Sure, there are a gazillion ways to save money. Unfortunately, there’s not a magic pill to cure for all of our financial ailments. Finding extra ways to make money always helps, but none of that matters if you don’t change your habits. Sometimes, the key to getting ahead is learning to make the most out of the money you already have. But, how do you go about doing that?
Whether you’re struggling to get by or a millionaire in disguise, everybody can improve their financial situation. Making more money gives you a better chance of success, but don’t get fooled into thinking that a fancy job and a high salary are the only keys to financial freedom. If you want to learn how to save money, start by assessing your financial habits and current situation. You might find you already have all the money you need to change you financial destiny – with just a few simple tweaks.
We hope you’ll use this list to create the financial path of your dreams, piece by piece. All of these tips are simple to implement, and you can start making these changes today! Individually, their impact may be small; but, their combined power could make a huge difference in your financial life. So, without further ado, here’s our list of 93 ways to save money, make money, and get the most out of what you already have.
Table of Contents
- Best Money Saving Tools
- 93 Ways to Save Money, Make Money, and Get More From What You Have
- Table of Contents
- Quick Ways to Make Money
- Behaviors and Attitudes About Money
- Money Saving Basics
- Money Saving Techniques
- Ways to Save Money on Bills
- Destroying Your Debt
- Ways to Save Money on Food
- Saving Money on Entertainment
- Ways to Save Money on Clothing
- Ways to Save Money on Travel
- Other Ways to Save Money
- How to Make Extra Money
- Wrapping Up
Best Money Saving Tools
Before we get going, here’s a list of some of our favorite money saving tools mentioned throughout the piece:
- Personal Capital: Our top tool for saving money! This free financial software provides awesome financial tools that we’ve used for years. The best part: It’s totally FREE! We love it…and we think you will too. Just click the link for more details!
- Ebates: If you shop online, you need to be using Ebates. Sign up for their free account, click through their links, and get great deals at thousands of different stores. Plus, you’ll earn cash back while you shop! Tough to beat that, right? Click the link to sign up for your free account now!
- Bluehost: Looking to make some extra money through blogging? The most important thing you can do is to get a “self-hosted” site. Bluehost makes that possible…for just a few bucks a month. Their pricing is ridiculously low, which makes it awesome for starting and growing your new website! Click on our link to learn more.
- Wealthfront: At Wealthfront, you can manage your first $10,000 in retirement savings for free! With super low fees and top-of-the-line automated investing services, Wealthfront helps you set it and forget it! Click the link to learn more.
- Discover Bank: Looking for a better rate on your savings? It might be time to check out Discover Bank! With high interest rate saving accounts that are hard to beat, Discover Bank may be the key to making your money work for you. Follow the link for more details!
- SoFi: If you’re buried under student loan debt, it might benefit you to refinance. With great rates and top notch customer service, SoFi can help! Just click the link to learn more.
- Free Travel Advice: Don’t forget, we give out free travel rewards advice. Just follow the link, fill out the form, and we’ll help you plan the trip of your dreams…on a budget of course!
93 Ways to Save Money, Make Money, and Get More From What You Have
We’re covering a lot of ground in this piece, so here’s a table of contents to help you out. Start at the beginning or click the link to jump to the section of your choice!
Table of Contents
- Quick Ways to Make Money
- Behaviors and Attitudes about Money
- Money Saving Basics
- Money Saving Techniques
- Ways to Save Money on Bills
- Destroying Your Debt
- Ways to Save Money on Food
- Saving Money on Entertainment
- Ways to Save Money on Clothing
- Ways to Save Money on Travel
- Other Ways to Save Money
- How to Make Extra Money
Quick Ways to Make Money
First thing is first: Let’s get you off to a quick start. Here’s some low-hanging fruit that you can pick and put a little extra cash in your pocket immediately.
1. Consider online banking.
If you want to get more out of the money you already have, you need to make your money work for you. That means putting your money in accounts that give you the best interest rates. Generally speaking, online banks are able to provide higher interest rates, allowing the money you already have to do more heavy lifting. With online banking becoming ever more convenient, it is a great place to stash your cash and make extra money.
Some online banks will offer you a bonus for opening a new account, while others provide cash back on your transactions. If you’re looking for a great cash back bank, you might want to try Discover Bank. With a Discover Bank High Yield Savings Account, you’ll earn a 0.95% APY interest rate. Compare that to the 0.01% most brick and mortar banks are offering on savings accounts right now, and you can see the difference.
