Financial independence is created one small step at a time.
Finding new ways for saving money can speed up that process. Even if you only implement a handful of these ideas, it could mean a considerable monthly savings.
By taking action on several of these ideas, let’s say you come up with a savings of $300 per month.
If you’re able to compound that money at 8% over the course of 25 or 30 years, you’re looking at hundreds of thousands for your future. All from a few small ideas you took action on and turned into habits.
If you’re interested in that, you may like the resource I put together: “How to Start Saving $300 per Month and Have a Retirement Asset Worth Up To $847,283”. You can get it below with your email.
The most important thing to remember when trying to save more money is flexibility. There’s hundreds of ways to accomplish one objective and if you’re flexible with how you meet your wants and needs, you open yourself up to endless possibilities for saving money.
Let’s jump into the 150 Ways for Saving Money
1. If you haven’t already… cut the cable.
I figure by not having cable over the last 11 years and continuing to not have it for the next 30, it could equate to approximately $350,000 by the time my wife and I are 65. Here’s how I figured it, $100 per month multiplied by 41 years compounded annually at an interest rate of 8%.
With all the alternatives now available, I think I’d prefer the $350,000 than the 250 channels I couldn’t possibly get around to watching. Although I do hate missing out on sports, it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
2. Revise your insurance plans.
It might make sense for you to raise the deductibles on your home owner’s insurance, especially if you’re in an area that’s not commonly affected by wind, hail or devastating snow storms.
Also look at the deductibles on your auto and health insurance. Does it make sense for your situation to raise them?
3. Plan meals a week in advance.
Grocery bills can go down drastically if you make a quick inventory, find out what you need, make a list, then get in and get out.
When you’re not questioning what things you have in the pantry, debating in your mind if you should get a particular item, and possibly getting things that won’t get used, you can turn that trip to the grocery store into a saving money opportunity.
4. Eat out less.
This one’s tough for most people (myself included), but it’s oh so lucrative.
Take a quick look at your bank statement and add up how much you spent on restaurants in the last 30 days. Now see if you can cut that in half. How much would more would it mean you could save?
5. Buy in bulk.
It doesn’t always make sense to buy in bulk, but for non-perishable items like trash bags, toothpaste, toilet paper, and other items it can mean some serious saving.
Avoid buying things in bulk that will go bad before they can be used, like fruits and vegetables, milk and other perishable items.
6. Package your own snacks.
Here’s one I love to do. Buying a big bag of chips, box of crackers, or fresh broccoli and then portioning it out into container I can quickly grab and go makes for a nice savings, compared to purchasing these items one by one.
It takes a few minutes to portion it out, but it could be worth the savings to you.
7. Turn off the lights.
Being cognizant of turning out the lights when you won’t be in the room may seem like a small act, but over the course of many years it adds up!
Training your family and other people in your house to do the same will multiply this saving money strategy.
8. Read a book instead of watching TV.
There’s several ways you’re potentially saving money when you pick up a book instead of turn on the TV. One that’s definite is that you’re giving the electricity a break. Different TV’s use different amounts of electricity, but one thing’s for sure, by not having it on, you’re reducing your electric bill.
You’re also eliminating your exposure to advertisements and other enticements for you to spend money. You may not immediately notice the savings here, but over time this could potentially be something that saves you good handfuls of cash.
If you’re not into books, turn off the TV and focus on something that can actually make you money and you enjoy doing. There are countless ways online to get paid for doing something you don’t mind or that you enjoy doing.
9. Take shorter showers.
I remember my mom banging on the bathroom door when I was a kid, telling me to hurry it up. And I didn’t quite appreciate that until I became a homeowner and started to see the water bill come in the mail. I happen to live in a city where water is one of the most expensive utilities, so this is one I pay especially close attention to. Taking a shorter shower each day can make a significant difference.
There’s an ancillary benefit here as well. By reducing your water consumption you’re doing a part for the greater good of the environment and community. The more you conserve the more you can save.
10. Do your own oil changes.
It may take some money to get the required tools, but once purchased, they can help you save thousands over the course of your life. You’ll need a few garage rags, a mallet, possibly an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, some jack stands, a set of wrenches and some safety goggles for good measure.
Once you’ve accumulated these tools, the only things you’ll need for each oil change is a filter and some engine oil, which are both cheap. By taking 15 or 20 minutes to do your oil change you could be saving $25-$30 each time. Plus, you’ll have a better understanding for the condition of your vehicle and know what it may need to keep running smoothly.
11. Learn basic car repair.
Knowing how to check your tire pressure, replace your brake pads, windshield wipers, windshield washer fluid and other basic things your car needs can be a boon to your annual savings.
It’s unfortunate how much people are charged for very simple fixes that can be avoided if they only knew how to replace the battery, change a tire, change the spark plugs or clean their battery terminals.
As much as I wish it was different, some vehicle repair shops prey on those who don’t know a thing about their car and don’t want to be bothered to learn something new or possibly get their hands dirty. Avoid being someone in this category and you’ll see the savings.
12. Do proper HVAC maintenance.
Replacing the AC or heating unit for your home can be one of the most expensive common house repairs you encounter. And it’s pretty easy to keep them in tip top shape and in good running order.
Make sure you replace your air filter at least every 90 days or even more frequently if there happens to be an unordinary amount of dust or dirt in the air for extended periods of time. If you’re in a new construction zone or if there are a number of windstorms over a short period of time there may be more dust in the air than usual.
Give the old air filter a check and if it looks dirty, change it out. Updated air filters will add years to your system and keep you from having to spend money on repairs.
Did you get our latest resource? If not, go ahead! It’s free and will be good to have on hand.
13. Use Coupons.
It can take some time to get familiar with how to coupon but over the course of many years this little act can mean thousands more to your bank coffers. And tens of thousands or more if you consider the effects of compounding those savings.
Learning how to coupon may seem like a daunting and time consuming task, especially if you’ve ever seen the popular TLC show “Extreme Couponing”, but you don’t have to be as zealous as those featured in the show.
Simply hanging on to coupons and running a quick check while you’re in line, to see if you’ve got any for the purchases you’re making can add up to significant savings over a year.
Tracking those savings may cause you to get more excited about it and take steps to maximize couponing, but to start, try keeping it simple.
14. Sign up for restaurant reward programs.
If there’s a few restaurants you frequent, make sure you’re on their rewards program if it’s offered. They may have a ‘buy 9 get the 10th free’ or ‘spend $100 get $10 off’ or some other perk for your frequent visits.
In these examples, you’re effectively getting 10% off for being a loyal customer. And who doesn’t like getting 10% off at their favorite restaurant?
Maybe it’s cumbersome to hold all the rewards cards in your wallet, but for your most commonly used restaurants, it definitely makes sense to take them up on their rewards program.
15. Walk instead of driving.
There’s a few ways you’re potentially saving money with this tip. Not only are you reducing the gas used and the wear on your car, but you’re giving yourself some exercise. Having a sedentary daily routine can be expensive and getting up to walk can help fix that.
Think of all the driving you do on a daily basis and see if there’s a few trips you could take using your feet instead of the car. Are you meeting co-workers a handful of blocks away? Do you have friends you usually drive to, but could almost as quickly walk to see? If so, you’ll save on fuel and potentially on health costs down the road.
16. Brush and floss your teeth.
Most people brush their teeth, but a large portion of people don’t floss regularly. Is this an area you could improve on? If so, it could help you save money that you’re currently spending on dental work.
I asked a dentist friend of mine not too long ago, if given the chance to do only one of the two, which would do the most good, flossing or brushing? He said emphatically… “flossing!”
He went on to say that in between teeth is where the majority of cavities get their start and when properly cleaned with floss it does drastically more for the health of the mouth.
