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The 25 Best Ways to Save Money

November 10, 2020

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Let’s be honest.

At the end of the day, all of us would be happy to have a little more money in the bank. But then you get invited out to dinner or you see something you have to have in a shop window.

Socking money away can feel tricky, even in the best of times. And in a year that’s been far from that, plenty of us are looking for ways to make it easier to save.

Fear not, savings seeker. We’ve rounded up 25 tried-and-true ways to save money. 

1. Automate it

Set up a monthly transfer from your checking to your savings.

Make it an amount that can add up but that you won’t really feel.

If you automatically transfer $50 a month for a full year, you’ll end the year with $600 of savings you didn’t have before. 

2. Budget

It’s way too easy to spend if you don’t have guidelines in place.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a hassle, either. There are a ton of budgeting software options and apps that do the heavy lifting for you.

3. Eat in...

Dining out is pricey. Drinking out, even more so. 

Be mindful of how often you go out for food or drinks. Try to limit it to once a week.

If friends invite you out, invite them over for a potluck instead. You’ll all save some cash that way. 

4. … and plan your meals

The average American household throws away more than $1,800 in food each year. Ouch. 

Plan your meals and hit the store with a list. That way, you’ll buy food you have a plan to use — and you’ll end up with less in the trash. 

5. Brew coffee at home, too

Consider your coffee shop visit a luxury rather than a daily routine.

This could save you more than a thousand bucks a year. 

6. Check your subscriptions...

Between streaming services, subscription boxes, and fitness memberships, most of us have at least a few recurring expenses on non-necessities.

Write all your subscriptions down and see if there are any you can nix. 

7. … and your utilities

Ask friends or family in similar living situations how much they’re paying for utilities. If your electricity or gas bill is quite a bit higher, find out why. 

Adding some weatherstripping under your door or swapping to LED bulbs is an easy fix that could help you save big over time. 

8. Compare insurance policies

Look, we know this sounds like a hassle. Because it is. 

But you could be paying tens of dollars more than is necessary each month. And that adds up fast.

Set aside an hour to get at least three online quotes on the insurance policies you need. 

9. Scratch the itch to shop with a swap

If you often seek retail therapy, saving can be hard.

So, instead of hitting your favorite store, organize a clothing swap with friends. You’ll clear out your closet and you’ll probably come home with some new-to-you pieces you’ll love. 

10. Learn to love used

Craigslist is your friend. So are your local thrift stores.

Before you buy anything new — like dishes, furniture, electronics, appliances, clothes, etc. — check your used options. 

11. Wait on purchases

The bigger the purchase, the longer you should wait.

Experts recommend waiting 30 days on major purchases like a new TV.

But even that item in the dollar section at Target is worth a brief pause. Take a few seconds and really ask yourself why you’re buying the item. 

12. Keep your car and house in good shape

There’s nothing like a big repair bill to eat at your savings.

Stay on top of your maintenance to-dos. Get your oil changed regularly. Clean out your gutters. You get the idea.

To help, here are comprehensive home maintenance and car maintenance checklists. 

13. Clip coupons

This doesn’t have to mean carrying around a big binder of clippings.

Several grocers and other retailers let you gather and use coupons from their apps. Check out the options for stores your regularly visit and start racking up savings. 

14. Carpool or bike

Not only does this help you save on gas, but it also means fewer miles on your car, which translates to fewer maintenance costs. 

15. Shop generic

Just do it. The label doesn’t matter. 

16. Carry a water bottle

Bottled water is one of the craziest markups out there. Plus, plastic waste is the worst. 

17. Tap into local resources

We all spend a fair amount on entertainment.

But that’s doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. 

Check out free local events, peruse your local library, and look for free days at your local museums, gardens, and other places of interest. 

18. Set savings goals — and track them visibly

It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing all this work.

So don’t let yourself. Keep track of your savings somewhere you’ll see it regularly. 

19. Get a better savings account

Earn interest on your savings by choosing a savings account with a solid annual percentage yield (APY)

20. Don’t store your credit cards online

Make it harder for yourself to impulse shop. That extra step to get up and get your card might be enough to stop you. 

21. Get on board with loyalty programs

Figure out if there are any perks at the places you frequent. That free burrito after the tenth one just saved you a few bucks. 

22. Pay your credit cards in full each month

Paying interest on credit card balances is literally money down the drain. Don’t make purchases you can’t pay off in full when your bill is due. 

23. Refinance existing debts

This will require more legwork, but the savings could be major. 

Interest rates are at historic lows right now. Refi your mortgage or student loans to slash your outgoing expenses. 

24. Get accountability

Find a friend who wants to save money, too. Talk about your savings regularly to keep yourselves both on track. 

25. DIY

Mend your own clothes. Make your gifts this holiday season. Grow your own food. Change your own oil. 

Your options here are endless.

You’ve got this, super saver! 

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

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Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff has over five years of experience writing personal finance content for a wide range of audiences. She's always loved taking complex concepts and distilling them down so they're more accessible to others. As she creates content, she aims to educate and engage, helping people discover that successfully managing their money can be easier than they ever imagined. Over the last five years, she’s also covered personal and commercial insurance, home design, health and wellness, and more for publications including Bankrate, Freshome, The Simple Dollar, and websites of a broad variety of businesses. Her brand is Jot Content (

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