2. Snag free cash bonuses.
If you’re looking for ways to make money fast, look no further than credit card rewards. Sure, this isn’t a sustainable form of income, nor can you have it in your pocket next week. However, if you’re able to use credit responsibly, earning a sign up bonus is a great way to make a few extra bucks.
Finding the best bonuses for your situation takes a little time. Luckily, we’ve done the leg work for you. For a current list of the best credit card rewards offers, just follow the link. If you want a quick recommendation, the Chase Freedom® card is a great way to earn $150 fast. Just spend $500 in the first 3 months and you’re good to go! Plus, you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories (like gas, groceries, etc.) and 1% cash back on everything else. There’s also a 0% APR for the first 15 months and no annual fee to keep the card. You can learn more about the Chase Freedom® card by reading here.
Behaviors and Attitudes About Money
Now that you’ve got some extra cash in your hand, it’s time to really dig in. Saving money is hard without the right mindset. Changing these behaviors and attitudes can help you save more money over the long run.
3. Believe it is possible to change your situation.
In order to make your financial situation better, you first need to believe it’s possible to change it. When you’re deep in debt or living paycheck to paycheck, it can be hard to see there’s a way out. You have to keep the faith because you can do it. Countless people – and I know several – have worked their way out of tough financial straits to become very financially successful people. You can do it, but only if you believe in yourself.
4. Take responsibility.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fairy godmother who floated around handing out giant paychecks to everybody once a week? I’d love that. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. If you want to improve your financial situation, the only person who can make that change is you. You’ve got to be your own advocate. Nobody can do it for you. Take responsibility for your actions, and seize control of your situation. Trust me, it’s a wonderful feeling when you do.
5. Don’t be a victim.
Look, we aren’t all dealt the same hand. I get it. But, no matter your situation, everybody has obstacles to overcome. Everybody can make an excuse if they want to. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t blame your situation on outside events or others. Take responsibility, own it, and move forward. Successful people don’t dwell on their mistakes or blame other people. They assess the situation, learn from it, and vow to improve in the future.
6. Adopt a winning attitude.
One of the best ways to save money is to adopt a winning attitude. To win with money, you have to find the best in every situation. Sometimes experience is a brutal teacher, but take those lessons and put them to good use. Yeah, it sucks to lose a job, get crushed in the market, or get hit with an unexpected bill. But, what can you learn from that situation and how can you improve? Winners get knocked down all the time, but they find ways to improve and persevere.
7. Realize that there is enough for everybody.
Adopting an attitude of abundance means that you realize there’s enough to go around. You don’t need to hoard your money, nor do you need to be resentful of others who may be in a better off financially. An attitude of abundance helps you relax and it puts good vibes out into the universe. And, when you’re not desperately trying to force things to happen, opportunities tend to appear naturally on their own.
8. Commit to saving money.
To change your financial situation, you have to be committed to saving money. You can’t do it half-heartedly. Trying for 3 days (or 10, or 30, or 60) isn’t going to cut it. I could list 3,000 ways to save money, but you won’t get a thing out of it unless you really commit to making the change. Mastering your money is a marathon, not a sprint. There are no legitimate ways to get rich quick. But, by making the simple changes suggested here, you can start saving money and building wealth today. The sooner, the better!
9. Live below your means.
No matter your income, the most effective way to save money is to learn how to live below your means. Saving money is really a simple equation – spend less than you make and save the rest. Although the process is simple, its implementation is tough. But, once you master this skill, you’re well on your way to getting the most out of the dollars you already have.
10. Stop spending. Start living.™
Living below your means doesn’t mean you have to live like a pauper. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Once you learn how to live below your means, your money is freed up to enjoy life. Stop spending your money on things that don’t matter so that you can spend it on the things that do. Stop spending. Start living.™
11. Take action.
None of these attitudes and behaviors does any good unless you take action. To save more, make more, and get the most out of what you have, you have to take concrete steps to make your money work for you. Speaking of which…Stop spending on things that don't matter so that you can spend on the things that do. Click To Tweet
Money Saving Basics
To improve your finances, you need to take action. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
12. Know your net worth.
Your net worth is the most important financial number you can know. It provides a clear snapshot of what you own versus what you owe. Building wealth is a long-term project. The only way to see if you’re making clear progress is to understand where you’re starting from. You can find our complete guide to tracking your net worth by clicking here.
13. Track your spending.
Have you taken a look at your finances lately? Do you even know where your money is going? I sure didn’t…until I started tracking my spending. Once I did, I realized that I was spending over $1,000 a month on food! By tracking your spending, you’ll understand where the money you already earn is going each month. Start tracking it with a pen and paper, or you can try using a free online app like those suggested here. Regardless, just get started. The only way to control your money is to first know where it is going.