I’m sure it’s up for debate, but I attribute flossing every day to allowing me to save a good chunk of change over the course of my adult life.
17. Cut wildflowers for the Mrs.
If your significant other is the type that loves getting gifts, you probably like to provide them as much as possible.
Sometimes the gift might only be $8 or $10 but these little purchases add up quick. Consider replacing the purchased gift with one that only requires some thought and effort.
It’s these types of gifts that can have the most meaning as well. You’re killing two birds with stone… saving money AND making your loved one happy. What regularly purchased gifts can occasionally be replaced by ones that are free or almost free?
18. Use just one rewards credit card.
I know there’s a lot to debate on the topic of having and using more than one credit card, or any credit card at all.
But here’s my opinion… by using just one rewards card, you’re able to maximize the benefit of it, while keeping it simple enough to make sure you’re on the winning side of the reward equation, instead of the credit card company.
Reward cards are available because the vast majority of people pay more in interest than what they receive in rewards. If you’re disciplined and calculated, you can make sure you’re not one of those.
You can save money by having a rewards card, but try to keep it simple and make sure you’re saving money with the card, not paying for it.
19. Maintain your health.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And those ounces of prevention can end up saving you pounds of money down the road. Why not try to keep good track of your health and see if you can avoid the long term expense of ongoing health issues?
Of course we don’t always have complete control of what happens to our health, but we can try our best to keep weight in check, watch what we eat and get regular exercise.
Just as wisely investing in your finances can produce considerable monetary returns, wisely investing in your body can produce a long and healthy life.
20. Learn the art of negotiation.
Many people assume all prices are set in stone and miss out on opportunities for a better price simply because they don’t ask for one.
Try asking if there’s any room for a lower price on the particular item you’re shopping for and see what they say. There’s power in asking that simple question. You may surprise yourself.
Just about any purchase can be negotiated if you’re dealing with the person who has the right level of authority.
The further you go up the chain of command, the more likely you’re able to get what you’re seeking. When negotiating your cell phone bill, for example, try to see if you can go up at least three levels of superiority.
21. With a smile, ask for the “nice guy” discount.
My brother-in-law told me about this one. And when he was telling me about it, I’ll admit I laughed out loud. It hit the funny bone and sounded kind of quirky, but I was excited to try it.
My laughter turned to amazement when I gave it a shot.
I was in a quick serve restaurant after their lunch rush, I smiled and joked with the employees and the people making my food like I usually try to do. (I get a kick out of making people happy, especially people who handle my food.)
Then when it came to pay and take my food to my table, I smiled and asked the clerk for the “nice guy” discount. He laughed and I could tell it caught him off guard. But told me he’d see what he could do.
He came back a minute later and reported my lunch would be free! I beamed and asked if he was sure, and he said his manager approved it. It made my day and my food was particularly delicious that day. I wasn’t trying to get my meal for free, I just thought it would be fun to ask for a discount.
To give them something in return, I posted a positive review on Yelp.
22. Grow a garden.
With a little research and effort, your garden may produce a season full of fresh vegetables for your own family and have plenty left over to share.
Saving money on groceries and giving to the people around you? Sounds like a win-win.
Best of all, you’re the one in charge of seeing how it’s handled and processed. Want it to be completely organic? You can make it happen. And now we’re talking… extremely cheap, garden fresh, organic vegetables straight to your table and the table of your friends and family.
23. Co-op on the purchase of a full beef, then freeze the meat.
It’s surprising how much money this can save in grocery bills over the course of a year. If you’re not familiar with this idea, there are several butchers and farmers who sell completely butchered cows in full, half or quarter increments. With a bulk purchase like this, hundreds can be saved.
But maybe your family wouldn’t be able to use a full, half or even quarter of a cow in the amount of time it would need to be used. This is where a co-op can come in handy. With five families going in on it, it becomes much more reasonable.
Not only are there savings happening by buying in bulk direct from the farmer, but you know where your meat is coming from and how it was processed for the most part. In many cases, buying locally in this manner means better treatment of the meat and that it gets passed through less hands and processes.
24. With a smile, ask “Do you have any coupons out right now?” before checking out.
So many stores send out coupons and other discounts in the mail, online, through the newspaper, and even in the yellow pages, that are constantly getting people to come in and shop.
And if there’s anyone who knows whether they’ve got coupons out, it’s the person at the cash register who’s been ringing people up and processing those coupons.
It doesn’t always work out, but by simply asking if there are any coupons out right now, sometimes they’ll offer you one right on the spot. We have it happen!
But when it doesn’t, at least we can get information on how to possibly get one for next time. It’s fun to get an offer for 15% off when you originally thought it would be normal pricing.
25. Think twice before printing.
Do you or someone you know print without thinking too much about it? There may be an opportunity to save some cash if so.
Not only is paper getting more and more expensive, but ink and toner is pretty pricey.
A simple question you might try asking before you print, is “will I need this document at a time and in a place I won’t have access to the internet, computer or phone?” If this answer is yes, then by all means, you’ll need to print. But many times, the answer to that question will be no.
26. Bring your own treats to the theater.
A quick trip to the grocery store before your movie starts can save you at least 50% on your treats. There’s no shame in BYOT. Just make sure you’re with someone who has a purse or big pockets.
A word of caution… Don’t try hiding and bringing in your own fountain drink. It could get messy. I may or may not know from experience. A bottle with a tight fitting lid will have to do.
27. Hunt and process your game.
If you’re a hunter or you’ve got a hunter in the family, you could save hundreds and hundreds each year in meat.
Some don’t like the gaminess of venison but when used in spaghetti sauce, chili or other recipes that call for ingredients that can mask the flavor a bit, venison can be a great option. Elk meat, however, is known for being tender and flavorful.
Plus, when you swap out beef for your hunted game instead, you’re getting a much healthier option. Because they’re wild and roam freely, you’re getting an organic meat and one that is far less fatty.
28. Ride a bike instead of driving.
You might live close enough to work that you could hop on your bike and be there in almost as much time as it would take to drive.
How much could you save if you rode your bike to work 3 days per week?
In the spring, summer and fall the weather is usually conducive to getting out and getting some fresh air. Why not take advantage sunny days and bust out the bike for your commute? Your wallet, your body and the environment will all thank you.
29. Go on a hike, instead of to the golf course.
What activities or hobbies give you comparable satisfaction at a fraction of the cost of your more expensive hobbies? Can you replace your love of golf with a love for hiking? How about your love of shopping with a love for volunteering at the community center?
One of our recent hikes as a family.
Whatever your more expensive hobbies, think of ways you can incorporate other free or less expensive things into your leisure time. When you track how much you’re putting back into your pocket it may inspire you to go even further.
30. Compare cell phone plans.
Digging in to this idea had me kind of shocked. I wasn’t aware of how many cell phone plans, carriers and options there are to take care of this modern day necessity.
There is so much more available than just the 4 major carriers we’re all familiar with. They’re typically the only ones we hear about because they’re the largest, and have the most to spend on advertising.
Depending on your needs and what you may be willing to do without, there are some incredible options out there that could save you thousands over the years. Take a look into some alternatives, you may be just as shocked as I was.
31. Learn to sew.
On occasion the button will pop off your suit coat or you’ll tear a hole in your pocket. It doesn’t mean the item is useless or even it’s time for a replacement. A quick sewing job will do the trick.
Learning how to make these repairs is super simple and fast.
By watching a few 3 or 4 minute tutorials you’ll likely be able to complete 90% of the common clothing repairs. Now instead of donating that item to goodwill or throwing it away, you’ll be able to keep rocking it for at least a few more months, likely even much longer if you want.
32. Wash your car at home.
Next time your car is looking dusty or laden with bugs grab a bucket of soapy water, a rag, a scrub brush and the hose and give it a good old fashioned wash. Sure it takes some elbow grease, but washing your own car can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Detailing the interior yourself is where the big savings can come into play. A professional detail can easily cost over $100, but by doing it yourself, it may take an hour and cost you just the supplies you’ve already got on hand.
