21 quick wins to save money fast
If you’re looking for easy ways to save money fast, you’re in the right place. Due to the rising cost of living, the average American is more in need of practical savings tips than ever. In this article, you’ll discover 21 of the best ways to save money fast. Even if that “rainy day” is only a few months away, you can start taking the proper steps to save here and now.
1. Fix your debt
2. Create a savings account
Creating a savings account is a great way to take advantage of quick wins.
Separate your spending, reduce the risk of overspending and encourage yourself to stick to a budget.
3. Set a spending limit
If you’re someone who struggles to spend within their budget, try setting a limit on your credit or debit card.
This should prevent impulse buying and encourage regular assessment of your financial situation.
4. Cut back on expenses
Can you think of any parts of your life that could be a little less luxurious?
A DIY attitude to hobbies, from nail care to working out, could massively reduce not strictly necessary expenses (like the cost of a new set of nails at the salon or the monthly price for your all-access gym membership).
5. Try a no-spend period
A no-spend period (a period where you only buy necessities) can effectively break shopaholic habits.
Try something manageable, like 30 days. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.
6. Sell unused items
If valuable items in your home are gathering dust, consider selling them to a new owner for some instant savings (and the chance to free up space and reduce stress-creating clutter) on a site like Craigslist or eBay.
7. Consider an extra job/“side hustle”
If you can pick up flexible freelance work on a few evenings/weekends and put the money you earn directly into your savings account, you’ll see a serious boost.
8. Set up automated savings
Consider automating your monthly savings contributions if you’re on a fixed monthly income.
Organizing this in advance equals a reduced need to be organized and disciplined each month.
9. Save windfalls and tax refunds
Every time you receive an unexpected financial windfall that you don’t desperately need, deposit it straight into your savings.
It’s tempting to view it as free money, but it’s not the best choice.
10. Start unsubscribing
So many of us have a long list of monthly subscriptions and rolling services. In this situation, it’s easy to lose track of exactly what we’re paying for.
Consider auditing your current non-essential monthly payments or trying out automated subscription canceling apps like Trim and Bobby.
11. Pay off credit cards in full each month
Credit cards are only truly valuable if you aren’t falling into debt each month. Aim to start reducing your card by just $1,000.
You’ll likely save between $150 to $200 a year in interest if you can.
12. Set a spending limit on gifts
The larger the family, the more money you’re likely to spend on gifts each year (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays like Christmas).
Set a spending limit to keep things under control, and be strict. Cost isn’t the only way to measure the value of a gift.
13. Start meal planning
The food you have in the house/buy at the store makes a big difference.
Buying the wrong food can lead to more frequent grocery runs and higher grocery expenses, or to an excess of nights spent eating out or ordering in.
Meal planning helps you to build an efficient, savings-friendly grocery list.
14. Focus on preventive healthcare
Take dental care as an example. Routine dental check-ups might feel like a hassle when you’re paying for them, but they will save you a lot in the long run if they enable you to avoid fillings, crowns and root canal surgeries (all of which are painful and expensive).
15. Compare insurances to get the best deal
Health insurance, home insurance, contents insurance, car insurance, pet insurance. The list goes on and on.
Before agreeing to a policy or a policy renewal, shop around to figure out the best deal available to you.
16. Weatherproof your home
Reduce energy costs by weatherproofing your home, then redirect what you save into your rainy day fund.
Caulk holes and cracks, or connect with a hardware store for advice on complex problems.
17. Audit your home energy usage
Contact your local electric or gas provider and ask whether they offer free or low-cost home energy audits.
An audit should reveal inexpensive ways for you to reduce home heating and cooling costs.
18. Map out major purchases
Some big purchases must be made, even when trying to save. If you have to buy a piece of furniture/car/electronic device, do your best to plan in advance.
Find the correct item, track deals for a while and ensure you’re getting the best price (while financially preparing for the cost).
19. Start saving coupons
Even if you only save coupons for essential household staples like cleaning supplies and toilet paper, the spare coins should start adding up quite quickly.
20. Restrict online shopping
When you’re not shopping in person, handing your money directly to the store, it can be easy to forget how much you’re spending.
Try to limit time on online shopping sites for your savings’ sake.
21. Balance saving for now with saving for retirement
This might not feel like a win when you’re young and aiming to maximize your savings for the things you want imminently. But it is.
Especially if your employer offers a retirement plan (because by not contributing to it and not receiving contributions in return, you’re leaving money on the table).
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.