March 18, 2019
Looking for savings tips but don’t know where to start?
Well, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up 101 savings tips all in one place. Whether you’re looking for ways to save money on housing, food, travel or even pets, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide on ways to save money, broken down into nine categories.
Easy Ways to Save Money Today
1. Go on a cash diet
Put a pause on your credit card use and go on a cash diet. Using only cash will ensure you spend only what you have. This can help you save money and avoid debt.
2. Pay off high interest debt first
If you have multiple loans, pay off your high interest debt first. This is commonly referred to as the “avalanche method”. You put extra money toward your high interest loans while paying the minimum toward your other loans. This can help you save money on interest.
3. Avoid fees
Fees can pop up everywhere. Avoid overdraft fees and monthly maintenance fees by switching to a no-fee bank. Pro tip: Chime has no fees at all.
4. Know your spending triggers
We all have spending triggers. Spending triggers can be certain emotions or places that encourage you to spend. For example, if you can’t go by a Starbucks without spending money there, that’s a trigger. If you indulge in retail therapy after a crappy day, that’s a trigger. Knowing your spending triggers can help you avoid spending when you don’t need to.
5. Refinance student loans
If you feel like you’re paying too much in student loan interest, you might want to consider student loan refinancing. This can be a smart move but it’s important to note that not everyone will qualify. You need to have good credit and consistent income. Additionally, you will give up important and lucrative federal protections like income-driven repayment and student loan forgiveness. Here’s a good place to learn about refinancing options for student loans.
6. Use autopay on your student loans
Many student loan servicers offer a .25% interest rate reduction if you sign up for autopay. Autopay automatically withdraws your student loan payment each month. So, if you time it right and have money in your account, this can save you money on interest.
7. Make bi-weekly student loan payments
Your student loan interest accrues daily. In order to combat this, you can make bi-weekly student loan payments. Instead of making one monthly payment, cut that in half and pay it every two weeks. You’ll save money on interest this way.
8. Pay your credit card balance in full
Interest rates on credit cards can be high. Paying off your credit card balance in full each month can help you avoid paying interest charges.
9. Start investing
One way to build wealth in the long-term and beat the cost of inflation is to start investing. You can invest in the stock market with exchange-traded funds, index funds, or other investment vehicles. The point is to put money aside and let the magic of compounding help it grow.
10. Switch banks
Does your bank charge fees for everything? Say G-O-O-D-B-Y-E. You can switch to a bank like Chime that has no fees. Your financial institution should have your back and not tack on fees everywhere you look.
11. Dispute errors on your credit report
Your credit report has information on it that affects your credit score. Your credit score, in turn, can determine what interest rates you get on auto loans, credit cards and more. You can check your credit score on Credit Sesame or Credit Karma and check your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you see any errors, dispute them right away to make sure you aren’t getting locked into higher rates due to mistakes or inaccuracies.
12. Use credit card rewards
Do you have a credit card that has rewards? If you have a cash-back credit card, use your cash-back to fund your savings or help offset your budget. If you get miles, use them to save money on travel. Just be sure to read about any restrictions or limitations.
13. Take advantage of balance transfer cards
If you’re in credit card debt and have decent credit, taking advantage of a balance transfer credit card can help you save money. A balance transfer card offers zero percent APR for a period of time on balances that you transfer. So, if you can pay off your debt within the promotional period and don’t accrue more debt, you can save money on interest. Just be aware of potential balance transfer fees.
14. Adjust your tax withholding
If you get a big tax refund every year, you might want to consider adjusting your tax withholding. Adjusting your tax withholding could score you more money now and boost your paycheck. You can also put extra money into your savings.
15. Pay bills on time
Sounds simple, but pay your bills on time. Late fees can add up and catch you off-guard if you’re not careful. Keep track of due dates in your calendar and sign up for alerts.
16. Borrow only what you need
If you take out a student loan or other type of loan, try to only borrow what you need. Sometimes you get approved for much more but don’t let that tempt you. This can help you save money on your debt repayment.
