10 Simple Tips And Tricks To Save More Money

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Can I be honest for a minute? I’m always on a quest to save more money. 

The thing is, saving money sucks! 

Most of the time, saving money comes with internal struggles.

Do I save for a down payment for a house or create memories by traveling with my family?

Do I have dinner with my friends or save money by eating the meals that I have prepared at home. 

There are so many things we want to accomplish, and sometimes it’s hard to prioritize what we need to save for first.

Ultimately, the decision depends on what’s more relevant to you at this time in your life.

Today, I want to share a few tips and tricks to help you save money in your budget regardless of your goals. 

Keep reading to find ways to save more money according to your budget. Use the money saved with these tips for your financial goals.

Want to watch the video version of this post? Check it out here!

1. Create new financial habits

One of the most significant issues with saving money happens to be financial habits. Financial habits are things that you find yourself doing with your money each month.

These habits can be good or bad. You can find your financial habits by tracking your monthly expenses for 1-3 months. When you start tracking, you will begin to see specific patterns emerge. 

Make a note of the patterns that you see, then evaluate them. 

Is there a particular time of the month where you eat out more? Do you go shopping based on the things that are going on in your life?

The goal of this exercise is to get to the root of your financial habits.

This evaluation may be hard at first because most people don’t like to take a look at their flaws (or their spending habits), but it is necessary if you want to save more money.

Once you know what your financial habits are, you can start to create new financial habits that will allow you to save more money.

2. Save a portion of your income

If you are looking to save more money, the best place to start is saving a percentage of your income.

The easiest way to do this is by creating a 50/30/20 budget. This type of budget is a bit different from a zero-based budget because a zero-based budget uses specific amounts of money for each category.

A 50/30/20 budget uses percentages as a starting point. The breakdown looks like this.

50% of your money goes to essentials that include your four walls. The four walls are food, shelter, transportation, and necessary clothing. You want to add all of your utilities in the 50% as well.

30% of your income goes to flexible spending, which includes things like eating out, traveling, and shopping.

The last 20% of your income goes to your financial priorities, which include repaying debt, savings, and rainy day funds. 

This breakdown is a great way to prioritize your budget and save more money. All you need to do is figure out the amount of your monthly income, split it into the 50/30/20 categories, and stick to your plan.

You will find yourself saving more money in no time.

Credit Cards
Photo Credit: Pixabay

3. Change your lifestyle

One effortless way to save more money is to change your lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you have to make a drastic change or stop doing the things that you like to do. 

It just means that you’re more conscious of what you’re doing and where you’re spending your money.

Think of it like this. You want to lose weight, so you work out and start eating better. That is considered a lifestyle change. 

Apply those same principals if you want to save more money. 

Start paying attention to where and how you are spending your money each month. You will ultimately become aware of your patterns and find things to change. 

Do you overspend by using credit cards? Instead, try spending cash throughout the month. This way, when the money is gone, it’s gone.

Do you go on shopping sprees when you are stressed? Find out what your stressors are and fix the situation, or avoid them altogether. 

Making small changes like this will help you reach your long term goals quickly and help you save more money. 

4. Only spend cash

Have you ever stopped to think about how easy it is to spend money when you’re swiping a card? You probably haven’t, but it is true.

When you are spending money with a card, there are no physical restraints. Using cash means you have to hand over your money in exchange for the thing that you want or need. 

When cash is gone, it’s gone. You can’t overdraft your wallet because there is no money to borrow. 

The next time you do your budget, think about pulling out cash for at least a couple of your categories.

Pay attention to the amount of cash you’re spending and how it feels to see the money leave your hands.

 You may find that you change your mind on a few purchases and save the money instead. 

Related: Cash envelope system

Photo Credit: PlateJoy

5. Meal plan

If you’re looking for a quick and painless way to save money, take time each week to plan your meals.

A lot of people stray away from meal planning because they think it means you will have the same meals for a whole week.

Becoming bored with your food does not have to be the case. Meal planning is a way to make sure you know what you will be eating every day. It is also a great way to help you avoid the drive-thru multiple times per week.

I like to create my meal plan for the upcoming week on Saturdays. Once that is done, I go to the grocery store on Sundays to prepare for my week. 

Grocery shopping on Sunday has saved me so much money. I purchase everything that I will need for the week, and I don’t have to worry about what to eat throughout the week.

Your meal plan can be as versatile as you would like. It can even be as simple as planning to cook a couple of different dishes that can be mixed and matched throughout the week based on your mood. 

If you want to get started but need help creating a plan full of variety, check out PlateJoy. PlateJoy is a meal planning service that creates meal plans for you based on the things that you like. 

Sign up for a free trial and let me know what you think.

6. Participate in savings challenges

One of my favorite things to do when I need to save more money is participating in savings challenges. There are so many challenges out there to try!

