How do I save money fast? That's a million-dollar question everybody asks. Don't fret, this post is packed with information you need from the basics of saving money all the way to the tips professionals say on how to save money on a tight budget.
Believe it or not, saving money can be tough. I've been there and so do many people. You are not alone. To put things in perspective, a $1,000 emergency can put people in debt.
But there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
In this post, you'll learn how to save money:
- on a tight budget
- on groceries
- for a house
- and so many more
There are ways you can do to save money fast or even make money online and not rely on your paycheck.
You've heard people saying the best solution is to get out debt fast. Sure, that's easier said than done. If it were that easy, then, we would all have saved money.
But the reality is, all of us have different situations that call for different solutions on saving money and getting out of debt isn't always the solution.
Don't believe that there are shortcuts to learning how to save money.
Let's put it this way:
If there are shortcuts, then, a lot of people would already have saved a lot of money.
That said, there are easy ways to save money that you can start from day one.
You don't have to live a cheapskate life to save extra cash. A lot of people also say you should cut out daily coffee consumption, avoid eating out, take a bike instead of a car, etc.
While cutting out or back on these activities can help you save extra, you may be cutting some little luxuries that keep you sane.
This post will give you your solutions.
How to save extra money doing what you're doing
Where's the best place to start saving? It's with doing the things you are already doing.
Believe it or not, a lot of people tend to overlook this simple idea. They tend to focus on getting rid of debt, cutting out some luxuries, etc. that they forget that there's money in what they normally do.
Here are some ideas you can use to save extra cash, free Amazon gift cards, among others:
1-5. Start with getting paid for things you didn't know you could get paid
Here's the reality:
There are endless opportunities out there that can help you make extra money just by doing things you normally do. It's not a joke.
Whether you are just binge-watching some Netflix shows, cleaning the yard, running some errands, or something else, there are ways you can make cash on the side without putting too much effort.
Granted some of these ways won't make you rich. That said, if you are looking for hundreds of dollars, then, you might as well use these ways and get paid.
Here are some of them:
- Paid online surveys. Share your opinions on entertainment, politics, life, etc. and get paid. The best survey sites to make money from are Survey Junkie and Survey Club. One even made over $600 in 10 days (see image above).
- Use this app for everything. Whether you're watching, shopping, reading news, browsing or something else, get paid to do those with Swagbucks. As a fact, I made over $1,500 in just a few months. That money is now deposited in my emergency fund account.
- Cut your expenses automatically. Sure, you have all these subscriptions you don't need but have forgotten to cancel. Also, you may have services you wish you could cut cost from. You've tried everything with no luck. Now, Trim app can do those for you. Trim will analyze your spending, find subscriptions to cancel, negotiate your bills, among others. Last month, subscribers saved over $1,000,000 with Trim. See my Trim review here.
- Stop by a store. There's an app that will pay you to literally stop by a store. It's called Shopkick and it's FREE. You might as well use it when you visit a store to buy groceries, clothing, or something else
Click here to sign up for:
How to save money on a low income
Not everyone has money to save. Truth be told, many earn low income or live in a single-income family that can restrict one's ability to save extra money.
Here are some of the ways you can use to save cash and to learn how to live cheap:
6. Go back to the basics
Remember the days when you were able to live off based on what you needed and not what you wanted?
Go back to that time, and you'd be saving a ton of money.
The truth is, differentiating between needs and wants can be tough. We, people, have been accustomed to getting all our wants and tell ourselves that we need them.
Here's a trick: Cut out thing out at a time. Let's say, cut ‘going out to the movie theater' expense line and see how you live without it. If you are ok, then, that's a want. Then, continue with another expense line until you cut as many expenses as you can.
Best yet, cut out the biggest expenses and go from there.
7. Tackle the high-interest debt first
Interest payments are like free money you give to companies. That's why it's a great idea to start tackling these debts to save money in the process.
Do you have a credit card debt or other forms of credit that charge you high fees and interest? Start from there.
Start prioritizing your debt so you know which ones to tackle first, second, and so on. As you move forward with paying these debts off, avoid making anymore debt.
Here are some ways you can do to deal with debts:
- Credit card debt is like a disease that doesn't go away easily. So are impulse buys.
For those who are ready to start saving money fast on their credit card debt, I recommend Tally.
Why? Tally is your credit card debt concierge that helps you save money, manage your cards, and pay off debt faster.
Tally analyzes your credit cards and credit history (without affecting your credit score) to ensure it's a fit for you.
If you qualify, you'll receive a Tally line of credit to pay off your cards with high APR balances – saving you significant amounts of cash by letting it make the right payment to the right card at the right time (with no more late fees).
Click here to start using Tally – your short term solution to a long term problem.
- Student loans are no joke not to mention the over-the-roof interest rates, which sometimes are higher than mortgage rates.
If your student loans keep you from saving money, you may be able to refinance to a lower rate and a shorter term. With a short term and lower interest rate, you'll end up saving a whole lot of money.
