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how to save money fast

 

 

How to Save Money Fast

In this article I am going to talk about how to save money fast. Learn 11 easy tips that will help you save more money quickly in order to take care of a minor emergency, catch up on bills, pay off debt, or reach other financial goals! With these 13 genius tips to save money fast you will be able to reach your financial goal quickly!

 

13 Genius Tips for How to Save Money Fast

If you need to know how to save money fast, then this is the article for you! These 13 simple tips will help you to save money quickly so that you can meet your financial obligations, save for a large purchase, pay off debt,  pay back someone that you owe money to, get current on bills, or reach another important financial objective.

1. Review your recent spending and see where you can make cuts.

First, look at your recent spending to see what you could reduce or eliminate expenses to save money quickly.

 

What You Can Do:

Review all of your recent purchases and expenses. By examining your debit card or credit card transactions online and your recent receipts, you will likely see areas that you can quickly cut. (Note: If you don’t currently keep your receipts, do! Just stuff them in a large manila envelope or binder, at least, so you will have them to review later as needed.)

As you do your review, you will likely find areas where you can immediately make cuts. Many of those might be in the areas listed below.

 

 2. Slash your entertainment spending to save money fast.

When people need to know how to save money fast, the first place I recommend that they look to reduce costs is with their entertainment spending. The average American family spends about $300 a month on entertainment, so this is a great place to cut expenses in order to save money quickly.

What You Can Do:

 

Review your entertainment expenses for the last month and cut where you can.

To save money on entertainment, see if you can cut costs in these areas:

  • Going to the movies.
  • Going to music concerts.
  • Going to sports events.
  • Video gaming.
  • Purchasing electronic devices.
  • Paying subscriptions to magazines and paid TV services (Netflix, Sling, and so on—again, videos from the library are free!).
  • Paying for memberships to the gym, rec center, museums, aquariums, or zoos, and the like.
  • Participating in recreational activities like skiing, bowling, miniature golf, playing arcades, and so on.
  • Christmas shopping.
  • Going on vacations.
  • Your personal monthly spending money (some people call it fun money or blow money).

Cut cable or satellite.

In addition to finding ways that you save money in the areas above, if you have a fairly immediate financial need and you are serious about saving money, look into cutting is your cable bill. There are so many cheaper or even free options that you can use in place of cable or satellite that you should be able to give it up pretty painlessly.

Some great and inexpensive alternatives are Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, HBO Now, or even YouTube. Many channels also show a lot of their programs online; some of them even show all of their material online. Many of these channels offer their content online for free. If they do charge, the price is usually pretty reasonable, and almost certainly cheaper than cable or satellite. Another free and easy option? The library. That’s the option we use and have been using for years, ever since we gave up cable more than a decade ago. We haven’t looked back.

Look at cheaper smartphone or cell phone options.

In addition to pulling the plug on cable, you should also look at reducing your monthly cell phone bill (and specifically, your data plan). For that, my best money-saving tip is to check out Xfinity Mobile. They are such an awesome cell phone provider! Great service, fast data, and we pay only $6.33 a month total for 2 smartphone lines!

To qualify for Xfinity Mobile you do have to sign up for Xfinity high-speed internet, but that is also a great service. (More on that below; see the section on saving money on your internet bill.)

Since we’re such light data users (especially given the fact that Xfinity Mobile has free hotspots it seems almost everywhere—really!), we pay only $3.16 a month for taxes and fees for each line. (That’s the price if you use less than 100 MB of data per month, which we do; then it’s $12 per GB per month after that, or $45 per month for unlimited.) It’s such an awesome deal!

And Xfinity Mobile has the same coverage as Verizon, which reportedly has the best cell phone coverage in the U.S. You do need to sign up for Xfinity internet in order to use Xfinity Mobile, at least initially. You can then drop the internet service if you want, but then you’ll pay an extra $10 per month per line for the mobile service. Interested in learning more or signing up? Use this referral code to save up to $100 when you sign up: 1RQ4SP

 

Look to save money on your monthly internet bill.

Another way you can save money quickly is by looking to trim your internet bill. In the U.S., the average internet bill is more than $66 a month! If you will switch to a cheaper plan, you could save $20 or $30 or more a month.

We’re paying an introductory price of $40 per month for our internet (same price as the much slower internet that we used to have from a different provider). After the one-year introductory rate our monthly bill is scheduled to go up to $65 per month, but for sure I am going to call them before the year is up to work to negotiate down the price. And even if I’m not able to , the price will still be worth it, especially because of the money we save on our cell phones!

Find even more ideas for how to save money on entertainment.