33. Hand water the dry spots.
If you notice your water bill creeping up during summer months you may be able to take steps to keep it in check. Hand watering sections of the lawn can make a difference in how many gallons you’re being billed for.
This is one I try to do as frequent as possible living in the dry mountains of Utah. There may be sections of your lawn that get hit by the sun more than others and that tend to dry out more quickly.
I try to keep the grass green without spending a fortune on water.
Instead of turning on the sprinklers and watering an entire section that may not need it, you can attach a small sprinkler to the hose and let it sit for 10 minutes in a smaller dry area.
34. Get passionate about cooking.
When you’re passionate about cooking, reducing the frequency of eating out becomes easy. If you get excited about the next recipe you’ll try or eager about experimenting with a new way of cooking something, you may completely forget about wanting to eat out.
There are hundreds and hundreds of cooking channels on Youtube and entire communities of people who prefer to cook at home and are willing to teach others their tips and tricks. Get involved in these communities and see if you don’t get inspired to make more meals at home.
If you want to maximize this idea and really save some cash on your grocery bill, be sure to visit Erin Chase over at $5 Dinners. She’s got amazing resources and recipes for cooking awesome meals for $5 or under!
35. Learn basic appliance repair.
If you’ve owned appliances for any length of time, you’ve likely had something break. These repairs, if done by a paid handyman can be costly. And if you look into the repair, the parts that would be required and how to do it, you’ll see there’s some nice margin in there for the repairman.
By ordering the parts, watching a few tutorials and spending an hour or two getting it done, you could potentially save hundreds. Plus, once you’ve learned how to do it and made the repair, you now have experience to help family or others that may have the same problem.
36. Drink more water.
There’s no doubt drinking more water can save you money. In fact, there’s several ways you’re saving when you drink water instead of some other beverage. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to treat yourself to something other than water occasionally, but in high frequency, it can cost you big time.
The biggest savings is likely in the health benefits. Drinking water with a snack, with your meal, or at various times during the day can help you feel full, which in turn has its own money saving benefits. But in addition, so many beverages are laden with sugar and empty calories, you’re doing your body a huge favor by replacing them with H20.
37. Make your own laundry detergent.
I’ll admit, I’ve never tried this, but when I was brainstorming ideas for this post, my wife mentioned she has friends that do. With a quick gander at Google, I found there’s A LOT of people who make their own laundry detergent.
There’s a myriad of ways you can do it and many different ingredients you can use. If you have a big family or have to do lots of laundry for your work clothes, this may be a trick to reducing those costs.
38. Make your own hand soap.
This is one we do and have done for the last few years. It’s actually really simple and it saves on the pocketbook and the environment. Instead of having to buy new bottles of hand soap every couple weeks, we can get a large bottle of concentrated soap, mix it with some water and refill the bottles we currently have.
It may not equate to huge initial savings, but over time, it adds up! Plus, it’s really simple and doesn’t require much time. Give it a try!
39. Do away with vices… alcohol, cigarettes, chew, cigars, etc.
One of the biggest ways you can save money, if you have any vices, is to get rid of them. Alcohol, cigarettes, chew, cigars or tobacco of any kind is terrible for your health and terrible for your money. If you’ve got any number of vices, take steps today to get rid of them.
I know with addiction it’s easier said than done, but if you can get rid of them, you can save thousands of dollars over the course of your life. This area might be one of the first places you can go first to get the biggest bang for your buck.
40. Make sure anything electric is turned off before leaving the house.
Anytime you leave the house make sure all the lights, appliances, electronics or anything consuming energy is turned off. Also if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time you may want to unplug these devices.
Small amounts of saved energy every day, grow into large amounts of saved money each year. If you’re going to be gone you might as well not waste the energy it requires to run these devices. This same principle applies when you’re walking out of a room or won’t be in a section of the house for a period of time. Flip off the switch and flip on the savings.
41. Open your windows in the spring and fall.
Once winter is over, and the warmer weather starts to make the house heat up a bit, it’s almost second nature to just turn on the air conditioner. But if it’s still cool enough outside, you can usually open the windows to make it comfortable.
Once it gets too hot outside, you’ll shut the windows and turn on the AC in the heat of summer. But then once fall comes around again and it starts to get cooler outside you can go back to opening your windows to cool down the house.
This can make a significant difference in reducing the amount of energy used to cool the house and in addition to the savings on the energy, you’ll also reduce the wear and tear on your air conditioning unit.
42. Maximize your gas mileage.
There several tips for maximizing gas mileage. One of the ways is to make sure unneeded cargo is removed, thus reducing the weight of the car. Another way is to drive with a conservative mindset. When you accelerate, do so evenly, giving the car enough time to get up and running.
If you’re waiting in deadlocked traffic and you know you’re going to be stalled for more than a minute, go ahead and turn off the car. Or if you’re dropping someone off and you’re waiting for them to return, turn it off while you wait.
43. In the winter, turn down the heat at night.
Utilities can be a big expense when running a household and there’s typically quite a bit you can do to reduce their costs. When it starts to really cool down in the late fall and and winter, you can turn the heat down at night before turning in to sleep and use another blanket to keep warm.
Then if you want to wake up to a warmer house, you can set the alarm for 30 minutes before you need to wake up go and turn the heat up. That way, when it’s time to get out of bed your house will already be warm.
44. Borrow tools you won’t use more than once every 6 months.
Sometimes there’s tool you’ll only use only once or twice per year, so instead of buying that particular tool, see if you can borrow it from a friend or family member. If you want to continue to borrow that tool every six months or year, make sure when you return it, it’s in the same or better condition than when you borrowed it.
Then when your friends or your family ask to borrow a tool you own, make sure you’re more than willing to let them do so. You’ll quickly find you’ve got a co-op you can use for tools.
45. Eliminate interest payments and avoid debt.
If you’re carrying any credit card debt, student loan debt, or other forms of debt, get it paid off as quick as possible. This is a guaranteed way to increase your savings by 10%, 15% even 20% or more in some cases. You’re putting this money into your pocket rather than into the banks.
Once these debts are paid, do everything in your power to not incur any more. Eliminating debt and interest payments is one of the best ways to increase your monthly savings. When you’re debt-free, saving money and building your long-term financial independence becomes much quicker.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but create a plan and stick to it. Before you know it you’ll be in a position where you can save an extra $200, $500, $1,000 or more every single month.
46. Do your own yard work.
It’s a little surprising to me how many people have maintenance companies come in to do their yard work every couple weeks.
The reasoning for it may be that their time is worth so much more than what they pay to have someone come in to do it for them, but in the same time they’re having someone do their yard work, are they actually working and earning money or are they spending it in leisure?
If this is your reasoning for having your yard work done for you, and you’re looking for ways to decrease your monthly expenses, consider letting the maintenance company go.
47. Do your personal / family accounting regularly.
Some good advice I once got is to run your family finances like a business runs its finances. Your finances probably aren’t as complex or need as much time as a fortune 500 company, but you can benefit from some of the same scaled down practices.
Doing your personal accounting is a good practice because it shows you exactly what’s going on with your money. When you account for what’s coming in and going out and make a record of it, you can see where improvements or adjustments need to be made.
48. Work overtime when available.
Many companies have peak seasons where they need additional help and overtime is offered. If this is the case with your company, take them up on the offer. By adding a few hours each week in overtime, you can bump up your savings, pay down debt or apply that money to other things that can help you accomplish your goals.
A side benefit of working overtime is it can reduce the time you could be out spending money. If you’re too busy earning money, you have less time for spending it! Of course, ‘moderation in everything’ is good to remember with this.
