Here is an interesting statistic. Nearly one third of lottery winners (in America) will eventually declare bankruptcy. How crazy is that? All because the winners had poor money-saving techniques.
Well hopefully you are here because you don’t want to fall under a similar statistic. That’s why we have created a list of the best ways to save money for the future.
Becoming wealthy isn’t just about earning or investing money, it’s also about being able to save the money you have earnt. Without living in a saving (or frugal) mindset, you can easily see your yearly income go down the drain. How much better would you feel to have money left over in your account each week, month or year? What would you now be able to do?
By saving money, you can really fast track your goals, whether they would be paying down debt, becoming a parent that’s able to spend more time at home, becoming financially independent, traveling the globe, or just not having to stress about money again. The possibility are endless.
Well, you’re in luck. There are many tricks that you can use to keep that money locked in your pocket.
This is one of the most important aspects of saving. If you’re able to change the way you think about money, then your able to see thousands of different ways your able to save more. Here are some tips of how to develop your money mindset:
1. Break the initial impulse – 24-hour purchase rule
This one is simple, and a great little test to curb those impulse purchases. For anything that you are interested in purchasing and hold off for a day. Restrict yourself for 24 hours. Try and forget about it. Come back after your 24 hours is up and see if that impulse is still there.
2. Wait a month to decide if you need the item
If you were successful in waiting 24 hours to purchase your much desired item, then you could try wait for a full month to see if you still want the item. Likely you have found another solution, or realised that you don’t need the product in the first place.
3. Think before buying
Ask yourself questions like:
- Do I really need this?
- Can I afford this?
- How do I feel? Do I want this just to make me feel good?
- How many hours do I need to work to earn the money back?
- Can I borrow this from a friend instead of buying it myself?
- How much interest can I gain if I invest this money (and reinvest!) instead of spending it?
- What happens when I don’t buy this?
4. Try a “buy nothing challenge”
By creating and adhering to a buy nothing challenge you can quickly change your mindset about money!
5. Pay yourself first
Most people pay their bills, buy some “nice to have things” and then at the end of the month, check if they have anything left over. If you pay yourself first, you can end up saving a lot more money than if you were to pay yourself last (i.e. at the end of the month).
6. Develop your financial literacy
Financial literacy is something that doesn’t properly get taught in schools, but is so important . A person who is financially literate is able to be confident in allocating money, and dealing with expenses and debt. To help you on your financial journey, we have listed 5 of the best books to help increase your financial literacy.
Save money on groceries
Groceries are necessary but also cost a lot of money. They are a lot of ways to reduce the amount you spend every month:
7. Plan your meals ahead
If you plan your groceries a week ahead, you only need one trip to the supermarket every week. This means you shop much more efficiently. The temptation of buying extra’s is smaller if you visit the supermarket less often and stick to your list. Also: never go hungry to the supermarket!
8. Buy your weekly shop based on discounts
You can easily find some great discounts for various shops in local newspapers- Don’t be afraid to visit a couple of different shops to really supercharge your discounts!
9. Do a price comparison
Compare the prices between a couple of different supermarkets each week.
10. Shop online for your groceries
One of the best ways that you can save money grocery shopping is to order your groceries online. There are many advantages to this including knowing exactly how much you will spend, being aware of the weekly discounts, and being able to easily compare products using a like-for-like comparison.
11. Grow your own vegetables at home
This one may be a bit more costly at the start, but once you have worked out the process, you can save a bit of money growing your favourite vegetables or herbs in the garden. It works especially well if you also harvest the seeds for use in future years! Additionally, if you make too many, then you could also make some passive income on the side.
12. Buy fruit and vegetables while they are in season
Vegetables are cheaper when there are in abundance, so buying vegetables based on season can save you a lot of money. Extra savings if you live near, or are able to obtain seasonal foods straight from a farm. Additionally, if you buy in bulk, you can blanch the vegetables and put them in the freezer!
13. Pick cheap brands
You don’t need to go to the big stores, or shop for the most famous brand. Less known brands are usually a lot cheaper and they hardly taste different at all.
14. Buy in bulk
For items that don’t expire or can last very long, it’s a good idea to buy large packs or stock up when on sale. Things like toilet paper, cleaning products, bathroom items, coffee, tea, canned goods, dried foods and basically anything else that has a long shelf life are perfect to stock up on when there are discounts. You can also freeze items like meat and fish for a longer shelf life.
15. Have a left-over-day every week
At the end of the week (i.e. the last day before you go shopping), you can have a left-over-day to clean out everything left in the pantry. Generally during the week you can be left with various leftovers. These can go off if you don’t use them in other dishes. Instead you can easily turn all the leftovers into a good meal. Various options include a curry, a slow cook, or even tacos.
