How to Save Money: Top 20 Ways to Create a Strong Budget

How to Save Money: Top 20 Ways to Create a Strong Budget


7 Min Read

When trying to save money, it can be tempting to focus on the big picture and have too many expectations. But to ensure your savings goals last, you need a budget for your life. So if you’re looking for some advice on how to save money, here are our top 20 tips on how to get started:

Table of Content

Pay small debts on time
Cut down your grocery bill
Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
Choose generic brands
Save money automatically
Spend extra or unexpected income wisely
Manage your tax refund
Reduce energy costs
Check your insurance rates
Eat at home or pack your lunch
Ask about discounts (and pay in cash)
Adjust your retirement savings plan
Cut your cell phone bill
DIY everything you can
Try to freeze your spending
Forget about the coffee shop
Check your local library
Be a tourist in your city
Use cash-back apps and coupons
Sell everything (that you don’t need)
Bottom Line

1. Pay small debts on time

Time is precious, and you should not waste it paying off a credit card debt. Instead, prioritize covering your smallest one first. For example, if you only have one credit card, consider putting the minimum payment of that card toward the smallest debt. It will help you pay it off faster. Once you’re free from paying interest on your debt, that money can easily be put into savings.

2. Cut down your grocery bill

Getting caught up in the supermarket aisle and throwing food into your cart is easy, but you don’t need it all! So before you head to the store for grocery shopping, list all the items you need, and stick to them. It will help you reduce your grocery bill by avoiding impulse buys that cost hundreds of dollars annually.

3. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use

When you sign up for gym memberships or TV subscriptions (streaming services), you’re often given the option to pay for them regularly. It is okay if you use the service, but if you’re just trying it out and can’t envision using it long-term, don’t bother with the auto-pay option. It’s better to pay for it once and then call the companies up and cancel unused subscriptions once you’ve had enough time to decide whether or not it’s worth keeping around.

4. Choose generic brands

Generic brands are a great way to save money fast on everything. If you want to shop for generic products, look for the word “generic” or “store brand” on the label. You can also spot these products by their packaging: they often have the store’s name printed in bold letters and usually come in brown plastic bags rather than colorful boxes.

5. Save money automatically

If you’re not automatically transferring a certain amount of money from your bank account to your savings account (just as an emergency fund), start doing it! It is one of the most effective ways to save money because you don’t have to consider it. The funds are taken out of your paycheck before you get it. You’ll never miss that payment, and by the end of the month, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve saved.

6. Spend extra or unexpected income wisely

If you get a bonus at work, don’t automatically spend it on something fun. Instead, put it in a separate savings account for your next significant expense. It’s easier to save when you’re not giving yourself the option to spend on impulse buys.

7. Manage your tax refund

Taxes are a bummer but are also super important, especially if you want to save some money. The best way to manage your taxes is to keep track of your spending and know what you owe the government. That way, you can ensure you get all the deductions and credits available while trying not to overpay.

8. Reduce energy costs

It’s easy to forget the little things that can add to significant savings in your emergency fund. If you’re looking for ways to save money, consider your monthly bills for energy. You may be able to lower your electric bill by choosing energy efficient appliances or using a different payment method (e.g., online monthly bills pay). Or, if you have solar panels on your roof, ensure they are turned toward the sun and operating correctly.

9. Check your insurance rates

Buying a house or renting an apartment, you’ll probably need insurance. And if you’ve been paying that insurance for a while, it might be time to check in with your provider and see if there’s a better deal. You may be able to save extra cash by switching to another company or getting a different kind of policy.

10. Eat at home or pack your lunch

Eating out can be fun and delicious, but it can also quickly get expensive. If you’re trying to save money fast, consider packing a lunch and eating it at your desk or in the break room instead of going out to eat. You’ll save yourself time and won’t spend money on expensive food.

11. Ask about discounts (and pay in cash)

It’s not always easy to ask for a discount, but it can save you a lot of money. If you’re buying something big, like a car or a house, ask if they’ll give you a discount if you pay in cash. You can also ask if they’ll let you out of the contract if the price drops after you buy it or if they’ll give you free stuff like extended warranties or repairs when you buy their products.

12. Adjust your retirement savings plan

Are you finding that your current retirement savings plan won’t be enough to cover the lifestyle you want in that life period? If so, consider adjusting your plan to be more effective at saving money for your future.

13. Cut your cell phone bill

If you’re paying for extra features on your cell phone plan, it might be time to reevaluate. There are many ways to save money and to trim the fat from your budget; this is an excellent place to start.

14. DIY everything you can

It’s a cliche, but it’s true: there are so many things you can do yourself, and doing them yourself will save you money. It might seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get into the groove of things, it’s effortless. You’ll never have to pay someone to do something for you again!

15. Try to freeze your spending

You can use a cash envelope system or keep a running total in your head. The key is to ensure you don’t spend more than what you have in your bank account.

16. Forget about the coffee shop

Coffee shops are great, but they can get expensive. So instead of spending $5 or more every morning on a cup of joe, make it at home and take it with you. You’ll put some extra money in your savings account, and you’ll also be able to customize your drink however you like!

17. Check your local library

It’s probably no surprise that online and offline libraries are a goldmine of information. But did you know that they’re also a goldmine of free resources? You can download tons of books, movies, and music from the online shopping library and read them on your computer or listen to them on your phone. If you want to check out one of their books but don’t have time to read it right away, you can usually put it on hold for pickup later.

18. Be a tourist in your city

Being a tourist in your city is a great way for saving money wisely. You can go to free places and enjoy time with friends or family. Try visiting museums, parks, and art galleries. You might even spend holidays without leaving your town.

19. Use cash-back apps and coupons

Cash-back apps are a great way to save money when you prefer shopping online. You can use them to earn points that you can then redeem for gift cards or cash that can reach your savings accounts. A coupon code will help you find special deals on your favorite items.

20. Sell everything (that you don’t need)

You’d be surprised how much money you could make selling things on eBay or Craigslist. So get rid of your unused stuff and put that money toward your savings goals!

Bottom Line

Now that you know how to create a budget, it’s time to change your spending habits. You’ve done all the hard work of setting up your budget, so now you can start saving money.

Following these money saving tips takes time and effort, but if you stick with it, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can see results. If you start today, who knows what great things may happen in your future!

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Marsha Welch

Written by Marsha Welch

Written by Marsha Welch

Marsha Welch is a professional personal finance expert, qualified financial writer and speaker, author of her own blog on financial literacy. She has a Bachelor of Science in Economics obtained at Duke University and over 15 years of experience under her belt. After five years of working in financial niche, Marsha realized she wanted to be useful to businesses and individuals who want to modernize their wealth management or need an innovative financial planning solution. To make it happen, she joined the team of Legacy Financial, where she worked for about nine years, providing goal-oriented financial guidance to her clients. After nine years of helping people reach their financial goals, Marsha becomes a part of the 1F Cash Advance’s team in order to help those who need it most. Her years of study and the knowledge helped her become an outstanding author, able to grab readers’ attention instantly.