49. Pack your lunch.
A decent, healthy brown bag lunch can probably be as much as 75% less expensive than lunch at a quick serve restaurant. If you’re spending $10 per day at lunch, 5 days per week, you’re ‘eating’ $200 per month. And maybe you don’t completely remove your eating-out-for-lunch budget, but by mixing it up with some lunches you bring from home, you could save $100 or more.
Bringing left overs for lunch is an even more cost efficient route to filling your belly at work. By bringing what was left of last night’s dinner, you’re making use of money that’s already been spent and could potentially be wasted.
50. Create games for the kids.
Kids are creative geniuses and can have fun in just about any situation they’re in. Instead of buying a game, with their help, see if you can create one. Yes, buying a new toy or game gives that little rush of happiness, but it soon fades. What’s left is the task of trying to find a place to store it and a reduction in the checking account.
When you create a game with your kids, you’re getting the added connection of interaction, cooperation, and time well spent together. Not only is this little idea helpful for saving money, it’s helpful to show how much you care about your wee ones.
51. Buy a used vehicle instead of new.
By this time, you’re likely either sold on the idea of buying used or not. So much has already been said about this topic I wondered if I should even include it.
But for those still on the fence, consider the biggest factor of buying new… when you drive it off the lot the value immediately decreases by up to 10%, then after the first year, you’re looking at a loss of closer to 20%.
If it was $30,000 new, after 5 years, you may be able to get $12,000 or $13,000 for it. And yes, you got to drive it for those 5 years, but at a steep loss.
Buying a car that’s 4 or 5 years old may not sound fun, but it adds up to significant savings. Compounded over the course of your life, it could mean the difference of a golden retirement and one where you’re depending on loved ones.
52. Set a clothing budget.
When you know you have a certain amount each month for clothes, it can help remove the temptation to spend when confronted with that cool new hat, the flip flops that would go perfectly with the swimsuit you got last month, or those sunglasses on Amazon that have been following you around online.
Once the budget for clothes is gone, so is your ability to spend. That is, if you’re serious about keeping to it.
But if you stick to it, and realize the savings over a few months, you may find you want to ramp it up. Take a look at your closet and think about how you can utilize what you’ve already got.
53. See if you can do basic work in exchange for reduced rent.
One of the first places we rented, before we purchased a home, was the basement apartment of my wife’s grandfather. We had worked out an arrangement where we were able to perform some of the yard work and other things around the house in exchange for a reduced rent.
This was a huge blessing for us, because it allowed us to save a decent chunk of money for the down payment on our house.
It’s as simple as asking a question of the property maintenance company or the landlord to see if this is a possibility. You never know until you ask, and just that simple act of asking could mean the difference in being able to save an extra $200 or $300 per month.
54. Choose free entertainment options offered by the neighborhood, town or city
Many cities have activities, events, and other things going on during the week that are free or next to free. By doing activities put on by the city or town you can greatly reduce your expenses for entertainment.
Not only is this an opportunity to save money, but also a great way to interact with your neighbors and meet new people. We pay for these things with our taxes so we might as well put them to good use.
55. Make your own energy drink.
One of my weaknesses is my penchant for energy drinks. And individual single serve energy drinks are not cheap. So one of the ways I’ve found to save money, and I don’t do this all the time, but frequently I’ll make my own energy drink.
One of my favorites is a combination of a lemon, water and honey. I’ve learned that sometimes when I feel low on energy, it’s simply because I need to hydrate myself. Lemon water can do the trick to give me a boost of afternoon energy. Is there something else you can use to boost your energy?
56. Make your own snacks.
I had a hankering the other day for a healthy snack and had the idea to make my own granola bars. With a quick search I found was a very simple recipe for making my own organic, whole grain granola bars. They only required five ingredients which I happened to have on hand; raisins, almonds, oats, peanut butter and maple syrup.
One of my adventures in making my own snacks.
When I finished the recipe, I was surprised at how dense these granola bars are, how much they fill you up, and how delicious they are. Plus, when I compared the price of these granola bars to ones I could purchase at the store which are a much lower quality, the difference in price was considerable.
57. Experiment with a spending freeze.
This idea may take some preparation but it’s possible to plan your finances so you can take a spending hiatus for a week, two weeks, or even a month or longer.
Obviously you’re going to continue to cover all of your basic bills like mortgage and utilities. But for other ancillary items that commonly pop up during the month, see if you can take a spending freeze.
This can be a very powerful idea if implemented. You cover all of your basic needs and bills, then put the credit card, debit card and cash in a lock box you won’t touch for an agreed period of time.
Maybe start with just a day, and see if you can go one full day without spending any money. Then reassess and see if you can go for three days or a week and slightly increase the number of days you can go without spending any money. Though I’ve never tried this, there are several cases studies where the results are staggering.
58. Have board game nights instead of movie theater nights.
Go to your closet and take a browse through the board games. It’s likely you’ve got several games that haven’t been played in months. Why not take a night and put these board games to use?
Instead of a night at the movies with your friends, why not invite them over for a night of board gaming? Not only does this help save money, but it helps you develop and nurture the relationships you have with your friends and family.
It helps you interact, talk and laugh, and can ultimately help you strengthen the relationships you have with those you care about. Unless it’s Monoply, then proceed with caution.
59. Use public transit instead of Ubers or cabs.
You might be surprised at how robust your cities’ public transportation system is. If you haven’t ridden transit in a while, give it a chance and explore it.
If you do a little research and find out what routes to take, it may ease the amount of trips you have to take in the Uber or taxi. Instead of spending $12 or $15 you might be able to get away with spending $3 or $4.
60. Ditch the home phone.
A large number of people have already done this and it’s becoming the new norm. But some are still so used to having their home phone they’ve simply overlooked this opportunity to create a savings.
Many cell phone plans give you the flexibility of unlimited minutes and choosing only the options you’ll need or use. There’s no sense in having a home phone, if it’s rarely getting used.
These days, home phones are loved by one group of people… telemarketers. You may save money by not giving them a chance to waste your time or convince you to try their latest widget. Each time your home phone rings and it’s just a telemarketer, it should be a reminder that you need to cancel this utility.
61. Create a home workout routine and do without the gym pass.
Many resources exist online today for creating a workout plan right from your own home. Getting your exercise in at home can help save time as well.
If you’re an avid gym user, this idea might not work for you. Or if you go to the gym because you need certain weights or equipment to meet your goals and objectives, then you may need to stick with your gym pass.
But for the vast majority of people who have gym memberships they usually aren’t getting used to a degree that makes them worth the money. If you fall into that category, consider getting rid of your gym pass and creating a workout routine that you can do from your home or at the park.
62. Borrow books instead of buying them.
If you’re an avid book reader, you might have an enormous library of books you’ve purchased over the years. If you read several books throughout the year, purchasing them can be a large expense.
With some research at MeetUp, on Facebook Groups or at local forums, you might be able to find a community of people that share books with each other. And instead of buying particular books you want to read you may find people in your area you can trade with. The library also has several new books coming in each month you may find you can tap into.
63. Set a budget for gift giving.
Sit down and take a look at your calendar. Then month by month get an idea of what kind of gifts you’ll be needing to buy each month of the year. Once you have an idea, you can start to determine a monthly budget for these gifts.
You might have surprise invitations come up for a wedding, baby shower or for your kids to go to a birthday party, but when you’ve taken into consideration the bulk of the gifts you’ll need to purchase for the year you can position yourself to not overspend. Then, if you’ve got excess gift money at the end of the month, pass it on to the following month to help cover a possible surprise.
64. Go for quality over lowest price.
As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. It doesn’t make sense to buy something that’s the cheapest if it’s not going to serve your purposes for the period of time you’ll need it. When you purchase a quality item at a reasonable price, you’re saving money over the long term in replacements.
