Saving money is more than clipping coupons and opening a savings account. There are hundreds of hacks that can help you to squeeze a couple more dollars out of your earnings. Here are some of our favorite and most creative ways to save money.
Some require a lifestyle change, and some are so easy that you are going to wonder why you haven’t been doing them all along.
1. Actually Sit Down And Make A Budget (Like, Now)
It’s a classic piece of advice, but it is also one of the most effective ways for you to keep your savings account from springing a leak. Take an afternoon to yourself and really work on making a budget that works with your lifestyle. Then do whatever you have to do to stick with it.
2. The More Free Stuff You Can Get The Better
When you are trying to save money, no dollar amount is quite as attractive as free. A unique way to get free stuff is to join Shopper’s Voice®, an online survey that lets you earn samples, coupons and free items. Whatever free samples come your way that substitute you buying something means more savings in the bank.
Luckily, they’re accepting new applicants right now. You don’t want to miss this.
3. Do This Instead Of Buying Lottery Tickets
Let’s face it: lottery tickets are a waste of money. And yet Americans spend $73 billion dollars on lottery tickets per year. Hoping to change this habit, the Long Game Savings app wants to help you take the money you would spend on lottery tickets and put it toward your savings.
By keeping to your savings goals set on the Long Game app, you earn points which are used to play lottery style games (think spin the wheel and Powerball). Rewards for the games even include cold-hard cash (up to $1,000,000). And did we mention that users also get .1% interest on their savings account?
Just download the app, link your bank account, and open your own FDIC insured Long Game savings account to start saving and playing lottery games. You’ll even get 300 free bonus Coins plus up to 3,000 free bonus Coins when you make your first deposit. It’s like playing the lottery without any of the waste. Your wallet will thank you.
4. Let Students Cut Your Hair
When did cutting your hair become so expensive? You can cut the price of your haircut in half if you opt for a hair stylist trainee, though. Maybe don’t let the trainee handle your dyes and highlights, but a basic trim is a perfectly safe chance to take with a cheap trainee.
5. Cut Back Dramatically On Your Food Budget
While food coupons are an excellent money saver, they can be difficult to actually remember to use. With the online coupon app Ibotta, you can easily access all your coupons in one place without having to clip them from a coupon book (win)!
Simply sign-up for Ibotta and browse the app for the coupons that make the most sense for you. Then, just go to the store and buy those items, making sure to save your receipt. That’s when you’re going to want to scan your receipt with the Ibotta app so you can get cash back within 48 hours.
The average Ibotta user saves $240 a year, so this is definitely worth your time.
6. Stop Buying Your Lunch Once And For All
Spending money on a $10 dollar salad every day may be good for your health, but it’s certainly not good for your wallet. You can make equally good salads, burrito bowls, and overnight oats yourself, at home, that are just as good for your health and will be markedly better for your wallet. Think about it: $10 a day for 365 days a year adds up a staggering $3,650 a year. That’s a massive amount of money.
7. Say Good-Bye To Bank Fees. Forever.
Sometimes it can feel like your bank is out to get you with all the overdraft and service fees they tack on.
If you’re sick and tired of paying banking fees (and who isn’t), you need to try out Chime the mobile bank which guarantees it will never charge its customers a single fee. Say good-bye to overdraft fees, minimum balance fees, service fees, foreign transaction fees, and transfer fees forever when you move banks.
Another huge benefit of Chime is that it allows you to receive your paycheck a full two days early. For those times when you are in need of extra money in a pinch those two days can make all the difference.
8. Negotiate Down Your Biggest Monthly Bills
We are here to let you in on a little secret: you are probably wasting money on your cable bill. The dirty little secret cable operators don’t want you to know is that these bills can be negotiated.
Billshark, backed by Mark Cuban,wants to make it as easy as possible for you to lower your outrageously high monthly bills. Using their website or app, Billshark users take pictures of their bills, upload them, send the photos to Billshark who will then take on negotiating them down (you can also connect your accounts to Billshark directly). They are able to work mostly on wireless internet, cable TV, home security, satellite TV, and satellite radio bills.
The company wants to lower your bills by as much as 25%, and they have an 85% rate success rate (they’ve saved people a whopping $15 million since 2017 and have a 4.9/5 rating on Google). It is free to sign up, too (you only pay if they save you money on your bills).
