With constant bills and unexpected expenses, it can seem difficult to save money. It doesn’t have to be, however. According to RamseySolutions.com, there are 22 practical ways to save money. Here they are.
1. Get rid of debt.
This is the first thing you should do to prepare yourself to save more money. Debt accrues interest over time, so the sooner you pay it off, the sooner you can put those monthly debt payments into savings.
2. Reduce your grocery budget.
It’s easy to go over budget when grocery shopping. Additional things you add to the cart result in additional spending at checkout. Stick to your list, so the bill is what you expect. Other ways to save money are to plan your meals before you go shopping so you don’t waste food; opt for off-brand and less expensive items; and use curbside pickup so you’re not tempted to buy more items in store.
3. Cancel subscriptions and auto-memberships.
Take a look at your credit card statements and see what subscriptions you have. Think about how often you use subscriptions. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Spotify, gym memberships, Amazon Prime and trendy subscription boxes don’t come cheap. If you don’t use them, it’s time to cancel.
If you choose to keep some of these subscriptions, consider sharing them with family and friends to reduce your costs.
4. Buy generics.
Cleaning and paper products, medicine and food all have much cheaper generic options. The quality is the same, but the marketing is gone. This saves you money.
5. Cut the cable.
With many alternatives to cable, it’s an easy expense to reduce. Using a streaming service or two is way cheaper than cable and gives you plenty of shows and movies to binge.
6. Save money automatically.
Look at your budget and decide how much money you want to save on each paycheck. Set up your direct deposit to send this portion to your savings account each payday.
7. Spend extra or unexpected income wisely.
When you have extra income, consider paying off extra debt, establishing or adding to your emergency fund, or putting it into your savings.
8. Reduce energy costs.
New energy-efficient appliances are expensive, but there are other ways to save money by reducing energy costs. Take shorter showers, use cold water for laundry, fix leaky pipes, use LED bulbs and install dimmers.
9. Unsubscribe from emails.
How many times have you received an email promoting a two-day flash sale for something you didn’t think you needed? Before you know it, you’ve got this item in your online shopping cart and you’re ready to checkout. What if you never received this email? Click unsubscribe and free your inbox and keep your money in your wallet.
10. Check your insurance rates.
You have to shop around and make sure you get the best rates on your insurance.
11. Prepare your lunch and eat at home.
Going out to lunch a few times a week really adds up. Instead of heading to the local deli for a sandwich, bring your own and save some money. Meal planning can also help you avoid resorting to dinner takeout too often.
12. Ask about discounts.
It never hurts to ask. See if there are any special discounts for seniors, students, teachers, military, or AAA members.
13. Take advantage of your retirement savings plan.
If your employer offers a 401K match, make sure you take advantage of it. It’s free money. You can adjust the amount of your contribution at any time. You may have to contribute less if you pay off a debt, but you can increase your percentage once you’ve paid off your debts.
14. Reduce your cell phone bill.
There are now only a few cell phone companies to choose from. There are many cheaper options. You just have to look for them. Review your bill and see if you need the data plan you have or any special warranties. Don’t be afraid to change if your current business isn’t meeting your needs.
15. Try a spending freeze.
For a week — or a month, your choice — buy no non-essential items. The key is to focus on making do with what you already have, so that when the challenge is over, you’re not blowing your budget to make up for lost time.
16. DIY what you can.
You can save tons of money by doing things yourself. There are many tutorial videos online to help you learn how to do things. And if you need tools, try asking friends and family if you can borrow items before you buy.
Hire the pros to work on dangerous projects or complicated projects where you could hurt yourself or damage your home.
17. Avoid coffee.
This morning latte is so good. But you know what’s even better? Have that $5 – or more, in some cases – in your savings account. It all adds up and it’s quite easy to make fancy coffee drinks at home.
18. Use your local library.
It’s easy to want to buy the latest books. But how often do you let them sit on a shelf for a while until you can actually read them? Instead, head to your local library and pick up books, DVDs, audiobooks, e-books, cookbooks, magazines and more. They are all free.
19. Try a staycation.
Vacations are expensive. The money is included in the travel part – think flights, car rental, hotel or AirBNB fees, Uber rides, etc. Instead, be a tourist in your own town. Discover the museums and attractions there and save on travel costs.
20. Use cashback apps and coupons.
With apps and extensions like Ibotta, Honey, and Rakuten, you can redeem coupon codes and get cash back for purchases you’ve already intended to make. They are easy to use and you reap the rewards.
21. Refinance your mortgage.
If you have a mortgage, it’s worth considering refinancing to see if you can get a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands of dollars.
22. Clean up and sell your stuff.
Clean your house and see what you can sell. With eBay, Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, and garage sales, you can make a decent income from your sales. Just be sure to follow the guidelines on the marketplaces.
With all of these ways to cut costs and save money, you should be able to reach your savings goals quickly.