But don’t worry! Just because you are looking to save money fast doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time! Check out this article with 90+ fun, free activities you can do without spending any money!

Potential savings = $200 or more

 

Check out these related articles:

12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
91 Fun, Free Activities to Do during a No-Spend Challenge!
109 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
5 Super Simple Steps to Save $1,000 for a Debt-Free Christmas
11 Ways to Save Big on Your Christmas Shopping
4 Powerful Principles of Gratitude to Change Your Financial Life
Contentment: 9 Powerful Principles That Will Help You Save More Money and Reach Financial Success

 

3. Quit eating out (or spend less money eating out) for a time to save money fast.

Another one of the easiest ways to save money fast is to spend less eating out!

According to the most recent information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends about $300 a month eating out. That means that there is a lot money to be saved here!

What You Can Do:

The best way to save money on eating out is to eat out less!  If you really need to save money fast, then quit eating out at all for a time.

If you don’t feel like you can cut eating out completely at this time, then reduce the amount that you eat out. So, for example, if you eat out most days (or even every day) for lunch at work, start bringing a lunch from home. Keep things simple, especially at first. Bring leftovers you can easily reheat in the break room microwave. Bring a sandwich or simple salad.

Similarly, if you eat out every week as a family, cut back to eating out once a month or every other week. And go to less expensive restaurants when you do eat out.

You can also save money eating out by finding deals online, eating appetizers or smaller meals, save half of your meals for lunch the next day, share an entrée with another person, order water instead of a drink, skip dessert, and more!

There are lots of other ways that you can save money eating out, as well. Find more ideas to save  money when eating out here.

Potential savings: $200+

4. Slash your grocery budget to save money fast.

You can also save money fast by reducing your grocery budget. The average American family of five spends over $600 a month on groceries. But you really can spend significantly less than that pretty easily. Read this article to learn more than 70  ideas to save money on groceries (without having to use coupons!).

 

What You Can Do:

Some of the biggest ways that you can save money are by doing the following things.

 

Make a meal plan.

As with many things in life, one of the most powerful things you can do to save money on groceries is to start with a solid plan.

Get this awesome free weekly meal planning worksheet (below) to get organized and plan your week’s worth of meals! The meal planner comes with helpful meal planning tips that will help you save a ton of money on your grocery shopping!

 Shop with a grocery list.

This step goes right along with making a plan.  In fact, my free weekly meal planner (that you can get by signing up with the form just above) includes a shopping list as part of it.

Once you have created your meal plan, use it to create your shopping list for the week (or two weeks) by seeing what grocery items you need (what you are out of or low on) and adding those items to your shopping list.

 

Use a price comparison cheat sheet!  

One of the things that saves us a lot of money on groceries throughout the year is to comparison shop. I comparison shop on virtually everything, so of course I am going to comparison shop on one of our biggest yearly expenses! And you should, too!

Use this awesome, super handy grocery price comparison cheat sheet to help you spot great deals and pass over grocery items that are overpriced.

 

Eat the food you already have on hand.

Another thing that can help you save money fast is to eat the food you already have in your house in order to slash your grocery spending. Most of us have enough food in our houses that we could go for a significant amount of time, if we had to, without buying any food.

So clear out your fridge, cupboards, freezer, and pantry. There’s a good chance you have a week’s worth or more of food in your home (many people have more than a month’s worth of food on hand in their house, which is a great thing in case some kind of emergency happens and you need it!), and using that food up periodically is a good idea to make sure nothing goes bad. But, also, if you do find food items that have expired, don’t automatically toss them out. The expiration or best by/use by dates are just guidelines, and you can eat most things months past the best by date without any noticeable loss of quality.

 

Cut down on sweets, snacks, juice, beer, and so on.

You can save a ton of money by just sticking to the main food groups. Eat fewer packaged and overly processed foods. Focus on your whole wheat grains, vegetables, fruits, and inexpensive lean meats and proteins. (And both your wallet and your waistline will thank you!) To help you save money fast, leave the rest of the junk (food) on the grocery store shelf.

Plan to have a few meatless meals each week.

Meat is one of the most expensive foods you can buy, so by eating more meatless meals you can save a lot of money. Consider going meatless for a few dinner meals a week, or even plan a whole week or two week’s worth of meatless meals if you want to save money even faster.

Buy only items that are in season.

To save money on produce, buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.

Buy grocery items that are on sale.

Check the week’s grocery ads, and then plan what you buy for that week’s meals around that.

Eat unconventional and smaller meals.

If you really want to save money on groceries, then plan really simple meals like egg omelets, fried eggs with toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried eggs with rice, cereal with milk, pancakes or waffles, chicken with rice, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles with vegetables, pasta alfredo, tacos, bean and cheese burritos, and so on.

