Just recently, a friend asked me, “How can I save money fast?”
The first thing I said to them was that I was happy they asked the savings question, followed by the statement that saving money is as easy as A,B,C.
Saving those hard-earned dollars doesn't have to be complicated. It is time to start saving so you can enjoy the money you work so hard for.
That being said, deciphering what is the best saving method and which are not the best money saving ideas is part of the game. So today we put together this list of the best tips to help you save money fast!
A-Z Saving Money Tips (To Save Faster)
A. Automate Savings
Automate everything you can. Savings, investing, retirement – you name it – make it automatic.
The more you automate, especially on payday, the better off you will be financially and the more you will ultimately save.
Whether you automatically have money on payday go to your savings account, or you use apps like Acorns to automate your investing, automation is key to seeing your money quickly add up before you spend it!
You can also visit your bank online to have your savings account automatically pull a certain amount from your checking account as frequently as you prefer. For example, every two weeks I have $400 go to my emergency fund!
How to automate to save faster:
- Use direct deposit when you get paid
- Automatically set your savings to pull on the days you get paid
- Enroll in auto-savings, 401K and other work sponsored savings programs
Side note: I recently started using Acorns and I absolutely love it. Every purchase made rounded up and when my “spare change” adds up to $5.00, it is automatically invested for me!
Close to 80% of the adult American population lives paycheck to paycheck.
BUT… only 1 in 2 people has a budget. Of the people that budget, close to 3 in 4 make $70,000 or more.
At the end of the day, budgeting is a wealthy person's game that anyone can play. So if you want to save money fast, simply look at last month’s bank statements!
Quickly identify several high spending areas and be sure to see where you can save money each month. Also, it’s not a bad idea to cancel subscriptions, renegotiate insurance and cell phone plans.
To help, consider using an app like Trim that will automatically help you negotiate your existing bills like insurance, internet, cable and cell phone bills. Trim will help you identify where you’re overpaying, thus saving money fast for you!
Really want to save? Check out Savology:
Want to step up your savings & overall financial future? I have partnered with Savology – a free financial resource & app – that helps everyday people with financial planning.
Use this my link here to get a FREE financial report card, straight up!
C. Call Credit Your Card Companies
Has your credit card company hit you with recent interest charges or late fees?
Simply call your credit card company(s) and ask them to remove your interest charges for the last 90 days. It doesn’t hurt to try and most likely they will just to keep your business!
The money you get back is now money you saved by not paying fees!
D. Debt Strategy
It doesn’t matter how much debt you have or what kind of debt it is, so long as you have a plan and strategy to pay it off quicker than the designated loan terms you will ultimately save money faster!
Paying the minimums and meeting loan terms means you will ultimately pay the full amount in interest over the course of the loan term.
However, if you hav e a debt strategy you can quickly knock out some smaller debts, thus increasing your monthly cash flow. With this you can now tackle other debts or save the extra money.
Either way, when you pay off debt faster, you are saving yourself money in the long run!
E. Eat Out Less
Perhaps the best way to save more money fast is to stop eating out!
It could be the hardest thing you ever do, but forgoing eating out will save your waist line and wallet in most cases.
Not to mention, if you invest $10 for 30 years, you should have approximately $80, with your money doubling every 10 years. On the flip side, if you eat a $10 burrito you will most likely end up with a few regrets and an upset stomach.
Don’t shoot the messenger, but eating out is something that is costing millennials the most money in some cases. In fact, 50% of millennials spend more money eating out than they do saving each month!
Simply put, to save money faster, stop eating out so much.
F. Financing – Don’t do it just because.
Prior to financing a big purchase, refinancing student loans, or even just getting that new grill from Lowes on credit, make sure you to always ask yourself these simple questions:
- Is this worth really getting? Every purchase over $100 should be scrutinized
- Is this a NEED or a WANT?
- Will this make me happy?
- Will I save money monthly and long term, or just monthly?
- Will the length of my financing terms increase?
Financing things simply because is a great way to eat up your monthly cash flow, thus not being able to save as much. Spending less is the key to saving more money, so be sure to avoid just financing every purchase because of “Great rates,” or “Low costs of just $10 per month.”
