy Generic Brands
Many brand name foods and medicines share the exact same ingredients as generic brand options. Stop paying for the name and pocket the savings instead!
16. Buy Used Items
Bonus Money-Saving Tips
If you’re finding it difficult to learn how to save money, these bonus money-saving tips can help!
17. Work Out How Much Purchases Cost Per Hour
Get clear on how much things really cost you. Instead of simply looking at the price tag, divide the cost by how many hours it would take you to earn that money. If you earn $10 per hour, are a pair of $90 shoes worth 9 hours of work?
18. Commit to No-Spend Days
Tackle your spending habits head-on by committing to full days where you don’t spend any money at all. This can help you to become more aware of your habits and learn how to spend less money.
19. Use the 30 Day and 24 Hour Rules
Reign in those impulse buys with these two budgeting rules: Before you make any non-essential small purchase, wait 24 hours, and before you make any non-essential large purchase, wait a full month. After the time’s up, re-evaluate and if you feel the purchase is still necessary, go for it!
20. Save Your Pennies Automatically
Some bank accounts let you automatically save a few pennies every time you buy something. Here’s how it works: Every purchase you make is rounded up to the next dollar and those extra pennies are transferred to a savings account. You’ll save money without noticing!
Summary: How to Save Money Starting Today
If you’re wondering how to save money, these 20 tips can help you get started today.
Although these money-saving tips won’t make you rich overnight, they’re a great place to start. Remember, all ways to save money only work with time, patience, and consistency.