Are you looking for save money tips? All of these tips to save money take very little effort or just a little work to set-up. And over time they really make a difference in your finances. I’ve pulled together a long list for you and its full of actionable items. If you’re too busy to dig in now, save it to Pinterest to review later!
You’ll probably find that not all of these save money tips will apply to you, but I’m sure at least a few will. The key to success is taking steps now to save money. Tackling one or two tips per week will make a huge difference over the course of a year. You can do this!
Save Money Tips: Food & Cooking
1. Meal Planning
Okay, this one does take effort, but it saves not only money, but time. Without a meal plan you’ll spend more time and money at the grocery store. You’ll also make more trips to the store and likely pick up takeout more because you don’t have all the ingredients you need on hand. Every additional trip you make to the store costs you both money and time.
2. Try Cash Back and Coupon Apps
These tools are becoming more popular for a reason. They each take a little time to figure out, but once you master it you can really begin to save some serious money.
My favorites? Cartwheel, ibotta and Ebates.
3. Buy in Bulk
Be selective with this one, since some of the “deals” can be misleading, but an upfront investment of time to figure out which items save you money can lead to big savings over time.
If you’re wondering where to start, the Frugalwoods family shares their grocery list and the items they find are worth buying in bulk. You’ll need to do your own price comparisons for your area, but it’s a great jumping off point.
4. Carry Water and Snacks
Especially with little ones, this has been a life saver.
5. Use Up the Food You’ve Already Purchased
I’m all for having a well stocked pantry, but make sure you’re rotating through yours and actually eating the food. If you’re stocking up on good deals, but not actually using them before they expire, you’re wasting money. When you’re putting together your meal plan, make sure it incorporates things you already have on hand.
6. Cook at Home More
Eating out and takeout costs can add up fast. Preparing quick and easy meals at home can save you a ton of money depending on your current habits. Could you reduce take-out to once a week? Or even once a month? It might sound crazy, but once you get in the habit of cooking at home it will often feel easier than all the prepared food did.
7. Buy Frozen Vegetables
Frozen veggies have just as many, if not more, nutrients than fresh ones. They’re also typically cheaper and won’t go bad in a couple days. We stock up on frozen veggies when they go on sale and always have a variety of healthy options on hand to throw together a quick meal.
8. Bring Your Lunch to Work
Buying lunch every day adds up quickly. If you’re spending $10-$12 on lunch every day it can easily add up to a few thousand dollars over the course of a year. Stocking up on reusable containers and ice packs and spending a little extra effort portioning leftovers or making a quick lunch will save you a ton of money.
9. Buy Store Brands
Finding store brands you like will be a bit of trial and error. But store brands today are often just as good as well-known food brands. Generic store brands have come a long way over the past few years and giving them a try is a really easy way to save money on groceries.
10. Eat Less Meat
Meat is often one of the most expensive items on your grocery list. Planning a few meatless meals per week can have health benefits and decrease your grocery costs.
11. Drink More Water
Every time you choose tap water over a more expensive option like soda or juice you’re essentially saving money. Drinking water is also great for your health and can help you stay full longer and eat less. Water for the win!
12. Get an Instant Pot
If you don’t already have one, I’m sure you’ve heard people rave about the Instant Pot but are slightly suspicious. Do you really need another appliance in your kitchen? I felt exactly the same way until we caved and bought this one and now I’m a total convert. These things are amazing. It’s so easy to throw together dinner in our instant pot that I swear it reduces the temptation to eat out! It takes more time to locate a menu, decide what we want and pick up food than it does to just throw the ingredients for the meal we’d planned into the instant pot. It makes preparing all sorts of dishes incredibly quick and easy and it uses a lot less energy than our oven and doesn’t heat up the kitchen in the summer. I also love to use it to whip up homemade apple sauce. Not only is it cheap and delicious, but it makes our home smell amazing!
13. Make Your Own Snacks
Buying premade and prepackaged snacks can save time, but they’re expensive and not great for the environment. Try things like portioning goldfish into reusable containers for your kids at home, buying the large container of plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit and honey for flavor, or baking your own bread occasionally. Small changes can really add up over time.
