Isn’t the thought of saving money comforting? It’s not always easy, but it’s important to have a financial cushion in case unexpected costs come up or your financial situation gets turned upside down. So what are the best ways to save? We’ve got a number of ways you could turn the thought of saving money into a daily reality?
Here are 30 ways to save money in 30 days:
Day 1: Create a Budget
Simply put, if you don’t know how you’re spending your money you can’t make a change for the better. If you need help, download a budgeting/personal finance app.
Day 2: Consolidate Debt
Do you have multiple credit cards? Are you paying interest on each one? If so, consider consolidating your debt. For example, a zero percent balance transfer credit card will save you money upfront, as well as in the long run. You can also get a personal loan at a potentially lower interest rate to pay off all of your credit card debt while you save money on interest.
Day 3: Cook at Home Half the Time
Many people blow through their budget because they spend too much money eating out. The average household spends about $219 per month on food away from home. You don’t have to completely eliminate this from your life, but you should cut back when possible. If done right, eating in could save you more than $1,300. Start by limiting yourself to eating out on weekends only, and planning meals to make at home during the week.
Day 4: Say Goodbye to the Coffee Stop
Do you stop at Starbucks every morning on the way to the office? You could save $2 a day or more if you skip the coffee shop. Get your fix at home or once you arrive at work. Either way, you’ll save money.
Day 5: Start Carpooling to Work
If you live in close proximity to one or more coworkers, form a carpool. This allows each and every person to save money on the cost of gas. The average person spends more than $2,000 per year on gas.
Day 6: Use Public Transportation More
Take a look at the bus and train schedules to figure out if you could avoid having to drive. Not only will you save on gas, but you could do the same in regards to parking, tolls, and vehicle maintenance.
Day 7: Investigate a Personal Loan to Pay Off Higher-Interest Debts
There are many ways to use a personal loan, with debt consolidation among the best strategies. This allows you to bring some or all of your debt under one roof, and potentially saving you money on interest charges. Personal loans can also be used for medical expenses, auto repairs or major purchases. Discover Personal Loans allows you to find out your loan rate, with zero risk or dings to your credit, before you apply for the loan.
Day 8: Make Your Own Gifts
Why buy gifts when you could make something? It could save money. And if someone you know has a birthday or an anniversary coming up, see how much more special a homemade gift may be to them. You could create several items that you have at the ready for gifts
Day 9: Start Using a Shopping List
Shopping without a list will lead you to make impulse purchases, thus blowing your budget. Create a list and stick with it. This should help keep you on track. There are several grocery list apps that can help with this.
Day 10: Start Negotiating
Can you negotiate a better price for your cable service (see below)? Or maybe a higher salary at work? It can be an awkward thing to do, but brushing up on your negotiation skills could benefit your bottom line.
Day 11: Call Your Cell Phone Provider
You may spend more than you’d like on your cell phone plan. Contact your provider to discuss ways to save, such as using less data.
Day 12: Quit Smoking
If you smoke, eliminating this habit from your life will help you save money and help improve your overall level of health. Get this: a person who smokes a pack a day will spend over $2,000 per year on cigarettes.
Day 13: Eat Leftovers
Rather than toss out those leftovers, eat them for lunch or dinner the next day. This is a simple way to save money and time. Just think: if you spend about $20 for takeout, then eating leftovers twice a week instead of ordering out could save you up to $2,000 a year!
Day 14: Turn Down the Heat
During the cold winter months, you may be tempted to crank your furnace. There’s nothing wrong with this when you’re at home, but turn the heat down when you’re away for the day (and even when you’re sleeping).
Day 15: Open a Window
Why rely on your air conditioner all summer when you could save money by opening your windows and let the cool breeze inside your home? While the average electric bill varies based on state, the size of your home and the weather, it can cost you more than $100 per month.
Day 16: Search for Coupons Online
This is an easy one. Before you go shopping, use the internet to find and print the best coupons. Also, see if your local supermarket has a coupon app and avoid the clipping or printing!
Day 17: Buy Used Items
From Craigslist and Amazon to a local thrift store, there are many places to find bargains on used items. Give it a try for clothes, accessories and even appliances.
Day 18: Opt for the Generic Brand
Why buy a brand name when there is a generic product priced at a fraction of the cost? Experiment with everything from generic food to generic toothpaste.
Day 19: Cancel Magazine Subscriptions
Unless you absolutely read the magazine from cover to cover, you can save money by canceling the subscription. And there is plenty of content online that will give you the information you want for free.
Day 20: Buy in Bulk
While it costs money to join a membership-only warehouse club, such as Costco, you’re likely to end up saving in the long run.
Day 21: Take Your Lunch to Work
This allows you to avoid vending machines and eating out. Save money by giving yourself a lunch budget and buying and pre-packing lunches for yourself each week.
Day 22: Plan Your Route Carefully
Gas is a recurring expense as long as you have a car. Plan your route in advance to avoid traffic and unnecessary mileage, whether it’s your daily commute or a road trip.
Day 23: Fix It Yourself
Why call a handy man or service professional when you can fix the problem yourself? These days, you can learn to fix almost anything with a trip to Home Depot and a couple YouTube videos.
Day 24: Grow Your Own Food
As someone once said, tend your own garden and you’ll have a peaceful, productive life. From fruits to vegetables, to tomatoes and lettuce, you can start growing your own food today. You could potentially save thousands on organic foods by learning the art of gardening.
Day 25: Opt for Free Fun
It can be fun to go to the movies. It can be fun to watch your favorite team play in person. Both of these things can also be expensive. Why not search for free activities and events in your area? You may be surprised how many free events are out there.
Day 26: Don’t Gamble
The statistics don’t lie: gambling remains a major problem in the United States. For example, estimated annual costs of pathological and problem gamblers in the United States has reached $5 billion. Remember this: the odds of saving money while gambling are definitely not in your favor.
Day 27: Sign Up for Rewards Programs
In today’s world, almost every store and credit card has a rewards program. It only takes a couple minutes to sign up. From there, you could save on every purchase. It adds up!
Day 28: Watch Your Water Usage
Are you taking 30 minute long showers? Do you leave the water running when you shave? It doesn’t take much to save money on your water bill. You could also consider adding some green features to your home to save long term.
Day 29: Cut the Cord
Granted you still have to pay for Internet, but getting rid of that cable package with 200 channels you don’t watch and replacing them with a streaming service or two, could reduce your monthly entertainment spend. The average cost of cable recently went above $100 per month.
Day 30: Organize All Outstanding Payments
At the end of your 30 day spending cleanse, take a step back and get a grasp on your finances. This goes hand in hand with creating a budget. You should have a clear idea of who you owe money to, as well as how much.
With these tips, hopefully you’ll save money and spend much less than 30 days ago.