Are you trying to achieve financial independence but struggling to do so? When you have a limited income or are working on a strict budget, saving money may seem impossible. But it doesn’t have to be! Turn your financial situation around with these creative ways to save money.
Creative Ways To Save Without Spending Money
Sometimes, a piggy bank with spare change isn’t enough when you’re trying to get by on a tight budget. Check out these creative ways you can start saving money now!
Try a Money Saving Challenge
Gamify your saving experience and attempt some money-saving challenges. When you’ve completed a challenge, you can also give yourself rewards for reaching savings goals. For example, perhaps you can set enough money aside to go on a dream vacation or buy a new car!
A popular money-saving challenge is to apply the 30-day rule to control your spending. The 30-day rule suggests you wait at least one month or 30 days before making any out-of-the-ordinary purchases. For example, say you were at the store and saw an item of clothing that looked appealing. Instead of purchasing the item right away, give yourself 30 days to think about it. If you decide you still want the item after that time, go back and get it! With this rule, you may often find that you decide you don’t need an item, or you forget about it altogether!
You may also try a no-spend challenge or a six-month savings challenge. With this kind of challenge, you would create a budget for your necessary expenses. Include expenses like monthly bills and other things you regularly purchase like groceries. Once you have your own budget set, do everything possible to only make purchases included in that budget.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes making simple lifestyle changes can be enough to put some extra money in your pocket. Some easy things you can do now to save money are:
- Instead of going to a coffee shop every morning, make your own coffee at home.
- Plan meals and eat at home instead of ordering takeout every day. Meal planning can not only help you save money, but you may find yourself eating healthier!
- Make an effort to look for sales and discounts when grocery shopping for your meal plan; you can often find organic produce on sale.
- Create your own greeting cards for birthdays and holidays.
- Make your own cleaning supplies.
- Instead of going to a pricey salon, cut your own hair or go to a student salon and get the same style at a considerable discount.
Review Your Subscriptions
Take a look at your monthly subscriptions and start making cuts. Cut subscriptions and memberships you don’t often use so you don’t feel like you are limiting yourself. Think about the memberships and streaming services you actually use regularly. If you find yourself using your gym membership more than your cable tv, maybe cancel the cable subscription and keep your gym access.
Avoid Credit Cards
Credit card debt is one of America’s most common forms of debt. Cards, unfortunately, make it extremely easy to impulsively shop online and spend money frivolously. If you carry a large balance, interest rates may cause your monthly payment to become unmanageable. Those who typically carry cash instead of using a credit card often find themselves spending significantly less money.
To keep your credit score intact, keep your card unused in your wallet instead of canceling your account, but only if you can avoid the temptation!
Find Free Events
When trying to save money, you may feel like you aren’t able to do anything or go anywhere. But this simply isn’t the case! You may find many free activities at your local library, community center, or public parks. Free events allow you to spend quality time with a friend or family member without breaking the bank on admission fees or restaurant bills.
Find Free Alternatives
Look for free alternatives when you can and avoid spending unnecessary money. For example, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on Microsoft Office every year, use the free Google alternative. Google docs, Google slides, and Google sheets are just as effective as Word Docs, Powerpoint slides, or Excel spreadsheets!
A tried and true way to save money is to use coupons. Grocery stores, clothing stores, and just about every other store have available coupons people can use. You may find that some stores offer better deals than others. Before you go food shopping, review your grocery list and see which stores offer coupons or sales on items you need. If you consistently use coupons at places, you regularly shop, saving a few dollars here and there will add up quickly.
Take a look at your current loans and consider refinancing. If you have several loans out, you may be spending more money by paying each off separately. By refinancing, you can make one convenient monthly payment and save some money for your bank account in the process. Some expenses you may consider refinancing are:
- Student loans
- Online payday loan
- Medical bills
- Credit card debt
Top Tips for Saving Money
If you are new to finances or just looking for a refresher on the basics, here are some common money-saving tips you may find helpful.
Automate Your Savings
Put your savings on autopilot and set up recurring installments into a savings account. Many banks offer a free service where a small amount of money, around $25, is transferred from your checking account into your savings account on the first of each month. Often, you will not even notice these small transfers, but they can make a big difference over time!
Pay Your Bills on Time
Avoid late fees and a potential decline in your credit score by paying your monthly bills and expenses on time. Having a positive payment history may also help you out in the future if you are ever looking for a loan or other financial assistance.
Have an Emergency Fund
Try to keep some extra funding in an emergency fund for difficult times. If you find yourself going through a financial crisis, you may have enough in your emergency fund to cover your expenses. That way, you won’t have to take out a payday loan or other unreliable form of quick cash.
Organize Your Finances
Organizing your finances is a key component to saving money, especially if you don’t have a lot of income to work with. To budget money on a low income and save more, start by making a list of all your monthly expenses. Some items you may include in your monthly budget are:
- Car insurance
- Car payments
- Electric bill
- Gas costs
- Heating bills
- Grocery bill
- Energy costs
Seeing all the payments you are responsible for organized in a budget can help you better understand where your money needs to go. From there, you’ll know how much extra cash you should have leftover after your budget is taken care of. Try to put anything left over right into your savings!
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Take some time to think about your spending habits, and if there are any improvements you can make. If you are constantly stressed about money, you may find yourself impulse shopping in an attempt to make yourself feel better. But if you want to save money, it is important to stop impulse buying. To stop spending money impulsively, you can:
- Stop using credit cards; you may find that sticking to cash helps you make fewer impulse purchases.
- Use the 30-day rule before buying clothes or other items you may not immediately need.
- Create a budget and stick to it. Maybe have an incentive to motivate yourself during times of temptation.
How To Earn Extra Money For Your Savings Account
You may reach your financial goals quicker if you earn money in tandem with saving money. Below are a few easy ways to earn additional income for your savings account.
Invest or Get Passive Income
Easily money by getting a passive stream of income. By investing in the stock market or going into the real estate business, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars or more by working little to no hours! However, before you invest or purchase property, speak with a financial consultant to ensure you are making smart decisions.
Get a Side Gig or Side Hustle
Getting a temporary job or side hustle can also help you save money and achieve financial success. There are many part-time jobs you can work from home or that don’t require heaving training or schooling. A few side jobs you may consider are:
- Freelance work
- Babysitting, house sitting, or pet sitting
- Virtual assistant
- Cashier (Pro tip: become a cashier at a store you frequently shop at and take advantage of an employee discount!)
Declutter and Sell Unwanted Items
Go through your home and set aside items you no longer use. You almost certainly will find clothes that aren’t in your regular wardrobe anymore, appliances you have upgraded or replaced, or other possessions you don’t really care about anymore. You can sell those items online or at a garage sale to earn some extra cash!