14. Buy Fruits and Vegetables That are in Season
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically cheaper and they last longer.
15. Grow Your Own Herbs
Herbs like chive, rosemary and basil are crazy easy to grow and ridiculously expensive for fresh versions at the supermarket. Set up a small herb garden in your yard or on your window sill and you can have fresh herbs for pennies year round.
Save Money Tips: Clothing
16. Consider Renting for Big Events
Have you tried Rent the Runway? It’s a lifesaver for formal dresses that you’d only wear once or twice. Renting has freed up so much space in my closet and I know I can always find something cute and trendy that’ll be ready in just a few days.
I’m actually trying their unlimited subscription model at the moment. It’s pricey, but I spend a ton dry cleaning work clothes and the Rent the Runway membership covers the cost of dry cleaning. I’ll write a full review once I’ve tried it for a while, but so I’m finding the selection is great and the service is easy to use. I travel a lot for work events and Rent the Runway is like having this huge closet available with high quality pieces that I can choose from to best fit the climate and vibe of the city I’ll be in. Next time I pass through NYC or Chicago I can’t wait to test out returning an item directly to a retail location.
17. Sign Up for Customer Reward Programs
There are all sorts of retailers willing to reward you for shopping in their store. Whether you frequent Nordstrom, Old Navy, or L.L. Bean, signing up for the appropriate reward program will guarantee you a steady stream of extra coupons and discounts whenever you need to pick something up. I’ve created a folder within my Gmail and tag retailer emails to go straight there. That way I’m not tempted to shop when I don’t need something, but when I am ready I have all the latest offers at my fingertips.
18. Check Out Consignment & Thrift Stores
I’ve found some great bargains at local thrift stores and consignment shops. They’re especially good for little girl clothes—they receive so many and go through sizes so quickly that many appear to have been rarely, if ever worn. I picked up the cutest Lilly Pulitzer pumpkin print dress for our toddler recently for $8.
19. Tackle Minor Clothing Repairs
Do you have shirts that have lost buttons, or hems that are unraveling? When life gets busy it’s tempting to set these items aside to be repaired later and never find the time. Challenge yourself to gather up every item in need of repair that you’ve been neglecting and make a plan to either tackle the repairs yourself or take them to the tailor. These days you can find lots of YouTube videos and websites with step by step instructions if you’d like to fix something yourself but lack the skill.
20. Shop Your Closet
Schedule time to go through your clothes once a season. Sell or donate anything that doesn’t fit, or that you’ve grown tired of. Chances are you’ll come across a few favorites that got buried and you’ve forgotten about. And getting a clear view of what you already own will help you avoid buying duplicates and may give you new ideas for how to mix and match pieces.
21. Check Out Facebook Marketplace and Buy/Trade/Sell Groups
If you like high end children’s clothing brands, chances are you’re not alone. There are a ton of mom groups where ladies swap gently used children’s items in great condition. I’ve used these groups to sell name brand pieces my kids have outgrown and to track down favorite items in larger sizes. They’re also a great way to get tips on sizing and quality for each new line release. Many of these moms are diehard fans and are constantly in the stores checking out merchandise. In some groups women will actually shop for others while in the retail stores if they come across a great deal!
22. Shop Off Season
As retailers make room for the next season’s clothes they deeply discount out of season merchandise. By stocking up on shorts and t-shirts in August and buying sweaters in January you can often save quite a bit off the original price. I find this especially helpful for holiday specific kid’s clothes. I love all the adorable themed shirts, dresses and pajamas, but not the price tags. But by stocking up for the following year just after a holiday is past, I frequently find adorable Halloween, Easter, and 4th of July items at 75% or more off.
Save Money Tips: Entertainment
23. Check Out Your Local Library
These days libraries are for way more than books. While you can still check out books and even ebooks, many libraries also have movies and museum passes. Offerings vary by location, so make sure you know what your library offers.