HOT TIP: You can track BOTH your net worth and your spending for FREE using Personal Capital! We’ve used it for years, and it’s our favorite money saving app of all time. Simply sign up for your free account, follow the prompts, and let Personal Capital start auto tracking your numbers like a boss. Click here to get your FREE financial tools at Personal Capital now!
14. Define your needs.
Now that you’ve started tracking your spending, you can start to make informed decisions. Look at all the money you’ve spent during the month, and decide which expenses are absolutely necessary. This would include money spent on housing, utilities, food (not restaurants), etc. Just because you “can’t live without cable” doesn’t make it a need. Define what you need, and move on.
15. Define Your Wants
Everything you don’t need is a “want.” This includes expenses like restaurants, entertainment, cell phones, computers, certain clothing purchases, etc. All of these items are optional expenses. Total them up to see how much disposable income you have each month.
16. Find ways to reduce your spending.
One of the best ways to save money is to search for opportunities to reduce your spending. By tracking your expenses, you know exactly which items are necessary and which items are optional. Examine your wants, and search for ways to cut items out of your budget. The more you cut, the more money you can save
17. Create a monthly budget.
A monthly budget is the most important tool you can use to get the most out of the money you already have. Simply put, a monthly budget is your plan for every dollar you’ll make and spend that month. It’s a roadmap for your monthly financial journey. By creating a plan and giving each dollar its own job, you are taking control of your money. When you tell your money what to do, it listens…and more of it seems to appear. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly start “finding” money that you never knew you had. For help starting your budget, read our complete guide to a budgeting here.
18. Rinse and repeat.
Congratulations! You’ve just made it through your first month on a budget and expense tracking plan. Now, do it all over again! Examine your expenses, determine your needs and wants, look for ways to eliminate your spending, and get to work on next month’s budget.
Money Saving Techniques
19. Make saving a priority.
If you want to save money, have to make it a priority. Consider and decide why you want to save more money in the first place. What motivates you? Is it saving for something you want (like a new car) or is it more of an emotional reason (like not wanting to struggle to pay your bills)? The stronger your “why,” the more motivated you’ll be to save. Find your why, then make saving money the most important thing you do each month.
20. Pay yourself first.
Once you’ve made the mental decision to make saving a priority, you need to flip the physical switch as well. It’s time to pay yourself first. Treat your savings like any other bill each month. In fact, make it your most important bill. Before you pay anything else, set aside money for savings and retirement. Pay yourself first.
21. Make saving money automatic.
One of the best strategies for paying yourself first is to make your savings automatic. This means having your savings automatically deducted from your paycheck and placed into a savings or retirement account. That way, it’s already stashed away before you get the chance to spend it. Once it’s there, you’re a lot less likely to pull it out and fritter it away.
This works especially well with retirement accounts. Employers with retirement plans almost always allow you to deduct contributions directly from your paycheck. If your paycheck is directly deposited, you can also have part of it deposited into a savings account. Take advantage of these options. Make it easy on yourself to save by automatically paying yourself first.
For those who are new to the “pay yourself first” concept, there’s a great book for beginners called “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach. This was the first personal finance book I ever read, and it really changed my life. The entire book is about how to save money, particularly for retirement, by automatically paying yourself first. It’s a quick read, and I highly recommend you check it out. You can find “The Automatic Millionaire” here.
22. Create a long-term financial plan.
Do you want to retire at 55? What sort of income streams will you have when you retire? How much money do you need each month in retirement? These are all questions to ask yourself now so that you have time to prepare.
It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have a plan. You wouldn’t head into the wilderness without a map or a compass would you? The same is true for your finances. Map out where you want to be in 5, 10, 20, and even 40 years from now. Knowing where you want to go is essential to knowing how to get there.
23. Save at least 10% for retirement.
If you participate in an employer sponsored retirement plan, you should be saving at least 10% of your income in retirement. Employers typically include about a 4% match, depending on the plan. That means you’re effectively saving about 14% of your income. If you want to retire early, or if you work for yourself, you’ll need to save considerably more to meet your savings goals.
24. At least meet the match.
If you do nothing else, join your company retirement plan and save enough to at least meet your employer;s match. Obviously, we want you to save considerably more than 3-4% of your income, but at least save enough to earn those matching funds. Your employer match is FREE MONEY, yo! It’s money your employer is giving you to help you save for retirement. All you have to do is be responsible and save a little bit first.
