30 Money Saving Tips To Help You Stack More Cash This Year

By Todd Kunsman

Saving Money

Published on

Updated on

Every year, people are looking for the best money saving tips in order to keep more cash and stop bad spending habits. 

While I’m a firm believer in making more money to help grow your wealth, finding ways to save is a good complement. 

Sometimes, it’s also easy to overlook ways to save money. And other times you might doubt that there are currently ways for you to save extra without being extremely frugal.

But there are tons of options! I’m not an overly frugal person myself, but there are still areas where I can keep my expenses low and ensure more money stays in my pockets. 

Below are 30 money savings tips that can send hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars a year back to your pockets.

Save Money on Investments

1. Catch hidden fees and improve investments 

If you are investing for retirement in a 401k or IRA (you should be!), one way to save yourself money is to watch out for fees. 

Many financial companies have account fees, maintenance fees, or other high fees that are costing you thousands in retirement.

And most times, you might not even realize this is happening! 

One of the best ways to catch these fees and ensure your investment portfolio is optimized is to use Blooom. The service is free to use for their 401k Analyzer, which now works for IRAs too! 

2. Save and invest spare change

One of the fintech advances recently is being able to invest and save spare change. One of the challenges for a lot of people is having any money to actually buy shares of stocks.

However, some financial companies have made the process easier. 

For example Stash Invest allows you with a min of $5 to invest in fractional shares of stocks, ETFs, or bonds. Now you are able to put small amounts of money away and grow it. 

Another example is the well-known company Acorns. The micro-investing platform takes your spare change and can also invest in fractional shares. 

3. Invest in low cost index funds

When you begin investing to build wealth and for retirement you have various choices to choose from. One of which you should highly consider are index funds.

These are portfolios of stocks or bonds to match and track against the financial markets. 

The reason they are ideal is because these funds provide broad market exposure and have low expenses and low portfolio turnover.

Since the cost to invest in these funds are fractional percentages, you keep more money in the long run.

Save Money on Food

4. Cut down on groceries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationally we spend more than $7,700 per year on groceries and going out. That’s quite a bit of cash that could be invested or used for emergency fund building. 

The major money savings will be on going out to eat less. The markup on buying food at restaurants is pretty staggering considering what you can do by making it yourself.

Start meal prepping, couponing, and even buying in bulk when it makes sense. 

Yes, you may lose the convenience factor of not cooking or packing your food, but it will save you thousands every year. 

5. Invest in a crock pot

Sometimes you do need to make a good purchase to save you money in the long run. And buying a crock pot is a top choice for saving you time and money on food. 

There are plenty of amazing crock pot recipes that can make you tons of leftovers. 

Plus, it’s easy to do so you don’t have to worry about tons of time cooking. You can also get a good crock pot at affordable prices, so that won’t break the bank. Check out some of these over on Amazon.

6. Stick to drinking water

The body loves and needs water, so why not save money by sticking to water?! I’m not saying you should never drink anything else, but buying beverages adds up.

Invest in a filter for your faucet or a filter pitcher you can put in your fridge.

If and when you do go out to eat, you can save yourself some cash by sticking to water.  This won’t make you rich, but it’ll keep some money in your wallet every month. 

7. Pack lunches and meal prep at home

As simple as the idea of packing lunches and meal prepping is, we often overlook this when it comes to saving money.

But instead of going out to eat for lunch or picking up food on the way home, prep in advance! 

A good example is take part of your Sunday (or any weekday) to make lunches for the week and schedule out your dinners. It will save you money from going out to buy lunch and time when your meals are ready.

Another reason to invest in that crock pot! 

Tip ???? If you do go out to eat and have kids, there are restaurants who will offer promotional periods during different days of the week where kids can eat for free. A great way to save some money when going out to eat.

Money Saving Tips On Shopping

8. Remove retailers from email and social

A quick way to avoid spending temptations? Remove retailers and stores from your life!

Of course, you can’t completely avoid it all, but you can eliminate more of it from your life. 

The first step is to unsubscribe from retail emails.

Sure, you may get some coupons to save money or see some sales but it’s just a way to loop you back in. If you have spending under control and are not tempted, then by all means keep them. 

Additionally, you can unfollow any brands from social media too. You may still get targeted ads on these platforms, but the less images of things to buy in your feed the better. 

9. Earn cash back when you do shop 

You aren’t going to stop spending completely. You do need essentials to live and sometimes you do need new clothes or household items. 

But a great way to get some money back is use a cash back app for when you do shop. You can get money back for shopping through Ibotta, one of my favorites. There are other apps you can choose from as well. 

Warning. You don’t want to get caught up in buying just because you can get cash back from some major stores and brands.

So if you do think you’ll be tempted to overspend, then delete the app. 

10. Master couponing when shopping

A great way to continue saving money is to master couponing for purchases. Whether that is for food, clothes, or any kind of shopping.

