No matter if you’re getting ready for retirement, planning to buy a home, or dreaming of a vacation, saving money is important. And while we all know we should try to save, it can be tough—especially when you’re only making enough to cover your basic expenses each month. Without saving, you might feel like your financial goals are drifting further and further away. Not to mention that if you don’t have savings stashed away and a financial emergency happens, you could end up in heavy debt.
Finding ways to save money isn’t always clear. But a good first step is to evaluate your current spending habits by looking at your budget. But first, see if these common money saving tips can help you save more each week, month, and year.
How to Save More Money Each Week
Many of the savings you can find in a weekly budget align to the small amenities that are pleasures—not necessities. Making small changes to how you spend each week may save you a lot in the long run. Here are some money saving tips to help you reduce your weekly spending:
- Indulge in Caffeine Delight: For many folks, coffee is a morning necessity; however, lots of people spend $3 or more each weekday just on the morning cup o’ joe. Throw in a breakfast pastry and your budget quickly balloons. Even at a minimum of $15 every week, that’s hundreds of dollars a year! Instead, invest in a nice thermal coffee cup or carafe, then prepare your coffee at home. If you’re particular about espresso drinks, it might be worth weighing the costs of countertop espresso pod maker compared to the coffee shop. Usually, you can make 3 fancy drinks—with milk!—for the same cost of a single beverage at your local coffee house. Or consider switching to tea—you can bring your own tea bags and most establishments will charge a nominal fee, if anything, for hot water.
- Enjoy the Ride: The cost for a gallon of gas seems more expensive every time you fill up. So if you live somewhere with decent public transportation, it may make sense to forgo the car to save on gas and parking. Plus, getting out of traffic can free you up to read, listen to a podcast, or even catch up on work emails.
- Be an In-House Foodie: By dining out less, you can eat equally as well for a significant financial savings. If you find yourself going to restaurants on weeknights because you don’t have enough time to cook yourself a meal, take note that many grocery stores now carry prepped meals that can be quickly put on the table.
- Create a Meal Plan: Turns out that the average 4-person family throws away $25 of food each week. That’s like spending over a $1,000 to make garbage each year! Start saving by making a meal plan that helps you shop only for all the food that will be eaten, so that nothing goes to waste. Plus, when buying groceries, consider the store-brand version, which can be up to 10% cheaper. Many of these generics are nearly identical to the version with a big fancy marketing campaign.
- Celebrate Movies: Between ticket prices and concession items, a movie for two can easily top $50. Instead, make it an in-home event by creating your own movie festival—whether it’s all of the movies starring Tom Cruise or a night of horror flicks—by having a theme you’ve suddenly made staying in an occasion! Plus, you can make the popcorn absolutely perfect.
The average 4-person family throws away $25 of food each week. That’s over $1,000 in wasted food every year.
How to Save More Money Each Month
Some expenses are monthly payments that may not even be used that often. If you can cut one thing from each money saving tip below, then you’re likely to stash away a good amount of money each month.
- Just Do It: Gym memberships can be a solid chunk of monthly dollars. If you go two or more times per week—bravo! But if you go less than that, the membership might not be worth it. The world’s most famous exercise phrase is a great motivator; however, there are lots of great ways to exercise for little-to-no-costs, such as running or bicycling outside. Your town might even have a community gym with a less expensive month- or day-use fee than your current gym.
- Subscribe Shrewdly: The plethora of today’s entertainment subscriptions means you could easily spend a ton on monthly services that are barely touched. These subscriptions run from viewing options on Netflix, Hulu, or even traditional cable to music services such as Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music. Throw in gaming obsessions on League of Legends or World of Warcraft and a few in-game purchases, well, it all adds up. Figure out which services you use the most for viewing, music, and gaming—then cancel the others. As an experiment, try to get it down to one for each category for at least three months. This way you’ll know if having only one category provider can meet and satisfy your entertainment needs.
- Save the Earth: Reduce your energy bills by giving your home an audit. There are multiple ways to save on energy costs by managing air drafts, adjusting hot water heaters, and monitoring the washing/drying of clothes. For example, to save on air conditioning in the summer, try opening all the windows at night and closing the windows and curtains first thing in the morning to help keep the room cool. During winter, make sure to insulate drafty windows and doors. Also, adjust the water heater temperature to 120 degrees or, if you have only a knob, turn it down a level. This little turn alone can save up to 10% of energy costs, while still providing enough hot water. And although helping the environment is a great side benefit for saving energy, the real goal is to put more money in your pocket.
- Empty Your Storage Unit: The average monthly fee for a 10’x10’ storage unit is $100. Evaluate what you need versus the “maybe we’ll use that … someday” items—and as you hold each item ask yourself: “Is holding on to this thing worth $1,200 per year?” If it’s not, then consider if you want to bring it home or give it to charity.
- Search for Coupons: As internet shopping becomes commonplace, always take a moment to search for an online coupon before checkout. Often you can get free shipping or save 10% off the total before taxes … all for just a few clicks.
Adjusting your water heater temperature to 120 degrees could save you up to 10% in energy costs each year.