25. Save early.
The time to start saving for retirement was yesterday! Because of the wonders of compounding interest, the longer you save the more compound interest becomes your friend. For example, if you save $500 a month and earn a reasonable 8% rate of return, you’ll have about $778,000 in 30 years. In 35 years, you’d have about $1,200,000. You’d have almost $1,825,000. That’s more than a million dollar increase over the last 10 years and a 52% increase in just the last 5 years alone. The lesson: Save as early as you can, and keep saving for as long as you can take it.
26. Save often.
Saving as often as possible will help ensure that you don’t fritter away your savings. Rather than saving huge lump sums every 6 months, try adding to your savings on a monthly basis. Better yet, save money every week…or even every day if you can. At most, I’d make sure to set aside savings at least once a month – preferably from every paycheck.
27. Maintain an emergency fund.
Let’s face it, shit happens. Cars die, water heaters break, and furnaces need repairs. When these thing happen, and they will, they can totally blow your savings goals. You already know it will happen, so get prepared. Create and maintain an emergency fund for these situations. Whenever you hit a bump in the road, just dip into your emergency fund to right the ship. I’ve used mine several times over the last year, and it is a big time budget saver.
28. Set individual savings goals.
In addition to saving for retirement (and your emergency fund), one of the best ways to save money is to set individual savings goals for big-ticket items. Set money aside that’s specifically earmarked for these purchases. You can even create separate accounts for your vacation fund, new car fund, or your furniture fund. Create those goals and use them to save above and beyond your regular savings.
29. Save more than you ever thought you could.
Do you want to supercharge your savings? Set your sights high and try saving more than you think you can. Instead of saving just 10% of your income, shoot for 20-30%. Better yet, learn how to live on half your income and become a super saver. By living well below your means (see #9), you can quickly kick your savings into high gear and build a huge nest egg. When you have money saved, you have more options…and that’s what financial freedom is all about!
30. Work the budget and invest the rest.
Now that you’ve got a rockstar budget, go back and see if you can do better. Look for savings gaps and spending leaks. Work that budget as hard as you can. When you find extra money floating around, invest that skrilla and look toward the future. Onward ho!
31. Track your progress.
When you do something long enough, things get tedious. Even for super savers like me, saving money can get boring. That’s one more reason to track your progress. You need little wins every once in a while. By watching your net worth grow (see #12), you’ll get the chance to pop the champagne and celebrate every once in a while. Plus, you’ll be able to tell if all of these awesome changes are getting you where you want to go.
Ways to Save Money on Bills
Want specific ways to save money on bills? Here you go!
32. Automate your bills.
Many companies will give you a discount if you agree to make automatic payments. Additionally, you should never miss another payment and incur a late fee. Automate your bills and stash that discount away in your savings.
33. Actively seek ways to cut your spending.
Nobody is going to save money for you. You need to take action and do it yourself. Every few months, go back through your expense tracking sheets and look for ways to cut out the waste. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for new discounts and promotions. Don’t get complacent with the bills you have. Always look for a better deal.
34. Ask for discounts.
Usually, when you want something, you have to ask for it. Again, most companies aren’t going to give you a discount just for being you. However, if you ask, you might find they offer discounts for making your payments on time. Or, you can just flat-out ask for a rate reduction because you’ve been so loyal. The worst they can say is no.
35. Threaten to leave…and mean it.
When a company jacks up your rates, the best thing you can do is ask them for a discount. If not, threaten to leave…and mean it. There are plenty of other companies who would love to do business with you. Plus, your current provider probably spent a lot of money to secure you as a customer. They’d rather not see you go. Ask them to reduce your rate, threaten to leave, and then do so if they won’t.
36. Cut the cord to cable.
Speaking of leaving, one of the best ways to save money each month is to ditch your cable company. Gone are the days where cable TV is your only option. New technologies and streaming services can help you cut your cable bill by thousands each year. Read all about how you can do it here.
37. Use a discount cell phone provider.
Speaking of old habits dying hard, you can also save thousands of dollars each year by switching cell phone companies. The big dogs no longer have a monopoly on good cell phone service. You can leverage new technologies and discount providers to get high quality cell phone service. Heck, you can even get a rad smartphone. Two of our favorite companies are Ting and Republic Wireless. Just click the links to learn more about them.
38. Turn down the heat.
One of the simplest ways to save money is to turn down the heat. When it’s cold outside, you don’t need to crank the heat to 75 just to stay warm. Throw on a pair of slippers, cover up with a blanket, and watch the savings roll in.