9. Only Save In A High Yield Savings Account
It’s always a good thing to be saving money, but if you are saving it in a low yield savings account (say, one with a .01% APY which is what most of the big banks offer) you are making a big mistake with your money. The CIT Bank High Yield Savings Account is one of the best on the market in which you’ll earn 1.55% APY on all balances. Accounts are FDIC insured, and there are no fees to open or maintain an account.
If you aren’t saving in a high yield savings account you are pretty much throwing money away.
Get started with CIT Bank–you need to make just a $100 deposit to get started.
10. Take Control of Your Credit Score (And Save Money In The Process)
From higher interest rates on loans to being unable to rent an apartment, a bad credit score can cost you a lot. Working to maintain a good credit score goes a long way in saving you money, and the place to start is actually monitoring your credit score.
Want to find out your credit score before it’s too late? Sign-up for Credit Sesame and find out your credit score immediately. It only takes 30 seconds! Credit Sesame will start monitoring your credit score for you so there are no more surprises! It is 100% free to join so you have nothing to lose!
Sign-up for Credit Sesame today and get ahead of any potential problems by knowing your score.
11. Start A DIY Investment Portfolio
It’s impossible to get ahead financially just by saving, and because of that it’s critical to start investing your money in order to grow it. With Stash you can start investing in the stock market with just $5. Stash allows you to buy a fraction of a stock or an ETF instead of having to invest in a whole share.
Starting with $5, you can work with Stash to build an investment portfolio that reflects your interests, beliefs, and goals. By investing just $5 a week, and assuming your portfolio grows by an average of 5% per year (a pretty modest growth rate), your portfolio will be worth a staggering $17,274 in 30 years.
Get a free $5 when you open a Stash Account and have a brokerage account approved!
12. Cut Out All Of The Subscriptions You Are No Longer Using
Life gets busy and sometimes we forget that we are still paying for that monthly subscription to Reader’s Digest that we never read (or a gym membership, or a streaming service we never use). The AI automated app Trim tracks down all of your subscriptions for you so that all you have to do is select which ones to cancel to start saving.
Think about it–even if you are able to weed out just one subscription you are paying for monthly you could save upwards of $100 a year. That’s $100 that you could be using to build up your emergency fund.
13. Eat Out One Less Time A Week
No matter if it’s takeout or eating a meal in a cute neighborhood restaurant, eating out is a pricey luxury that needs to be managed. Do this simple experiment: Cut out one meal a week from your routine (yes, takeout counts). Just the savings from that will start to add up in a big way over time.
14. Take Fancy But Most Importantly Free Fitness Classes
Whether it’s spin, pilates, or yoga, fitness classes are an excellent, but very expensive method of getting fit. Thankfully, most fitness studios offer discounted or free classes for first time visitors. If you take the time to source them out, you will have a pretty robust list of free fitness classes to take advantage of.
15. Shop Out of Season
It can be a little hard to get your head around at first, but the savings once you do are huge: make a point of shopping out of season. Buy Christmas decorations in late December, that’s when the prices are too good to be believed. Buy a winter coat in spring, just as the temperatures are warming up. The best time to buy a swimsuit is at the tail of summer: August.
16. Do A Better Job Of Keeping Track Of Your Bills
One the easiest (and worst) ways to waste money is to lose track of where your money is going. Staying on top of your bills, though, can be full time job.
Enter Truebill, which will automatically pull together every bill that you are paying for by analyzing your bank account and credit cards, so you can easily keep track of things in one place. Notice a subscription you are paying too much for? Truebill will cancel it for you. What about a cable bill that has been steadily increasing over the last few years? They will take on negotiating it down for you.
Knowing where your money is going and then reacting will add up to big savings over time!
17. Make Buying In Bulk Your Thing
It may not seem intuitive, but the more of an item that you buy, the less you are going to end up paying in the long run. Get yourself a Costco membership, or a membership to another wholesaler, and take advantage of buying in bulk. Live in a small space? Partner up with a few friends to go in on buying bulk toilet paper, chips, and more to reap these savings.
18. As A Rule Don’t Emotional Shop
Breakups are tough… and so is the bill at the end of an emotional shopping day. Instead of grabbing your wallet at the end of a bad day, grab a bar of soap and take a bath to decompress rather than max out your credit card. And yes, this tip is for both men and women.
19. Master The 10-Second Rule
This is the ultimate savings hack, but every time you are about to purchase something pause for 10-seconds and really think about whether you need something. Just these 10-seconds will help cut back on the worst kind of impulse shopping.