24. Use Discount Sites
Groupon has a great selection of limited time offers on everything from escape rooms and laser tag to hotel and restaurant discounts. Before buying tickets to an attraction, check and see if you can get a discount online first. Restaurant.com is also good for discounts at local eateries, as long as you’re flexible with day and time since some restrict use at their most popular times.
25. Explore Discount & Free Days
Many local zoos, aquariums and zoos have days and times where entry is either discounted or free. Check their website or call and ask to see what your options are. My Bank of America checking account offers free entry to a bunch of museums nationwide once a month. And if you’re a frequent visitor to an attraction, see if becoming a member would save you money. Our local zoo membership is tax deductible, provides an easy way to keep the kids entertained, and offers free or discounted entry to other zoos when we’re traveling.
26. Ask About Discounts
Most people will never ask, but when you’re going to a venue you can save a lot by asking what discounts are available. Often there are reduced rates for students, members of the military, or senior citizens. We spent an insane amount to take our toddlers to the local children’s museum for a couple hours only to learn later that as a foster family we would have saved 75% by showing the kids’ ID cards.
27. Buy Used
Whether you choose to shop online or at thrift stores and yard sales, you can often find great deals on used books, movies and video games. Many of the kids who’ve come through our home have loved Disney movies, but they’re expensive and hard to find on sale. By keeping an eye on Facebook Marketplace I was able to pick up a set of 14 popular titles (including The Little Mermaid, which is nearly impossible to find these days) for $80. One of the blue rays we received currently retails for $35 just on its own!
28. Invite Friends Over
Having friends over rather than going out together can be a fun and simple way to keep your entertainment costs down. Rent a movie, host a potluck, or hang out around a fire pit. By supplying your own food and alcohol you’ll avoid the restaurant mark-up and wait for tables.
29. Decrease Your Travel Expenses
Could you drive instead of fly for your next vacation? Or try a staycation and explore your local area? You can also save big by traveling in the off season, buying plane tickets early, or even travel hacking to earn free hotel stays and airfare. Get creative with your vacation plans and you will likely find a lot of ways to save money.
30. Go Out for Breakfast or Lunch
If you’re meeting up with friends for a meal, try to get together for breakfast or lunch. Typically, these meals are much cheaper and involve less alcohol. You’ll get your girl time and eating out experience without the big bill.
31. Volunteer at Local Events
It’s common for local events to be looking for volunteers. If there’s a concert or festival you’d like to attend, check if they’re offering free admission for volunteers. Often you can spend an hour or so checking tickets or helping with setup in exchange for free entry.
Save Money Tips: Home Expenses
32. Cut Cable
Admit it—you’ve totally considered this. It feels like such a huge change, but I promise you you’ll adapt so quickly. We watch a similar amount of TV now. It’s just a lot cheaper, with a lot fewer commercials.
Our system? Netflix + Amazon Prime Video + a digital antenna. With this combination we have access to far more TV shows and movies than we could ever watch and we’re still saving a bundle over cable. Our latest binge worthy obsession? The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel. I adore this show and cannot recommend it highly enough!
33. Cut Back on Cable
Not ready to cut the cord completely? At least take a serious look at your current cable subscription and see if there are areas where you can cut back. Could you cut the movie channels? Or the sports add on package? Try calling in and seeing if your cable company is offering any special discounts at the moment.
34. Upgrade to LED Lights
The upfront expense is still higher, but replacing incandescent bulbs with LED will save you money on your electric bill. These new LED bulbs not only use a fraction of the electricity of incandescent bulbs, but they can last over a decade and are more environmentally friendly.
35. Decrease Your Water Bill
There are a lot of little tweaks you can make to cut your water bill. Consider installing low-flow shower heads, cutting a few minutes off of your shower time, and turning off the water while you brush your teeth. Do a google search for ways to cut your water bill and you’ll find a ton of different options—small changes over time can make a big difference.
36. Buy a Clothesline or Drying Rack
Dryers are usually one of the biggest energy consumers in a home and they wear down clothes. Hang your clothes to dry and you can save some serious money and prolong the life of your favorite outfits. I love this clothes drying rack because it holds a ton, but is still sturdy, lightweight and collapses for easy storage.