17. Track expenses
A key to mastering your finances is tracking your expenses. You can track your spending using Mint or some other budgeting app. You can also do it manually with pen and paper for at least 30 days. Tracking your expenses can help you save money by making you more aware of where your money is going.
18. Sign up for bank and credit alerts
Signing up for bank and credit alerts can help you stay on top of your finances. If there are any fraudulent charges, you’ll get notified right away. If someone opens a new credit account in your name, it can trigger an alert. You can also sign up for alerts with your bank.
19. Automatically save 10 percent with every paycheck
Pay yourself first is a common adage in personal finance. If you have a Chime bank account, this is super easy. You can start now by automatically saving 10 percent every payday.
20. Create a budget
A budget can help save you money because you know where every dollar is going. Look at your after-tax income and create a budget for all your needs and wants. You can use apps like Mint or Tiller to help you get started.
21. Check your insurance deductible
If you want to save money on your insurance, you might consider boosting your deductible. High deductible insurance plans can save you money in the long run, especially if you don’t use your insurance often.
22. Write off charitable donations
Do you make any charitable donations? Save your receipts as you may be able to take a tax deduction. And always check with a tax advisor if you’re unsure about how you can benefit financially from your donations.
23. Save with a Traditional IRA
Want to save for retirement and save money on taxes? You may qualify for a tax deduction by saving for retirement with a Traditional IRA. Contributions to a Traditional IRA are tax deductible, which can lead to some tax savings.
How to Save Money on Shopping
24. Have a no-spend day
Commit to having at least one no-spend day each week. A no-spend day is when you spend absolutely no money. Make sure you have food and toiletries on hand and plan ahead. Having one, or several no-spend days can help you lower your spending and thus save you money.
25. Use paper coupons
You can still get some savings by looking at the paper coupons you get in the mail. Give it a quick look to see if you can score some savings. And, here’s another tip: If you shop at CVS, make sure you use the reams of coupons you get with your receipts.
26. Use Ebates or Honey
Shopping online? Use Ebates which offers cash back on certain stores when you buy online. You can also use Honey, which is an extension that automatically applies discount codes to your online purchases.
27. Buy generic
You don’t have to buy name-brand products all the time. You can buy generic prescriptions, generic dish soap, etc. This can save you money and in many cases, these products are exactly the same as the brand name counterparts.
28. Use free shipping codes
Look for free shipping codes or free shipping altogether. You can check out RetailMeNot for free shipping codes. You can also sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial and get free shipping (just make sure you cancel after the trial if you are no longer interested in Prime).
29. Buy in bulk
There are certain staples like toilet paper or rice that just make sense to buy in bulk. If you know that you always use a certain product or item, consider buying it in bulk at Costco or another wholesale club.
30. Shop off-season
The best time to shop for a specific holiday is after the specific holiday. I just saw 70% off Valentine’s Day items. I remember seeing the same thing for Christmas and Halloween. If you have room to stock up on items ahead of time, shopping off-season can score you huge savings.
31. Buy used
There’s no need to buy everything new. You can buy used clothing, used electronics and more. You can go to Goodwill or check out OfferUp or Craigslist for used deals.
32. Comparison shop
Always comparison shop! It’s easy to be lazy if you find something you like, but check two other places to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
33. Make gifts
Do you have a knack for making things? Make gifts instead of buying them. This can help you save money and give the recipient something special and unique.
34. Repair items
In today’s disposable culture, if something is broken, it’s easy to throw it away and buy a new one. If possible, however, repair your items. Sew your clothing, repair your lamp, etc. You can check out YouTube tutorials and try to fix it yourself before throwing down some extra cash for something new.
35. Read the fine print
Always read the fine print. You don’t want to have a “gotcha” moment and be caught off guard. For example, if a travel rewards credit card has a spending minimum before a certain amount of time, you’ll want to reach that before the time is up. If you cancel your gym membership, you might be hit with a cancelation fee. So, read the fine print to avoid extra costs.
36. Buy discounted gift cards
You don’t have to pay full price for gift cards. You can check out sites like CardPool and Raise to score gift cards at a lower price.