Certainly things will go on sale, but when you do need to buy items — coupons can add an extra layer of money off. 

Do you need to become a hardcore coupon clipper where people get their costs down to a few bucks? Not necessarily, but you should be monitoring for ways to get the most money off from when you do have to shop.

11. Sleep on purchases before pulling the buying trigger

The convenience factor of shopping today makes it so easy to spend money. With a simple click or two of your account, you are racking up your purchases.

One way to save yourself money is to give yourself 24-48 hours before making a purchase.

It gives you time to think and reflect on if you really need it. Many times the adrenaline or interest in buying subsides. 

If you don’t think that will work, remove your credit cards from any shopping platforms and logout of your accounts. Helps eliminate some quick click purchases. 

General Money Saving Tips

12. Save money on bills

An unfortunate part of life is having to pay bills. And usually, that’s all the mail seems to be good for anymore. But one way to save money is by reducing the costs of your bills. 

It’s easy to overlook the costs if you have different subscriptions or payments going out. But a lot of times, you are paying more than you need to. 

For instance, you can negotiate better rates if you are in good standing with the company by just calling and asking.

Or you can use a service like Billshark, which has an 85% success rate negotiating bills for Cable TV, Wireless Phone, Satellite TV, Internet Access, Satellite Radio, and Home Security.

13. Reduce energy costs

Electricity and utility costs can quickly rise if you are not thinking with an energy efficient mind.

And there are tons of ways to help reduce your energy costs and keep your bills lower. Here are some of the areas to consider:

  • Swap light bulbs to energy efficient ones
  • Turn lights off when not in the room or home
  • Open windows when the weather is good for fresh air
  • Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer
  • Get a free energy audit from your electric company
  • Insulate your home like windows and doors 
  • Buy energy efficient appliances (many are these days)

14. Track your spending and finances 

While I’m not a big fan of budgeting or tracking expenses, it’s pretty crucial in personal finances. This is especially true if you want to start saving money and see your net worth grow. 

And when you do keep tabs, it’s easier to keep your spending in control and know what is going on. 

The easiest way to monitor your finances is through Personal Capital. The application is free and provides organized and detailed insights in your spending, retirement accounts, net worth, and more. 

15. Use an online bank account

Online only banks have taken the financial world by storm because of the great benefits many offer. And the simple way to save yourself money is to open an online bank account. 

There are plenty of options to choose from, but you want ones that meet your personal needs and is FDIC insured. 

Besides generally offering higher interest on your money, many of these banks offer no overdraft fees, no ATM fees/ATM reimbursement, no services fees, no account fees, etc. 

A few of my favorites include:

16. Pay off credit cards in full to avoid high interest

The average credit card debt per U.S. household was $8,500 as of late 2019. And the average credit card interest rate is 19.02% for new offers and 15.10% for existing accounts according to WalletHub

And while those are averages, the interest percent can be much higher pending the credit card company and your credit history.

Because credit cards aren’t physically money, people can get “Swipe” happy. If that’s you, leave the credit cards at home. 

But if anything, you need to be using credit cards for purchases that you have the cash for. That way you can pay off your balance immediately.

If there is an emergency, then certainly a credit card can be helpful. But the goal is to keep this balance paid and your interest at zero. 

Bonus: Negotiate credit card rates if you have good credit and standing with any credit cards. Many times they will be willing to lower your interest rates for you. Never hurts to ask!

17. Maintain a good credit score 

While not a direct money saving tip, maintaining a good credit score can save you money headaches later. 

Whether you like the credit system or not, having a better score will make your life easier. That includes keeping interest rates or mortgage rates lower for you. Thus, saving you money! 

There is quite a bit that goes into having a good credit score, so make sure you hit that link if you want to learn more.

If you want to check your credit score for free create an account on Credit Karma or Credit Sesame, or both. 

18. Turn your hobby into money

Thanks to the internet and the accessibility of things, you might not even realize a hobby of yours can make you money.

Something that you already love doing or creating, can help you save more money! 

Now, some hobbies will have better returns than others, but you’d be surprised what you can make from your passions!

Here is a list of hobbies that make money if you are looking for more information. 

19. Give yourself a limited spending allowance

I’m a big proponent that it’s okay to spend money on things that bring you some joy in life. But it should be in moderation and as long as you are actively working on your finances. 

An additional way to keep your spending from getting out of hand is by using an allowance system.

This is where you stick to a certain amount of money to spend on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s up to you how much and what cadence, but this can be a solid way to keep your spending in control.

20. Set up automatic bill payments to avoid late fees

One of the easiest money saving tips is to set up automatic bill payments. Although you might think you’ll remember an upcoming payment, it can easily slip your mind. I’ve done that a few times myself! 

Automatic payments help you avoid racking up late fees, costing you extra money that could be used to save or invest.