G. Get Healthier
Health care costs the average adult astronomically over the course of their lifetime. Whether you are a fitness fanatic or maybe a couch potato, just changing 1 or 2 bad habits can make a great impact on your wallet.
Look at health from a long term view point, and save money fast but also in the future. For example:
- 20 minutes of exercise, 4x a week every year from age 25-75 accumulates to 10,400 workouts!
- There are 1092 meals in a year (3 meals daily). Changing 2 meals to something like salad per week results in changing almost 10% of your annual diet. Over 10 years that adds up to 1 FULL YEAR of eating salad.
- Focusing on your health habits can also help you save money on insurances costs, life insurance
- Save money by seeing if your work sponsors fitness programs and gym reimbursement!
H. Housing Costs, Reduce Them!
Average annual housing costs account for 33% of the average American adult’s income, with some exceeding that number depending on your location…. and some people are flat out house broke.
Look at it another way, this means 3.3 out of every 10 dollars you make goes towards housing. Instead of using conventional wisdom (Housing should be 30-40% of your pre-tax income), have a goal to only spend 25% of pre-tax income on housing.
So if you happen to make $80,000 per year, your goal should be to spend no more then $20,000 per year on housing.
How does this help you save money fast you might be asking?
- By reducing your housing costs/living situation by just $100 per month, you now saved $1,2000
- Lowering your utilities and living expenses adds up over the year
- Considering your housing costs are your largest monthly expense, the best way to save is to decrease what you pay each month!
I. Increase your earnings quickly!
You might be wondering, how does increasing my earnings help me save and is it really that easy to make more money?
The answer is simply YES!
By increasing your earnings, be it a side hustle, completing surveys, or selling things online, what you have done is given yourself a quick raise. Making money online has never been so easy and simple.
Use every last dollar you make on the side of your income to save more money fast! Just making an extra $50 each week is an additional $200 in savings per month!
Ways to make quick money:
- Walk dogs
- Download Mistplay, watch videos
- Fill out surveys
- Freelance gigs
- Work overtime
- Get a part-time job
- Start a side hustle (here are 50 side hustle ideas)
- Ask for a raise
J. Job jump, or ask for a raise
Speaking of raises, there is no better time than right now to ask for a raise.
Actually, wait for a second, be sure to read this article first on job raises before you just go ask for your raise.
Eithery way, asking for a raise is a great way to increase your earnings, thus save more money! You can also jump to a new job that pays more depending on your goals and where you’re at in your career.
K. Kill Your Cable (& Extra Spending)
Going back to eating out and spending money, if you still have cable, my first question is why?
Second, go ahead and cancel that right now and you just saved at least $50-$100+ per month. Killing the cable or “Pulling the cord,” as some might say is the best way to quickly save money each month and throughout the year.
With countless options to stream your favorite shows and live TV, don’t get caught up in watching cable that prevents you form saving more money!
Additionally, like “B” said, make sure you identify all friviouls and extra spending! This will help you save money each month too!
L. Live Below Your Means
Cutting on the wasteful spending an getting rid of cable are ways that can describe the phrase, “Living below your means,” which is also the key ingredient to saving more money.
The $2 coffee, the $5 lunch and the $15 thing at the store every other day add up. And while sometimes we think we NEED a new vacuum or cup of coffee, we also have to make sure we live below our means.
Doing this starts with truly assessing a WANT vs a NEED (desire vs require)
- A want is = desired for pleasure or a wish
- A need is = required to survive or go about life (food, shelter, transportation, safety)
Use this litmus test to assess things you buy and be conscious about living below your means, you will always save money fast, and more often.
M. Master a Side Hustle
Find a hobby or passion and capitalize on it. Or if you don’t have a passion but you are really good at something like graphic design you can make money on the side to invest or pay off debt with.
An extra $500 per month is like getting a $6,000 raise at work post taxes, $9,000 pre-tax.
Considering the average median income is approximately $60,000, having a $500 per month side hustle is a 10% raise for most families.
My advice: Become a digital nomad and start a blog or walk some dogs!!!
N. Never buy new cars!
This can pretty much go without saying these days but NEVER buy brand new cars.