SoFi, a top student loan refinancing issuer, is known for that. With no hidden fees and prepayment penalties, it helps you save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
8. Re-evaluate your bills
To save money on a low income means focusing on your bills.
Bills are money killers. That said, most of us pay those and don't pay attention to what we get or what's included in those bills.
One of the things you need to do is pay attention to the charges on your bill. Dissect them like a frog getting dissected during a Biology class.
Call your bill collectors if you see something that's off and if you think you need to downgrade your services. Ask yourself how much of these products and services you use and if you can get away with not having those or just a little bit of those.
You can use apps like Charlie, Trim, and Cushion to help you evaluate your bills automatically. They do all the legwork and you just need to sit back, relax, and enjoy while they negotiate on your part.
You can also scout for the same products and services from other sources and see if you can get the same level of benefits for lower rates.
Click here to learn more about these negotiation apps to save you money.
9. Keep your budget lean
To save money on a low income means keeping your budget in control (i.e., the basics of saving money). Take control of how much you spend.
Choose the categories you want to put some little luxuries in, and keep the rest of your budget as lean as it can be. You will need to compromise and/or sacrifice to make your budget work. That's just how it goes.
You can splurge on something when you don't have enough income coming in.
Here a tip: Learn how to spend in moderation. Don't go overboard when there's no need to do it.
Find an alternative to your needs
We've gotten so used to having all the needs that we tend to forget that there are cheaper alternatives to still get our needs.
Do pick up your grocery items at Walmart? Maybe you could try BJ's Wholesale or Costco to buy bulk and save money. You can even use coupons and coupon apps to save more money.
You could buy generic items than branded ones, which most of the time are cheaper but are of high-quality.
You could also wait for big holidays like 4th of July and Thanksgiving to buy what you need at steep discounts. Or ask your family and friends or even go to Craigslist and yard sales to see products that you need at very low costs.
10. Start cutting your discretionary items
When it comes to saving money, the first ones that should go or get slashed are your wants. These could include entertainment, travel, leisure, and restaurants.
Believe it or not:
There are so many ways you can entertain yourself without shelling out so much money. Want to hang out with friends? Invite them for a potluck. Want to travel to a specific destination? Travel on the non-peak season (click here to learn how to travel for free).
Slashing these expenses can be temporary. Once you've saved enough money, you can always go back and splurge on your wants. Or you can splurge on those fun stuff from time to time to give yourself a budget break.
Creative ways to save money with a side hustle
There's a point that no matter how much you squeeze your budget that you can't simply save even a few dollars. That happens when your income just doesn't cut it.
So, what do you do? When this situation happens to you, it's time to increase your income. Here are several side hustles to earn money on the side:
11. Get to work
There's no better way to earn extra money than to get a job or just a part-time job to supplement your current income.
You could talk to your boss for a pay raise, overtime hours, or additional regular-paid hours.
If you're looking for a job, look for something that you can do during your free time. Maybe look for a weekend-type job or night job.
12. Get a side hustle or two
Side hustles could make you a lot of money. Period.
These side hustles could be your part-time job and can be something you can do just for a couple of hours.
When looking for great side hustle ideas, try to focus on the ones that are of interests to you. When you do this, you're likely to succeed and make money than just trying the ones out of a whim.
Here are some ideas that can help you get started:
- Offering your services. If you are great at graphic designing, administrative work, or something else, you can offer that services online and make money. The best platform to do it is through Fiverr. You can use that platform, too, if you're trying to figure out what services you'd like to provide.
- Delivering foods. Going to the grocery stores, buying your lunch food, among others can be time-consuming. Believe it or not, a lot of people have their food delivered, and those delivery people can get paid up to $18/hour + tips. How's that sound? Check out some delivery food apps like DoorDash and Instacart.
- Blogging. Sure, it will take a few months to make money, but once your blog starts making money, it could continue to help you earn money month after month without putting too much effort. Look at me. This blog makes me over $30K and I only touch it for 5 hours/mo. Try blogging now for just $2.95/mo – that's less than a Starbucks coffee.
13. Claim all your eligible business expenses
While there are some strict tax details regarding side hustles – like your estimated quarterly taxes – there tax benefits that can be had with your side hustle, which can you help you save money in the process.
When you have a side hustle especially when you do it from home, you can deduct a lot of expenses you have as business expenses. This allows you to reduce your tax liabilities.
Believe it or not:
A lot of entrepreneurs miss out on over 74,00 pages of deductions in the tax code. So, if you want to save extra money the legal way, this is where you need to look into.
Ways to save money on a tight budget
In 2008, the Federal Reserve Board indicated that 40% of American can't cover a $400 emergency expense. That's disheartening.
When money is tight, it's so hard to see a light out of the day. We almost always think about what can be done to squeeze our budget and make ends meet.
Saving money on a tight budget doesn't have to be difficult and complex. Here are some ways to save extra when money is tight:
14. Cut every category just the right amount
When money is tight, the best thing you could do (according to many people) is to cut out what you don't need. That's true. But there another side of the coin, that is, even when you're just getting by, you still need to save money.
