How to Save Money: 12 Ways Anyone Can Start Saving Today

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How to Save Money

Do you ever feel you can’t save money?  No matter what you do you, you just don’t make enough to save any? Here are some proven ways to save money. I can show you how to save money and  help you reach your goals even when you are on a tight budget.  Read them all even if you feel you just can’t do it – there is one in there that requires none of your own income!

1. Get Another Bank Account

This is one of my favorite ways how to save money. Choose a bank, different from your current one, that is inconvenient for you to go to.  Make sure they do not charge fees – credit unions usually do not. Then open an account with the minimum balance and split your direct deposit (from work) where a small portion can go in the new account with every paycheck.  It can be as little as $5 per check, choose an amount you can afford.

How can getting another bank account save you money? When you have another account that is a hassle to mess with you tend to forget about it. When you have money directly come out of your paycheck it’s easier to save. Save what goes into that account, using what been saved once a year. OR forget about it all together and let the savings add up.  This will give you a fund for vacation or emergencies (like car repairs).

TIP:  Don’t get checks or an ATM card with your new account. This will make it harder for you to spend money from the account and that means more savings!

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

2. Invest With Sharebuilder

Sharebuilder is a great way to invest because you don’t need a broker and you can choose how much you want to spend. If you want to invest you may start by looking at shares in a company you like, only to find out it costs $100 per share at the company. Usually when you don’t have $100 to spare, you’re out of luck.. But, with Sharebuilder you buy partial shares, so overtime you can purchase a whole share. If you invest $25 once a month, then you’d own 1/4 of the shares you wanted ($100) and after four months you own an entire one.  This is a slow way to save, but can really add up. On Sharebuilder the money can be removed automatically and invested. You can increase or decrease how much is invested as you like. This is another way to feel like you are saving, without doing too much.

How do you decide which company to invest in? Start with this article to learn more about picking shares.

With Sharebuilder your money is not liquid – meaning you can’t get it out immediately if you need it.  This will keep you from cashing out easily and help you save.  If you do need to access it you need to give yourself a few weeks to go through the process of getting your money back.  If you leave your money as it adds up you will earn dividends and can reinvest into getting more stock instead of cash. This is a way to get more stock, faster.

Things to know:  You will pay a small commission for each time you invest.  This amount is much smaller than paying a broker. With the ShareBuilder investment plan, there is no minimum investment requirement to buy stocks and ETFs; however, when investing through the plan, the investment amount does need to exceed the commission cost for the trade. If you invest in mutual funds, there is likely to be an investment minimum required by the fund family.

How it works:

  1. Select from over 7,000 stocks and ETFs
  2. Schedule investments on a one-time, weekly, biweekly or monthly basis
  3. Invest any dollar amount on Tuesdays, exclusively online

3. Save Your Change

How to save money easily? Keep your spare change! Everyone interacts with change so anyone can save like this. You can pick one coin type (like quarters) and every time you get one throw it in a jar.  Or you can save all the change you get regardless of value. Don’t touch the coins in the jar for a year.  At the end of the year see how much you saved and add it other savings or use it for something you wanted.

TIP: Put the jar in a cupboard or somewhere out of direct eyesight. If you can’t see it, you will be less tempted to spend it.

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

4. Use Phone Apps

How to save money without using any of your income? Use phone apps to scan your receipt, which earn you rewards that can be redeemed for cash! Find out everything you need to know about these apps in this article. Take the time to read this one. Use the apps all year and at the end of the year, cash out. Use the cash (or gift cards) to pay for Christmas expenses or a special trip. This savings method requires absolutely none of your income and anyone can do it.

5. Save Money with the Round Up Method

If you are a person who balances your checkbook, this method can work for you. When you pay for an item and it costs $3.39, then round up and subtract $4 from your account in your checkbook. Do this for an entire year and the savings add up! At the end of year reconcile your account and see how much you saved! Move it into your savings account and start over for the New Year.  I saved over $1000 doing this one year and I didn’t even notice. The key to this one is to always round up to the next dollar level – even if it’s $5.01 round up to $6.