 Want more ideas for how to save money on your grocery shopping? Read this article for more than 70 suggestions for how to slash your grocery bill without needing to use coupons!

Potential savings = $200-$300+

 

 

5. Spend less money on transportation to save money fast.

Another idea for how to save money fast is to spend less money on transportation-related expenses.

 

What You Can Do:

 

Get rid of your car payment(s).

If you have car loans (and unfortunately, you probably do ☹), consider selling the car (or cars) and buying a less expensive car for cash. The average car payment in America is over $400 a month, so if you will get rid of your car payments, you can save money pretty quickly!

While you are working to save money fast, consider selling your car that has payments and buying an inexpensive paid-for car (in the $1,000 to $5,000 range) to get around in for a while if you have the equity in your car to be able to do so or can scrape the money together in other ways. Or if you are a two-car family, could you get by on one car? We were a one-car family for more than 10 years. Then when you are ready, save up and buy another car or a more expensive car with cash. 🙂  Read this article to learn how to buy a nice car for cash.

 

Drive less.

Combine errands and find other ways to drive less. Also ride a bike or walk to your destinations when possible. Carpool if you can to work and school, or take the bus.Telecommute if you can! (Doing so has awesome benefits way beyond just saving money on transportation.

 

Save money on car repairs.

Save money on car maintenance and repairs by looking for a reliable and trustworthy but less expensive mechanic. Realize that most of the cost of a car repair (unless it is something major like replacing an engine) comes from the cost of the labor, not from the car part itself. You can see this for yourself by Googling the price of a car part that needs to be repaired versus the quoted price you get from many of your local mechanics. They will say that the majority of the cost is in the part, but the truth is that it is in overpriced labor.

So if you possibly can, buy needed car parts yourself (Google or talk to a knowledgeable friend or trusted mechanic to find out the part that you need), even if you have a friend, family member, or trusted mechanic do the actual labor. You will save a ton of money that way! In my experience (and I have looked into this in virtually all of the auto mechanic shops in my area), the markup on car parts and car repairs, even by many reputable auto mechanic shops (unfortunately), is huge!

Save money on auto parts by shopping at places like online parts store RockAuto. (They truly have amazing prices!)

Learn how to save money on car maintenance and repairs.

 

Also save money on transportation by following these additional tips.

  • Drive the speed limit. 😊
  • Use apps like GasBuddy to save money when purchasing fuel.
  • Shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal on auto insurance.
  • Wash your car yourself rather than spending money at the car wash.

And save in other ways on your transportation costs, as well. Find more than 30 ideas for how to save on transportation costs.

Potential savings = $50-$200+

 

6. Spend less on housing-related expenses.

Another thing that you can do as you work to save money fast is to reduce your housing expenses.

For most families, housing is their largest expense. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do to save money on housing, even if you own your home and so your mortgage is fixed.

 

What You Can Do:

To save money on housing expenses, look at these options:

  • Consider refinancing your home if interest rates have dropped significantly. (But don’t lengthen the term of your loan! Keep it the same or, even better, shorten it! :))
  • Talk to your insurance agent and find ways to lower your homeowners or renters insurance.
  • Save money on alarm monitoring. Check out SimpliSafe; you can get inexpensive (but awesome) alarm monitoring through them for just $15 a month!
  • Rent a cheaper place.
  • Consider moving in with family or friends.
  • Get a roommate (or roommates).
  • Rent out your spare bedrooms on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. If you are able to do this, you could earn well over the cost of your monthly mortgage or rent payment. And you can meet some amazing people in the process.

For even more ideas for saving money on housing costs, read this article with 30+ simple ways to save money on housing and related expenses.

Potential savings = $50-200+

 

 

7. Save money on your utilities.

You can also save money by cutting your utilities costs.

 

What You Can Do:

To reduce your utility bill so that you can save money fast, try these free and easy tips:

  • Turn down (to 62 degrees or lower, if you can) and turn up your AC (to 78 degrees or higher, if you can).
  • Wash all of your clothes in cold water. Washing machines are so powerful these days they will still get your clothes clean even with cold water.
  • Hang your clothes out to dry.
  • Use your dishwasher less. Wait till it is full to run it, and consider using your dish drain and washing the dishes by hand.
  • Turn off lights, TVs, computers, radios, nightlights, and so on when they are not in use.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when they are not in use.
  • Open your curtains during the day to let in the sun to warm up your house during the winter or keep them closed to keep out the sun to help keep it from heating up too much during the summer.