39. Open the windows.
In the summertime, nature provides a great way to cool off your house. It’s called a breeze, and you can take advantage of it by opening up your windows. Just crack those babies open, enjoy the fresh air, and save money on your electric bill. If you want to get really wild, create an awesome draft by opening a door or using a fan! Now that’s some serious savings!
40. Question everything.
At least once a year, take a look at everything you spend money on and question it. Do you need it? Can you find it cheaper? Is there a better option? This includes entertainment, insurance plans, investment programs – everything you have. Question it, shop around, and find more ways to save money!
Destroying Your Debt
When you’re looking for ways to save money, you’ve got to start by destroying your debt. Here’s why.
41. Understand why debt blows.
If your income is the best way to increase your wealth, owing money is the best way to kill your savings rate. When you’re in debt, part of every paycheck belongs to somebody else. Imagine if all that money was yours to keep. How much could you save? Understand what your debt is doing to your savings, how it is affecting your life. Then, set out to destroy it.
42. Adjust your attitude.
In 2015, the average American who is in debt owes almost $130,00. American’s with car loans owe an average of $26,530. Those who carry credit card debt have an average balance of $15,355. That is what “normal” looks like…and normal is insane.
Debt is not the ticket to getting what you want. It is what’s holding you back from true financial freedom. Stop being normal. Be weird. Destroy that debt.
43. Pay in cash.
As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it. Don’t have enough cash to buy that car? You can’t afford it. Need a personal loan to complete a home remodel? You can’t afford it. Need to use credit cards to fund your Christmas spending? You. Can’t. Afford. It.
There are two exceptions to this rule: Securing a mortgage for a house and getting student loans for an education. Even then, be careful. Just because they’ll let you borrow all that money doesn’t mean you can afford it.
44. Determine how much debt you have.
Destroying your debt starts with knowing how much you owe. Dig out every credit card bill, every home loan, and every financing agreement you have. Figure out where you stand. The number may be shocking. It might even be painful. Use that to really understand what you owe. Then, get to work paying it off.
45. Don’t accumulate more debt.
Now that you know how deep your debt crater is, stop digging! If you ever want to get out of this mess, you need to promise yourself not to accumulate any more debt.
46. Get on a budget, STAT!
Have I mentioned that getting on a budget is a great way to save (see #17)? Yep, when you’re in debt, a budget is your best friend. It’s the tool that will provide you the roadmap to the debt-free life you desire. If you really want to save money, you need to learn how to budget.
47. Use the snowball method.
You know why debt blows. You’re determined to get rid of it. You’ve prepared a budget. But how do you pay off your debt faster? Try using the snowball method.
Put all of your debts in order from smallest to largest. Start by throwing any extra money you have toward paying off the smallest debt first. Once you’ve crushed that, take that money and move it to the next smallest. Like rolling a snowball, the size of your debt repayments continues to build until you’re throwing huge chunks down on your largest debt.
Auto loans, credit cards, student loans – get rid of them fast! Use this method to do it.
48. Move high-interest credit card debt to a 0% APR card.
If you’ve got high-interest credit card debt, it would probably benefit you to move them to a balance transfer card with a 0% APR. That’s what I did with my credit card debt. I used the money I saved on interest payments to knock those debts out at lightning speed.
Our favorite balance transfer card is the Chase Slate®. There’s an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers (and purchases) for 15 months, plenty of time for you to work the snowball method like a champ. Plus, unlike other balance transfer cards, there is no balance transfer fee. So, you really do get to use the 0% interest rate for free – provided you pay it off in 15 months.
Just remember, if you use this method, don’t accumulate more debt. The goal is to pay it off, not owe more. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the Chase Slate card here.
49. Refinance your mortgage.
Refinancing your mortgage can be one of the quickest ways to save money. If you’re currently locked in at a high interest rate, you should definitely consider this option. Knocking off a point or more in interest could help you lower your monthly payment, save thousands of dollars in interest, or both.
In the past, we’ve used Quicken Loans to refinance the mortgage on both our personal residence and a rental house. Their new “Rocket Mortgage” makes the process even more painless. Now, you can complete the entire process online and have an approval in just a few minutes. I’d definitely recommend checking them out. Learn more about Quicken Loans here.
50. Refinance your student loans.
Speaking of refinancing, you may want to consider refinancing your student loans as well. Student loan debt can be a huge budget buster, especially if you’re locked in with high interest rates. By refinancing your student loans, you could potentially lower your monthly payments and save thousands over the life of your loan. We’ve compared some of the best student loan refinancing rates here.