Any scraps you can usually provide to the chickens, or place in the compost
16. Chickens lay fresh eggs
This is one of those ideas that may save some people a heap of money, and will cost more for many others. If you are a bit handy, live in a good climate, and eat lots of eggs, then having chickens could be a good way to save money. IF the chickens are free range, and you provide some scraps here and there, you can generally get away with minimal expenses, and you get a few fresh eggs a day!
17. Clean out your pantry every other month
Before you make your groceries list, have a look and see what items you have in your pantry. This probably means you don’t have to buy a lot of new groceries, plus you make sure that you use everything before it expires. If you are buying things using online shopping, you can generally check your pantry while your shopping!
Save money on household expenses
There are so many expenses around your home, including your garden, car, children etc. But there are lots of ways to lower these bills:
18. Move to a smaller house
This is a fairly big one, and not something that your going to jump straight into. But, generally a smaller house will reduce your mortgage (or rent). Additionally you can save on things like heating costs, and you can remove all of those things that just clutter the house.
19. Move in with your parents
Also another fairly big decision, but more directed at a single person, or a couple without kids. One fantastic way to save some money is if you were to move back into your parents house. If you live with your parents, you can share a lot of the costs, like the rent or the mortgage, and food for multiple people is always cheaper than just for one.
And if you’re lucky, your parents (especially moms…) still take care of you even now you’re an adult, which means less household chores.
However, if you are in a family situation yourself, you may need to have a serious discussion about whether something like this is necessary.
20. Get a roommate
If you’re single or in a couple without kids, and you have a large house that can easily fit more people, you could look for a roommate.
He or she will pay rent and you can share other expenses as well.
If you wanted someone on a shorter basis, you could look at renting out a room on AirBNB, or other similar platform.
21. Get rid of your storage unit
A lot of people have a storage unit which they pay money for every month. In most cases, the storage unit is just an overflow of “stuff” from the house. This is generally things that people don’t really need, or have just forgotten about.
Clean it out, and get rid of it!
22. Switch insurances
Its a great practice to check all of your insurances everyone once in a while to see if there are any cheaper options available.
A lot of people bundle all of their insurances to the same company, which can usually provide a heap of discounts.
Have an open mind about changing insurances, and even talk with the current company. If you suggest that you are looking to change to a cheaper insurance, they will surely offer you something to keep your business. It’s cheaper for them to keep you, than it is to try and find someone else!
Also think about the insurances you’ve got. Do you really need it, or can you be strong enough the save some the money yourself? This way you could have some money available in the off chance of an emergency, or if nothing happens, you have a retirement fund just sitting there. Obviously this is pretty extreme, and you have to really consider if this would work in your situation.
23. Refinance your mortgage
If the interest on your mortgage is higher than the current interest rates, you can check with your financial adviser if you can refinance your loan to lower your monthly payments and save a lot of money on interest.
24. Repair things yourself
If something breaks, you don’t have to hire someone to come and fix it for you.
YouTube is full of helpful videos to let you fix nearly everything. Check it out, learn new skills and save money in the progress!
25. Cut cable
If you don’t watch TV so much, then you could consider to cut cable TV and possibly the home phone. This day and age everyone seems to have mobiles, and you can watch so many different shows (including regular TV) through the internet.
Cutting cable doesn’t just save money, it also saves you tons of time. Plus you’re not exposed to all those commercials which makes you want to buy stuff.
26. Share a Netflix account
You can share a Netflix account with a friend to save money.
You can choose the version where you can watch on two screens at the same time, so you and your friend can both watch something whenever you want. It’s still cheaper than having your own account.
27. Put solar panels on your house
If you invest in solar panels, you will dramatically lower your energy bill.
Depending on where you live, it can take only a couple of years to make up for your investment. Additionally solar panels are lasting longer and longer, so they will likely pay themselves back multiple times.
28. Insulate your home
By insulating your home, you can save a lot of energy. You can insulate your roof or your walls or you can fill up cracks to lower draft in your house and keep the warmth inside.
29. Explore other types of heating
Depending on where you live, you may be able to utilise other forms of heating that are more cost efficient.
Generally electrical heating is one of the more expensive type of heating, compared to geothermal heating.
30. Change energy supplier
Compare electricity and gas suppliers in your country and see how much you can save each month on your utility bills by switching to a cheaper one.
31. Use LED Lights
You had to assume this one was going to be in here somewhere!
You have very little excuse not to have LED light globes in your home. Due to the amount available, these are one easiest and cheapest things to replace. It wont equate to much, but changing all of your lights to LED could reduce your lighting costs by up to 80%!
32. Turn off the lights
Every time you walk from a room, make it a habit to turn off lights. Or, invest in a motion sensor that will turn the lights out when there is no movement in the room for a set time.
33. Unplug appliances
Electric appliances still use electricity when they’re on standby. If you unplug them, especially when you’re going away for a few days, you will lower your energy bill.