Read this article for more ideas on how to save money on utilities during the summer and this article for more ideas on how to save money on utilities during the winter.

Potential savings = $50+

8. Save money on clothing to help you save money fast.

Another thing you can do to save money fast is to not spend so much on clothing and shoes. The average American family spends over $100 a month on clothes, so if you went for a month or a few months or more without buying any more clothes or shoes (which you probably have enough clothes and shoes already to last awhile, so that probably is something you could do), you could save quite a bit of money that way, too!

My favorite tip for saving money on clothing if you have kiddos is to set up a clothing co-op of sorts. If you have children, see if you can swap children’s clothes with your nieces and nephews or with children from your neighborhood or church. My sisters and I share clothes for our kiddos, and it is an awesome way to save money (and help out the environment just a little)! Plus, I just love seeing my nieces and nephews in clothes that my kiddos wore! It brings back such fun memories!

You can also save a bunch of money on clothes by shopping the sales and by shopping at discount clothing stores, thrift stores and second-hand stores, garage and yard sales, websites like eBay and Craigslist, and more!

Want even more ideas? Check out this article with 13 must-know ideas to help you save money on your clothes buying.

Potential savings = $50+

 

Check out these related articles:

How to Get (and Stay) out of Debt!
17 Must-Know Tips to Rock Your Budget
13 Top Tips to Help You Stick to Your Budget
16 Best Tips to Help You Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
15 Top Tips to Help You Finally Stop Overspending
31 Budget-Friendly Easy and Cheap Dinner Recipes for under $5
42 Cheap and Easy Budget-Friendly Meals for under $5
73 Easy Ways to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons!
151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!

 

9. Spend less money on gift giving.

I don’t want to be a Scrooge, but if you need to save money fast, then consider spending less on gift giving for a time.

What You Can Do:

I know that there is a lot of pressure in our society to give gifts. Give gifts for graduation. Give gifts for weddings. Give gifts for Christmas. Give gifts for Easter. Give gifts for babies and bar mitzvahs and birthdays. But if you need to save money fast because of an unexpected expense, a needed purchase, or a debt repayment, then look at forgoing gift giving for a while. 

What can you do instead? Give a heartfelt card. Make a heartfelt phone call. Explain the situation if you feel it is necessary. Give a gift of service or time instead of a purchased gift. And try not to feel guilty. It is OK to say no if you need to, especially if it is to protect or repair the financial well-being of your own family.

Check out this article for tips on how to save money on your Christmas shopping.

Potential savings = $50+

 

10. Find ways to make more money.

Though this article focuses on ways to spend less money in order to save money fast, finding ways to make extra money can be even more effective to help you reach your financial goals. That is because there is only so much that you can realistically do to save money (though there is a lot, for sure!), but your potential to earn more money is virtually limitless!

 

What You Can Do:

There are more ways to make money today than there have ever been before, and many of these you can do from the comfort of your own home after you get back from work. Some of my favorite ways to make more money are below.

  • Work overtime. If you have the opportunity to do so, working overtime is a great way to help you to save money quickly.
  • Ask for a raise or promotion. If it’s been a few years since you received a significant raise and you’ve been an exceptional employee at work, make a list of your contributions and your accomplishments, and schedule a meeting with your boss to request a raise or a promotion. Focus on ways that you’ve earned the company money or saved them money. If you learn that a raise or promotion isn’t going to happen right away, ask what specific steps you can take in the next year or two to make it a reality. Read this article for more information on how to seek a raise or promotion.
  • Do freelance work. If you work in a field that lends itself to doing freelance work, take advantage of that opportunity to earn extra income to help you save money fast! I have been doing freelance writing and editing since before I graduated from college with my English degree and editing minor, and doing freelance work has not only helped me gain experience in other areas besides what I do for my full-time job but has also at times (when I wanted to give the time to it) brought in significant additional income.
  • Do coaching or consulting. Similarly, if you have job experience or a skill that lends itself to coaching or consulting, put that skill to use! Popular areas for consulting include human resource (HR) consultant, public relations (PR) consultant, marketing consultant, business management consultant, and accounting consultant. Popular areas for coaching include financial coaching, job coaching, personal fitness coaching, and leadership coaching. Look for opportunities on indeed.com or your favorite job website.
  • Get a (second) job. If one spouse is available to get a second job in the evenings or on Saturday, for example, then this is another great potential way to earn additional income. And if you are a one-income family, or if one of you works only part-time, you might want to consider reentering the workforce or going full-time temporarily in order to save money more quickly.
  • Start a side hustle. If you would rather earn money without working another regular job, there are a lot of things you can do to earn a little extra income with a side hustle. Some ideas include starting your own small business where you turn a hobby into a money-maker, being a virtual assistant, or driving for Uber or Lyft. Learn how to start a side hustle and find out about many side hustles that you can explore.
  • Start a money-making blog. The potential for significant income is one of the reasons that I started this blog. If you love helping people and enjoy writing, being a blogger might be a great fit for you. In addition to great income potential (check out these amazing income reports of bloggers who make $10,000 to $100,000 or more per month!), there are many other benefits of being a blogger, such as being able to be your own boss and work on your own schedule. Learn how to start a blog for less than $5 a month.
  • Earn passive income. Some options for earning passive income are to create a product you have someone sell, write a book, create a money-making podcast or vlog, develop an online course, or participate in affiliate marketing. Read this article to learn more ideas for earning passive income.
  • Use rebate apps like Ibotta and Ebates. With rebate services such as Ebates and Ibotta, you can earn money by shopping for things and at places where you would shop anyway. With Ebates, you generally buy items through their website to save up to 40 percent on purchases. It is primarily an online service. Ibotta, on the other hand, is an app you use primarily after you make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Because of this, you can actually sign up for and use both apps to save on purchases. Sign up for a free Ebates account here, and sign up for a free Ibotta account here. You can literally sign up for both in just seconds and let the savings start stacking up.
  • Sell stuff on eBay or Amazon. If you have a good eye for a bargain, you can buy items at thrift stores or garage sales and sell them for a profit on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or your local online classifieds.
  • Sell your clothes to consignment shops. If you’re like most people, you probably have more clothes than you need. So use them to bring in some quick cash!
  • Have a garage sale. Declutter and earn money, all at the same time!