37. Create a spending delay
Are you dying to buy some new amazing thing that you’re convinced will change your life? Put a 48 hour hold on any big purchases. Wait to see if you’re still as pumped about it in two days. Delayed gratification can help you save money and spend less.
38. Ask for hand-me-down clothes for kids
Save money with hand-me-down clothes for your kids. Instead of buying new items every couple of months, ask friends and family if their kids have outgrown clothes or even toys. If they can pass them down to you, you’ll save big bucks.
39. Get money from recycling
Save money on your purchases and recycle them to get some cash back.
40. Don’t save your credit card info on websites
Saving your credit card info on websites can seem like a great convenience. But it can be a trap and a slippery slope to spending more. Entering in your credit card number manually every time you want to buy something can create a delay and make you think twice about spending.
41. Block tempting websites
There may be some tempting websites that entice you to spend more. You can block those websites when you’re online so you can’t access them. How? Try the Block Site website blocker for Chrome to get started.
42. Sign up for rewards programs
Do you shop at a specific place all the time? Or use a particular product or service? See if there is a loyalty or rewards program. You may be able to score free items or earn points by signing up.
43. Limit your laundry
We’re not encouraging you to wear dirty clothes, but really ask yourself how often you need to wash your clothes. Limiting laundry can save you money and may help keep your clothes in better shape, too.
44. Read instructions on special garments
Before you do laundry, read the care instructions on any special garments. You don’t want to ruin a cashmere sweater or wash something that should be dry clean only. Keeping your clothes in good shape will save you money as you won’t have to shop as frequently for new threads.
45. Shop at the dollar store
Nearly everywhere has some sort of dollar store. Check out the dollar store in your area and see if you can find deals on items you buy anyway.
46. Cut down on vices
We all have our vices. Whether you drink or smoke, eat too much sugar or drink too much soda, cut down on your vices. Vices can be expensive and bad for your health! You don’t have to give things up completely, but make an effort to cut down so you can curb your costs.
47. Do a clothing swap
Organize a clothing swap in your neighborhood. Each person brings clothes they no longer want and you can swap with other people. It’s a great way to reuse clothes and get something fresh, without spending money buying clothes.
48. Do a toy exchange
If you’re friends with other families with kids, arrange a toy exchange. There may be a toy that your child no longer uses but would be a good fit for a family nearby. Or perhaps your kids can gain new toys without you having to go out and buy them.
49. Get alerts for price-drops
Want to know when the right time to buy is? Use Price Tracker and Price Drop extension by Chrome to notify you when there’s been a price drop on a product you have your eye on.
50. Unsubscribe from sales emails
If you’re like most people, you’re getting sales emails every day. Unsubscribe from sales emails to get rid of temptation. Sometimes sales can encourage you to spend, even though you had no plans on buying anything.
How to Save Money on Your Car
51. Use GasBuddy
To save money on gas, use GasBuddy.com to see which gas stations have the most affordable prices near you.
If possible, save money on gas altogether by walking! Walking instead of driving is also good for your health.
53. Take public transportation
Consider taking public transportation if your destination is not in walking distance. Public transportation in your area may be more cost-effective than driving. It can help you save money on gas, parking and tolls.
54. Get your oil changed
To avoid any major mishaps with your car, it’s important to keep it in good shape. Get your oil changed on a regular basis so you can save money by avoiding much more costly mechanical issues.
55. Put air in your tires
Having the right amount of air in your tires can help your car be more gas efficient. Be sure to check the air pressure and fill up your tires as needed.
56. Clean out your car
Does your car feel like a closet and trash can in one? If so, it’s time to clean it out. First off, extra weight in your car can make your gas usage inefficient. On top of that, having a lot of items in your car can be a signal for thieves to roam through your stuff. I once left a nice-looking bag in my car and the next morning my window was bashed in and the bag was gone. I had to pay to get the window repaired.
57. Look for free parking
Parking fees can really add up. Before you head to your destination, do some research and look for free parking spots. You may be able to find free parking spots using the parking app SpotAngels.
Reduce your transportation costs by carpooling. You can do this with co-workers, friends or even take a Lyft Line or Uber Pool when using a ride-sharing service.