37. Add More Insulation
Do you live in an older home? If yes, chances are your home could use more insulation. Adding insulation is well worth the investment and can save you money on both heating and cooling your home. Some states even offer programs that cover most or all of the cost!
38. Adjust the Thermostat
Keeping your home a few degrees cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer can make a big difference. And consider getting a programmable thermostat like the Nest that will automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day. Why pay more to keep the house at your optimal temperature when you’re not even home?
39. Use Smart Power Strips
Smart Strips not only keep your equipment safe from power surges, but reduce phantom power drains. They’re great for your computer or home entertainment center. The smart strip knows that when you power off your computer, it should also turn off your monitor, printer, and other ancillary devices. The same thing with your TV—the smart strip will turn off your cable box, video game system, and DVD player. It saves you the hassle of turning everything on and off manually and makes sure these small power drains aren’t driving up your electricity bill.
40. Air Seal Your Home
Almost all homes have air leaks and the older your home is the greater the chances you have a few. You spend good money to heat and cool your home—why not spend a few minutes reducing the amount of air leaks? This guide to air sealing from the Department of Energy is a great place to stop. Reducing leaks will help you cut costs, increase comfort, and improve your environment.
Save Money Tips: Health & Fitness
41. Buy Store Brand Medications
Choosing the generic store brand for over-the-counter medications can save you a lot of money over time. Studies show they’re just as effective, so why not give them a try?
42. Get an FSA or HSA
If you have access to a flexible spending plan for health care expenses, like an FSA or HAS, explore signing up. Assuming you have qualifying expenses over the course of a year, you’ll save money on taxes by paying for those expenses with pre-tax dollars. And some of these plans will allow you to save up money for years in anticipation of future expenses.
43. Consider Cancelling Your Gym Membership
Exercise is incredibly important for general health and stress reduction, but there are plenty of options to exercise that don’t cost a lot. If money is tight, or if you don’t go often enough to justify the cost, explore cancelling your gym membership.
44. Compare Prescription Costs
Did you know it can pay to comparison shop when you have a prescription you need to fill? Different pharmacies and retail stores can charge different prices for medications. By calling around to a few you may find the prices are significantly different. We don’t bother for one-off prescriptions when sick, but comparison shopping could make a big difference for medications you take frequently.
45. Schedule Regular Checkups
Regular checkups help you maintain your health and can catch problems early before they become more expensive to fix.
46. Look Over Your Medical Bills
Boring as this task may be, mistakes happen. When you receive hospital or doctor bills, it pays to check them over. You can save yourself money if you catch charges that shouldn’t be there. You may be surprised how frequently you catch errors.
Save Money Tips: Beauty & Personal Care
47. Try Cheaper Hygiene Products
Often times the basic toothpaste is hidden away at the bottom of the shelf. Look their first—you likely don’t need all the extra additives in the fancier version. Experiment a bit to see if you like the cheaper moisturizer, or can find an everyday soap that’s more affordable. We love the Method hand soaps, but buy big bags of it through Amazon for a cheaper price per ounce and refill our own decorative containers, rather than buying the plastic ones.
48. Use Less Product
Most people use way too much shampoo and way too little sunblock. Check out Makeup.com’s serving size guide for a great visual representation of what you really need.
49. Try a Capsule Wardrobe for Your Makeup
Areyou constantly buying more makeup, looking for the right products? If makeup stressesyou out, splurge on an expert consultation. Find out the products and colorsthat work for you, buy a basic every day look and then only replace them asneeded. While the upfront cost may be a bit higher, you’ll save in the long runand look amazing while you do it. Mint.com found that the average woman will spend $15,000 on makeup in her lifetime!
50. Save on Haircuts
I’m not brave enough to try it, but Liz from Frugalwoods swears by home haircuts. You can cut costs without going to that extreme by waiting an extra week or two between cuts, looking for salon discount codes on sites like Groupon, or going to a training facility or beauty school. I’ve found I can cut down on costs by getting less frequent cuts at really nice salons. Skilled stylists seem better at cuts that grow out well and I can pop into a cheaper salon for a trim between pricey cuts.