Student loan refinancing can be a bit tricky, though. Before you take the plunge, particularly with federally funded loans, make sure you aren’t eligible for any special government repayment or loan forgiveness programs. If you’re wondering if student loan refinancing is right for you, you can read more about it here.
51. Change your habits.
As you’ve worked your way out of debt, chances are good that you’ve already changed your spending habits. Once you’ve completely destroyed your debt, it’s important that you solidify those changes. Don’t go back to your old habits of financing and overspending. Keep debt out of your life for good and save the difference.
Ways to Save Money on Food
One of the biggest black holes in our budget used to be meals. Before we got out of debt, we were practically eating all of our savings to death! Here are some great ways to save money on food.
52. Learn to cook and eat at home.
If you’re not careful, eating out can cost you a small fortune each month. I know, because that is where most of our flexible income used to go. Not only do you have to worry about the price of the meal. There’s also the tip, drinks, and more.
Once we realized that we were spending close to $1,000 a month on food, we immediately made the switch to eating at home. By learning to cook and eating in, you can stash that money away and provide an immediate boost to your savings!
53. Brown bag it to work.
Grabbing lunch to during the work day is habitual for a lot of people. But, those quick lunches could be costing you big time. Let’s assume you spend just $10 a day on lunch, plus $1 for a drink. That’s $400 a month. If you stopped eating out for lunch, you could save enough for a vacation in just a few months.
That’s real money player, and you could save it just by bringing your own lunch to work! What would you do with an extra $400 a month?
54. Eat leftovers once a week.
One night a week, try eating leftovers for dinner. Not only will this give you the night off from cooking, it will save you money as well. Eat what you have and save. How simple is that?
55. Try breakfast for dinner.
OMG! I love me some breakfast for dinner! Eggs, pancakes, french toast – it doesn’t matter. Having breakfast for dinner isn’t just delicious, it’s one of the best ways to save money on food.
Don’t like breakfast for dinner (you’re wrong, FYI)? Try serving something else that is cheap one night a week. Find a cheap dish you like, and have at it. When a meal is cheap, it makes it all the more tasty!
56. Shop for sales.
When you’re at the grocery store, don’t just buy products based on their brand name. Shop for sales and save yo’self some dough! Instead of sticking with Kellogg’s, try the General Mills brand that’s on sale instead. Better yet, go generic. These days, store brands taste just as good as their brand name counterparts.
57. Double up with coupons.
If you really want to save money at the grocery store, combine sale items with a store or manufacturer’s coupon. You don’t have to go full-on extreme couponing. Just grab the savings where you can and stash it away to use later.
58. Plan meals ahead of time.
Saving money on food is a lot easier when you plan your meals in advance. Before you go shopping, browse the weekly ads and look for coupons. Plan your meals around the sale items, be flexible with your plan once you’re there, and you’ll cut your grocery bill down in no time.
Meal planning systems, like the $5 Meal Plan, can save you a lot of time and money. For just $5 a month, you can get an entire month’s worth of meal ideas that will save you the headache of searching for recipes. Plus, most meals cost just $2 a person or less. If you want to save time and money on your meal planning, they are definitely worth checking out.
59. Go meatless once a week.
Want more ways to save money on meals? Try going meatless once a week. Buying meat can be expensive and really increase the size of your grocery bill. Besides that, most of us eat too much meat as it is. Instead of basing every meal around the meat, go vegetarian one night a week. You’re sure to discover new foods you didn’t even know you liked, and you’ll save money doing it.
60. Use restaurant coupons.
When you do go out to eat, make sure to use coupons. Heck, when we go out to eat, we plan where we’re going based on the available coupons. Just because it’s a special event doesn’t mean you can’t save money either. We’ve even been known to use coupons for birthday and anniversary dinners! It might sound lame to you, but we’re laughing all the way to the bank!
Saving Money on Entertainment
Everybody loves to have a good time. Even if you’re paying off debt, you need to let loose every once in a while. Here are a few ways to save money on entertainment.
61. Don’t let others spend your money.
First of all, there are a lot of people who love to spend other people’s money. They’ll invite you to expensive events, ask you to buy expensive clothes and items to prepare for them, and then ask you to do it all over again next weekend. Don’t let them. Remember, you’ve made a change to be weird and save money. They’re the normos who are $15K in credit card debt.
