With constant bills and unexpected expenses, it can feel tough to save money. It doesn’t have to be, though. According to RamseySolutions.com, there are 22 practical ways to save money. Here they are.
1. Get rid of debt.
This is the first thing you should to help set yourself up for saving more money. Debt accrues interest as time goes on, so the sooner you pay it off, the sooner you can put those monthly debt payments into savings instead.
It’s easy to go over budget when grocery shopping. The extra things you add to the cart tack on extra expenses at the checkout. Stick to your list, so the bill is in line with what you expect. Other ways to save money are planning out your meals before going shopping so that you won’t have any food waste; opting for off-brand, cheaper items; and utilizing curbside pickup so you won’t be tempted to buy more items in-store.
3. Cancel automatic subscriptions and memberships.
Take a look at your credit card statements and see which memberships you have. Think about how often you use the memberships. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Spotify, gym memberships, Amazon Prime and trendy subscription boxes aren’t cheap. If you aren’t using them, it’s time to cancel.
If you choose to keep some of these subscriptions, think about sharing with family and friends to lower your cost.
4. Buy generic.
Cleaning and paper products, medicine and food all have generic options which are much cheaper. The quality is the same, but the marketing is gone. This saves you money.
5. Cut the cable.
With plenty of alternatives to cable, it’s an easy expense to cut. Using one or two streaming services is way cheaper than cable and gives you plenty of shows and movies to binge.
6. Save money automatically.
Look at your budget and decide how much money you want to save from each paycheck. Set up your direct deposit to send that portion to your savings account each payday.
7. Spend extra or unexpected income wisely.
When you have extra income, think about paying extra on debt, establishing or adding to your emergency fund or depositing it into savings.
8. Reduce energy costs.
New energy-efficient appliances are expensive, but there are other ways to save money by reducing energy costs. Take shorter showers, use cold water for laundry, fix leaky pipes, use LED bulbs and install dimmers.
9. Unsubscribe from emails.
How many times have you gotten an email promoting a two-day flash sale for something you didn’t think you needed? Before you know it, you’ve got that item in your online cart and you’re ready to check out. What if you never got that email? Click unsubscribe and free up your inbox and keep your money in your wallet.
10. Check your insurance rates.
You owe it to yourself to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best rates on your insurance.
11. Pack your lunch and eat at home.
Going out to lunch a few times a week really adds up. Instead of hitting the local deli for a sandwich, bring your own and save yourself some dough. Meal planning also can help from resorting to takeout too often for dinner.
12. Ask about discounts.
It never hurts to ask. See if there are any special discounts for seniors, students, teachers, military or AAA members.
13. Take advantage of your retirement savings plan.
If your employer offers a 401K match, make sure that you’re taking advantage of it. It’s free money. You can adjust the amount you’re contributing at any time. You may need to contribute less if you’re paying off debt, but you can up your percentage once you’ve paid your debts.
14. Lower your cellphone bill.
No longer are there only a few cellphone companies to choose from. There are plenty of cheaper options out there. You just need to look for them. Look over your bill and see if you need the data plan you have or the special warranties. Don’t be afraid to switch if your current company isn’t meeting your needs.
15. Try a spending freeze.
For a week — or a month, your choice — don’t buy any nonessential items. The key is to focus on being content with what you already have, so that when the challenge is over, you don’t blow your budget to make up for lost time.
16. DIY what you can.
You can save tons of money by doing things yourself. There are plenty of tutorial videos online to help you learn how to do things. And if you need tools, try asking friends and family if you can borrow items before purchasing.
Call in the pros to work on hazardous projects or complicated projects in which you could hurt yourself or damage your home.
17. Skip the coffee shop.
That morning latte tastes so good. But you know what feels even better? Having that $5 — or more, in some cases — in your savings account. It all adds up, and it’s pretty easy to make fancy coffee drinks at home.
18. Use your local library.
It’s easy to want to buy the latest books. But how often do you let them sit on a shelf awhile until you actually get around to reading them? Head to your local library instead, and grab books, DVDs, audiobooks, e-books, cookbooks, magazines and more. They’re all free.
19. Try a staycation.
Vacations are expensive. Money gets wrapped up in the travel portion — think flights, car rentals, hotel or AirBNB costs, Uber rides, etc. Instead, be a tourist in your own town. Check out the museums and attractions that are here, and save on the travel costs.
20. Use cashback apps and coupons.
With apps and extensions such as Ibotta, Honey and Rakuten, you can use coupon codes and get cashback for purchases you were already intending to make. They’re easy to use, and you reap the rewards.
21. Refinance your mortgage.
If you have a mortgage, it’s worth looking into refinancing to see if you can get a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands.
22. Clean out and sell your stuff.
Clean out your house and see what you can sell. With eBay, Mercari, Facebook Marketplace and garage sales, you can make a decent amount of money from your sales. Just make sure to follow guidelines on selling sites.
With all of these ways to cut costs and save money, you should be able to reach your savings goals quickly.