Also think about buying an inexpensive timer that you can set for the day, and have the appliance turn off at night.
34. Lower the thermostat
If you set your thermostat back a few degrees, you will save a lot on your energy bill. Put on a sweater instead of increasing the temperature.
When you’re away or asleep, you can even set it lower. A programmable thermostat can do this for you, so you don’t have to remember it.
35. Look at energy efficient appliances
If you need a new appliance, for example a new washer, dryer, freezer or dishwasher, look at how energy efficient it is.
An efficient one can save you a lot of money every month. Especially with appliances that run all the time, like a freezer, it can make a huge difference.
Cancel subscriptions to save money
People tend to have lots of subscriptions and sometimes they don’t even know they’re still paying for something they haven’t been using for a long while.
36. Unsubscribe from catalogues and commercial mail
If your one of those people that loves getting a catalogue in the mail with the newest fashion, then you’re going to be upset with this one.
Catalogues and commercial advertisements are made to make you buy just about everything. If you unsubscribe from these, you will avoid the temptation.
One of the easiest options is to put a “no junk mail” sticker on your mailbox.
37. Cancel magazine subscriptions
Do you get magazines every week or month and they all end up in your “to read pile”? Cancel your subscription! You still have plenty of magazines to read laying around. If you do end up reading them all and still want to read more of them, you can always subscribe again.
Additionally, you can also share a magazine subscription with friends or neighbours.
38. Cancel newspaper subscriptions
The news is everywhere nowadays. You can watch it on tv, on the internet or you can use an app to keep up with the news.
Does anyone even read a newspaper anymore?
39. Cancel subscriptions
Check your bank statement and see what your subscribed to each month. This could be thinks such as lotteries, magazines, Spotify, Netflix or whatever you have a membership for.
Cancel everything that you don’t use on a regular basis. If you do miss something after a while, you can always subscribe again (refer to out shared Netflix number earlier).
After you have unsubscribed, check your account again to make sure there are no more surprises.
40. Quit your gym membership
If you want to save money, you don’t really need a gym membership.
Most people don’t use it, or go in for a couple of times in the first few months. These memberships cost a lot every month.
You can easily work out for free by walking, running or talking your bike more often. Also take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If that’s not enough, seriously sit down and see if you can pick up some second hand gym equipment and have it in your house somewhere. Now you can workout whenever you want without the monthly payment burden. You also save money by not having to drive to the gym!
41. Cancel those recurring software costs
A lot of the software we use day to day has some sort of cost associated with it.
However there are so many great (and possibly better) open source programs that you can choose from. We compiled a list of 10 of the most common open source software programs that could save you over $600 each year!
Debt & Bills
Even when you’re in debt, and it doesn’t look like there is any way out, there are still ways for you to save money:
42. Consolidate your debt
Paying off your debts is a complicated thing to do. Depending on the quantity of debt you carry, making all of it go away can take many years and for homeowners with a limited budget, this is simply out of reach.
An excellent solution to achieve debt relief, is to consolidate your debts. By doing this, you make your debts more manageable; allowing you to pay off all your existing debts more easily. Find out our top 5 ways that your able find debt relief by consolidating your debts.
43. Pay off your debt with the avalanche method
With the Avalanche method, you will pay off your debt with the highest interest rates first. Everyone seems to favor the snowball method, because you will pay off your smallest debt first, which gives motivation as you can easily see progression. But personally, I think the snowball method is the wrong method.
If you pay the debt with the highest interest rate first, you will save tons of money on interest! You can motivate yourself by checking how much less interest you will pay. If you can save thousands of dollars in interest, you must be crazy to NOT use this method!
44. Pay your bills on time
When you pay your bills in time, you avoid additional fees for paying too late or the costs for a collection agency. If you change to auto-pay, you might even get a deduction.
45. Refinance loans
If you’ve got a lot of debt with high interest rates, it might be a good idea to check if you can refinance your loans to a lower interest rate. This will save you money on a monthly basis, which means you can pay off your debt sooner and you will pay a lot less interest over the years.
46. Have an emergency fund
If something breaks down, like your car or your washing machine, you want to be able to fix that immediately. If you have an emergency fund, you don’t have to take out a loan to get your car fixed or buy a new washing machine.
An emergency fund of € 1,000 is enough to start with and can stop you from going into more debt.
47. Always pay your credit card bill in full each month
To stay out of debt and avoid high interest rates, you should always pay off your credit card every month.
48. Quit using credit cards
Credit cards are easy. The problem is that if you use it without thinking and without making sure you’ve got enough money, you won’t be able to pay off your credit card bill every month. This means you will get charged high interest rates.
If you know you are easily tempted to buy things, cut your credit card in half and start using your debit card.