Instead, only by used cars that are valued at 25% or less than your annual salary. For example, if you make $60,000 per year, you can afford a $15,000 car.
This will keep money in your pocket and help you save since after housing, most Americans spend their money on cars (and for what really?).
O. Opt out of subscriptions
Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, ESPN +, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora Premimum, Youtube – the list of subscriptions for just viewing and listening is endless.
It is also one of the quickest ways to save more money, when you get rid of them of course.
Consider also losing the gym membership. For example, my wife and I recently decided that the weights in my garage and her $12 per month app were a better deal then the $60 per month we were spending at the gym.
Cutting subscriptions can also mean downsizing them! To help, checkout Trim which can help you identify areas to make cuts in subscriptions so you can save more money!
P. Pool & Crowdfund internet & other services
In college, I paid $0 for internet during my four years.
Obviously, the first year the dorms provided WiFI, and years 2-4 one of my neighors had open access to their WiFi so my roomates and I bummed it.
Now, what I am not saying is to bum internet. Chances are the days of open access WiFi are no more considering most people have a passcode. However, if you are cool with your neighbors, split the WiFi.
Go in on an internet package, draw up some agreements, and have one person get the internet service. The other splits the bill 50% and uses Venmo or Cashapp to pay their share each month.
You might be wondering, “What if they don’t pay?” Just change the password. Either way you were going to get internet, why not save some money in the process?
Other things you can crowdfund:
- Buy a half cow (save money on meat) or half pig, deer, etc
- Lawnmowers with neighbors
- Cell phone plans with parents or family
- Insurance plans (if possible)
- Gym memberships if possible
- Bum Netflix or Hulu, or pay a friend half
I won’t lie, coming up with a money saving tip that started with a “Q” was at first challenging.
Then I remembered the app Qoins which is similar to Acorns in that it is a spare change app. Where it differs, however, is that instead of saving and investing like Acorns, Qoins allows users to pay off debts with spare change.
Each time you make a purchase on your card, the purchase is rounded up to the nearest dollar. One it hits a certain threshold (usually $5) that amount is applied to a debt of your choice.
Ultimately, every dollar counts, and by paying off your small debts with literally no effort, in the long run you save money. This is a quick way to save money without doing much. Now – that being said – don’t go spend money just to get your round ups!
R. Research before spending $50 or more
The little purchases and daily coffees certainly add up, but so do the big purchases.
So to help you save more money, one of the best money saving ideas I use is the $50 spending rule.
Prior to spending money on any one thing that is over $50, I do a ton of research and I also think about it for at least 48 hours. Implementing a 48-hour rule will help you curb impulse spending and also save money.
The things that tend to jump into our online shopping cart can wait if they’re over $50, don’t let online marketing get the best of you!
S. Store brand foods (never name brand names)
So you’re shopping for food and you’re looking for ways to save at the store?
In addition to reducing the amount of processed foods you eat and avoiding the isle end caps, you can also make sure to by “Store Brand” or off-brand foods instead of the expensive name brands.
I get it, we all enjoy a nice bowl of name brand cereal, but when you’re looking to save money fast, the grocery store brand cereal will suffice.
Same goes for condiments and dressings.
You get the point, save money by buying off brand!
T. Track Your Spending & Net Worth
You might be wondering how tracking your spending and net worth might help you save money, but trust me, it does.
Creating awareness around where your money goes each month might actually be the #1 tip to saving money not just fast, but in general!
When you track your spending, you identify where it is going, thus you’re more likely to save more of it. Personal Capital is a great resource to help track spending but also your net worth.
Chances are when you see your net worth grow you will be more inclined to keep it growing, which means saving more money.
U. Use Cash.
Dave Ramsey had a stat on Instagram that stated card users spend 12-18% more annually compared to those who use cash.
While I think DR can be a little condescending towards his audience, he does have a point – when you use cash, you spend less. This can be done a variety of ways, but at the end of the day if the goal is to save money, consider using cash.
One way to do so is using the cash envelope system to help you save more money! Either way, set a budgeted amount per category, like $300 for groceries let’s say, use cash and when you’re out you’re out!
V. Visit online shopping sites 1-2x per month:
Ok, thank me later, but this might be the best money saving tip of the 21st century:
Go to online shopping websites once a month, or at the very least only checkout once a month.
