Saving money is not always an easy task. Sometimes it requires sticking with a strict plan while other times it means taking drastic measures. Well, I am about to tell you that there are 42 Easy Ways to Save Money that require little to no effort!
Before I get started I want to say that many of these might seem like common sense and some of these may seem like frivolities (like coloring your hair and getting your nails done). The reality is that everyone is on a different point in their journey and while some people think spending money on things like your hair and nails, other people (myself included) consider hair color and nail polish to be necessities. Also, remember that when people get going with life they tend to forget that making little changes can sometimes have the biggest impact. This list will be a friendly reminder and hopefully also give you some other great ideas you haven’t thought of before.
42 Easy Ways to Save Money
1. Stop using credit cards
Some of the biggest issues in America today revolve around debt! Credit cards are the biggest culprit. Using credit is using false money. Use cash to avoid debt and in return you will save money.
2. Save your pennies
It seems like saving your change isn’t going to make much of a difference, but if you use this 365 Day Printable Saving Chart, you can save $667.95 over the course of 1 year. You can take it to the next level and save $1378 by using this 52 Week Savings Chart or this Reverse 52 Week Savings Chart.
3. Make a grocery list and stick to it
Have you ever shopped for groceries without a list? You probably went overboard and even purchased items you didn’t need. By making a list before you head to the store and purchasing only items on that list, you will save money.
4. Wash your own car
The average price per car wash is $15. If you wash your car several times a month and do it yourself, you can save quite a bit of money there.
5. Cut and dye your own hair
Instead of paying the average of $28 per hair cut for men and $44 for women (or the $100+it costs for getting your hair colored and highlighted) you can do it yourself and save that cash.
6. Paint your own nails
The average manicure is $15 + tip. Yep, you guessed it. By doing it yourself you can truly save that money.
7. Grow your own fruits and vegetables
Having a garden means saving money especially when fruits and vegetables are not in season and prices in-store skyrocket. Plus there is an added benefit of eating organically grown for a healthier alternative.
8. Host date nights at home
Date nights can be costly. Instead, opt for a night in with a good movie and homemade dinner.
9. Purchase and plan gifts ahead of time
Instead of waiting to purchase a gift right before a holiday or event, purchase it far ahead of time to maximize your savings. Purchase items when they are on clearance or on sale during their off-season. This is one of my favorite methods of saving money and has made a HUGE difference on our finances.
10. Shop sales and clearance only
This goes with #12. Opt to shop when items are only on sale or clearance. Never paying full price for anything will help you save money.
11. Trade Services
If you have a business or a service someone else needs, offer it for free in exchange for something you need. It’s a great way to avoid paying for that specific service but still give something in return.
12. Purchase Used
You wouldn’t believe how much you could save by purchasing a gently used item over new.
13. Repurpose old items
Again going along with used items, no need to throw them away to purchase new. Simply find a way to repurpose old items and you can save a ton. Pinterest is a great resource for that.
14. Ditch the cable
You probably hear this all the time but cable is expensive! You can pay for a streaming service such as Netflix and save over a hundred dollars every month!
15. Take lunch from home
Eating out can add up fast. By shopping for what you need and taking lunch with you from home, your savings can really add up.
16. Contribute to 401K Savings Plans
Did you know that most employers will allow you to be taxed on your income after you’ve contributed to your 401K? Meaning less taxes you will pay plus there is sometimes even a tax deduction. Both helping you save money.
17. Water your lawn less often
This is certainly important in areas where they are droughts but watering less means less use of water and electricity meaning less money out of your pocket.
18. Trade school books with other students
In college or know someone who is? Suggest they trade books with other students rather than paying for them every semester.
19. Take advantage of price matching at retailers
Some fear the option to price match. However, price matching ensures you pay the lowest possible price which means immediate savings for just a few minutes of your time.
20. Wash dishes by hand more often
Dishwashers are a convenience appliance but they are also a way that will eat at you’re monthly income. Washing dishes by hand lowers bills by reducing the amount of water and electricity used in the process.
