10 Easy Ways To Save Money (Grow Your Bank Balance)

by Menka Dimitrovska, Money Columnist


Published in Money on 23rd March, 2018


It doesn't hurt to have some extra cash at the end of the month that you can put toward paying down a debt, buying a house or an apartment, and whatever else you need.

Unfortunately, we all know how difficult it can be to save up money, especially during those months where you've run out of cash a week before your paycheck has arrived.

saving money

If you feel like you've tried saving or cutting down on stuff a few times before, but none of your tries were successful it's time to try these creative and simple 10+ ways to save money, that you might not have even thought of before. They've worked splendidly for many people, who have shared their success and early retirement stories on the internet, and they'll work for you too.

Creative Ways to Save Money (Saving On a Budget)

We all know that it's easier to save up when you have enough money of your paycheck to spare, but when you're living on a budget the situation is different. That's when you need to get even more creative and here are some of those creative solutions right here:

Try to Have Zero-Spend Days

Try to commit to at least one zero spend day a week, during which you cannot buy anything, including food, coffee or gas. Give this strategy a try for at least a few weeks, and you'll see that you'll get even more motivated to try and fit in as many zero spend days per week as possible.

David of Zero Day Finance always pushes himself to save even more, and have as many zero spend days as he can in a week. This strategy saves him much more than some extra pocket money. He managed to max out his 401k and his IRA and saves at least $4,700 per month. His savings rate is 61,5%, and yours can be too if you start following at least a few of the ways we'll share with you today.

Separate Your Wants from Needs

The only three things you actually need in life are water, food and shelter. Everything else is something we want, something that makes our life fuller and more enjoyable, but is in no way a necessity.

The most important thing to do is to first make sure that your needs are covered and then think about your wants. If you live by this example you won't be able to lead a very luxurious lifestyle, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. A simple life can be much more satisfying than a life of luxury, if you feel financially stable and your future is secure.

Prioritize Value

You need to take advantage of good deals. If you see a good deal, on a pair of nice pants for example, and believe you will enjoy them, and have the need for them, then don't throw away a good deal.

Even though you'll miss out on a huge discount, if you know that something is less valuable don't buy it. Buying a good quality product that you can use for a longer period of time ends up saving you much more than buying cheaper products all the time.

Start Eating Healthier Foods

I know a lot of you might not agree with me on this one at first. Many of you will say that healthy food is more expensive than a dollar microwave pizza or the 2 for $5 deal at McDonalds or some other fast food restaurant, but hear me out.

Healthy and organic food has been regarded as more expensive, and less convenient to prepare, but if you take the nutritional value of those foods into account you'll come to a different conclusion. Not only does fast food lead to unhealthy habits, but it also doesn't give you enough nutrients, and keeps your body asking for more and more food.

save money

In the end it will cost you way more in order to satisfy your constant hunger and need for junk foods. You will develop unhealthy habits and gain weight, and be more prone to disease.

So in an attempt to save money by choosing burgers over fruits and veggies, you will end up paying more for your junk food cravings, and later on - medical bills.

Have a Meal Prep Sunday Plan

The easiest way to save money on food during the work week is to prep your meals for the following week on Sunday. This way you'll avoid eating unhealthy, fast foods on your lunch break and you'll save a lot of money in the meantime.

Here's how you do meal prep Sunday the right way:

Here are a few things you'll need to do if you want to open your own ecommerce business:

  • Decide what you want to eat
  • Make a list of foods you need from the grocery store
  • Buy all of the necessary ingredients
  • Make sure you have a combination of carbs, protein and veggies in your lunch
  • Cook your proteins first (steaming and roasting are the two fastest and easiest ways)
  • Cook your beans, rice, quinoa or other carbs you'd like to use
  • Clean, peel and chop all your veggies
  • Get food containers and once everything is ready store your food in the fridge

Note: You will have to do a mid-week prep as well, so that you don't cook all your meats, veggies, and carbs on Sunday and risk having them spoil, but that will require minimal clean up and preparing, since the bulk part will be done each Sunday.

