Advertising
Advertising

How Can I Save Money? 25 Tips on How to Save Money Fast

How Can I Save Money? 25 Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How can I save money?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

These times of economic difficulty have put us all into ‘caution mode’ regarding our spending. It is always good to check out advice on this topic every few months because it is amazing what you can eventually begin to believe is an essential expense in your life, when in fact you can relegate many things to the “optional” or “less of” list.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need. You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced. As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):

  • food
  • rent/mortgage
  • cell phone
  • insurance
  • socializing/entertainment
  • transportation
  • hygiene products
  • household bills

Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):

  • travel
  • clothing
  • medication (*depends)
  • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
  • gifts

Food

how-do-I-save-money

    1) Bring a stock of food to the office/work: Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!). Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

    Advertising

    2) Buy the store-brand version: Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

    3) Eat cheaper cuts of meat: Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

    4) Have group dinners: If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

    Transport

    5) Get a bicycle: Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

    6) Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis: Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

    7) Find the cheapest gas: Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

    General shopping

    8) Shop online: Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

    Advertising

    9) Sell your old stuff: Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

    10) Bulk buying stores: For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from). Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

    11) Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru: You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

    12) Generic brand medication: More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

    13) Choose deodorant, not perfume: It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

    Household expenses

    14) Printing: Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. Be more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages. Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

    15) Minimize SMS and phone calls: A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

    Advertising

    16) Shop around for insurance: Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal. Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

    17) Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage: If you have built up a good credit history, or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

    how do I save money

      18) Don’t have a TV: Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

      19) Pool your internet bill with a neighbour: My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

      Socializing, entertainment and travel

      20) Have house parties: Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning. For sound insulation hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

      21) Open festivals, meetups and events: It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

      Advertising

      22) Volunteer: If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

      23) Housesit: There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

      Hygiene and beauty

      24) DIY beauty: French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

      25) Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser: If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

      Greatest money-saving tips for everything

      • Share/pool resources: Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
      • Buy energy-saving everything: The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
      • Buy in bulk: Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
      • DIY: Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
      • Research a lot before making a decision: Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
      • Use your network: Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
      • Stop and think: Do I really need it?

      Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

      What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts. Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

      More by this author

      13 Ways To Make Money While Traveling More Than 20 Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms Big Brother On Video Calls: Tools To Easily Secure Your Online Calls And Chats hacking-hackathon-hacker Hacking: Any Different From “Creative Solution”? 10 Simple Ways to Double Your Productivity

      Trending in Money

      1Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps 2How Much Should I Spend on Rent? Find Your Answer Here 3How Much Money Do I Need to Retire? Find Your Answer Here 4The Ultimate Guide to Make Saving Money Fast and Easy 56 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Published on July 4, 2018

      Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

      Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

      Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

      The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

      One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

      Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

      1. Personal Capital

        When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

        Here are some of its main features:

        • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
        • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
        • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

        With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

        Available for: iOS and Android

        2. Mint

          If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

          Here are some of its main features:

          Advertising

          • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
          • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
          • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

          Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

          Available for: iOS and Android

          3. YNAB

            Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

            Here are some of its main features:

            • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
            • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
            • Customized categories setting saving goals

            The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            4. Wealthfront

              Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
              • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
              • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
              • Daily tax loss harvesting

              Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

              Available for: iOS and Android

              Advertising

              5. Clarity Money

                If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

                Here are some of its main features:

                • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
                • Synchronize bank accounts fast
                • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

                Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

                Available for: iOS and Android

                6. Acorns

                  What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • Automatic contribution option
                  • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
                  • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

                  Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

                  Available for: iOS and Android

                  7. Albert

                    Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

                    Advertising

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                    • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                    • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                    While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                    Available for: iOS

                    8. Prism

                      Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • View all your account balances in one glance
                      • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                      • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                      If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                      Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                      9. Mvelopes

                        Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                        Here are some of its main features:

                        • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                        • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                        • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                        Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

                        Advertising

                        Available for: iOS and Android

                        10. Wallaby

                          Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                          Here are some of its main features:

                          • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                          • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                          • Free to use

                          If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                          Available for: iOS and Android

                          Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                          Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                          It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                          You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                          Read Next