Have you been looking for ways to save money or spend less? These helpful tips can help you keep your budget on track and provide you with additional ways to save, budget, and invest your money for the long term. I'm sure this extensive list can provide you with at least one or two ways to achieve your future goals. Let's take a look!
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Creative Ways to Save
Save on Clothing
Join a local Facebook group or apps like LetGo or OfferUp to find deals on free or gently used items. You can save hundreds of dollars on furniture, video games, or clothing.
Visit your local thrift store at the end of a season to find clothes for the next season. Some of these items are new with tags and can be used for your growing children next season or even for yourself.
You can save on name-brand shoes by buying kids' sizes. If you have smaller feet, you can purchase a kid's Nike, Reebok, or other shoes, and you pay less than you would for the adult size of the identical shoe.
When you shop, use a grocery list, and don't go into the store hungry.
Batch cook your food, so you don't have to cook as often. Batch cooking can decrease your eating out budget because all you have to do is pull a frozen meal out of the freezer when you're short on time.
If your fruit and vegetables are going bad, chop them up and freeze them for later meals. For future meal planning, you can put them in a quiche, a stew, or a casserole.
Buy your meat, fruit, and vegetables from local farmers. You will spend less money than you would if you were to purchase these items at a grocery store. It's of higher quality, and it lasts longer. You're also supporting your local community!
Save all of your vegetable skins in a freezer bag to make a vegetable broth in the future. It will be so delicious. So, don't throw away your potato, carrot, onion skins, etc., any longer.
Are you still running short on time? Try a food delivery service like Dinnerly.
What are the benefits?
You get 49 unfussy weeknight meals for those hectic days.
The most affordable meal kit at $4.99 per serving
Delivery to anywhere in the United States
You get your time back! Dinnerly recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare and cook.
Create a savings account and relabel it for what your savings goals are. If you're saving for a car, home, or vacation, you can relabel it as Honda, Homeownership, or Trip to Jamaica.
Save for retirement by increasing your contributions by at least 1% each year that you receive a pay increase.
See my feature in 8 Simple Ways for People in Their 20s To Begin Saving Now.
Save on Fixed Expenses
Shop around annually for ways to save on car or homeowners' insurance. It's important not to sacrifice coverage. Most insurance companies will quote you on minimum coverage levels. So, ensure that you cover your property at the same coverage and deductible level when shopping around.
Shop around semi-annually to find better rates on your phone or cable bill. Promotions are always available, so see what you qualify for. Switching companies for a better rate will also have your old cable company begging for your business back at a cheaper rate.
When purchasing a home, shop around for multiple rates. Don't stick to the first lender that offers you a great rate. See what's out there because it could be a 15 or 30-year bill payment.
Pay more than the minimum on your bills. Pay your regular bill and then pay an additional principal-only payment to reduce the interest you pay over the life of the loan.
See my feature in Don't Be a Fool: Take These Simple Steps Today to Begin Saving.
Join AARP for Discounts
You don't have to be 50 to join AARP. You can join before the age of 50 and receive various discounts. You'll be eligible for the full membership after turning 50. Is your spouse 50, and you're younger? You can join under their plan to receive the benefits of the full membership.
AARP has travel discounts that can save you on airfare, hotels, and car rentals. Visit the AARP Travel Center to see how you can save.
See my feature in Gen Z: Here's How You Can Save on Travel on a Tight Budget.
Download Extensions or Apps on Your Phone or Web Browser
These apps will search the internet for coupon codes based on what's in your cart—no more spending hours searching for a coupon code that doesn't work. I use a few: Fetch Rewards, Honey, Rakuten, Ibotta, Shopkick, CamelCamelCamel, RetailMeNot, and Grocery iQ.
Do you travel? American Airlines has a web extension called AAdvantage eShopping, and you can earn points for seat upgrades and flight purchases.
Earn cashback rewards by scanning your receipts and purchases with the Fetch app and joining the NCPMobile community. Every time you make a purchase, scan your items and earn points for gift cards.
Save on Activities/Hobbies
Check your local city's website to see what free or discounted activities are available.
Visit your local library's website for free Libby audiobooks or movie downloads.
Visit theme parks during non-peak seasons. You can pay less by visiting from October to February.
If you're buying gift cards, buy them when you can also receive gift cards for your purchases. Amazon and restaurants will provide you with a gift card for your purchases during popular shopping seasons. For example, spend $100 and get a $20 gift card. Use this for yourself or your family and friends.
Don't buy prepacked gifts or fruit baskets. Build your own gift basket by searching on Etsy or Pinterest. You can buy multiples of each item in advance and build gift boxes for coworkers, family, or friends and save lots of money.
Save on Vehicle Repairs
Put a reminder on your calendar to regularly complete car maintenance. Your car may have come with a booklet on recommended maintenance scheduling. Don't neglect this because it could cost more to make repairs than preventative maintenance.
Learn how to complete car repairs on your own. From oil changes to changing a fuse, if you have the proper tools, you can learn how to do car repairs by watching free YouTube videos or going to a local auto repair store to borrow tools for free.
You can also visit localtools.org to find a tool lending library near you.
You can save on taxes now by automating your retirement savings into pre-tax retirement accounts. You reduce your current tax bracket, and you may find that you bring in slightly more income.
Contribute to Flexible Spending or Dependent Care Accounts. If you have medical expenses or dependents in daycare, contributing pre-tax dollars to these accounts can save you money in the long run and further reduce your taxable income.
Save on Recurring Memberships
Do you have a recurring membership on your phone bill? If you're not using it or forgot to cancel it, take the time now to cancel the membership and reduce your bill.
If you don't watch Netflix, Hulu, or any other app, cancel or downgrade the membership.
If you sign up for a free trial, cancel it immediately. You still get the free trial, but you don't have to remember to cancel it later.
What other ways have you found to save money and build your wealth?
Originally published at https://www.harriscashcoach.com on May 21, 2022.