20. Walk, Bike, Carpool
Try and choose the transportation method that is going to cost you the least amount of money. If you live close to work, opt to walk or bike rather than taking your car and spending gas money. If that’s not an option, why not carpool with some co-workers. The savings will start to add up almost immediately.
21. Get Money Back Wherever You Shop Online
If you aren’t getting cash back every time you shop, we are here to tell you that you are doing something wrong, very wrong.
Here’s how to make sure you never make this mistake: Simply sign-up for Ebates, and then visit your favorite stores from Amazon to Nordstrom, via Ebates (this step is key). When you then buy something Ebates will then be able to process your cash back.
Of note: Every retailer available on Ebates offers a different amount of cash back, usually between 2 to 3%. Make sure to check the “Flash Cash Back Stores” tab on the site to find the special cash back offers (we’ve seen up to 22.5%)!
22. Swapping Clothing > Buying Clothing
Rather than heading to the mall and spending a ton on new clothes, host a clothing swap with your friends and family. Bring clothes you are willing to part with and exchange them for some new threads without spending a penny. You’ll also win some brownie points with your friends for organizing.
23. Stop Buying Gifts Completely
Birthdays and holidays may be fun, but they often come with the expectation that you spend a lot of money buying gifts for people. Cut down on those gift prices by DIYing your presents. Knit a scarf, mason jar some granola, just make something that shows you made an effort while also saving money. Over time that’s money in your savings account.
24. Start Automatically Saving Money
Let’s be honest, building up savings can be tough. One hack that has worked for people time and time again, though, is setting a small goal that they can work towards incrementally.
Thanks to the savings app Digit, doing just that might be easier than you think. Set a savings goal via Digit and the app will work behind the scenes pulling out money incrementally from your checking account so you can reach your goal. In other words, you won’t even miss the money.
Say you set a goal of putting aside $5 a day for the next year. Before you know it, you’ll have a nest egg of $1,825 at the end of a year’s time. Digit even throws in a 1% savings bonus for every three-months of savings, so you might even reach your goal ahead of schedule.
25. Stop Saving Your Payment Information On E-Commerce Sites
There’s a reason e-commerce sites allow customers to save their payment information–it makes checking out easier and people are more willing to part with their money. Don’t make parting with your money easy as a rule. By not saving your payment information on e-commerce sites, and making it harder to checkout, you’ll be more likely to not buy something, and more apt to save money.
26. Shorten Your Showers
Long, hot showers are equally as costly as they are relaxing. Try and cut your shower time in half and you’ll be surprised by how much money you save on your next water bill.
27. Do Good For The Planet And Save Money
Who out there hasn’t gotten their electricity bill in the mail and wondered why it is just so expensive? There is a better way. You can actually save the planet and save on your utilities at the same time.
We have a little hack to do just that and it’s all thanks to Arcadia Power.
Connect your locally utility account to the Arcadia platform, and Arcadia does the hard work for you to make sure your electricity is coming from renewable energy sources.
The best part about signing up for Arcadia power, though, is that you’ll end up saving money by sourcing your home’s energy from wind and solar.
Just watch from your Arcadia Power dashboard as your bill slowly shrinks and your savings shoot upward. All while you’re doing good for the environment! In states with electricity choice, people using Arcadia Power save 17% on average on their utility bill.
28. Stop Buying $5 Coffee Every Day
That half-caf soy milk latte is not worth the five plus dollars you are paying for it every day. A much better investment is to brew your morning joe at home and if you want to be fancy, buy yourself a milk frother so you can DIY your own latte.
29. Protect Your Things (And Your Budget) With Insurance
While you may love your Apple Macbook, so do would-be thieves, who would just love to swipe the $1,500 gadget from you at the gym, or out of your bag. It was expensive enough the first time, you don’t want to have to replace it!
Thankfully, by paying for renters insurance with Lemonade that starts at just $5 per month, you no longer have to stress about that. Lemonade allows you to invest in the things that you love from a Macbook to a favorite pair of sneakers to a vintage guitar, and if they get stolen or damaged in your home, they’ll be covered. The best part? Lemonade covers your stuff outside of your home, too. Consider it a massive security net for your budget.
Lemonade is markedly cheaper than its competitors to boot—on average cheaper by $145 a year.
30. Buy Generic Whenever Possible
Especially when you are shopping at places like Walgreens and CVS, look to buy the generic brands of products. They are always cheaper, sometimes even by a few dollars. Do you really need to spend a few extra dollars on name brand toothpaste? We didn’t think so.