The best way to do it?
Find ways to save a few bucks per budget category and put that money towards emergency funds or your savings. Do it in the next few months until you can no longer cut money in those categories.
15. Take advantage of online deals
Almost everyone shops online. To be more precise, 79% of Americans now shops online regularly. But not everyone looks for discount, promotional code, or coupons to save extra money fast. That's a mistake that can be corrected.
In fact, Statista projects that about 136 million people will become digital coupon users by 2018, and up to 145 million by 2021. So, if you are going to buy online, you might as well get free money while shopping.
Here are my favorites sites cash back, coupons, and online deals:
- Shop At Home: Save up to 40% of each dollar you spend.
- Ebates: Just like Shop At Home, you get up to 40% in cash back for your purchases. Ebates also features in-store cash back if you don't feel shopping online.
- MyPoints: Save up to 40% using this site. Most of its notable stores include Target, Amazon, Walmart, and Ebay. You'll also get $10 sign up bonus when you sign up today.
16. Get at least three quotes before you buy
To learn how to save money fast is to always ask for three quotes before making a final decision.
That's true for big purchases.
Remember that everyone literally wants your business and will do everything to give you the best price.
Make sure that when you talk to suppliers or business that you tell them you're getting quotes from different businesses as well.
This money saving tip almost always guarantees you get the best price.
17. Cut the landline
Who needs landline when you've got a cell phone to use, right?
On average, landline costs around $25 per month.
That's $25 that you can easily cut when you have cell service to use instead.
This means you can save money fast to the tune of $300 per year just by cutting your landline service.
18. Look at your food bill
A good place to look if you're trying to cut some expenses out and build your savings is by changing the way you eat.
You can reduce your trips to your favorite restaurants. If you eat out everyday, you can easily save at least $30 per week from not doing that.
If you don't eat out that often but buy a lot of convenience foods, you can start buying raw materials and cook from scratch.
19. Keep savings separate
When you're saving money for a house, keep your money in an account not easily accessible.
You can create a whole new different account dedicated to your housing fund. Don't touch it. Even better, don't think about it and just think that this account is off-limits no matter what happens. Just continue on putting money in it.
Believe it or not:
A lot of people have a hard time saving money because they put all their money into one account, and spend it whenever they want to, and not even track their funds.
To avoid this problem, keep your savings in a separate account.
20. Make savings automatic
One of the best ways to save money fast for a house is through automated savings.
When you're receiving a paycheck, direct deposit money to your dedicated saving accounts, and the rest goes to your regular checking account.
This way, you're automatically saving money without even thinking about it or doing anything about it. You won't even notice you are putting money in it until you look at your account.
As the saying of other personal finance expert goes, pay yourself first.
21. Get a side hustle or a part-time job
There's only so much you can save with your current salary. Sometimes, in order to save up more money, you need to get a side hustle or even a part-time job.
Part-time or work from home jobs can be of great help, too. If you get a part-time job, take that opportunity to earn more and save more. Don't let the extra money you earn be a way for you to spend more.
How To Save Money FAQs
These are the basic questions people ask when it comes to saving extra funds. Believe it or not, a lot of people keep on asking these questions, and that's why I put this together for your access:
What is the 30 day rule?
When you feel the urge to buy something – whether it's shoes, food, or something else – tell yourself to stop. Take note what this item, the store where you found it, the price, and the date. For the next thirty days, think about this item.
After thirty days, if the urge is still there, consider buying that time.
What is the quickest way to save money?
Here are some ways to save extra on the side quickly:
- Get paid for sharing your thoughts online
- Tackle the high-interest debt first
- Keep your budget lean
- Find an alternative to your needs
- Get a side hustle or two
- Use coupons when they make sense
- Use money-saving apps
- Take advantage of online deals
- Consider cash for purchases
- Do not increase spending when you get a raise
- Set up automatic transfers
How can I save $1000 fast?
Here are some 5 easy ways to save $1,000 quickly. These are small tweaks you can do now, and save some funds in no time.
- Negotiate your bills – $200 savings (Use apps like Charlie, Trim, and Cushion)
- Get a side hustle or two – $300 savings (I made this money on my third month of blogging)
- Cancel subscriptions – $100 savings (Use Trim for this)
- Start a meal plan – $300 savings (Use meal plans like PlateJoy, Gobble, or $5 Meal Plan to help you save money on food)
- Use cash instead of credit – over $200 savings (save on interest payments especially when your balance is in thousands)
How much should you have in savings?
According to Bankrate, here's how much you need to save for each age category:
- By age 30, your savings goal should be $66,470
- By 40, it should be $277,728
- By 50, it should be $596,538
- By 60, it should be $643,792
Final Thoughts On How To Save Money Fast:
Saving money isn't always a walk in the park. That said, once you start doing things to save you money, things would become much easier and saving would become second nature.
There's no better time to do it than now.
Do you have any other savings techniques that will help you learn how to save money fast? How much did you save using these techniques?