My favorite challenge is the $5 savings challenge. All you have to do is save every $5 bill that you receive. The money that you save adds up pretty quickly for this challenge if you’re a cash spender.

Another challenge that I like happens to be a monthly savings challenge. This challenge works best when you have time available to save money.

I’m currently participating in a challenge to save $2,500 in a year. Throughout this year, I have been getting creative to save around $208 per month. 

Some months it is easy, and some months, it is difficult, but I am on track to meet my goal for this challenge.

Choose a challenge that I have mentioned here, find one on Pinterest, or create your own. You will reach your savings goals as long as you’re up for the challenge.

Cash Register
Photo Credit: Pixabay

7. Cashback programs

Cashback programs are an easy way to save more money in your budget. You only have to shop the way that you usually would and submit your receipt to receive cashback. 

I do this all the time with my groceries and clothing. A few cashback apps that I use are Ibotta, Swagbucks, and Ebates.

Ibotta is my all-time favorite cashback app to use. 

When I’m creating my grocery list, all I have to do is log onto the app. I pay special attention to the items that are available that week and create meals around those items.

The extra money that I receive varies anywhere from $.25 to a couple of dollars per item, and I put it towards my financial goals when I cash out. 

Using the app is straightforward. Go to the store, purchase groceries, and match the items on your receipt to the items in the app. 

Most cashback programs are easy to use. Most companies will put money in your account as an incentive for signing up.

Sign up for a free Ibotta account and start earning cashback today!

8. Shop for holidays all year

Holidays seem to be some of the biggest budget busters. People struggle with their budgets during the holidays because they fail to plan.

The thing is, holidays return at the same time each year, but we continue to let them sneak up on us.

It’s time to break that cycle and start preparing for these holidays throughout the year.

One thing that you can do is make a couple of lists at the beginning of each year. In these lists, write down each holiday and the things that you need to purchase to celebrate. 

Make these lists as detailed as possible and include gifts associated with the holiday as well. Keep the list on your phone or in a place that is easily accessible like a planner.

Now, when you find sales throughout the year, purchase the items on your list and put them away until the time comes to use them.

Shopping throughout the year is a great way to save more money because you’re not scrambling the week before the holiday or paying full price for the things that you need.

You will notice the savings the most towards the end of the year when other people are our shopping for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s parties, and you’re at home enjoying more time with your family.

9. Find free things to do

Who said saving money has to be boring? It doesn’t. Saving money causes you to get your creative juices flowing to find frugal ways to have fun.

One of my favorite ways to have fun without spending a lot of money is going to local museums. It is so fun to get out of the house and see beautiful works of art without spending money.

Another great idea is to check out the programs at your local library — most of the time, local libraries have activities for children and adults. 

Games nights at home are also fun. Pull out the games that you already own, make your favorite dinner or snacks, turn off the TV and phones, and have an old fashioned game night.

My husband and I like to play investigation games. We have a bunch of them at home, and they hold our attention for hours at a time.

You can also use Facebook to search for free events around your city. At times you may have to get creative, but it’s not too hard, and you get to spend quality time with the ones that you love. 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

10. Take your lunch to work

Taking lunch to work sounds so easy, but it requires a bit of planning. I began taking my lunch to work when our household income got cut by more than half in 2015.

During this time, I couldn’t afford to eat out or at the cafeteria at work anymore, so it made sense for me to start taking my lunch. 

Before we were forced to take a look at our budget and cut expenses to the bare minimum, we had no idea how much money we were spending on food. We went grocery shopping every week and spent at least $100 on food without a plan.

After a few months of doing this, I began to notice that we were saving so much money on food costs.  

The easiest way to do this is to take leftovers from dinner for lunch in meal prep containers. I love doing this. I use my Hot Logic Mini to warm my food, and it comes out hot and tastes fresh.

Another option is to make sandwiches and salads to take to work. There are so many sandwiches and salads that you will never get bored. Try a new one every couple of days. 

Either of these options is healthier for your body and your wallet than fast food. 

Related: Meal prep containers

The Bottom Line

There are tons of ways to save more money. Some of them are straightforward, and some require you to get a bit creative. 

It’s not always going to be easy, but use your future and your financial goals as your motivation. Keep your goals in mind when you’re making purchases and sacrifice where you can.  

If you’re ready to get started but not sure where to start, pick your favorite tip from this post and try it for a month. As that becomes a habit, start working on the next tip.

Eventually, you won’t even have to think about saving money. You will become naturally frugal.

Leave a comment below to let me know your favorite way to save money.

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10 Simple Tips And Tricks To Save More Money

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  1. All of these are good ideas! I have been in the midst of saving for a down payment on a house, so I’ve been extra careful how I spend money lately.

  2. These are great tips. Meal planning is a game changer. I have found when I don’t meal plan, I waste money on eating out because I am tired or don’t have a lot of time.

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