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How to Save Money Fast

Last Updated: January 22, 2024
5 min read

Key points about: saving money

  1. There are many ways to save money, from cutting spending to taking advantage of 0% introductory interest rate credit cards.

  2. Listing your monthly household expenses and comparing them against your income can help you determine how much you can save, or how much spending to cut.

  3. You may save money on necessities by signing up for your grocery store’s rewards program.

No matter your financial situation, you may be looking for ways where you can save money. Maybe you have an upcoming necessary expense that you need to start planning for. Or you finally have the time to take that trip you’ve wanted to go on, and need to make sure you have room on your credit card to book airfare and your hotel. Or it could be because you have a low income and you’re looking to set money aside for an emergency fund. No matter your financial goal, there are plenty of methods for saving money fast.

Ways to save money

The process of saving money will be different for everybody. But if you’re disciplined and stick to your plan, these money-saving tips can help get you where you want to be.

Set a savings goal

One of the first things you may want to do to start saving money is to figure out what your goal is. Is it a short-term savings plan to pay for something in the next year? Or are you thinking more long-term for retirement or buying a home? Are you hoping to build a robust emergency fund, so you could handle an unexpected expense? Setting realistic goals and expectations for how long it may take can help you stay on track and not get discouraged.

For long-term savings, you may also want to create benchmarks you can achieve along the way. For example, start by saving $200. Then when you achieve your goal, save $400, and so on. Proving to yourself that you can hit your smaller benchmarks can give you the encouragement to achieve your next goal.

Keep track of your expenses

Once you have a specific goal in mind, you may want to look at where you currently spend money. Using a method that’s easiest for you, keep a list of all of your expenses, from the large stuff like rent, down to each small expense, like the fruit smoothie you had while running errands.

If you use your credit card for most purchases, use your statements as a resource to calculate your expenses for the past few months.  If you use a debit card, make sure you review your checking account statements too.

Compare your income to your expenses

Once you have a good idea where your money is going, you can begin to figure out how much you can save each month. Compare your expenses against your monthly income. If your income is greater than your expenses, you’re in a good position to start putting extra money aside toward your savings goal. If your expenses are more than your income, then you’ll need to figure out how you can cut expenses.

Cut spending

Achieving your savings goal may require you to cut spending on the occasional unnecessary expense. Do you order fast food for lunch a couple of times per week? You can instead make sandwiches at home or use leftovers from dinner to bring to work. If you eat out every Friday night, you could start going out every other week instead. If you subscribe to a handful of monthly streaming services, ask yourself if you can cut out one or two for the time being. Even removing one monthly payment from your monthly bill list could have a big impact on your bank account.

How much you have to cut will depend on your personal financial situation, but when you start to add up all those extra expenses, you may see a huge difference in your savings.

Areas where you can save money

While you may have some areas where you can cut your spending, there are essential expenses—like your utility bills, rent, and car insurance—that you just can’t do without. But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to save money on the things you need.

For example, if you use your credit card often, but aren’t paying off the full balance each month, you’re accruing interest charges, which is costing you more in the long term. If you can, pay off your full balance each month before the due date to avoid interest charges.

Did you know?

If you can’t pay off your credit card in full each month, you may be able to find a credit card with a better interest rate and complete a credit card balance transfer. With a balance transfer, you may be able to get a 0% APR introductory interest rate that may save you money on interest while you pay down your credit card debt.

Other ways to save money on household expenses may be to sign up for any rewards or loyalty programs with your favorite merchants. To save on grocery shopping, for example, take advantage of your local grocery store’s rewards program if they have one. Or look into coupon apps or website browser extensions that save you a certain percentage when you place an order with a merchant.

Open a savings account

Once you reach a point where you have some extra money, you could consider opening a savings account and depositing a set amount in it with each paycheck. Look for savings accounts that don’t charge a monthly or annual fee and have a high annual percentage yield–the amount you’d earn each year based on the interest rate and how much you have in the account.  A high-yield savings account from a reputable financial institution could help your savings grow steadily over time.

For many people, saving is a central personal finance goal. If you’re looking for ways to save money fast, it helps to have a specific goal in mind, examine every spending habit, and to build a realistic plan that you can achieve. If you set your financial goal too high, it could discourage you from even trying. Find a savings plan that’s best for you and fits within your budget.

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