This method will take no more than 2-3 hours on Sunday, and probably half an hour more for your mid-week prep, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Start Leading a Frugal Lifestyle

A frugal lifestyle or mindset means to spare and be economical with food and money. You can reduce a lot of your daily unnecessary expenses this way, and start appreciating the simple things in life. Frugality means finding a cheaper and more economical way to have something you enjoy. This isn't something that can be achieved in a day or a week, but something that requires a lot of sacrifice, and a lot of changes to your lifestyle.

Once you adopt this mindset, you'll realize that maybe buying a new phone once a new model comes out, or eating out every other day, instead of cooking a healthy and tasty dinner isn't really necessary. You'll start to see things more differently, and start to value the important things in life, and not just those you can buy with money. In the end you'll be richer and more fulfilled than you were when you started out.

Set Up Automatic Deposits to Your Savings

If you want to put at least 10% of your paycheck into your savings account or investment fund, the simplest way to do so is by setting up automatic deposits. This way you can make sure you deposit money to your savings and stick to your monthly plan.

This plan might not be suitable for everyone, so if you're living paycheck to paycheck this might not be the best solution for you to save up. You might end up paying overdraft fees, or end up with not enough money for your daily necessities.

Track All Expenses No Matter How Small

The only way to understand how much money you spend and get a handle on your finances is to track everything you spend, starting from drinks, foods, and everything else. We are often not even aware how some small purchases can add up to a large sum, so the best way to avoid small and unnecessary purchases is to keep track of them. You can keep notes of what you buy, go through your bank statement or simply download an expense tracker or manager on your phone, and enter all of your daily purchases.

Always Make a Shopping List

Always have a list ready when you go shopping. This not only saves you time, but a lot of money as well. Make a list at home and stick to it. That way you'll only buy the necessities and avoid buying extra stuff you don't really need. Just focus on your list and you'll see how much you're actually able to save on a simple grocery run.

ways to save money

Cut Down on Meat

Vegetarians and vegans save a lot by skipping on meat. Meat, dairy and eggs are costly, and meat-free options are a lot cheaper. It's the same in almost every restaurant or fast food place. The meat options are always more expensive. Cutting down or giving up meat is not only better for your wallet, but it's also better for your health and for the environment.

A Few More Quick Ways

Here are a few MORE ways to save money that you can implement today!

  • Transfer to a cheaper phone plan
  • Get an internet only plan, and get rid of your cable
  • Give up your daily Starbucks pleasure
  • Sell the clothes and furniture you don't use
  • Start making your gifts instead of buying them
  • Sign up for all free customer reward programs available in your nearby shops
  • Before you decide on a purchase, sleep on it and see if you still think you need it in the morning
  • Have your friends over, instead of eating out
  • Go to free events and outdoor festivals
  • Repair your clothes when possible. Don't throw them out because of a broken button, or a small hole in them
  • Spend time with your kids, and do creative and outdoor activities instead of buying them each new and cool gadget they like
  • Quit smoking once and for all
  • Cut down on alcohol
  • Don't leave your lights on
  • Don't leave the water running while you're brushing your teeth, and always choose a shower over a bath
  • Have a yard sale and get rid of all the necessary stuff that's clogging up your home
  • Install energy-efficient light bulbs
  • When buying appliances always look for quality, not quantity
  • Use grocery store flyers
  • Buy used and second hand items when possible
  • Do your shopping after the holiday season has ended
  • Rent out any unused space you have
  • Don't throw away your leftovers
  • Dress minimally
  • Try to fix broken things by yourself, or ask a friend to help you out
  • Relocate to a cheaper place
  • Start growing your own fruits and veggies
  • Use public transportation or bike to work or school
  • Cut down on vacation expenses
  • Exercise at home, skip paying the expensive memberships at the gym
  • Carpool with your friends and colleagues

Summary

There are so many creative ways to cut down on your expenses that save you a lot in the long run so if you have any other tips or ways to save money that we haven't mentioned today, don't forget to share them in the comments.

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