Check out this article to learn more about increasing your income!

Potential savings = Limitless

 

Are you ready to start making more money? Sign up below to participate in the free 10-day Earn More Money, Change Your Life challenge and learn actionable steps you can start taking today to really increase your income!

 

 

11. Do a no-spend challenge.

I love no-spend challenges because they are an excellent way to save money fast! We have done a few no-spend challenges now in our family, and they have been great. You can learn all about how to do a no-spend challenge here.

 

What You Can Do:

If you have never done a no-spend challenge, give it a try! A no-spend challenge is where you go for a week, two weeks, or even a month or more either without spending money or without spending money on anything besides the bare essentials. 

Or you could do a no-spend challenge in just a particular category, if you have a particular area where you could fairly easily save a bunch of money because you spend a lot in that category, such as clothing, eating outor entertainment.

To save the most money quickly, do a complete no-spend challenge. You could start with a one-week no-spend challenge the first time, and then do two weeks, and then go for a whole month. Or if you really want to turbocharge your savings and short-circuit your spending habits, you could go all in and start with a one-month no-spend challenge. 

Learn more about how to do a no-spend challenge here. And learn about many of the benefits of doing a no-spend challenge here.

Potential savings: $500-$1,000+

 

12. Automate your savings.

I am also a huge fan of automating your money. Automating your money is an easy and painless way to ensure that you are sending your money where you want it to go.

 

What You Can Do:

Automating your money can help you to save money fast by allowing you to send money directly to savings accounts, credit card companies, car loan companies, and more. This will help you save up money quickly and pay off debt quickly. Automating your money can help you to easily save up for a purchase, pay off a debt, pay for an expense, and more.

You can (and should! :)), as soon as you can, automate your finances to save more money, pay your bills, pay off debt, save for retirement, save for large purchases, fund your children’s college educational savings accounts, and ultimately find financial freedom.

Learn all about how to automate your money here.

 

13. Start to budget to help you save money fast.

I know most people don’t think budgets are sexy, but if you want to save money fast, a final thing that will really help you to manage your money well so that you can accomplish that is to budget effectively.

 

What You Can Do:

Budgeting doesn’t have to be scary, and it doesn’t have to be hard. A budget—or call it a spending plan, if you prefer—is merely where you tell your money where to go. You are the boss of your budget when you are creating it, but then the budget gets to be the boss of you to help you reach the financial goals that you set via your budget. You can learn simple steps to create and use a budget effectively here. You can also learn how to stick to a budget here.

Get a simple budget that you can use to help you save money fast and reach your financial goals. Just sign up below!

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many, many things that you can do to save money fast! With these tips, you can save $500, $1,000, or even more pretty quickly! My sincere best wishes in your efforts to save more money!

While you are working to save money fast, also check out these important things to save up money for.

 

Why are you looking to save money fast? What is your most important financial goal right now? Which of these money-saving tips have you tried or would you like to try? What other things have you done to save money quickly? Leave a comment below and let me know—I would love to know your thoughts!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

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