To maximize this idea, look for high quality brands you know will still have a lot of use at thrift stores, garage sales or in the classifieds. Then you’re getting a high quality item at a drastically reduced price. Simply going for lowest price may be something that could cost you down the road.
65. Reduce meat consumption.
If you’re a frequent meat eater, one of the places you could potentially save hundreds of dollars each year is by reducing the amount of meat you consume.
Meat is one of the most expensive items to purchase at the grocery store and if you eat it four times per week, see what reducing it to two times per week can do to the savings on your grocery bill. Plus, with some quick research you can find good replacements for proteins and other nutrients you get from meat.
66. Have a regular spaghetti night.
My mom was a pretty resourceful lady. Somehow she raised 10 kids and on one income, which was her own, the majority of her adult life. One of her tricks to feed all of us was a regular spaghetti night. And it wasn’t until I was a parent before I realized why she may have done that.
Spaghetti can be very inexpensive and it will feed a large number of people. What’s funny looking back, is that we all looked forward to spaghetti night. Somehow she was able to pull that off too.
67. Consider moving to a smaller space.
Are you at a stage in life where you’ve got more house than you need? If so this might be a great way for you to save money.
Looking around and doing some research, you might find a place that is more suitable for your wants and needs. There’s no sense in heating, cooling and providing electricity and energy for a house that is too big for you. Especially if you’re trying to get ready for an eventual retirement or you’re trying to speed up your financial independence.
68. Reduce watering days appropriately in the spring, summer and fall.
You may be watering every day, when you could get by watering every three days. Maybe you’re watering every two days when you could get by with every four. It just depends on what your lawn requires. If it’s turning dry after two days, you probably need to water every two days.
The trick is to test and see how long it takes for your grass to starts to dry out. Sometimes in the heat of the summer you may need to water every couple days. But in the spring and fall you may be able to get by watering just once every seven days or once every 10 days depending on how much it’s raining.
69. Downsize your vehicle.
This isn’t for everyone, but it could be just the thing you need in order to really speed up your financial independence.
By reducing your car payment by $200 or $300 per month and applying that toward a college fund or your own retirement plan over the course of 20 years it could mean big things.
Maybe it’s the difference of being able to retire very comfortably or not being able to retire at all, or being able to help your kids with college and not being able to help them. Some people love their big, extravagant, expensive vehicles though, which is fine. It comes down to your unique values and priorities.
70. Give kids a weekly budget.
Part of being financially responsible, is also passing that knowledge on to your kids and grand-kids. Kids can get a little out of hand with their wants if left unbridled.
They seem to have a never ending list of things they want to do, toys they want to buy, and places they want to go. When you give kids a weekly budget that they can earn and spend, you can teach them how to handle it well.
71. Downsize the storage unit or do away with it completely.
Do you have stuff sitting in a storage unit? If you do, are there things in there that can be given to goodwill, sold, or given to a family member or friend?
Think of ways you can reduce the amount of stuff you’re hanging onto. You may find you can get a smaller storage unit, or do away with it completely. Could it add an additional $40 or $50 per month to your bottom line?
72. Use Tupperware instead of Ziploc bags.
I know this is only a few dollars every couple weeks. But if the government ran our economy as efficiently as someone who’s implementing this idea runs their financial household we’d be out of our national debt in a hurry.
This idea sounds simple, but it shows a mindset that is concerned with the details, which can lead to a lot more saving overtime. If you’re using Tupperware instead of Ziploc bags, what other things are you doing that leads to savings a couple dollars at a time? A handful of these small things can add up to hundreds of dollars of savings every month.
73. Learn the art of cloth diapers instead of disposable.
Maybe not for travel, or if you’re going to be away from the house for a long period of time, but cloth diapers for the every-day, around-the-house type stuff can mean saving a lot of money over the course of a month.
Sure you’ll have your disposable diapers for when you’re away from the house, but cloth diapers for when it’s convenient is another thing that can help with the pocketbook as well as with the environment.
74. Use stores that will price match Amazon.
I’ve recently gotten into the habit, when making a purchase of any kind, to simply ask at the checkout or before I make my purchase whether or not the store will match the price of Amazon or Walmart online.
This has led to quite a lot of savings since I started to ask this question. Many big box retailers know that in order to compete they have to match the price of Amazon. They understand that consumers will go to Amazon if they don’t have the same or lower price. This simple question about price matching can lead to considerable savings.
75. Price compare your dentist, physician, chiropractor, accountant and legal counsel.
You may absolutely love your dentist, doctor, accountant or other professional services provider. And switching may not make sense for you even if you can find a savings elsewhere.
But if you don’t have any loyal connection to your doctor or dentist or you’re not using them for a specific need you can’t get elsewhere, you may want to shop around and find one where you can get the same or better care at a more reasonable price.
Websites like Yelp and other consumer review sites can greatly help in this search. It’s great to look at a company or a professional and see what other real consumers have said about working with them.
76. Wash your hands regularly.
Several years ago a coworker of mine swore by this and was quite zealous that everyone else follow suit. He was adamant the reason he hadn’t been sick in over a decade was because he regularly washed his hands. His passion made me a believer.
If you’re frequently sick, you’re losing money to doctor visits and if you have to call in sick, you’re losing money by not working. Not to mention any medicine you need to purchase to get better. Washing your hands regularly kills bacteria-causing sicknesses and can help you avoid being under the weather.
77. Eat more oatmeal.
A large bowl of oatmeal for breakfast has a staying power that is unmatched. Oatmeal requires considerable time for the stomach to digest it, relieving the desire for a vending machine snack or a quick stop at the drive-thru.
A handful of dry oats mixed with raisins can be a powerful snack to hold you over until the next meal. Not only this, but oatmeal is incredibly healthy for you and has a host of side benefits.
78. Learn to cut your kids hair.
A few quick tutorials on YouTube combined with some practice and experience can lead to an incredible money saving opportunity. Learning how to cut your kids hair can mean a savings of hundreds of dollars per year.
Sure it requires some work to learn how to do it, some shears and possibly a few jacked up bangs early on, but it may be worth it to you if it means adding that money to their college fund.
79. Share a meal when eating out.
Many sit-down restaurants are notorious for their large portion sizes. When you order a meal at a restaurant it’s common for it to have enough calories to feed two or even three grown adults.
The Chicken Costeleta at Cheesecake Factory is a prime example of this. It comes with three large chicken fillets, three large scoops of mashed potatoes, and about 10 pieces of asparagus. Simply ordering one of these meals and asking for an additional plate can feed you and your significant other, plus have some to take home if you want.
80. Ask for an ice water with lemon when eating out.
Asking for an ice water with lemon when you’re eating out can save 15%-20% or more on your bill depending on what you order. Soda has an insane mark up in restaurants. And by asking for an ice water with lemon you’re still able to have a unique drink to supplement your meal at the restaurant.
Maybe you don’t order water every time you eat out but by getting in this habit, you can drastically reduce your restaurant bill. I also like to ask for an ice water with lemon because it’s extremely alkaline and helps balance the pH levels of the meal.
81. Make your own baby food.
Prepackaged, individualized, convenient baby food is really nice, but it comes with a premium price. If you’ve got a little one around you might be surprised at how much money you can save by making a batch of baby food at home.
You can make it convenient with small size Tupperware’s, and individual containers that are good when you’re on the go. Not only does this create a savings, but if you make your own baby food you know exactly what you put into it. There’s no guessing as to how it was processed or handled.
82. Breastfeed the baby instead of buying formula.
Our first baby didn’t breastfeed very long. It was only like three months. Then it was on to buying formula for the next nine months. I was shocked to see how much it cost on a monthly basis to purchase that formula.