51. Stock Up on Samples
If you do love trying new makeup, stock up on samples. They’re the perfect size for travel and many beauty stores are happy to hand out samples of any product you’d like to try. If you order online from sites like Sephora, Ulta and Aveda, they’ll often add a few samples to your package.
52. Don’t Shun Drugstore Brands
High-end beauty products come with high prices, but the cost isn’t always equal to the quality. Try out cheaper bands if you’re trying to save money. Some drugstores even let you return makeup if the color didn’t work out for you. Check out @dupethat on Instagram if you’re looking to find cheaper versions of your favorite pricey products.
53. Use Up All of Your Perfume
If you’re getting down to the end of your perfume bottle, pour those last few drops into a bottle of unscented body lotion and shake it up. You’ll make the most of your perfume purchase and have an easy way to put on a light application of your favorite scent.
54. Return Empty Containers to the Store
Not only will they recycle them, but some brands will reward you for bringing the containers back. M.A.C Cosmetics offers a free lipstick for every six empty containers returned. If you bring back five empty pots to Lush stores you’ll get a free face mask. And Kiehl’s lets customers earn a free travel-sized product by returning empty bottles.
55. DIY Your Own Products
You can find so many great ideas for do-it-yourself beauty products online. From homemade lip balm, to body scrubs and makeup removers, there are a lot of options. You can save money if you’re willing to experiment a bit.
56. Mix It Up
If you buy a lipstick but don’t like the color, you can layer it with another lipstick to make it look better. Rather than letting it go to waste, try blending so-so products to see if you can come up with a mix you love.
57. Salvage Old Mascara
If your mascara is still good but has dried out, you can add a few drops of saline to make it good as new. Did you forget to shut the tube completely and find your mascara dry and clumpy? Add 10 drops of saline, close the tube and give it a little shake. Swirl the applicator around a few times when you open it up again and it should be good as new.
58. Reuse Old Mascara Brushes From Expensive Brands
The fancy brush designs can often be a big part of the cost. Rinse off your favorite high end brushes in hot water to clear out the clumps and you’re good to go pairing them with new tubes of cheaper mascara.
59. Apply Liquid Foundation with a Brush
Sponges absorb foundation making it easy to use up a lot quickly. Try applying foundation with a brush or cotton ball instead and then using a sponge to blend. I love these affordable, good quality makeup brushes available on Amazon.
Save Money Tips: General
60. Use the Credit Card Points You’ve Already Earned
If you struggle with paying cards off every month it’s best you get rid of them. But if you’re someone who pays off your balance every month and is careful about avoiding fees, why not rack up those points? We LOVE them for travel.
And if you’re struggling to find something to redeem the points you have for, consider switching to a card that gives you cash back. It’s an easy way to get a “discount” on your spending and takes a lot of the effort out of redemption.
61. Try a Spending Freeze
You may be amazed at how much you can save in a week or a month. All those impulse purchases add up. Set rules for yourself and see how well you can stick to them. Great way to bounce back after an expensive period, or reset your sense of normal.
I like to time them with periods of heavy work travel; when we’re busy it’s already a little easier not to spend.
62. Rethink Your Cell Phone Plan
If you’re not under a cell phone contract, it’s time to shop around. The big names cost big money, but there are good affordable go options out there like Republic Wireless.
63. Stop Collecting & Start Selling
You don’t need to go full on minimalist, but many of us have collections we never meant to acquire or that have grown too large for our spaces. Display your favorites and let go of the rest. Cutting back will decrease your future spending on these items, likely earn you some extra money as you sell off the surplus, and free up space in your home.
64. Consider Making Your Own Gifts
Do you love to give gifts but worry about the impact on your budget? Consider whether you could make some homemade gifts that fulfill your urge to give generously but minimize the cost. Fresh baked cookies, homemade bread and prepared meals can be low cost but very appreciated by the receiver. They’re also personal and consumable—a huge plus for anyone who’s also looking to rid their house of extra stuff.