Sometimes, you just have to say no. Explain what you’re doing and why. Don’t let them guilt-trip you into spending on what they want. Stand firm. The people who care about you will understand. You might even inspire some of them to join your new journey!
62. He who has the most toys doesn’t win.
We spend far too much time working our butts off to buy stuff we don’t need (and can’t afford) to impress people we don’t even like. Somebody will always have more. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. You’ll never win.
63. Save money on nights out.
When I was younger, I spent countless thousands of dollars at clubs and bars…and what did I get for it? A headache and a case of the runs.
It’s easy to spend a couple hundred dollars each weekend on entertainment. But, that frivolous spending is keeping you from being able to afford doing the things you really want. Eliminate it, and save money.
64. Invite friends over for a night in.
Rather than going out, invite your friends over for a night in instead. Turn on some Pandora, have a few drinks, and enjoy each other’s company. Play some cards or have a game night. Staying home can be a blast! Plus, you’ll actually get to hear each other when you talk.
65. Hit a matinée.
Still want to do dinner and a movie? How about lunch and a matinée instead? I love going to the movies, and seeing a matinée is an easy way to save. Prices are generally several dollar cheaper, so you can still see the show at a pretty steep discount.
66. Rent a movie.
Better yet, rent a movie and save even more. Now, you don’t even have to go to the video store. Just use your Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription to watch great movies on a dime.
67. Cut back on expensive hobbies.
If you’re really looking for ways to save money, cutting back on some of your most expensive hobbies can be a game changer. Look, I like golfing as much as the next guy; but, if I’m trying to get out of debt or save for a huge goal, I’ve got to cut out the most expensive hobbies. Maybe you love shopping or perhaps going to concerts is more your thing. Find out which expensive hobbies are costing you your dreams and get rid of them…at least for now.
68. Budget for it.
All of this isn’t to say that you can never have any fun. The best thing you can do with your fun money is to schedule it in your budget. If you budget it in, you’re being deliberate with your money. You’re not committing random acts of spending. Save on the things you don’t want so that you can spend on the things that you do. Stop spending. Start living.
Ways to Save Money on Clothing
Shopping for clothes is an addiction that many of us can’t kick. Here are a few ways you can save.
69. Don’t buy into the fashion game.
Ah, fashion…it’s such a shell game. Designers are constantly changing what is “in” and creating cool new trends for one reason only: To move more product. Don’t fall for the trap. You’ll spend thousands trying to keep up with this season’s new trends. Plus, they’re going to change in about 3 months. It’s a hamster wheel you’ll never be able to get off. Just say “no” to the fashion game.
70. Shop at garage sales.
Garage sales and consignment shops are a great place to find fashionable clothing at a huge discount. Why pay $40 for this season’s look when you can pay $1 on last season’s fashion and still look great? Garage sales are also a great place to find kids clothing, used furniture, and kid’s toys. Some places are hit and miss. Others are a gold mine.
71. Save on kids items.
Speaking of kids, don’t go out and blow your entire paycheck on kids clothing and toys. First of all, they don’t care what they wear or play with. They’ll be happy with anything you give them. Second, kids are hard on clothes and they grow out of things quickly. Save your money, buy used, and let somebody else take the sticker price hit instead.
Ways to Save Money on Travel
Traveling can be really expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you know a few simple tricks. Here are some of our favorite ways to save money on travel.
72. Use credit card rewards.
Using credit card rewards is by far the best way to save money when traveling. We’ve used points and miles to take more than 20 domestic and international trips over the past 21 months…and for just pennies on the dollar. You can find our current list of the best travel credit cards here.
73. Travel at off-peak times.
One of the best ways to save money on flights and hotels is to travel during off-peak times. By traveling during the “slow” season, you can save up to 50% (or more) on some flights and hotel stays. For Europe, this means traveling between November and March. If you want to travel to the Caribbean, try May through November.
74. Pick the cheapest days to fly.
Just like traveling off-peak, certain days of the week are cheaper to fly. Generally speaking, Tuesday and Wednesday flights can save you a ton of money. Also, try flying out first thing in the morning!
75. Don’t commit to just one points program.
Be flexible with your favorite travel brands. You don’t necessarily want to commit to a single points program because they don’t always have the best deals, especially if you’re traveling on credit card rewards. Drop the brand loyalty and save money.
76. Set a travel budget…and stick to it.
Setting a budget while you’re on vacation can be difficult. Sticking to that budget can be even tougher. However, if you want to save money you’ve to to stay strong! Doing so could allow you to take two trips a year (or three or four!) instead of just one.