31. Leave Your Wallet at Home
If you are taking a walk, picking up a delivery, or just stopping by a friend’s house to say hi, try and leave your wallet at home so that you won’t be tempted to stop and part with your hard earned cash. If you don’t have any money on you, how can you possibly spend?
32. Think About Refinancing Your Student Loans
For a lot of people saddled with huge student loans, refinancing may be the key to getting on the right financial track. Credible is one of the best first steps to find out what options are out there. It’s an online marketplace that provides borrowers with competitive, personalized loan offers from multiple, vetted lenders in real time.
Using Credible, you are able to compare rates from up to eight vetted lenders in just two minutes. From there, you will be able to figure out how to lower your interest rate on federal, private and ParentPLUS loans or reduce your monthly payments.
What are you waiting for? Stop letting your student loans get the best of you thanks to Credible.
33. Set Attainable Financial Goals And Celebrate When You Reach Them
Maybe it’s a vacation or maybe it’s a new puppy, but we all have things we would like to save up for. Set financial goals that you can incrementally work towards. When you finally reach one, don’t forget to pause and celebrate your win!
34. Unplug All Of The Electric Devices In Your Home That Aren’t In Use
All of those electronics in your home that are plugged in but are also not on are costing you money. Yeah, that’s right, you are probably spending money right now on absolutely nothing. As soon as possible, walk around your home and unplug everything that’s not in use, and start seeing the savings on your monthly electricity bill.
35. Stop Letting Car Insurance Take Such A Big Bite Out Of Your Budget
Like a lot of people out there, your car insurance bill is probably one of your essentials that is taking a big bite out of your monthly budget. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was taking a smaller bite?
One of our favorite tools to do just that is Gabi, which shops for the best car insurance deals for you – saving its customers an average of $720. All you need to do is connect your existing insurance policy and provide your driver’s license number. In minutes, you’ll get different options that you can switch to, helping you save a lot of money in the process.
Plus: They’ll also let you know if you currently have the cheapest policy. $720 in your pocket sounds mighty nice!
36. Reduce Co-Pays For Prescriptions You Take Regularly
In order to decrease the amount you pay in co-pays for your prescriptions, ask you doctor to submit a prescription for a three month supply. In most cases, you will only have to pay the co-pay for one month’s worth instead of the full three months.
37. See How Your Friends Are Saving Money So You Can Emulate Them
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was easy way to compare your financial situation to your peers, so you could figure out ways to save money?
Rather than attempt awkward money talks, you can download Status, a free app that compares and analyzes your spending, debts, interests rates, and assets to your peers in a similar financial situation to you so you can make smarter financial decisions.
Status sends you regular notifications whenever they see an opportunity for you to save, say lowering an interest rate of a credit card.
38. Make A Vow To Never Pay A Late Fee Again
Late payment fees for credit cards are no joke. Often costing between $15 and $35, late fees are frustrating and bad for your credit score. By signing up for a credit card monitoring service like Debitize, you can rest easy knowing that you will never pay another late fee again.
Debitize ensures you never go into credit card debt by making sure you always have enough money to pay off your cards. It does this by seamlessly moving money from your checking account to a separate bank account every time you make a purchase on your credit card if you can afford it.
This saved money is used to automatically pay your credit card bill when it’s due. But, even if you aren’t able to pay your credit card in full every month, with the help of Debitize you’ll never make a late payment again.
If you’re a habitual debit card user there’s no reason to not use Debitize.
39. Start Living For Happy Hour
There is a reason it’s called a Happy Hour: because people are happy to be having their favorite cocktail for half-price. Try and always take advantage of happy hour so you aren’t spending an arm and a leg on regular full-priced cocktails. Hunt down the happy hours with free food, so you can double up the savings.
40. Replace All Of Your Light Bulbs With LED Bulbs
LED bulbs are more expensive in the short term but they last longer. You will start to see the savings pretty quickly from not having to replace your bulbs all of the time.
41. Play Games And Save At The Same Time
If you need a little extra incentive to start saving money (and who doesn’t) you are going to want to download Blast. Not only will you earn 2% on whatever is in your new Blast savings account (five times the national average), the app offers its users a pretty unique and fun way to build up an emergency fund.
Here’s how it works: Once you have downloaded the app, play games and complete missions and the app will reward you with real cash, thereby helping you earn and build your savings in small increments.
Via the Blast app you’ll also be able to compete on the Blast Leaderboard where the higher you tier, the better chances you have of winning $1,000 every week, so there are a lot of opportunities to earn extra cash to put towards your savings!
