Everyone wants to save money. But when every expense feels like a need, where do you cut back?
There are many ways to save money that don’t need a major lifestyle overhaul. Here are our 10 favorite simple changes you can make to save more of your hard-earned cash.
1. Get a budgeting app.
Start with the basics. The best way to save money is to track your spending and, more importantly, where you can cut back. Sifting through bank and credit card statements isn’t fun, but budgeting apps can do the heavy lifting for you.
You don’t need to set a budget, either. Breaking your spending down can help you pinpoint where you’re overspending.
Sorry, Starbucks, $150 a month isn’t worth it.
2. Carry your own bottle.
Nobody likes a markup. Start carrying your own bottle to avoid the 2000 times markup on bottled water.
It’s a simple swap that helps reduce waste, too.
3. Look for perks at your favorite stores.
What are your top places? Large chains and even small businesses often offer promotions that will save you a few bucks.
Most chain grocery stores have apps to load up coupons or some loyalty programs. Do your homework and find how you can save at your most frequently visited stores.
4. Use cash for impulse purchases.
We all overshop at Target. No shame.
If you have a habit of overshopping, start carrying cash. Studies show we spend more with plastic. Seeing that extra $20 leave your wallet might stop that impulse buy.
5. Adjust your thermostat…
Want to score savings with the press of a button? Okay, technically, it’s a turn of a dial, but same difference.
While you’re home, set your thermostat to 78° F in summer and 68° F in winter. When you’re out or sleeping, dial it closer to the temperature outside (down in winter, up in summer) by 7° F.
You can save as much as 10% on your bill .
6. …and water heater.
More savings are only one more knob away. Many manufacturers set their heaters at 140° F, but for most people 120° F is comfortable.
7. Consider refinancing
Right now is a great time to refinance thanks to the historically low Federal Reserve rate.
If you have a mortgage, car payment, or student loan, shop your options.
For car and student loans, look for refinancing that comes with little-to-no closing costs. If you’re considering a mortgage refi, make sure you run the numbers on how long it will take you to recoup your closing costs.
8. Wait on big purchases.
Before you decide to spring for that sectional couch, take two weeks.
If you still really want that big shiny thing, go for it if you can afford it.
9. Plan your meals.
Americans waste up to 40% of their food.
Meal planning isn’t fun, but having a few extra bucks in your pocket is. Your bill may not be 40% lower, but you can lower it by shopping and eating smart.
Use your budget planner to help with this.
10. Review your plans, subscriptions, and memberships.
Just because you’ve always paid X for your phone and Y for cable doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Shop around for a better deal. You probably have some wiggle room.
Put all your memberships and subscriptions under the microscope. If you don’t need it, cut it.
What to do with all that money you save
Once you’ve racked up some savings, put it in a savings account to grow. Savings accounts limit how often you can pull out money in exchange for a high interest rate. .
High-yield savings accounts are a great way to keep your money safe and get a return on what you save.
Some small changes can have a big impact. Saving can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.