When it comes to saving money, sometimes getting started is the hardest step. To help you get started, I reached out to 17 of the top personal finance bloggers that I admire to get their “best money saving tip”. The result is right here in this guide! It is jam-packed, full of no-brainer tips that are easy to implement, and guaranteed to help keep more money in the bank. There is something in this guide for everyone, regardless of your financial situation. Take some time to read through, then pick a few to work on.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Ramit Sethi)
Set a savings reminder to stay on track. For example, if your target spending on eating out is $375/month, that’s about $94/week. Each Sunday, just log in to make sure you’re roughly on track. If you are, great! If not, you know you need to cut spending in the coming week. This way, you can consistently correct any overspending and hit your target goal.
Money Under 30 (David Weliver)
Gamify Your Savings: Pick one thing in life that you have to spend money on but don’t like to, then make it a game to see how little you can pay for it. For example, if it’s your car; see if you can get around without one. If it’s rent, see how many roommates you can tolerate living with. Once you’ve minimized one expense, move onto another. The trick is to focus on things you don’t like spending money on to begin with so you can keep spending a modest amount on the stuff you do enjoy.
The Penny Hoarder (Kyle Taylor)
One of my best tips is to use gift cards to pay for everything. You can purchase gift cards for as much as 20% off on sites like giftcardbin.com or ebay.com. Pay for the gift cards with a rewards credit card to increase the savings even more!
Bargain Briana (Briana Carter)
Put your smart phone to work! Download money saving apps to save money at the grocery store, retail shopping, and dining out!
My Alternate Life (Jordann)
Lower your rent or mortgage costs: My biggest piece of advice for saving money -and the thing that’s helped me the most – is doing whatever you can to lower your rent/mortgage costs. This can result in hundreds of dollars saved for very little effort. Whether it’s downsizing to a smaller apartment, house sitting, or just delaying buying a house for a few more years, keeping rent low is a great way to lower overall expenses.
Man Vs. Debt (Joan Otto)
Making sure you use all of your leftovers, and don’t let it go to waste. There’s nothing worse than cleaning out the fridge and realizing you’re throwing $50 of your grocery budget away!
Invest in a slow cooker: Master a few recipes and then cook in bulk. Not only is it nice to come home to a meal after work, but it saves on grocery bills. Plus, it will encourage you to shop with a grocery list in hand and help curb mindless spending.
Pay yourself first: You should put away at least 10% of every check you earn. This should start with any job, even if 10% of your paycheck is only $13. This will help create the mentality and habit of saving which will pay off later in life.
Avoid Dry Clean Only: Professional dry cleaning bills can take a chunk out any budget. When you’re shopping for clothing always check the tags, and steer clear of dry clean only items.
Making Sense of Cents (Michelle)
Analyze how much you are spending on food. Make a detailed list of everything you have spent on anything food related in the past 30 days. Most likely you will be shocked! Food waste is also probably a big cost in your budget.
- Find a great all purpose homemade cleaner.
- Keep your house organized.
- Budget for fun.
- Re purpose instead of always buying new.
PTMoney (Philip Taylor)
Do a subscription and services audit every six months. Take one hour every six months and review your spending for a) subscriptions that you are no longer using, like a gym membership, and b) services with variable charges, like cable tv and utilities with expiring rates. Once you’ve identified the candidates, call and cancel (the unwanted subscriptions) and call and ask for a better rate on the other services. This can result in significant savings throughout the year.
Saving money is more about a mentality than a process. The way that I increased my savings is that I treated it like a monthly bill. Instead of putting money in my savings account every paycheck, I created a “due date” once during the month. I put it on my bill calendar and paid the savings “bill” each and every month. People have a better likelihood of paying their bills than they do paying themselves.
One Cent at A Time (SB)
When possible go for used items through garage sales, thrift shops, eBay or craigslist. Items like books, hardware, glassware and decorative pieces, which are in good shape can always be re-used in your home. In some cases you can save as much as 90% on the cost of brand-new purchases.
Simply asking for a discount is one way to save big money. But many people don’t like to ask — thinking that it’s rude or simply something that’s just not done in America. Or perhaps they’re afraid of being told “no.”
Resource: Six Times It’s Easy to ask for a Discount Whatever the reason, this article is for those people who are reluctant to ask for a discount.
1500 Days to Freedom
Think about the “money potential” you’re losing out on: Once you spend the $50 on something, that money is now gone. Had you saved it and invested it, assuming a 10% return, that money would be worth $100 in 7 years, $200, in 14 years and $400 in 21 years. That may not sound like a lot, but consider what you can do with the money you save buying a used Honda instead of a new Acura. In 21 years, we’re talking about some serious cash.
Get a co-pilot: Whenever I’m questioning a purchase, I run it by my wife. She’ll either validate the purchase or tell me I’m silly for one reason or another. Note: This won’t work so hot if your partner is a big spender.
Forget about keeping up with the Joneses: Once you don’t care what your neighbors think of you, you’ll be a lot better off. They just bought a new car. Great for them! Take comfort in the fact that because you drive a used one, you have a bunch of dollars working hard and multiplying. If people think less of you because you don’t have a nice car or the newest clothes, ask yourself if these are the right people to be hanging out with in the first place.
Financial Mentor (Todd Tresidder)
Track every penny that passes through your hands – both income and expense – and review the expenses weekly asking two simple questions:
1. Is this purchase getting me the highest and best value for my money?
2Is this purchase taking me toward my goals or away from my goals?
After doing this for a period of three months you will find that you start asking the questions at the point of purchase. It becomes an automatic habit that aligns your spending with your values and goals. At that point, your spending is permanently transformed.
A great credit score can save you thousands of dollars in interest. Work on improving your credit score by lowering your credit card utilization, paying off your debt, and monitoring your score regularly to score the best rates and save!
Lazy Man and Money
Waiting on spending money. The bigger the purchase, the longer to sit and really think about whether you need it. I had a friend who talked about buying a new car for a few years. It became a running joke, but he was really on the fence that long because his current car ran fine.