12 Practical Money-Saving Tips

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Maxine Lewis

7 min reading - Oct 21, 2023

Do you struggle to save money? If so, you’re not alone. It’s so easy to develop bad spending habits, like impulsively buying things we don’t need and eating out all the time. These habits can eventually lead to having little to no savings.

Thankfully, there are plenty of simple saving tricks out there to help you change your ways. You don’t have to radically alter your lifestyle to spend less. With these 12 frugal living tips, you can begin setting money aside for emergencies, vacations, a home, or any other major upcoming expenses you might have.

1. Cancel Automatic Subscriptions

Do you pay for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+? How about Spotify, Amazon Prime, PlayStation Plus, or Patreon? If you’re paying for monthly subscriptions to services you don’t use, it’s time to cancel them.

Instead of paying for three or four streaming services, how about one? If you have other friends looking to save some money, you could each pay for one streaming service and share the login information with each other. This tip could easily save you at least $100.00 annually and possibly more depending on what services you’re currently paying for.

Also, remember to turn off auto-renew when signing up for subscriptions like these in the future. This will help prevent you from forgetting about the service and paying for something you don’t want anymore.

2. Reduce Energy Costs

You can save quite a bit of money on your monthly electric bill by reducing your energy usage. You can start by taking shorter showers, doing larger loads of laundry (in cold water), fixing leaky pipes, and only running your dishwasher when it’s totally full.

If you’re willing to make a few changes around the house, you could also install LED lightbulbs and dimmer switches. Finally, keep your curtains closed on hot summer days so you won’t have to rely on your air conditioner as much.

3. Invest in More Reusable Products

Investing in more reusable products is one of the most eco-friendly ways to save money. Single-use plastic straws, for example, are bad for the environment and your wallet. Why not buy metal or bamboo straws that will last you for many years to come?

You can also save money by using washable cloths rather than paper towels. These sorts of items may not seem expensive, but the costs can add up over time. Why not opt for reusable alternatives so you can set that money aside for a better purpose down the road?

4. Plan Meals to Save on Groceries

Find yourself throwing out food every week or so? Every year, over 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in the US. This is obviously unfortunate for a number of reasons, including the fact that households across the country are overspending on groceries. This can become especially problematic for families that are trying to buy enough food for multiple people.

Thankfully, there are a few ways you c

an start saving money on groceries. First, you should try to plan your meals out each week. Then, before you leave for the store, make sure you double-check your pantry so that you don’t buy more of what you already have. It also helps to grocery shop alone, as shopping with others (children in particular) can lead to extra items being thrown in the cart.

5. Avoid Eating Out

How much do you think you’ve spent at restaurants or bars over the past month? If your answer makes you feel a little guilty, that’s a sign that you might need to start eating out less.

This isn’t all to say that you should never go out to eat with friends or buy yourself lunch at your favorite restaurant. The key is to do these things once in a while and not on a daily or even weekly basis. You might be surprised at just how much money you save preparing yourself lunch at home each day.

6. Wait Before Buying Expensive Items

If you find yourself making impulsive purchases, try adhering to the 24-hour rule. This rule should be applied whenever you want to purchase something that’s expensive and/or non-essential. This could be a mountain bike, a pool table, a television, or even something less costly like a new pair of shoes.

By waiting 24 hours, you’re giving yourself the time you need to reflect on whether or not this purchase is really worth it. If after 24 hours you decide that the purchase is right for you, you can do so without feeling guilty. Otherwise, maybe hold off on buying the item until your financial situation changes.

7. Sell Things You Don’t Want

This rule is pretty simple. When decluttering your home, set aside things that you don’t want but are still in decent condition. Why throw stuff in the garbage when your belongings could be worth money? You could take vintage decor pieces and furniture to an antique shop, old jewelry to a pawn shop, and much more.

If taking individual pieces to different shops around town sounds like too much work, no problem. You can always take pictures of your unwanted items and post them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to sell to people in your area. It’s just like having a yard sale, except it’s online!

8. Adjust Your Phone Plan

Your monthly phone bill likely consists of several expenses, including large data plans, insurance, and warranties you don’t even use. Naturally, you can save quite a bit of money over time by getting rid of warranties you don’t need and opting for a smaller and less expensive data plan.

If you’ve already scaled back your phone plan and still aren’t happy with your monthly bill, it might be time to switch providers. Make sure to do your research to find the most cost-effective plan and provider for your needs. Also, don’t be afraid to contact your provider directly to try and arrange a better mobile or cell phone deal.

9. Focus on Debt With the Highest Interest Rate

It’s completely normal to have one, two, or even three separate debts to pay off, whether they be from a student loan, a car loan, or credit card purchases. Instead of paying down all of your debts equally, consider focusing your efforts on the debt with the highest interest rate.

A higher interest rate means more money that’s taken from you each month. By first paying down your debt with the highest interest rate, you can save yourself money in the long run and make your debt situation more manageable.

10. Walk and Carpool When Possible

Walk and carpool to work and around town whenever you can. Otherwise, you may end up spending large sums of money on cabs, gas, or car repairs. Walking more is a great solution, as it’s both free and good for your health. As for carpooling, consider asking a few of your co-workers if they would be interested in driving to work together and then splitting the costs of gas.

11. Set Up Automatic Transfers

Another great way to save money is to transfer a small portion of money from your paycheques into your savings account. Depending on your income level, this amount could be anywhere from $10 to $100 and beyond. No matter how big or small your contribution, remember that every dollar counts!

Don’t have the time, energy, or memory to do automatic transfers by yourself every week? Then you should set up automatic transfers in your banking app. That way, you can rest assured knowing that your savings account is growing with little to no effort on your part.

12. Use Coupons and Discount Codes

One of the absolute easiest ways to save money is to use coupons and discount codes when shopping online. Finding the best coupon codes shouldn’t take too much effort if you know where to look.

A quick search for active discount codes could result in you receiving free shipping, a $10 coupon, or even a $50 coupon. That’s why it’s always worth Googling a product or website to see if there are any promo codes available. The money you save with this method could then go right into your savings account! Why pass on such great savings when it only takes a few minutes to find the right code?