And although you have automatic payments, always check to ensure you don’t get any surprise charges. 

21. Ask for fees to be waived

It’s amazing how often we as a society just go along with fees associated with things. Whether that is with banks, credit cards, utility bills, etc.

A simple money saving tip is to just ask for fees to be waived.  This won’t always work, but it never hurts to ask! 

As long as you are polite and present your case, many companies will waive fees in order to retain your business.

You won’t get rich over this, but hey it’s not to be able to pocket cash that would otherwise would go toward fees. 

22. Downsize your housing or move to lower costs

One of the biggest expenses you’ll most likely face is living costs. Whether that is your mortgage or rent, housing can keep you broke.

And this option is not always immediately easy, but it can save you big money. Consider downsizing, moving to an affordable area, or get some roommates to split costs. 

You can cut your mortgage or rent payments down, save in property taxes, and just generally live in a more affordable environment.

Pending your financial situation, you may need to make some tough sacrifices for a bit to save money. But this is a great option if you feel your housing is hurting your finances. 

23. Create a money saving challenge

Having the discipline to save money can be difficult in the early stages. But one way to make it more interesting for you is to create a money saving challenge.

This process can be more fun for you and keep you accountable towards saving money on a given timeframe. 

There are many different variations too, like a 52 week money saving challenge, bi-weekly saving challenge, and more. If you want to set yourself up, try some of these money saving challenges

24. Create a holiday budget ahead

The holidays approach fast and quickly our spending can get out of control. But a great way to save money is by creating a holiday budget way ahead of time. And this includes shopping for people ahead too. 

That way you can get deals during the offseasons, be ahead of the curve, and stick to the budget you set yourself.

Now during the holiday rush, you won’t be tempted to buy extra or have to worry about finding cash for gifts. 

25. Do routine maintenance on household items

When it comes to your household, some quick money saving tips include routine maintenance on your appliances.

Think costly things like your fridge, washer and dryers, furnace, plumbing, etc. 

By cleaning these appliances, checking connections, and taking care of these items you’ll ensure to get the most use out of them. Calling someone to help or having to buy new appliances is not cheap. 

Of course, if you are renting then you probably won’t have to worry too much about that. 

26. Ignore what friends and family have

You know what one of my personal favorite money saving tips is? Ignoring the urge to keep up with your friends, family, and colleagues!

You’d be surprised how much money you keep in your pockets when you don’t compare yourself to what others have. 

When you see others going out a lot, upgrading their lifestyle, buying a new fancy car or whatever — it can make you want to try and keep up even if you don’t have the income to support it. 

This can be a challenging mindset. But once you master it, you’ll be much stronger with your finances.

27. Master your needs vs. wants to save

Saving money and controlling spending is really a mindset, in my opinion. You can follow all the best personal finance tips, but the mindset is still crucial to saving money.

It comes down to eliminating the consumer mentality and understand needs versus your wants. 

Once you can master this area, saving money becomes second nature. In fact, you’ll reach a point or saving and spending less is just a daily routine. It might not be easy to break bad money habits, but you certainly can! 

28. Cancel subscriptions and memberships

Besides finding ways to save on your bills, you should also consider canceling other recurring ones. Make a spreadsheet of all your current subscriptions and memberships. 

Evaluate each one and the cost to see if it is worth keeping.

Many times, we think we know what we are paying and where, but the numbers may surprise you when you write them down. 

As I started teaching myself personal finances, I realized I was paying $25 per month for a gym. Not insane costs, but I was never going! The apartment I lived in had a gym with everything I needed for free. Saved myself $300 per year.

If you have quite a few subscriptions or aren’t sure what you might have, Trim is a great service. Trim analyzes your transactions to find all your recurring subscriptions.

And if you no longer need one, Trim to cancel it for you! The app manages a few other areas of your finances too. 

29. Get rid of cable

The cost of cable has continued to rise over the last few years. Naturally, things like this will go up in price, but it can get a bit ridiculous.

When I had cable, I was paying over $125/month and that wasn’t with anything special! And I’m not the only one who has experienced this. 

So I cut the cord and stuck to streaming services. Of course, now every channel or network is probably going to create a streaming app and will cost just as much as cable, but that’s a whole other discussion. 

But if you are not a huge cable fan, you have cheaper options. For awhile I just had Netflix and then more recently added Hulu. This cut my monthly entertainment bill by more than half. 

30. Pay yourself first

One of my personal favorite ways to save more money is by paying yourself first. This is a bit different from the other tips, because it’s about ensuring money goes to you before bills. That’s right! 

When you are paid, the first thing you should do is put money towards your retirement, in your savings account, or any other investments for your future. 

You certainly want to pay your bills on time, but prioritizing and automating a percentage of money to go to you first will help you stack cash. 

What are some of your favorite money saving tips from above? Are there others you practice that you think deserve to be on the list? Let me know in the comments below!