65. Evaluate Your Recurring Expenses
Most of us have at least one service we’ve signed up for that auto bills each month. Take the time on a quarterly or yearly basis to reevaluate the subscriptions you have and determine whether they’ll still worth it. Are you using your gym membership, club membership, or Amazon Prime membership? Do you subscribe to Audible, but rarely find the time to complete your audio books? Do you want to continue with Netflix and Hulu? Do you have magazine subscriptions? It’s good to occasionally check in and make sure your automated spending still aligns with your priorities.
66. Pretend Your Didn’t Get a Raise, Bonus, or Tax Refund
If you get a raise or bonus at work, or a refund come tax time, pretend that money doesn’t exist. Continue spending like you have been on your past salary and automatically funnel any increase towards your debt repayment and savings goals. Keep this up over a number of years and you’ll start to see big progress towards your financial goals.
Save Money Tips: Shopping
67. Avoid Stores Unless You Truly Need Something
And when you do need to shop, bring a list. If you visit the mall just to kill time or shop as a hobby, you’ll save a ton by finding another way to occupy your time. The joke about being unable to enter Target without spending $100 is real, so avoid the temptation! Once you’re in the moment it’s so easy to justify purchases you really don’t need.
68. Shop Online
Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, or if you qualify for one an Amazon Business Account. It’s an easy way to let things sit in your cart for a couple days to see if you still feel like you need them, you can find an endless selection, and you’ll be less tempted to grab other things just because you’re in a store.
The Target RedCard is another great option. It offers free shipping on anything from Target with no minimum.
69. Don’t Buy Something Just Because Its On Sale
The sale is there to tempt you into buying in the first place. If it’s not something you truly need, don’t give in. It may feel like a bargain, but if you don’t need it or won’t use it you’re not saving money.
70. Try the 30 Day Rule
Are you prone to making impulse purchases? Avoiding instant gratification can be a quick and easy way to increase your savings. If you wait 30 day before making the final decision on a purchase you may find that the urge to buy has passed and you’ve saved money by waiting it out.
71. Research Large Purchases
A little time spent researching large purchases can help you avoid costly mistakes and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Compare prices online and in-store. We bought our Christmas tree a number of years ago during the post-Christmas sales. We did our research in the time leading up to the holidays, figuring out the size we wanted and checking out quality in-store. After the holidays we watched the sales and were able to get our favorite tree for 80% off. We ordered online and picked it up in store, where the discounts were only at 40% off. Buying the same product from the retailer’s website got us a great deal.
72. Purchase Floor Model or Open Box Appliances
If you need to replace an appliance, checking out the floor models and open box options available can lead to big savings. Open box items are usually returned by a customer and re-sold at a discount. Typically these items are like new or have minor cosmetic imperfections. As long as you can live with a small scratch or two that you didn’t put there, you can make out big time. Considering how much use they’ll get in our house anyway and how hard kids and pets are on a home, I’ll gladly take the discounts so I don’t feel so bad when we eventually add our own scratches or dents in the future.
Save Money Tips: Your Finances
73. Lower Your Interest Rates
Do you have credit card debt? If you’ve been paying it down over time, try giving the company a call and requesting an interest rate deduction. The worst they can say is no, but if they lower your rate you could save quite a bit of money while paying it back. And consider moving your balance to a new card with a 0% fee on transfers for an introductory period. If you’re serious about paying off the debt and tackle it before that period ends, you could save big.
74. Move to Cheaper Investment Options
Have you checked your management fees lately? Going though your 401k and other investment accounts and moving to index funds or low-cost ETFs can save you a ton of money in fees over time. And that’s investment money that can continue to compound.
75. Check Your Credit Report & Credit Score
You should check your credit score once a quarter and look for any discrepancies. You want to identify any mistakes or fraud early so it doesn’t bring your score down. And do the work now to improve your score so that when you need to take on debt for things like a mortgage you qualify for the best terms available, like lower interest rates. A strong credit score can save you a lot of money.
76. Change Banks
Are you earning interest on your account? If you’re with one of the big banks, chances are you could be earning more. Look for bonuses or higher interest rates by switching to a high-interest online bank, or a credit union. I’m all for moving our emergency fund if it will earn a bonus!
