There are countless ways to save money. Whether you’re trying to get out of debt, save for a vacation, or want to start investing, you might need some tips to get you started.
Here are 8 easy tips to help you save money.
1. Get out of debt.
Getting out of debt is one of the most important things you can do to save money – the only hard part is actually doing it.
There are a lot of different financial gurus out there, but I have always been a fan of Dave Ramsey.
In his book, The Total Money Makeover, Dave recommends paying off debt using his “debt snowball” method.
It consists of paying the minimum payments on all your debt, but taking any extra cash you have and throwing it all towards your smallest debt.
He doesn’t suggest you worry about interest rates because the debt snowball works so well – and happens so fast – that interest rates are almost irrelevant.
Once you pay off your smallest debt, you continue paying your minimum payments and move on to your next smallest debt – throwing all the new extra cash towards that until that debt is gone.
Then you move on to the next smallest debt, and so on, and so forth, until all debt is gone.
Getting out of debt will free up all kinds of cash. Just think – if you’re paying $100 a month or $800 a month towards debt, that’s money that will now be immediate savings.
The type of debt you’ll focus on here is everything except a mortgage: credit cards, medical bills, car payments, student loans, etc. knock it out quickly using the debt snowball.
2. Ditch cable.
The amount of money people spend on cable is outrageous. It’s not uncommon for people to spend $100 to $300 or more – that’s crazy.
Chances are, most people don’t even like what they’re paying for. I remember when I had cable I noticed something weird: the more channels I had, the harder it was for me to find something to watch.
Nowadays, I just use an antenna like this one. It gives me all the major broadcasting channels for free – and in HD! You simply plug it into your TV, and you’re good to go for a one-time purchase (not a month to month cable subscription).
Also, there are all kinds of cheaper internet options nowadays. If you aren’t going to get a channel you want using a basic antenna, look into some internet alternatives for a fraction of the price (Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV, YouTube, etc.).
3. Lower your cell phone bill.
Cell phones bills can be extremely costly, anywhere from $90 to hundreds of dollars a month, especially if you have a family plan.
For whatever reason, people seem to think that they have to have unlimited everything! But is that really necessary?
If you are using WiFi effectively (which you should be), there is no reason to need an unlimited plan that costs $100 or more.
When you’re at home, use your WiFi; when you’re at a friends house, use their WiFi; when you’re at work, use their WiFi; when you’re at the coffee shop, use their WiFi!
Whenever and wherever WiFi is available, use it! You’ll be surprised at how much data you save. Soon you will realize that you can settle for a significantly cheaper plan.
Shop around, compare rates, or even talk to customer service about lowering your current rate.
When I had Sprint, I had a dirt cheap plan because they didn’t want me to leave. I was paying about $30 a month until I found something cheaper that I couldn’t pass up.
Now I use Mint Mobile, and it only costs me about $15 a month. It’s the cheapest plan they offer, but it gets me by just fine. That’s because I use WiFi all the time! I don’t come close to using up my data on a monthly basis.
To check out the plans they offer, you can do so here.
4. Exercise at home.
God bless those who want to be healthy and exercise on a regular basis, but you don’t have to break the bank doing it.
Some gym memberships are reasonably priced (around $30 a month), but most people pay a lot more than that.
If that’s you and you’re looking for ways to save money, see if you can find a cheaper gym, or perhaps consider exercising at home – that’s what I do!
It doesn’t cost a lot of money for minimal equipment to get you by. For example, you can get some cheap dumbbells and do almost any exercise imaginable.
5. Cancel subscriptions.
How many different subscriptions are you paying for on a monthly basis? Ask yourself if you really need them.
Any subscription you don’t use or don’t want to pay for anymore, get rid of it. These bills add up – $8 a month here, $12 a month there, and so on – get rid of as many “monthly payments” as you possibly can. This adds up and can help start saving right away.
6. Eat at home.
An immediate way to start saving money is to stop eating out. It’s easy to pay $30 or more when you go out to a restaurant.
Why not just eat at home instead? You can buy groceries for a fraction of the price and cook at home to save money.
When in doubt, eat at home. You can save a ton of money if eating out is something that you do on a regular basis.
7. Bring a lunch.
Similar to eating at home, why not also bring a lunch to work?
Granted – lunch is slightly cheaper than a dinner dine-in restaurant, but not by much.
I’ve been bringing a lunch to work everyday for over 13 years, and I have saved a ton of money doing it.
Right now, the lunches I bring to work cost me less than $3 a day – you can’t even get fast food for that price!
I bet if you got creative, you could even eat cheaper than that.
Bring a lunch and save money.
8. Get on a budget.
I saved this for last because I think it’s most effective to get rid of all the waste first.
Once you’re out of debt, or even paying off debt, and have eliminated all other waste in your finances, you can see exactly where your money is going. You know exactly how much money you have coming in, and know exactly how much money you have going out.
When you write it down, you can cut even more by allowing yourself to only spend x amount of dollars on everything else. This would be a budget for everything outside of your necessary bills that are left.
When you commit yourself to sticking to a budget and not going over, you can see exactly where your money is going and know exactly how much you are saving each month.
Get strict! Cut your finances as much as possible to save even more!
Get on a budget and stick to it – you will know exactly how much you are saving when you do that.