18 Seamless Ways to Save More Money
How much money do you have in savings?
In 2019, the Federal Reserve revealed that U.S. households had a median balance of $5,300 and an average balance of $41,600 in their checking and savings accounts (combined).
The topic of money—often a taboo subject—is extremely important. We need it to live. And while not everyone has the luxury of building a robust savings account, socking away a bit of extra cash is well within reach for most people.
This article will outline 18 seamless ways to save more money:
1. Automatically transfer funds to savings.
If you want to save money each month but don’t know where to start, pick a reasonable number and let automation take care of the rest. That’s right—you can jump right into your bank account and schedule monthly deposits into a savings account. Even an initial $100 can make a difference.
2. Consider the debt snowball method.
Debt can be a money suck. And while plenty of Americans have it, not everyone knows how to deal with it. The debt snowball method is known to be quite effective. The idea is to pay off your debts in order—from smallest to biggest. This will help foster the change of mindset you need to make real progress.
3. Slash your grocery budget.
We’re not telling to exert extreme portion control, or to survive exclusively on beans and rice for the foreseeable future. We are, however, encouraging you to save money by lowering your grocery budget. Choose a more cost-effective store, or opt for generic options rather than costlier branded alternatives.
4. Pack a lunch (or eat at home).
Pack a lunch if you work in an office setting, or eat at home if you’re full-time remote. There’s no need to skip every lunch out with your colleagues, but scaling back some can help improve your finances. And packing a lunch can be pretty delicious, so long as you take the time to meal-prep over the weekend.
5. Cancel unwanted subscriptions.
There’s no need to forego Netflix, Hulu, or the subscriptions to your favorite newspapers. But if you’re paying for a Patreon subscription you no longer care about, or if that free Peacock streaming trial expired and you completely forgot you’re still on the hook, then it might be time to press the “cancel” button.
6. Bundle internet and cable.
Did you know you could decrease your cable bill by a pretty significant amount by choosing a new package? Depending on your provider, bundling cable and internet can save you quite a bit of money—some say more than $1,000 over two years! If you don’t need cable, see if there are ways to save on Wifi.
7. Join forces with friends.
Budgeting isn’t necessarily fun, but it can be if you make it a group activity. Set up a money-saving challenge with friends or your partner, and hold a competition to see who makes the biggest cut. Or, plan fun nights out on a budget. Skip the ribeye and lobster, and have fun at a dive bar or bowling alley.
8. Pick up a side hustle.
Side hustles aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to sock away more money, why not do so by monetizing something you love? Maybe you’re an artist selling your craft. Maybe you’re a freelance writer or designer or programmer or voice actor. Think about how others can benefit from your skillset.
9. Inquire about discounts.
Now, don’t barter everywhere you go (that’s not a great look). Do, however, ask about discounts when appropriate. Call AAA, and your car or home insurance provider, and even your cell phone carrier to see if there are any discounts, promotions, or other opportunities to save money you haven’t yet considered.
10. Set boundaries with the coffee shop.
Not everyone pays daily visits to their favorite coffee shop. If you’re someone who does, think about limiting these excursions to once or twice weekly. You’ll enjoy it more and save a significant amount of money over time. Side note: You don’t have to give up the actual coffee—just brew it at home.
11. Embrace the library.
Buying books is a wonderful experience. Supporting local authors can make a real difference in writers’ lives, and also help to sustain the publishing industry. But if you’re looking to save money, remember that your local library has your back. Pick up a card if you haven’t already, and avoid overspending on books.
12. Establish a retirement savings plan.
401(k) matching and Roth IRAs are solid ways to take advantage of retirement saving from an early age. While you can’t access these accounts without penalty until you turn 59 ½, this can actually be a good thing—think of these plans as forced savings that will put you in a better position later in life.
13. Travel close to home.
Interested in a staycation? Find a nice hotel or Airbnb in your city for your next getaway, and save money on flights, rental cars, and other aspects of travel that have a tendency to add up. If you want to venture farther out of town, that’s fine too—really anything within driving distance will save you cash.
14. Limit takeout orders to once a week.
I love takeout, you love takeout, we all love takeout. However, people tend to appreciate takeout more when it feels special—like a rarity. So to build your savings, plan to order takeout just once a week. If you need more flexibility from time to time, skip one week and order food to-go twice the next one.
15. Minimize online shopping.
Online shopping is a huge convenience. This same convenience makes it way too easy to spend money on things we might not need. To mitigate this, avoid saving your billing information on your favorite sites. Filling in your credit card details every time you want to shop online will force you to be more mindful.
16. Search for entertainment discounts.
A little bit of advance planning can save you money over time. Look around town for special discounts, like free days at museums or state parks, or $5 days at your favorite movie theater. These entertainment “happy hours” make saving easy. All you need to do is conduct a bit of research before you go out.
17. Build an emergency fund.
Emergency funds are there to be spent, right? Yes—in the event of an emergency only. And by setting aside an emergency fund, you can avoid dipping into your actual savings when it’s time to unexpectedly shell out some cash. Again, even a $50 or $100 monthly contribution can help improve your finances.
18. Write down your savings goals.
Jotting down your savings goals—or simply taking the time to create a savings plan—can help bring you closer to what you’re trying to achieve. So whether you hope to add $2,000 or $10,000 to a savings account, open a retirement account, or simply pay off your debts, write your objectives down.
And let us know how your progress is going.
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