77. Save All Your Spare Change
At the end of each day or week, dump any spare change into a jar. You’ll likely find you don’t even know it’s missing and you’ll save money without really even trying. When the jar fills up deposit it at your bank and put the cash towards your financial goals.
78. Bundle Your Insurance
Do you have your home and auto insurance policies at different companies? Call them all and ask about bundled rate. Many insurance issuers will offer you discounts for having multiple plans.
79. Utilize Online Bill Pay
Paying your bills online saves you money on stamps and checks and may cut down on trips to the post office. It can also help you keep a closer eye on your accounts. If you’re aware of your account balances you’re far less likely to accidentally overdraft and rack up fees.
80. Consider Cash Back Rewards Cards
If you pay off your balance in full every month, using a cash back credit card is an easy way to get a discount on your spending. Some offer a percentage back for everything you buy and a higher percentage for specific categories. Explore which cards make the most sense for your spending patterns.
81. Avoid ATM Fees
Make sure your savings account is at a bank where you have easy access to in-network ATMs. By staying in-network you’ll be able to avoid the extra fees that come with out of network ATMs and can really add up quickly.
82. Make Sure Your Checking Account is Free
Did you know some banks charge you a fee to just keep your checking account open? This is crazy. If yours is one of them, check out your other options and move to a bank that offers free checking with no minimum balance. If you don’t have great options locally, there are plenty of online options.
83. Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans
Companies like SoFi and Earnest are great options if you have private student loans at high interest rates. You should definitely do some research and make sure it’s the right option for your particular situation, since Federal student loans have some special protections that can be lost through refinancing. But for many people refinancing would save them a lot in interest over time.
84. Automate Your Student Loan Payments
Most of the big student loan programs offer a small rate reduction if you sign up to have your payments automatically deducted from your bank account each month. You’ll save money on interest and avoid the hassle of manually paying your student loan bills each month.
Save Money Tips: Housing
85. Add a Roomate
Do you have an extra bedroom? Explore reducing your housing costs by getting a roommate. This may not be something you’re open to long term, but if you can bring yourself to take on a roommate for a year or two, you can save some serious money.
86. Choose a Small Home
Over the past few decades the average home size in the U.S. has been increasing while the average family size has been shrinking. You could potentially save a lot of money by choosing to live in a smaller home than you can afford. Added bonus? Cheaper utilities, less space to furnish, and easier to clean and maintain.
87. Refinance Your Mortgage
If you have a mortgage with an interest rate that’s higher than the currently available rates, explore whether you can save money by refinancing. Refinancing won’t make sense in all cases, since there are closing costs to consider, but if you plan on staying put long term the numbers may work in your favor.
Save Money Tips: Transportation
88. Increase Your Use of Public Transit
You’ll save money on gas and wear-and-tear on your car every time you opt to take the bus, subway, or train. And when you don’t need to focus on driving you’ll find you can put that time to better use catching up on the news, reading a book, or working on your side hustle.
89. Stay on Top of Car Maintenance
Bringing your car in for regular tune-ups and oil changes can save you a lot of money over time. Keeping your car in god shape can help avoid expensive repairs that can be caused by issues from neglecting regular car maintenance.
90. Decrease Your Car Insurance Costs
Many people are paying too much for car insurance. Call your insurer and see if you’re eligible for deductions for things like being a safe driver. And schedule a time once a year to call around and compare insurance quotes. Sometimes your current insurer will even match a competitor’s offer to keep you. Lower costs without the hassle of actually switching plans.
91. Walk or Ride a Bike
If you’re running errands or commuting to a place that’s within a mile or two of your home, consider walking or riding a bike instead of taking your car. It’s an easy way to get a little exercise, save money on transportation and avoid dealing with traffic.
92. Look in to Car Share Services
If you don’t drive often, could you sell your car and use a service like Zipcar, car2go, or Uber when you need a vehicle? Or, if you don’t want to give up your car, could you use it to earn some extra cash when not in use by renting it out through Turo or Get Around. Think outside the box and you might be surprised by the money saving tips you come up with!