How to Save Money on Your House or Apartment
59. Negotiate your rent
Many people think that your rent can’t be negotiated. Not true. If there’s a rental increase and you’ve been a good tenant, consider negotiating your rent. Tell your landlord why you’ve been a good tenant and explain your case. It’s expensive for apartment managers to find new tenants so don’t be afraid to attempt to negotiate your rent.
60. Limit heat/AC use
In the dead of winter and heat of summer, heat and AC costs can be brutal. So, consider only using heaters and AC when you’re home or setting the heat down a few degrees and scheduling the AC to only go on when the room temp reaches a certain degree.
61. Pay yearly instead of monthly
Some types of insurance can be more cost-effective if you pay annually instead of monthly. For example, I save money paying for my rental insurance in one annual payment.
62. Switch cell carriers
If you’re not in a contractor can get out of your current agreement, consider switching cell carriers. Sometimes cell carriers offer new customer specials so you can save money by switching.
Do you have much more apartment or home than you need? Is your car way too big for your needs? Downsize! You are paying for that extra space and if you don’t need it, you can save money by downsizing.
64. Get rental insurance
Rental insurance can save you money if your apartment is damaged due to some types of disasters or burglary. It can also help you recover costs if one of your items is stolen, even if it’s not at your apartment. For example, if a laptop was stolen at a coffee shop, your renters insurance may cover the replacement cost.
65. Keep the lights off
Be mindful of your electricity use and only use the lights when you really need them. Keeping lights off more often may help reduce your electricity expenses.
66. Get a roommate
Housing can be a major cost. If you have extra space but don’t want to downsize, consider getting a roommate. A roommate can help offset some of your rent or mortgage payments.
How to Save Money on Food
67. Meal plan
Map out your meals a week in advance so you know what you’re cooking and can avoid the “What are we having for dinner tonight?” discussion and the temptations of take-out.
68. Avoid packaged foods
Packaged food may be convenient but it comes at a price. Save money by buying whole foods and not processed or packaged foods.
69. Use Ibotta
Use coupon app Ibotta to help you save money on groceries. You can get cash-back on purchases on specific food items. Just be sure to only buy things you actually need.
70. Use Groupon for restaurant deals
Want to go out to eat but not spend a fortune? Look on deal site Groupon first. You can find meal deals for a fraction of the cost.
71. Eat less meat
Meat can be more expensive than other types of foods, so to save money, limit your meat consumption. You don’t need to go full on vegan but cutting down even a little can reduce your grocery expenses.
72. Make coffee at home
Instead of a daily Starbucks run, make coffee at home. Doing so can save you $2-$5 per day, depending on the type of drink you usually get. You can even invest in coffee beans and creamer and it will still be more cost-effective than going out for coffee.
73. Host a potluck
Want to get together with friends but also save money? Host a potluck. Ask everyone to bring a different dish and enjoy many different foods, while saving money by avoiding eating out.
74. Grow herbs
You can grow some of your own herbs, spice up your cooking and save money. To start, you can buy inexpensive seeds or herb plants at Trader Joe’s or Home Depot.
75. Don’t shop hungry
The cardinal rule for grocery shopping is don’t shop hungry! You are likely to spend more because your eyes and stomach will be doing the shopping, not your brain.
76. Buy wine at Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s has a great affordable wine selection. You don’t have to go without good wine while trying to save money and going to TJ’s is a good savings hack. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, try Costco. Yes, you’ll buy in bulk but the amount you’ll spend per bottle works out to be lower than a singular bottle of the same brand at a liquor store.
77. Ditch sugary drinks
Swap out your soda or frappuccino for some ice water. Ditching sugary drinks can cut down on unnecessary expenses, plus drinking more water keeps you hydrated.
78. Always have snacks
Keep a granola bar in your purse or car at all times. Having snacks on hand can help you avoid spending extra money when you’re super hungry.
Save Money on Your Pets
79. Do a pet sitting swap
Hiring pet sitters can add up fast. See if there’s a neighbor that you can do a pet sitting swap with. They will watch your pets when you’re gone and you’ll do the same when they’re gone.