21. Pass classes the first time around
Those who have been in college know that it isn’t cheap. Not passing classes the first time means a recharge to take that same class again. Ensuring you are a good student and passing them the first time will save money in the long run.
22. Buy a house instead of renting
Renting is putting your money in someone else’s pocket. Buy a house when possible and invest into something you will own. Money not wasted is money saved.
23. Participate in employee sponsored health insurance plans
Most employers will help pay a portion of your health insurance when purchased through them. This can save you a great amount of money every month.
24. Whiten your teeth at home
Professional teeth whitening kits can cost a fortune. Purchase the ones sold in-stores or online to avoid that hefty markup.
25. Buy generic brands
Generic are often just as good or even better than name brand products but they cost much less. Don’t let a brand or label fool you into thinking otherwise.
Whether you are heading to work, school, or an event you can choose to carpool and save gas, which in return saves money.
27. Take advantage of mail in rebates
Rebates offer cash back on your purchase. It does take a little more effort and time but it can make a difference in the amount of money you save.
28. Budget for the unexpected
Nobody likes surprises when it comes to costly repairs, emergencies, etc. Make a savings fund dedicated to the unexpected and in the end you will save money by not having to borrow the money and pay fees or interest.
29. Take care of pests yourself
Pest control can be an expensive service that is reoccurring. Check reviews on products you can buy and use yourself as a money saving alternative.
30. Unplug large appliances while not in use
Appliances will pull power from the source even when not in use. Unplug and save on your electricity bill.
31. Live a healthy lifestyle
Eating right and being healthy can contribute to saving money over a lifetime. It means less doctor visits because you will have less health problems and less money spent on medical bills.
32. Use coupons on every purchase
It might be surprising but there are coupons out there for almost anything and everything. Take it upon yourself to never purchase an item without one and you will save money on everything, every time.
33. Book vacations 6 months – 1 year in advance
Many will jump on an opportunity to book a vacation without much thought. Whenever you can, book a vacation 6 months or more in advance for the best rates, incentives, and availability.
34. Ditch services you don’t need
Think of all the extra this and that people throw at you when you buy a new car or get a new cellular plan. Chances are you don’t need that second warranty or that extended data plan. If you don’t absolutely need it, don’t buy it. If you did buy it, call and cancel the service.
35. Shop thrift stores
You wouldn’t believe the things you can find at thrift stores that people just got rid of. You can find everything from gently used items to brand new. Same goes for yard sales.
36. Pay off debt
Don’t leave those credit cards maxed out especially when you have savings. Pay off your debt first to avoid paying interest which is just lost money. Then focus on building your savings account. We found that Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace University were extremely helpful to us as we paid off our debt.
37. Create a budget
Having a budget gives you the ability to know exactly where you money goes and makes you in control of your money. It’s a way to avoid overspending and help you save what you earn. If you need help creating or updating your budget, check out these budgeting tools!
38. Learn the power of “no”
Okay so this is a bit more of a hard one. If your kids want a new toy, say no. If your friends want to go out to eat every night, say no. Saying no is a powerful way to save money because you don’t feel obligated to spend.
39. Compare rates on everything
Jumping the gun on anything can be a money saving disaster. Shop and compare rates from competitors. Some companies will even offer a promotion where they will not only match a competitors price, but they will beat it. Time and money well spent if you ask me.
40. Donate more
Helping others not only does good for the soul, but it does good for your wallet. Donating is a great way to give back and receive a tax break for it. Saving you money around tax season.
41. Utilize cash back programs
Who doesn’t want money back on everything you buy? Cash back apps and programs give you money back on items you already purchase. My favorite cash back sites are Ebates and Mr. Rebates. Money back in your wallet is always a good thing.
42. Think outside the box
This last one is a way for you to get creative with saving. There are millions of ways to make and save money, you just need to find a creative and rewarding way that helps you.