I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a particularly frugal person. I’m a spender at heart but I’ve always been a pretty good saver. Over the years, I’ve come up with a ton of ways to save more money with my existing income.
I was able to save $8,000 from my part-time job during high school, which then became the basis of my emergency fund. My ability to save allowed me to buy my car with cash, save up for a debt-free wedding and honeymoon. It allowed me to pay off my student debt and travel Europe for over a year without a single cent of debt.
For even more money-saving tips, download your free Money Saving Strategies Guide below. You can also take the free 7-Day Money Saver Email Course to help you boost your savings even more!
Saving money & your other financial goals
The ability to save money is crucial to your overall financial plan and every single one of your financial goals. The more money you save, the more money you have to put towards your goals and the things that matter to you. That means more money towards paying off debt, saving up for holidays and birthdays, saving up for travelling and buying the things you like.
Do you need to earn more income to save more money?
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many ways to save more money in your budget right now, without increasing your income. Because here’s the thing: more money won’t necessarily bring you financial freedom. Unless you know how to save money any extra money you earn will inevitably lead to more spending.
That’s why most people who win the lottery actually end up broke. More money isn’t the magical answer you’re looking for. But your ability to save money will be a powerful tool in your journey towards lasting financial freedom and independence.
Easy ways to save more money
Groceries & household items
- Ditch the paper towels and switch to reusable cleaning cloths that can be thrown in the washing machine instead.
- Maintain inventory lists of what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer at home. This will help you avoid buying things you already have.
- Meal plan for more filling foods, or large-batch recipes that are fairly cheap. These meals will stretch further, so you’ll be shopping less often as a result.
- Reuse, recycle or epicycle jars, bottles and other reusable packaging.
- Read recipes carefully because they often include extra ingredients for garnishes that you don’t really need.
- Set an actual grocery budget and align it with your meal plan.
- Choose cheaper cuts of meat, for example, chicken thigh fillets instead of breast fillets.
- Leverage meals with leftovers that can easily be reheated the next day.
- Never shop on an empty stomach. You’ll end up shopping with your stomach and not from your shopping list.
Home & utilities
- Save money on dry-cleaning by only dry-cleaning investment pieces. Furthermore, try to avoid buying clothing that will require dry-cleaning altogether.
- Put up heat-insulated curtains to keep the heat inside your home (and, therefore, lower your heating bill) during the winter.
- Install dual flush buttons in all the toilets in your home to reduce water usage and costs.
- After the dishwasher cycle is completed, open the dishwasher door to let the dishes air-dry instead of using the built-in heat dry function. It might take longer, but the air is free.
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs and larger appliances (when possible).
- Wear warmer clothes and use warmer blankets during the colder months before you turn up the heat.
- Use your dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.
Read more: 6 Simple Tips for Controlling Your Spending
Dining, going out & entertainment
- Don’t leave your leftovers at the restaurant. Ask the restaurant to pack up any leftovers for you to take home – now you’ve got lunch for tomorrow!
- When you’re buying coffee, resist the temptation (I know it’s hard!) to buy a slice of cake to enjoy with your coffee.
- Host a pot-luck style event instead of going out where everyone brings a dish to contribute to the meal. You’ll help you friends save money as well, while you all have a great time!
- Go to the movies or certain restaurants on the cheap days. This is usually in the middle of the week when business is slow for these establishments.
- Opt for date nights at home or other budget-friendly date night ideas! You can play couples’ games, cook a meal together or have a movie night on the couch.
- Alcoholic drinks are the most expensive part of a restaurant meal. Have drinks at home before going out to eat.
- Unplug or turn off appliances at the wall when not in use.
Healthy & beauty
- Ask your doctor and pharmacist for generic brands of prescription medications.
- Mix and match the brands you use in your skincare routine. You don’t need to use high end or expensive products for everything. Furthermore, you don’t need to be restricted to only one brand or product range.
- Research some restorative at-home hair treatments to keep your hair healthier for longer, and reduce the frequency of “needing a trim”.
- Make an effort to quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake. You can save a small fortune just by cutting these expenses from your budget.
- Apply skincare products directly to your skin instead of rubbing it in your hands first – you’re only wasting the product. It’s an easy way to save more money without sacrificing your beauty routine.
Cars & vehicles
- Learn basic car maintenance from watching YouTube videos, or if you know someone who’s good with cars, ask them for help.
- If possible, try to use only one car. Opt for carpooling with friend, colleagues and neighbours instead.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. Small but consistent efforts over time will allow you to save more money the easy way, without having to increase your income. Because increasing your income is harder than maximising the income you already work so hard to earn. Look over your budget and the different areas of your lifestyle to see what can be cut or substituted to save more money. You’ll be able to see some quick wins just by changing your shopping and eating habit and being more conscious of how costs add up around your home. You can also make small changes to your entertainment and health & beauty to deliver even better results.