80. Buy pet items in bulk
If you know you need items like cat litter or cat food, why not buy in bulk? You can score some additional savings by buying your must-have items in bulk at wholesale clubs like Costco.
81. Get regular check ups for your pets
Vet visits don’t come cheap but prevention is a great way to save money and lower costs. Getting regular check ups for your pets can keep them healthy and hopefully help you avoid major issues and expenses down the line.
Save Money on Beauty and Health
82. Get a haircut at a beauty school
You can save money on a haircut by going to a beauty school. It may take a bit longer but the savings can be significant.
83. Trim your own hair
Need just a quick trim? If you have a steady hand and good eye, consider doing it yourself. I’ve been trimming my own hair for the past two years. I just cut off the ends and it’s worked out pretty well for me.
84. Get your exercise in
Exercising can help you stay healthy and avoid additional medical costs down the line. Bonus: when you’re exercising, there’s less time to spend money.
85. Manage your stress
Stress can lead to a lot of additional expenses related to medical costs, stress-spending, stress-eating and more. So, manage your stress and this way you can keep your expenses in check.
Save Money on Entertainment
86. Cancel unused subscriptions
If there are subscriptions you don’t use anymore or ones that you don’t use often, cancel them. No need to spend money each month unnecessarily.
87. Use Goldstar for entertainment deals
You can score entertainment for a fraction of the cost using a site like Goldstar. You can buy tickets to concerts, sports games, theater shows and more at a discount. You can also find similar deals on Groupon.
88. Go to museums on free days
Many museums have free days certain times of year. Some have “by donation” days as well. So, get your museum fix by going on the free or pay-what-you-can days.
89. Borrow books from the library
Yes, buying new books on Amazon Prime can be addicting. But you can save money by borrowing books from the library for free!
90. Go to free cultural events
Many cities offer cultural activities that are free and open to the public. These can range from parades to concerts, speaker series to celebrations. Check your local community calendar to see what might be coming up.
91. Streamline entertainment
Do you have cable, Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video? It may be time to cut back and stick with one. Having multiple streaming services and packages can add up, so cut down and streamline your entertainment.
92. Take free classes online
You don’t have to take on student loan debt or pay an arm or a leg to take some classes. You can take free classes online. You can also watch how-tos on YouTube or practice your language skills on DuoLingo.
93. Volunteer as an usher
One way to cut entertainment costs is to become an usher at a theater. Volunteer and see the show for free!
94. Volunteer to work at events
If there’s a retreat, conference, talk or festival coming to your city, inquire about volunteering. This is a great way to meet new people and save money on admission.
Save Money on Travel
95. Buy flights on Tuesday
Ready to book a flight for your next trip? Book on a Tuesday, the most affordable day to purchase a flight from the United States.
96. Stay in affordable accommodations
When traveling, accommodations can add up. Consider couchsurfing, staying in a hostel, a cheap AirBnB, or staying with a friend. Hotels can cost hundreds per night so opting for one of these options can score you some savings.
97. Avoid foreign transaction fees
Traveling abroad? You could get hit with foreign transaction fees when you spend money. Get a credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees so you can save your hard-earned dough.
98. Use Skype and WhatsApp
Traveling internationally can result in hefty call charges and international roaming. When communicating from a palazzo in Florence or the beaches of Bali, use Skype and WhatsApp to communicate for free.
99. Go camping
Looking for some peace and quiet? Go camping! It’s an affordable way to travel and can get you back to being one with nature.
100. Book holiday flights in advance
Many people make the mistake of booking holiday travel at the last-minute. That’s a big no-no if you’re trying to save money! Book far in advance, preferably no later than September for holiday travel in November and December.
101. Fly on a holiday
You can score additional savings by actually flying on a holiday. If you don’t mind this, you can save money by flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’ve used this tactic to save over $100 on my flight.
Start saving now
Using these 101 savings tips, you can start to reduce your expenses in nearly all aspects of your life.
Focusing on your top expenses like housing, food and transportation can give you the biggest wins. The biggest perk: These tips can pad your savings account so you can save for your future and have money set aside for a rainy day.