With our second child, he breastfed a full 12 months and the contrast was striking how much cost savings we saw because of it. I know not all mothers can breastfeed, nor do all mothers want to, but there’s a considerable cost savings, and considerable health advantages also.
83. Adopt a minimalist mentality for entertainment.
Take a look at your bank statement for the last 30 days and document each item having to do with any form of entertainment. Then add all those items and see how much you spent in the last 30 days on entertainment related stuff.
It might be shocking to see how much you spent. Now consider all those things you can do to entertain yourself that doesn’t require any money at all; going for a walk, reading a book, playing with your kids, visiting with neighbors, getting some exercise, etc. There’s a host of things you can do without spending a dime.
84. Join a babysitting co-op.
We’ve had a lot of fun with this over the years. In our neighborhood, at one point we had about five other couples with kids in our same age range with whom we did a babysitting co-op.
The idea was that one of the couples babysat the other four couples’ kids so they could go have a night without kids. Then the next week it switched and it was another couple’s turn to babysit all the kids. It’s pure pandemonium one night every five weeks when it’s your turn to babysit but then you’ve got four other weeks where you have free babysitting.
85. Make your own household cleaners.
There are a ton of ways to make household cleaners, and the savings can be incredible. Diluted white vinegar can do amazing things for cleaning the fridge or scrubbing the bathtub. Undiluted white vinegar is great for removing hard water spots around the faucets or to clean the shower head.
Baking soda has an abrasive and cleaning quality that can replace products like Ajax. Rubbing alcohol and ammonia are also powerful household items that can remove grime and gunk. Of all of these my favorite by far is white vinegar. It’s cheap, environment friendly, and effective.
86. Paint old home decor to match current style wants.
If you’ve got a penchant for updating your house decor frequently, consider taking some of your old stuff and giving it a fresh new look.
Simply spray painting your current decor can give you that sense of change and freshness and really add to the overall look and feel of your home… without spending hundreds on brand new items.
87. Budget your time.
During your working hours, make sure you’re utilizing your time as effectively as possible. Especially during the peak earning hours of the day, make sure you’re at the top of your game.
Budgeting your time allows you to work on projects that bring in the most value for yourself or your company. Try to make sure you’re spending the majority of your time on these projects that make the biggest impact in the shortest period of time and see if you can delegate the busy work.
88. Consider building your basic furniture.
When you’re in need of a particular furniture item, see if it’s something that can be built by yourself or with the help of a friend or neighbor. An example of this for me was some shelves I wanted for my garage.
I noticed my neighbor had similar shelves to the ones I was in need of, and in talking to him, I found out he had built the shelves himself. I simply asked if he would show me how and he was more than willing to do so. In fact, he even volunteered to come and help. It took us about two hours on a Saturday and it probably saved me $500.
89. Portion leftovers into individual meals.
After we’ve sat down to a meal, when I’m putting away the leftovers I try to grab the Tupperware’s that are a good size to make an individual meal. As I’m putting them away I’ll portion out what’s left into a number of lunches or dinners that are easy to grab and pop in the microwave and heat up, like a TV dinner of sorts.
Instead of putting all the leftovers into a few big Tupperware’s that require you to portion it when you’re hungry, I’ve found it’s easier if I portion it out at the time I’m putting it away. That way it’s convenient for me to eat the leftovers and feel like I’m not having to take a bunch of time. When it’s convenient, they get eaten.
90. Use generic prescriptions instead of name brand.
When it comes to some items, quality name brand stuff can be a better buy because it will last longer and you won’t have to replace it as often. But when it comes to prescription medication or other medicines, the generic brand will usually do exactly what the name brand does.
Name brand prescriptions have such high mark ups because of their national advertising campaigns and other things they do to get the word out about their brand. You can eliminate those mark ups and costs by going with the generic brand. You’ll likely still get the same desired result of the medicine.
91. Find comfortable eyeglasses instead of disposable contacts.
Eyeglasses have come a long way over the last 10 years. With the use of advanced materials, they’ve gotten very light and more comfortable than what you could find even 10 years ago.
If you can find a pair of comfortable eyeglasses you can stand to wear for longer periods of time, it may save you money in the disposable contact lens department. Even if you can get your eyeglasses to last a year, there might be up to $500 or more in savings that year.
92. Plan vacations well in advance.
Sometimes you can find last minute deals on hotels or airfare, but the majority of time if you book your vacation well in advance, you can save big time.
Also, being flexible with your travel times and dates can lead to big savings. Flying out on a Saturday instead of a Friday or coming back on a Monday instead of a Sunday can greatly reduce the cost of travel.
93. Try store brand instead of name brand.
With some products and services, you’ll want to go with high quality instead of lowest price. However, when it comes to store brand items at the grocery store or big-box retailers, they can be just as high quality as the name brand, but with a smaller price tag.
Experiment with the store brand items and see if they’re any different than what you’re used to with the name brand. If there’s not much difference, opt for the savings.
94. Offer your skills or goods as barter for some of your needs or wants.
You may have skills or goods you can trade for something you want or need. Many websites and online communities make it easy for you to connect with others that are looking for what you have, and have what you’re looking for. By bartering different services or products you can save on things you would have otherwise had to purchase.
95. See if your work will allow you to telecommute.
Tim Ferris talks about this in his book, The Four-Hour Workweek. He gives an explanation on how to work from home for your company, even if it doesn’t have a telecommuting option. It may not be possible in your situation, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
There can be many advantages of telecommuting. Not only do you save money on gas and travel expense, but also on wardrobe and clothing expense. In addition, you save considerable time traveling back and forth and on other distractions at the office.
96. Recycle through your kid’s clothes.
If you buy quality clothing for your kids, it’s likely you can get use of them with more than one kid. Hold onto those clothes when they grow out of them. You never know which of your other kids might be able to use them.
97. Consider homeopathic or home remedy options before prescriptions or doctor visits.
For some common sicknesses, you might know a home remedy that works wonders. Obviously visit the doctor when it’s necessary or if you’ll need a prescription, but consider alternatives before you go that route. There are many things you can do by yourself using resources at home that can help you get over an illness without having to see the doctor.
98. Call your doctors nurse to discuss symptoms before scheduling an appointment with the doctor.
For some symptoms, it might make sense to call your doctor’s office and speak to the nurse before you schedule an appointment. The nurse might be able to tell you if a visit is necessary.
They may also be able to give you things you can do so you don’t need to make the trip. This can be a great way to save on medical expenses and doctor visits throughout the year.
99. Drink tap water instead of bottled water.
Do you frequently buy bottled water in bulk? If so, you could be saving a good chunk of money by switching over to tap water.
Yes, bottled water is convenient and it’s nice to be able to grab a bottle and go as you’re walking out the door, but you can do the exact same thing with tap water. And at a significant savings.
100. Spend time in nature.
Spending time in nature is a great way to save on entertainment cost. Going on a hike to the lake, or exploring around to find animals, or building a campfire, instead of an entertainment option that requires money, can be a great way to save money and broaden your horizon.
Backpacking can take some money to get outfitted, but once you’ve got your stuff, it can be a very inexpensive option for entertainment.
101. Take advantage of sales based around holidays.
Holidays throughout the year are a great opportunity to cash in on savings. Whether it’s a memorial day sale for a washer and dryer, a Presidents’ Day sale for a new car, or Black Friday sales to kick off your Christmas shopping, there are many opportunities to save money by making big purchases around holiday sales.
102. Cancel subscriptions you haven’t used in over a month.
Take a quick inventory of all the subscriptions you’ve got. Which ones have you used in the last 30 days? If there are some you haven’t used, consider canceling them. Then a month or two down road when you need that service again, go ahead and renew your subscription.
Often times we forget about the auto-drafts and they slowly eat away at our checking account month after month.