How to Save More Money Each Year
This where you start to create long-term savings habits. Whether it’s planning ahead, or learning new maintenance skills, by adopting these money saving tips you can cut your costs throughout the year.
- Be Your Own Handyperson: If you’re proficient with a basic set of tools, then you can do most home-repairs yourself. With the internet’s giant video library, instructions can be found on how to fix nearly everything.
- Shop Strategically: Most retail categories follow a seasonal calendar. Figure out what you might need to purchase and buy it during clearance sales. For a new set of patio furniture, wait until end of summer to use for next season. Get next year’s back-to-school supplies at the end of September, when things get cleared out to make room for Halloween. With forethought on both dream and recurring purchases, you can save with huge discounts by perfecting your timing.
- Call Your Insurance Company: See if there are discounts available for having multiple policies with the same insurance provider. And if you have enough savings on hand to cover expenses for filing a claim, consider raising the deductibles on your policies as this will lower the annual premiums.
- Make a Day of It: During the summer, many cities offer free events such as opera in the park or live jazz at the museum plaza. These places are perfect for a picnic that you can create from your local grocery store or deli. No matter where you live, there are likely to be some architecturally significant buildings and unique parks you can visit. These locations might be in the heart of cities, or they might be off the beaten path. Many of them offer free tours or inexpensive entrance fees, so you can keep entertained without overspending.
Having multiple insurance policies with the same provider could save you a ton on insurance each year.
The Best Money-Saving Tip: Get Rid of Debt
Debt is the biggest obstacle that gets in the way of saving money. That’s why one of the best things you can do is find ways to reduce your monthly credit card payments—or even better, get out of debt altogether. Here are some money saving tips that could help with your debt.
- Pay Less in Interest: If you can move credit card debt via a 0% interest balance transfer card, you have the opportunity to save big on interest in both the immediate and long-term future. Keep in mind that there is a fee for the balance transfer, so do the math to make sure the numbers work in your favor. Also, these are limited-time promotional offers, so try to pay off the debt before the rate rises again.
- Get a Debt Consolidation Loan: Moving debt from high-interest credit cards to a low-rate consolidation loan could help you get out of debt faster and save on interest. Since you may need a high credit score to qualify for the best rate, this solution may not be right for everyone. Learn more about debt consolidation loans here.
- Refinance Your Home: Although mortgage rates are rising, they are still at historical lows. If you haven’t already, you may be able to refinance and reduce your monthly payment. Any savings you find can go toward paying off other debts or straight towards your savings. Since home loans typically have lower interest rates than credit cards, you could also consolidate your debt with a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit.
- Put Debt Behind You: Get out of debt altogether by working with help from a debt settlement company like Freedom Debt Relief. We help people struggling with $10,000 or more in unsecured debt to help them put debt into the past. If you are struggling with your credit card, medical, or other unsecured debts, our program may help you get out of debt faster and for less. What’s more, our program could potentially save you more each month because we work hard to customize a with a monthly program payment that fits your budget — a payment that could be lower than the amount you are currently paying on your debts each month, so you can have a little money left over for an emergency fund or savings account. You can learn how our debt relief program works in detail here.
Quick Review: The 18 Best Ways to Save Money
- Have coffee and breakfast at home
- Try using public transportation
- Eat at home instead of going to restaurants
- Shop for groceries with a list, plus buy generics
- Make an event of enjoying entertainment at home
- Workout for free and stop paying for the gym
- Cancel redundant entertainment subscriptions
- Do an energy audit on your home
- Empty any storage units you’re paying for
- Always look for digital coupons
- Use the internet to find instructions for simple home repairs
- Shop during seasonal sales
- Consolidate insurance policies for a discount
- Look for local fun that’s free and connects you to where you live
- Transfer credit card balances to 0% interest cards
- Get a debt consolidation loan
- Refinance your house
- Enroll in a debt relief program
Don’t Wait, Start Saving Now!
You can meet your financial goals and give yourself a stronger financial future by finding ways to save now. Remember, there’s no perfect way to save. Millions of people are struggling with debt, so know you’re not alone and that you’re not powerless to get rid of it. Freedom Debt Relief could help you get out of debt for less—putting you in control of your finances so you can start saving again.
Talk with one of our friendly Certified Debt Consultants who will explain a range of debt strategies, provide a free debt evaluation, and help you determine if our program could be right for you.
To help you succeed, we design a personalized plan to meet your unique budget and financial goals with monthly deposits you can afford. Plus, it can offer significant savings in the long-term when you compare it to the additional fees and interest charged when you just make minimum payments.
We know that debt can be stressful so we offer our clients the support they need with a customer service department that’s open 7 days a week as well as an online Client Dashboard that gives you control to see all of your accounts, your debts, and the progress of creditor negotiations.But first, you have 18 new money saving tips to try out! We hope they help you grow your savings. But if your debt is too big and you need some help, give us a call at 800-230-1553 to see if our program could be your solution. As the largest, most-established debt settlement company, we are committed to helping people defeat their debt and we would love you help you, too.