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

6. Skip the Coffee Run

If you love going to Starbucks, Dutch Bros or any fancy coffee shop cut your visits in half! If you go four times a week, only go twice. Take the money you would have spent on the extra days and save it. Find a place you can put the cash (like a hidden jar) and let it add up. On days you skip the coffee, experiment with making copy cat drink recipes at home. See how much you can save by the end of the year. With this way how to save money, you will be surprised by the savings!

TIP:  If you don’t drink the fancy drinks figure out what you do spend money on. Is it soda, eating out, smoking or candy? Find the one you indulge in, cut it in half and save the rest of the money.

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

7. Evaluate Needs and Wants

Sometimes this is the hardest way to save. Tell yourself that you will not do any impulse buying.  Make yourself wait 72 hours (or more) before spending money. Then during the waiting time think, “Do I really need this?  Or is this a want?”  Many times this can stop you from wasting money on unneeded purchases.

8. Don’t Add Any New Debt

This next way how to save money is simple: don’t go into more debt. There are a few things we must pay like rent, gas, electric, and sometimes car payments. Do not incur new car debt, credit cards or impulse buys in companies willing to finance for you. This goes along with evaluating your needs and wants.  The more debt you have the less money you can save and spend later.  If you currently have credit cards – pay them off as fast as possible.  As you do this the heavy feeling of drowning in debt will ease.

TIP: If you have credit card debt right now did you know you can call the credit card company and negotiate your interest rate?  You can and will have more power doing this if you have been making all your payments on time. If you have a bad payment history start making your payments on time, give it a year and call and negotiate your interest rates.

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

9. Save the Raise

If you get a raise at work then save it.  If you’re not used to having extra money, then you might as well put it away.  You can have it direct deposited out to another account (like #1 above) or if you are disciplined enough put the cash in jar to save. Remember when you get a raise it may not be the amount you think – after all raises are subject to taxes like regular pay. Make sure you know the amount after taxes.

10. Up Your Taxes

Another way how to save money is to increase the amount of taxes you have taken out of your paycheck. This will give a bigger refund when tax season rolls around yearly. This is not my favorite way, as you are just letting the government hang on to your money tax free. HOWEVER, I do add it to the list for those that just cannot make themselves save any other way. If you just burn a hole in your pocket with raises or anything extra then you may want to consider this.

TIP:  If you increase your tax withholding to get a bigger refund then save the refund! Don’t spend it right away or you will find yourself bummed for lack of money and waiting for the next windfall. This is a bad habit to get into.

11. Make Gifts

Instead of buying gifts for birthdays, make your own! It’s cheaper and will save money. If you want to buy someone a gift for $40, but you can make it for $20 then do it. Then take the extra $20 and put it away in your savings!  You certainly do not have to put the extra in savings. You may need that money to pay bills, but at least you will have it now.  If you don’t think you can make your own gifts think about baked goods. Everyone loves homemade bread or cookies and they are very cheap to make.

If you don’t want to make a gift then offer yourself as a gift! That’s right, offer to help people with yard work or taking care of pets when they are out of town.  You could even babysit as a gift.

How to Save Money | In College | For Vacation | In your 20s | Monthy | On Bills | For Teens | Budget | Ideas | Tips | Extra Cash

12. Take Care of What You Have

That means if you have a car make sure to change the oil at regular intervals and clean your air filter. Keeping tires inflated to the correct PSI will equal the best gas mileage for your car. Keep any electronic items in good working order so, you won’t be spending money to replace them. If you have appliance pull them out and check the back. Dust clogs can ruin a fridge or dryer fast!  If you have something that does break YouTube seems to have a video for everything. Fix it yourself!

TIP: Invest in surge protectors.  I recently had a surge that blew out a $3000 electric piano – yikes! A cheap surge protector would have saved me from buying a new one. Grab a few for cheap ones here.

If you are just getting started saving, pick one of these to try. After you’ve mastered that method, add another to your routine. The more ways you save, the more that adds up! I always like to pick several ways to save so I may have more choices when I do need extra money.

What’s your favorite way to save money?

Jen
Jen

I'm Jen, one of the co-founders of College Life Made Easy: a lifestyle blog that focuses on helping students navigate college life on topics of finance, organization, dorm living and more.

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