103. Find quality goods with lots of life left at thrift stores.
Sometimes you can find the highest quality and best known brands at huge discounts through thrift stores or the classifieds. With a quick inspection of these items, you can usually tell if they’re a good find.
Many of them have quite a bit of life left in them. And when you get them at a thrift store, a garage sale or through the classifieds you’re getting an awesome item at a deeply discounted price.
104. If you and your spouse work, see if you can live on just one of your incomes for a few months.
If both you and your significant other have gainful employment, see if you can survive on just one of your incomes. Then take the income from the other partner, and apply it toward your savings or other financial goals.
Many couples have only one working partner, and they somehow make it work. See if you can make it work as well and add a good chunk of change to your savings.
105. Use the library for entertainment.
Your local library probably has a wealth of resources. Most these days have more than just books. Each library is different but yours may have music, DVDs, games, and other types of media you can use at no cost.
Entertainment costs can be drastically reduced by making good use of this resource most people have at their fingertips.
106. Play with your kids.
Another great way to save on entertainment cost is to do things with your kids that don’t require money. Go to the park and play soccer, go for a walk, throw a baseball in the yard, play basketball, or any other myriad of things you can do with your kids.
You don’t always have to spend money to have fun and by showing this to your kids, you can teach them a lesson that will serve them well throughout their life.
107. Search the classifieds when doing repairs or shopping for bigger purchases.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. You may be doing a repair for your vehicle and need a particular part. Instead of going to the dealer to get it brand new, you may find one through the classifieds or through a pick and pull that would work just as well.
Also, if you’re in the need of a new washer and dryer or a fridge or some other major appliance, check the classifieds and see what’s available. Sometimes people are getting rid of very high quality products that could benefit you.
108. Walk a few blocks instead of paying for parking.
Especially in big cities, parking can be a big expense. Even if you have to walk a few blocks, if it means you don’t have to pay for parking, it might be worth it to you to take that little walk.
It may require planning a few extra minutes to your trip, but those few extra minutes can equal dollars in your pocket.
109. Use cloth napkins and rags instead of disposable napkins and paper towels.
This idea might only save you a few dollars every couple weeks, but that $10 a month over the course of 30 years, can mean a significant amount of money if you consider the compound power of it.
Using cloth napkins and kitchen towels instead of disposable napkins and paper towels not only helps the wallet but it’s good for the environment. And typically, what’s good for the environment is also good for the pocketbook.
110. Use Groupon, LivingSocial and Ebates.
Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Ebates have given us an opportunity to have our cake and eat it too. Saving 40% or 50% on eating out, entertainment, or other offers can make it so you feel the squeeze significantly less.
With Groupon and LivingSocial, it also may give you an opportunity to try something that you weren’t already familiar with.
111. DIY manicures, pedicures, hair coloring and other spa type treatments.
Not only is doing your own manicures, pedicures, hair coloring or massages a money-savings opportunity but it can be fun as well. It can get you out of your comfort zone, and force you to learn something new.
Also, by doing these services for your significant other, it can create an opportunity for fun and strengthening of the relationship.
112. Deliberately leave your cash and cards at home.
If you’re going somewhere you know you won’t need money, deliberately leave your cash and cards at home. That way if you get tempted with a treat or something to eat while you’re out, it’s not possible.
You have to go all the way back home to get your wallet in order to make a purchase. This idea can come in handy in multiple scenarios where you might be tempted to spend if you had the money, especially with kids.
113. Buy clippers and groom your own dog.
We don’t have any pets, but a friend of mine says this is one way she saves money a few times per year.
Instead of having her dog professionally groomed, a while back she purchased clippers, watched a few tutorials and learned how to groom her own dog. She says it’s a bit messy but the savings for her makes it worth it.
114. Use a health savings account.
A health savings account is an awesome way to save on taxes. Yes, they do have some limitations, but if you maximize your HSA it could mean thousands of savings in taxes year after year.
Not only this, but it gives you peace of mind knowing you’ve got a stash you can use for medical expenses throughout the year.
115. Do as much correspondence online as possible.
If you’re still paying bills with stamps and envelopes through the mail, consider dropping that for the more cost effective online bill pay. Most banks have the option for you to pay all your bills completely over the Internet which is not only cheaper, but much more convenient.
For any other correspondence that can be done online, take advantage. Unless it’s absolutely necessary you use the mail, consider the less expensive online alternatives.
116. Refinance your 30-year mortgage to a 10-year or a 15-year.
If you still have a decent length of time on your 30-year mortgage, consider refinancing to a 15 or a 10 year. The savings in interest payments can be huge, and it may give you several years left in your working career without a mortgage payment.
If you can pull this off, it will greatly speed up your financial independence and give you an opportunity to build your passive income for the future.
117. Choose one of your hobbies to downsize.
Hobbies are great way to have fun and develop relationships with those you love, but if you’re the type that does golf, rock climbing, boating, scuba diving AND rifle shooting, consider choosing one of those hobbies to downsize or scale back.
Of course you don’t want to eliminate the hobbies from your life but just by scaling down on one of them you may be able to realize a large money savings opportunity.
118. Ask for courtesy removal of any overages, late fees, or finance charges.
If you forgot to pay your credit card on time, or didn’t pay it off completely one month, and you’ve got a late fee or a finance charge, typically you can call the credit card company and ask for a courtesy removal of that late fee or finance charge.
The company will usually allow a courtesy removal once every six months, or even more frequently depending on the company and your history. It never hurts to ask and it can be a pretty quick way to save $20 or more.
119. Have a simple black shirt or blouse.
A simple black shirt or blouse will go with just about any pants, shorts, or skirt. Having a black top of some kind is almost necessary for anybody’s closet. It’s such a versatile clothing item it can actually help you save money by not having to purchase specific items that will only go with one or two other articles of clothing.
120. Know exactly what you’re paying in fees on your investment accounts and take steps to reduce them.
This is a biggie. If you’re not cognizant of the fees you’re paying on your retirement accounts, namely your 401(k), IRA, annuity, life insurance, or any other financial product, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.
Get educated on what fees you’re paying and take steps to reduce them. Compounded over a long period of time this can literally mean hundreds of thousands of dollars back in your pocket.
121. Have a ‘heart-to-heart’ with your spend happy significant other.
If your spouse or significant other is the type that isn’t too concerned about saving money or being smart with finances, you need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion. You may even need to have this discussion on a regular basis.
Just make sure you’re doing it with some fun, love, kindness and understanding. Nobody likes an argument over money, much less frequent ones.
122. Have a percentage of your income deposited into a savings account that you pretend doesn’t exist.
Tricking yourself into saving may be just the thing you need. Even if it means creating a separate savings account that a percentage of your paycheck is deposited into that you pretend doesn’t exist.
Then at the end of the year, you’re surprised at how much you’ve put away. This is a great time to flush those savings into your long-term investment strategy.
This little idea can add multiple thousands of dollars to your long term investments. Plus, when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind and you likely won’t even realize the money is being saved.
123. Collect loose change in a jar at home.
Emptying your pockets of all the loose change, can equate to a decent amount of money over the course of a year. When you get others in your family involved in this practice it can really add up.
I know many families that use this money for their family vacation each year. But if invested into a college fund, this could be the beginnings of a nice little college kitty for the family.
124. Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles.
If you’re not already rotating your tires every 5,000 miles, you’re potentially wasting a lot of your hard-earned cash. When you rotate your tires and make sure they’re getting even wear, they can last 50,000 miles or more.
When they’re not rotated, you’ll be lucky to get 30,000 miles from them. Of course it all depends on how you drive, but you’ll definitely extend the life of your tires if you rotate them frequently.
125. Know when to skip the warranties or insurance.
A rule of thumb I like to use for warranties and insurance is this; if it’s something that would cause great financial turmoil if it broke or needed replacement then get the warranty or insurance.