42. Take Advantage Of Every Sign-Up Offer You Can
Earning cash back by signing up for Affinityy is truly one of the easiest ways to save money shopping online. You get up to 15% cash back at your favorite online stores including Walmart, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Priceline and much more.
One of the big reasons that we are obsessed with Affinityy though has to do with their incredible sign-up offer.
You earn $20 after your first purchase, and up to $25 per referral to your friends and family. Add it up and Affinityy will give you $45 for completing these two simple tasks. That’s money that you can add to your savings immediately.
Sign up for Affinityy for free, it takes less than a minute.
43. Stop Wasting So Much Money On 401(k) Fees
No one wants to still be working a 9-to-5 when they are 80. Which begs the question, when was the last time you checked your 401(k)? You likely haven’t lately because you don’t understand what you are looking at when you do (don’t worry, the confusing jargon and pie charts stump us all).
This is the year to take control of your retirement savings once and for all.
Blooom is a robo-advisor that does the work for you. It stays on top of your 401(k) plan and optimizes your investments regularly. It helps you meet your financial goals without all the hard work. Get started with an entirely free analysis of your 401(k) plan so you can understand your investments and uncover unnecessary fees. For only $10 per month after that Blooom will optimize your investments and minimize what fees you pay.
Blooom’s median client saves a whopping $106 in fees just in one year. By retirement age, the median Blooom client saves a staggering $24,257 on hidden investment fees.
Stop wasting money on fees. Let Blooom manage your 401(k)
44. Save On Rent By Turning Into Your Own Landlord
You’re likely well aware of how much AirBNB has changed how people travel, but did you know just how big of a moneymaker it is for people renting out their homes or spare rooms? According to Priceonomics, hosts on Airbnb are earning more than anyone else in the gig economy and are raking in an average of $924 a month. Now, you’re probably thinking, there is no such thing as easy money, especially an easy $924 a month, but AirBNB makes it so darn easy to get started.
They help you calculate how much you should be charging, for instance, so you can optimize how much you make. They also hold your hand through the process of creating an attractive description for your listing. Rent can be a huge budget suck, but this is a great way to cut back on the cost.
45. Try A Staycation And Save
Vacation inevitably eats into a budget, but wanting to save doesn’t mean cutting out time off from work. Instead of spending money going somewhere plan a fun staycation that involves binge watching old movies on the couch, making margaritas, and getting a massage (feel free to ad lib here) and both save money and get some relaxation in.
46. Only Grocery Shop When You Aren’t Hungry
It’s a pretty well known fact, but the hungrier you are when you go grocery shopping the more likely you are going to make costly impulse buys. Eat a granola bar before you head to the store so you don’t get tempted by that box of double-chocolate cookies. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised when you checkout at your savings.
47. Cut Back On How Much Of Your Money Is Going To Taxes
The robo-adviser Betterment is one of the smartest ways to invest your money thanks to its low and transparent fees, and its track record of beating the typical DIY investor by 2.66%. But there is another big advantage of investing with Betterment: saving on your taxes.
Betterment is constantly thinking about ways to lower your taxes thanks to its automated advanced tax-saving strategies. It’s able to increase its users’ portfolio by an estimated 15% over 30 years. In other words, Betterment finds huge savings for its users focusing on cutting back their taxes.
Betterment requires a $0 balance to get started, so even if you are a novice investor don’t feel shy.
Instead of seeing all of your money go to taxes start investing with the help of Betterment.
48. Save For Your Family With Life Insurance
Life insurance is so important, but too often people don’t realize that until it’s much too late.
Bestow makes it so easy to figure what the best life insurance for you is. Quickly get a quote and sign-up and literally get coverage within minutes if you qualify (with other companies this can take weeks). Pick the plan that is best for you whether it is a two year plan or a 10 or 20 year plan. Insure your life for the price of your morning coffee and protect your family in the event anything happens to you. Trust us, you’ll be able to sleep better once this is done.
49. It Never Hurts To Look Into All Of The Options, Too
Life insurance is so important and could ultimately be such a big saver for your family, so why not look into all of your options?
Haven Life is great option to explore. There’s an easy online application, and the approval process which normally takes one to two weeks takes just two minutes with Haven Life.
Haven Life is backed and fully owned by MassMutual, a leading insurer with over 160 years of experience, so you’ll be dealing with true experts when you work with Haven Life.
Take a look at what your rate would be with Haven Life instantly here and start protecting your family.