49. Use more cash
It’s so much easier to keep track of how much you are spending if every euro goes trough your hands. If you take out a certain amount of money each month to pay your groceries, you simply can’t overspend. Make a plan, calculate what you need every month and stick to it.
Save money on everyday stuff
You can save money on most things, here are some tips for everyday items:
50. Plan gifts ahead
During holiday seasons for example, gifts are more expensive.
If you know your children, spouse or friend will still like something in a few months from now, you can just go ahead and buy it while it’s on sale.
51. Buy more second-hand items
In addition to buy stuff in advance, another way to save money on just about everything, is to buy secondhand. Secondhand things are usually way cheaper than new items. So always check for secondhand instead of new things, to save lots of money.
52. Give gifts that don’t cost you anything
Do your friends have children? Offer to babysit a couple of times or even a whole weekend. Or maybe your friend has pets and needs a place to bring them once in a while. Offer to take care of their pets while they’re on a day out or on a holiday.
You can also offer other services if you have certain skills, like repairing clothes or fix things around the house.
53. Make your own gifts
Another option to save money on gifts is to DIY. If you’re creative, you can build something yourself, which usually will be a lot cheaper than to buy the same thing in the store. Plus it’s a much more personal gift.
54. Holiday shop after the holidays
Have you noticed that things like Christmas decorations are always on sale after Christmas? Plan ahead and buy your decorations for the following year right after Christmas.
55. Stop buying expensive toys
Children don’t really need lots of expensive toys. They can be so creative with things likes cardboard boxes and other simple materials!
Or alternatively, there are usually so many other kids that have grown out of their toys. Just have a look at any online marketplace, and your sure to find something!
56. Ban new clothes for a year
Instead of putting a ban on just about everything, you can do the challenge for one specific item, like clothes.
If you go trough your wardrobe, you will probably notice that you have a LOT of clothes and you could easily go without buying new clothes for months or even a whole year.
You will get more creative and start mixing and matching a lot more.
57. Buy clothes that match well
If you do need new clothes, make sure to buy something that can easily be matched with the other items in your wardrobe. You actually only need a couple of basics to be able to mix & match and make a lot of different outfits.
58. Repair clothes
Did the zipper on your favourite trousers just broke? Go to the market for the supplies your need and repair your own trousers. Also holes can easily be fixed by yourself.
If you don’t know how to do it, search for it on YouTube. You can also look for a repair shop in your neighbourhood. Getting something repaired is still a lot cheaper than buying new clothes.
59. Take your own lunch to work
Lunch may seem to be a small amount of money, but if you spend it every day, it really adds up.
If you spend $5 every day at lunch, that means it’s about $100 a month or $1,200 a year!
If you make lunch at home and take it with you, you will probably spend less than $2 a day, which means $40 a month or $480 a year.
That is a massive $720 that you saved in just one year by changing one simple thing!
60. Cut your own hair (or your kids hair)
Are you handy with scissors? Check out some tutorials on YouTube and try to cut your own hair or your kids hair.
Of course you can also just shave your hair off as that’s easier to do on your own, but it’s a bit extreme, especially for women.
61. Swap babysitting
Do you life in a neighborhood with a lot of children? You can swap babysitting to save money on a babysitter. One night you take care of the children of your neighbor and the next night they will do it for you.
62. Buy inexpensive hygiene products
Do you really need shampoo, deodorant or conditioner from that premium brand? Less known brands are usually just as good, but way cheaper.
63. Find a more affordable cell phone plan to save money
How much do you use your cell phone? How much data do you need and how much do you call?
Some people pay between $50 and $100 a month, which isn’t that cheap at all. Possibly you do need it if your on the road, or calling friends in other countries, but you should really look into ways of cutting that down.
- log into your account and see how much data you actually use. Are you on the right plan?
- look at what different providers have to offer. Do you need cellular data over the whole part of the country, or could you go with a lower cost carrier?
- cut down on mobile data and try and only download or watch videos while on WiFi
- use tools like Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger for contacting friends (rather than a cellular call)
- explore a Business plan if you can have it as a tax deduction.
- try calling the telephone company saying that your thinking about leaving. You
IF all else fails, you could always call up your telephone provider and suggest that your looking at switching to another cheaper company. More often than not, they will offer you some form of discount to keep you on their services.
64. Do a maintenance run on your appliances
Check your appliances for things like dust or filth or clean your dishwasher once in a while to remove all of that sludge. This way you will keep your appliances in good condition and they should last longer.
65. Let the sun dry your clothes
Dryers use so much electricity. So by taking out the costs of the dryer, you can save a heap of money on your energy bill.
Can you dry your clothes in the sun? Or possibly you have a water heater that is already on, and you can hang the clothes in front of that!
66. Wash your clothes in cold water
Even in cold water, most clothes will get clean.
For some fabrics it’s even recommended to use cold water, so that the fabric lasts longer!