But if it’s not something that would absolutely break the bank for you to repair or replace then skip the insurance or warranty. Warranties are a product with astronomical mark up. You can avoid these mark ups by simply skipping the warranty if it makes sense for the situation.
126. Download the free games.
Do you use games on your tablet or smart phone? If so, make a habit of only downloading the free games. There are so many options for entertainment from the app store or Google play store, it will make your head spin. Skip the paid options and explore the free ones.
127. Co-op on ride sharing.
Are there people in your neighborhood that drive into the city for work each day? If so, carpooling together might be an option. Not only are you saving money on gas, but you’re saving on the wear and tear of your vehicle and potentially the cost of parking.
If you can find three other people that have to go into the city on a daily basis, instead of driving the entire month you may only have to drive a week. In what other situations can you ride share or carpool?
128. Consider using tools like Digit or Acorns (up to their fee limit).
Many financial services have come out that allow you to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save or invest that money. So each time you’re making a purchase, you’re either adding to your savings account or your investment account.
Do pay attention to the fees the services charge and make a decision on whether it makes sense for your situation.
129. See where you’re getting killed $6 or $7 at a time.
Sometimes we don’t think twice about purchases under a certain dollar amount. But it’s these purchases that can really be detrimental to your long-term financial health.
Review your bank statements and take note of purchases around $6 or $7 and see if there are an excessive amount. Are there ways you can reduce or eliminate certain ones?
130. See where bigger money is going.
On the flipside, many months there are purchases over $100 or $150. Make sure you’re paying attention to your bank statements and knowing exactly what each of those larger purchases went toward.
131. Use a credit union instead of a bank.
Large national and international banks are known for having reoccurring fees associated with their checking and savings accounts. Depending on your needs, you might be able to switch to a credit union and receive the same or even better service for your banking needs, without the fees.
132. Swap your regular light bulbs for LED bulbs.
If you’ve still got incandescent lights in your home, get them replaced with LED lights as they burn out. Incandescent lighting is drastically more expensive then LED lighting to run.
Yes, LED lights used to be quite pricey to purchase, but costs have come down significantly over the last few years and are now very comparable to old incandescent lights. Plus, LED lights can last up to 20 years or longer.
133. Beat your low score.
For those interested in making a game of their finances, try this one out for size. Create a monthly budget, then see if you can get it even lower the following month.
Eventually you could get to the extreme, but doing this for three or four months in a row could really help you discern where there might be some waste in your budget.
134. Buy a car on the last day of the month.
If you’re in the market for a vehicle purchase, try to arrange it so you can make your purchase on the last day of the month. Many car dealerships are concerned about the volume of cars they sell, and are more willing to negotiate the price of a vehicle because they want to add another vehicle sold to their numbers.
Also, many car sales people receive a bonus depending on how many cars they sold during the month. Because they might be wanting to hit their bonus, they might also be more willing to negotiate on price even if it means a lower commission for themselves.
135. Try fasting one day each month.
Not only is intermittent fasting a healthy habit, but it can be a monetary benefit as well. A simple 24 our fast gives the body an internal reset. It can help you improve your immune system, your brain function, and your overall long term wellness.
136. If possible, take your vacations in the off season.
Taking your vacations in the off-season can mean considerable savings on your travel. In the off-season, prices for hotels, entertainment, and flights or gas money can be drastically reduced. If you’ve got the ability to take your vacation in the off-season it might mean considerable savings.
137. If you don’t already have a pet, try to avoid getting one.
Pets have their advantages, but they also have their disadvantages. If you haven’t been a pet person, you might do well to stay that way.
Pets can be great friends and companions, but if you’re not lacking already in that department you might be able to do without one. If that’s the case for you, you’ll be able to avoid vaccinations, neutering, spaying, food, potential medications down the road, room and board, and a host of other expenses that come with having a pet.
138. Update your surge protectors after 12 months.
When surge protectors take hits, they begin to wear out. And for many people, it’s been years since they’ve replaced theirs.
If it’s been a while since you replaced your surge protectors, what you may have are just power strips. If this is the case, it could cost you during the next storm. Instead of having to replace potentially thousands of dollars of electronics, go ahead and replace the $10 surge protectors.
139. Ask for a discount on your cell phone bill.
Cell phone providers are in constant competition with each other, and this can mean to a great deal of savings for the consumer.
If it’s been a while since you called your cell phone provider for a discount, it might be time to do so. You’ll be surprised at what you might find out, and the savings you might be able to realize.
140. Consider used electronics, computers and cell phones.
Many stores have popped up that sell lightly used Apple computers, phones and tablets. The same is true for other consumer electronics. Before you make your next purchase of a computer or other electronic device, check your options and see if you can find a deal.
141. Search for promotion codes before buying things online.
A quick trip over to Google to search for a promotion code before you check out online can be another thing to save you money.
You never know when a promotion code will exist for a particular item you’re buying. It’s worth a shot to take a few minutes and do a search. You may be surprised at what you find.
142. Avoid lottery tickets and gambling.
If you think back at how much you spent on lottery tickets or gambling over the years, it might make you sick to your stomach. Gambling is a form of entertainment, but it’s set up to benefit only the casino. Remember the house never loses.
Lottery tickets are much the same way. The chances of winning are so minuscule it’s almost laughable. Do your pocketbook a favor and eliminate gambling in all its’ forms.
143. Maintain a happy marriage.
A happily married couple, with common goals to create financial independence, can be a powerful force of nature. Divorce, on the other hand, can be extremely expensive. It will lead to a huge reduction in your net worth and your retirement savings accounts.
Do everything you can to make your partner happy and keep yourself happy in your marriage and it will pay dividends.
144. Paint your roof white.
This idea is a little unique, but there’s a whole movement going on with it over at whiteroofproject.org. This basic idea will reduce the costs of cooling your home in the summer.
In addition to the reduction of energy costs, having a white roof can lead to less repairs, since black roofs are prone to warping, cracking and other heat caused damages.
145. Combine errands.
Do you have a friend that has to run the same errands you do? Why not combine the trip and carpool together? It’s an outing with a friend, plus a savings in gas.
146. If possible, pick your own fruits and vegetables from local growers.
Many local growers will allow their customers to come in and pick their own fruits and vegetables and receive a discount because of it.
You may be able to find local growers that do and take them up on this offer. Not only could you possibly save money this way, but you’ll have fresh vegetables and fruits and know how they were handled.
147. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
If you create a list and stick to it when you go grocery shopping, whether you’re hungry or not may be irrelevant.
But if you’re stopping in for just a few quick items and you’re starving, you may get the urge to buy more than you need. Try to avoid the grocery store on an empty stomach.
148. Nurture a ‘saving money’ mentality.
Continue to nurture a mentality for saving money. As you stay cognizant of ways you can save, you’ll think of different things you can do. Try new things and explore with different ideas then settle on a few that work for you.
149. Establish concrete savings goals.
If you’ve got a certain objective you’re trying to meet, saving money becomes all the easier.
It’s your goals that cause you to take action. And when you’re measuring your progress against a goal, you give yourself a much higher chance of succeeding.
150. Continue to have fun and be curious.
Don’t get too crazy or obsessed with saving money. You still need to continue to have fun and do things the way you like.
Don’t get to a point where you’re trying to do more than you can. Getting frustrated, giving up, and going back to old habits can be the most expensive of all.
Take some of these ideas and see which ones you can implement. But don’t be crazy about it. In the long run, if you haven’t given up, some of these ideas will lead to significant savings for you.
Phew! That’s a lot of ways to save money!
Now that you’ve got an arsenal of things you can do for saving money, consider some ways to make it work for you! All your effort can be maximized by putting some of that savings away for yourself. Get my resource for doing just that: “How to Start Saving $300 per Month and Have a Retirement Asset Worth Up To $847,283”