Think about it before their was online shopping, you couldn’t just buy something that popped up in your head. Now you can. You simply use your phone, go to your Amazon app, and a few days later you have whatever it is.
Running socks, books, makeup, food, and just about anything else can be bought in a matter of seconds.
That being said, instead of checking out, simply “Build your shopping cart,” throughout the month. Then one time per month, look over your shopping cart and chances are you will be amazed at the total amount.
Jus like you wouldn’t spend several hundred dollars at the store on just random stuff, don’t do the same online shopping!
W. Wealthy People Save
Wealthy people save money, but how does that help you save money?
Read about saving money, start by reading Automatic Millionare or Financial Freedom. Starting a reading habit will keep you in a state of learning, thus more eager to save money fast.
Additionally, you will learn more about saving and yourself in the process!
X. X-Out pricey things
At this point I feel like I am beating this point to death, but it super imperative you recongize that expensive things and overspending are why most people cannot save money.
In fact, pricey things are why most Americans suck at saving money (stats prove it, we are at the lowest rates in history).
However, you don’t have to be like eveyrone else. Each month, simply set a savings goal that is aligned with your annual goals (next). This means either not buying pricey things or using this novel concept:
Save up for pricey things, don’t just finance or buy them!
Y. Yearly goals with short term plans:
You can save more money when you have a longterm plan with shortterm goals.
To save money, simply start by setting an amount you would like to save, for example, $10,000. To save $10,000 you would start by:
- $10,000 divided by 12 months is $833 per month
- $833 per month is $208 every week, call it $200
- Set it up so that you save $200 from each paycheck or $400 if paid bi-weekly
You could also make a goal to make $200 each week and use that for saving.
Either way, setting a target helps you stay on track and know what you’re going after!
Z. Zap the credit cards!
Last but not least, get rid of your credit cards to save money fast.
Often times, we have a tendency to spend 12-15% more money, which we mentioned earlier as a reason to always use cash to shop and thus preventing overspending (and creating more savings).
However, another reason you should cancel the credit cards is to help you save mentally! Here is what I mean.
When you have a credit card, we intrinsically tell ourselves we can get things we don’t really need and sometimes cannot afford. Therefore, by giving yourself no backdoor, you will ultimately save money by spending less.
In case of am emergency, instead of using a credit card, consider establishing an emergency fund, or what I like to call, a “Oh $hit” fund!
Final Word on Saving Money Fast:
In summary, the key to saving money fast or simply saving more money in general is simple:
- Spend Less
- Make more
When you spend less you have more to save. Also, when you make more money, you have more to save. Obviously, the two combined can become very powerful.
As a tip, don’t overwhelm yourself and go implement every single one of these saving money tips, but instead, consider implementing a handful. Assess after 30 days and then see if you can add more.
Frequently Asked questions
The 30 day saving rule is simple. Instead of giving into impulse spending, instead save that money for thirty days. Put the money you would have spent in a savings account and wait until day 30. If you still want the item, you have withstood the test of time and most likely avoided buyer's remorse, and you can get the item with full confidence. The 30 day rule is great for big ticket items, like appliances, expensive shoes, jewelry, and especially cars.
Hands down the fastest way to save money is to first create a budget. Once you create a budget, trim out wasteful spending, subscriptions, and renegotiate what bills you can (Cell phone, internet, insurance). Doing this will help you save fast. After taking these initial steps, you can start to identify high spending areas to target and adjust to save more. Lastly, do your best to automate your savings and increase it by at least 1% each month until you reach at least 20%.
Having little to no money makes it harder to save, but it's not impossible. First, start by telling yourself you can save. While this might seem weird at first, telling yourself you can save will help you take the steps to start saving in the first place. Next, be sure to have a budget and look through your expenditures with a fine tooth comb. See where there are areas to cut back and adjust, thus hopefully creating more money to save. Lastly, one option is to always take advantage of a side hustle that is dedicated 100% to your savings.
Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $300,000 in student loans with his wife in less than five years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, being outside, traveling, and helping others with their finances! I got serious with money when I used Personal Capital to track my finances.