77. Drive when possible.
Flying to a destination, especially when you’re traveling with kids, can get expensive fast. If you have the option, try driving instead. For the cost of gas, you can reach your destination with some cash still in hand. Use that savings to enjoy your stay…or book another trip.
78. Fly coach.
79. Go to expensive destinations but book cheap hotels.
One of our favorite ways to save money on travel is to go to awesome locations but book cheap rooms! Why book a ridiculously nice room in Rome or Rio when you can stay for much cheaper. You’re traveling there to see the world…so get out of your room and do it!
80. Don’t eat at the airport.
Airport food is expensive and (usually) not very good. Pack some snacks, save some money, and don’t eat at the airport.
81. Buy a city pass.
If you’re traveling to a large city with tons of tourist attractions, try using a city pass to save money. These passes can help you get discounted admission to some of the city’s best sites, plus it may give you a few ideas of places you didn’t know you wanted to see. Additionally, these passes can usually save you a lot of time by giving you “skip the line” access. Some of our favorites include the New York Pass, London Pass, Paris Pass, Omnia Vatican & Rome Pass, Las Vegas Pass, Dublin Pass, and the Berlin Pass.
82. Visit the welcome center.
Another great way to save money when traveling is to visit the welcome center. There, you’ll be able to find information about area attractions, entertainment, and restaurants. More importantly, they usually have a bunch of coupons you can use for discounts all around the area.
83. Get the Southwest Companion Pass.
Earning the Southwest Companion Pass allows you a companion to fly with you for free on any Southwest flight you book with cash or points. We’ve used it to fly all across the US and the Caribbean – including flying our kids to Jamaica. Of course, earning it takes a little work. You can learn all about how to get it here!
Other Ways to Save Money
Need some more ways to save money? Here are a few more random ways to save!
84. Try “no spend” days.
Every few weeks, try having a “no spend” day. A no spend day is exactly what it sounds like – a day where you don’t spend any money. If you really want to get cray cray, challenge yourself with a no spend week!
85. Do your own taxes.
Using an accountant to do your taxes can get really expensive. With modern tax prep programs, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t do your taxes yourself. You can even start your taxes FREE with TurboTax Online Federal Free Edition. Start off free and upgrade as needed.
These programs are cheap, easy to use, and will save you a ton of money. Your taxes aren’t that complicated. I do my own and have for years.
86. Use a discount broker.
Don’t let your retirement savings get gobbled up by high fees. Use a discount online broker instead. There are several online brokers with a great reputation that can save you huge money by charging fees that are far less than typical brokerage houses. The best part is that a lot of them make saving for retirement completely automatic. Learn more about our favorite online brokers for beginners here.
How to Make Extra Money
It’s a lot easier to save when you have some extra cash in your pocket. Here are a few ways to make extra money.
87. Start a blog.
Blogging is a great way to have fun and make some extra cash on the side. We started this blog as a hobby, and now working on the internet is our full-time job. This isn’t a get rich quick idea, though. It takes some time and effort. But, if you want to try it out, you should get started with your own self-hosted website. Check out our step-by-step guide to starting a blog here!
88. Take surveys.
Did you know that you can make money just for taking some surveys? Yep, people will actually pay you to give an opinion! How cool is that? Use these links to start making money fight away at Harris Polls, Opinion Outpost, and Digital Voice.
89. Learn a new skill.
The more skills you have, the more potential you have to make money. Take a class in your field, learn some new skills, and increase your marketability.
90. Ask for a raise.
Simple, right? If you want a raise, ask for it. The worst they can say is no.
91. Start a side job.
Starting a side job is one of my favorite ways to save money. This is money that you typically don’t count on, so it’s all gravy. Paint houses, cut grass, be a professional cuddler (yep, that’s a thing). Just do something to make extra money. If you work hard enough, it could actually become your full-time job.
92. Make yourself indispensable.
Want to earn more money at your job? Make yourself indispensable. Kick so much ass, that your boss couldn’t possibly want to get rid of you. Then, try #90.
93. Do things others won’t.
If you really want to get ahead, you need to be willing to do things that others won’t. Get up at 5 AM to work on your side gig. Take jobs that others won’t touch. Work until its time for bed. Then do it all over again.
This doesn’t just work for making more. It works for saving as well. Save until it hurts, say no to debt, and stick to your budget. When you do things others won’t, you’ll find success that others won’t either.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 93 Ways to Save Money, Make Money, and Get the Most of What You Have! Use these tips in your own financial life, and you’ll notice a difference in no time. Good luck!