93. Increase Your Deductible
If you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover it, ask your insurer how much you would save by increasing the deductible on your car insurance. Even going from a $500 to $1,000 deductible could save you money on your car insurance bill.
Save Money Tips: Childcare
94. Explore a Nanny Share
In general nannies are more expensive than daycare. But if you have multiple children or can find another family to share a nanny with, you may save money by choosing a nanny share. Don’t rule out an option as out of reach until you explore the full costs of each. Nannies can have added benefits like more flexible hours or willingness to run small errands or do basic meal prep.
95. Take Advantage of a Childcare FSA
If your employer offers a dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) you can use pretax money to pay for some of your child care costs. Daycare is crazy expensive and every little bit saved helps a lot!
96. Swap Babysitting Services with a Friend
Date nights are essential when you have little ones, but add on the cost of babysitting and a night out gets expensive fast. See if you can set up a babysitting swap with friends where you take turns watching all the kids so the other couple can go out. When they’re really little it can be a bit chaotic, but once the kids reach an age where they all play well together treating the night like a play date will make it fun for the kids too and avoid the dreaded boredom whining.
Save Money Tips: Childhood Expenses
97. Buy Only What You Truly Need
Talk to friends who are parents before registering for everything stores suggest you need. Babies don’t really need all that much but it’s easy to get sucked in by all cute outfits and nursery pictures. If you plan on having more children, you can save a lot just by choosing gender neutral options for big purchases.
98. Check Facebook Marketplace & Local Mom Groups
Little kids grow so fast that they rarely wear out their clothes. You can buy bundles of clothes in specific sizes on through local groups. I still splurge on the occasional item new, but knowing I got a good deal makes me a lot more comfortable when the inevitable food and grass stains appear.
99. Watch for Consignment Sales for Toys, Gear and Clothes
These days there are big regional consignment sales for baby gear across the country. Sometimes you can even gain early access for the best deals by including a number of your own items in the sale. And most of these sales include a big additional discount on the last day. I’ve picked up everything from gently used winter gear to designer strollers.
100. Watch for Deals Online
Are you in love with the quality of the Pottery Barn play kitchens, but not the price tag? Our set retails for around $900 and I was able to purchase one second hand for $200. Every child who visits is drawn to it and despite hard use it still looks like new. And when our kids outgrow it it’s likely I can resell it for around the same price.
101. Simplify Your Schedule
It can be hard not to give into the pressure to sign your kid up for every travel team and activity imaginable. But studies show kids do better with less stress and simpler schedules. Let them sign up for one thing at a time. If they don’t like it, no big deal—they can always change to a new activity next season. And look into free and community options. Storytime at the library and play dates at the beach can be a great way to keep little ones busy without the extra cost.
102. Say Yes to Hand Me Downs
We let our friends and family know we’re open to second hand items and make sure to pass on the favor when our kids outgrow things. You’ll be surprised how generous people are when they know you’re open to used items. We’ve swapped winter coats with friends and recently received a gorgeous train set with all the accessories from a friend of the family who couldn’t find anyone she knew willing to accept a used one. She didn’t want to deal with the hassle of selling it and just wanted it gone.
103. Simplify Birthday Parties
If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest it’s hard not to feel that you should be going overboard with birthdays. In reality? Kids just want sugar and space to run around. Keeping it smaller and focused on fun and family is totally okay and can save you serious money. Feeling guilty? Put the savings in their college account and don’t look back.
Save Money Tips: Investing
104. Max Out Matched Contributions
Does your employer offer a 401(k) match? Make sure you’re contributing at least enough to receive the full match. Think of it as part of your compensation—it’s like giving money away if you don’t put enough in to receive your match.
105. Update Your Investment Choices
It’s awesome to contribute to your retirement accounts, but make sure those contributions are working as hard as they can. Choosing high fee investments, or a mix of investments that’s too risky for your financial situation can really cut into your gains over time.
Interested in Learning More?
- How to Balance Investing Versus Debt Payoff
- 27 Actionable Financial Independence Tips: The Ultimate Financial Independence Guide
What are your favorite tips to save money? Anything new you’ve tried recently?