If you asked 50 strangers how to save $10 a day, you’d likely hear a variety of answers, including skipping Starbucks, avoiding impulse purchases and using coupons. However, if you’re looking for a way to effectively save $10 dollars each day, you’ll need to find something that you already consistently spend at least $10 per day on and swap it out for a free (or very cheap) substitute.
You’ll also need a “why,” which is the compelling reason you want to save this amount each day, such as for an upcoming vacation, to build up an emergency fund or to pay down your debt faster. Having a “why” is a good way to get yourself to follow through with your savings goal each day because you will have a strong reason for doing it. That way, if you become tempted to stray from your goal, you can think of your “why” to help you stay the course.
Once, you have your “why,” you’ll need a plan. Here are a few ideas to help you save money daily.
Quit Eating Out for Lunch
It’s a simple solution, but it can be very effective in saving $10 per day.
“Pack a lunch and carry it to work,” said Dr. John A. Kilpatrick, Ph.D., MAI, and the managing director of Greenfield Advisors. “A sandwich and some fruit from home will cost you about a buck. A homemade salad is even less than that. That same sandwich and fruit at the local deli is easily $10.”
Learn To Cook
If the thought of cooking is a turn-off, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen if you stick to the basics. Plus, it’s possible that this strategy alone could help you save $10 a day.
“Packaged dinners, eating out and highly processed foods are terribly expensive, not very nutritional and often dangerous to your long-term health!” said Kilpatrick. “Learn to work with raw foods (beans, meat, rice, pasta), learn to use leftovers to cook soup, invest in a very basic cookbook (“Joy of Cooking” is pretty dog-eared in the Kilpatrick household) and buy a crock-pot. Learn to freeze leftovers and use them next week. Even in the snack-food area, popping popcorn is a lot cheaper than bags of chips. A typical family of four can often squeeze $10 a day out of their budget by just doing this.”
Look At the Bigger Picture
If taking your lunch, fasting or cooking at home doesn’t inspire you to save, consider these big-picture suggestions. Or use these to supplement on the days that you may have to skip the other methods.
“If you can’t seem to cut any daily spending habits from your budget, you might have to look at the bigger picture,” said Michelle Keldgord, co-founder of Baking How. “Getting rid of subscriptions or apps you don’t need might save you $100 per month, which would mean you’re saving $10 over a span of 10 days.”
If you don’t spend that much on subscriptions or apps, Marilyn Gaskell, the founder of TruePeopleSearch, has a couple of other helpful suggestions that can help you save a larger amount, such as $50 or $100, which you can divide out over five or 10 days to reach your $10 per day goal.
“Call up your utility company and ask them to carry out an audit of your energy usage,” she said. “Most of the time, this audit is carried out for free and it is extremely helpful in allowing you to identify areas in which you can cut down energy usage and reduce your monthly bill by a significant amount. If you want to go even further, call up your cable company and threaten to cut the cable. Cable companies will more often than not negotiate with you to offer you a lower price and your cable bill will be lower!”
Implement a Spending Freeze
If all else fails, Jacqueline Gilchrist of Mom Money Map says one of the fastest ways to save $10 per day is to commit to a no-buy challenge.
“This is when you don’t spend money over a duration like a weekend, week or month,” she said. “The longer the period, the more savings. It doesn’t mean you spend $0 during that time period. You just set rules and allowances to account for necessities.
“The benefit of doing a no-buy challenge is that it forces you to be more resourceful to avoid spending money. If you feel like you’ve already cut as much as you can in your expenses, a no-buy challenge can help you think outside of the box to get to that $10 savings per day.”
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Last updated: Sept. 2, 2021