There are so many ways you can save money that it can be confusing to find a starting point. This is the counterpart to my post about 100 ways you can make money. I will list ways you can save money without breaking a leg, meaning the most hassle-free and easy to implement ways there are. If you feel like money is running through your hands, or you feel like you have leaking tap of money that you feel unable to close, this post is for you. My 100 easy ways you can save money will help you to make ends meet each month and save money for more important things, for example, financial independence and early retirement (FIRE).
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40 ways you can save money list
Note that there are far more than 40 ways you can save money but this list is focussed on those methods that require minimal effort and no special skills.
Save money at home
1. Reduce food waste
Wasting food is not only bad for your wallet but also the environment. In times where sustainability becomes more and more important, reducing food waste should be a no-brainer to save money.
2. Cut down your grocery costs
Spending less on food is easier than you may think. Swap branded for non-branded items, look out for discounts and refrain from going food shopping when you feel hungry. For more tips, see this article.
Many consumables are cheaper when bought in higher quantities or larger pack sizes. For food, there is only so much that fits in your freezer but bulk buying is great for other consumables such as washing up liquid, toilet paper, etc.
4. Cook your own meals
Ok, cooking may require a little bit of effort. But if you cook multiple portions at once and reheat your food throughout the week, the time impact is still negligible.
5. Grow herbs yourself
Herbs such as basil are really easy to care of and save you the money you would otherwise spend on their dried versions. All you need is to put your herb in a suitable place (usually not too sunny) and water them regularly.
6. Use reusable items instead of disposables
I wrote a whole post on how easy it is to swap disposables for reusable items. You will save a ton of money and also contribute to saving the planet.
7. Clean up after yourself
If you are using a cleaner, it is time to take the matter in your own hands and clean for yourself. You may find the prospect daunting, but if you clean up after yourself each time you cook, use the shower, etc, you will find that cleaning does not take much time at all.
8. Reduce your use of consumables
Probably the easiest way to save is to just use less. Less of everything. For example, if you use only half your normal amount of toothpaste every time you brush, your toothpaste tube will last twice as long. And your teeth will still be clean, I promise!
9. Repair broken items
For some items, repairing them will not be worth it and is a waste of time. Other items, however, are quite easy to fix and you can save good money by doing it yourself. If you do know how to repair something, there are guides on Youtube for everything nowadays.
10. Switch energy providers
Switching your energy provider could save you tons of money in the long term. It is really easy to compare prices online and the energy provider takes care of the complicated details for you.
11. Turn off lights
Over years of renting, I have lived with many different housemates and it surprises me how many of them left the lights on when going out. And not only in their room, I mean in the whole house! Switching off the lights is so easy to do and will reduce your electricity costs.
12. Properly close tabs
This is the same as turning off lights. You can save so much and it is so simple.
13. Wash less often
If you wash less often, naturally you will cut down on shampoo, etc. consumption and water use. Nobody likes being dirty but in our society most people probably wash more frequently than necessary. The decision is a personal one but washing less often is worth considering.
14. Stop collecting junk
People sometimes think of their collection of random junk an investment for the future. But that hardly ever works out. My grandmother, for example, has a huge collection of owl figures. If she were to sell these, there is no way she would not end up with a huge financial loss. If you are collecting something, ask yourself whether it is perhaps better to stop.
Save money when going out
15. Find new (free) hobbies
Do you like hanging out in the shopping mall with your friends? Why not go to the park next time? If you enjoy going to the cinema, you could try to stay in and watch a film at home. How about exploring your local library? Have a look around and you will see that there are plenty of free alternative hobbies you could pursue.
Simply not going out is probably the easiest way to save money. You probably do not want to live like a shut-in but you could try going out less often. For example, if you regularly go out on weekends, try to stay in one weekend a month.
17. Bring packed lunch
Eating out may be easier but is also more expenses. Now I did emphasise that this is a list with easy to implement methods but as you are cooking your own meals already (as suggested above), simply taking it out with you does not require any extra effort.
18. Use refillable water bottles
Carry your own water bottle with you instead of buying cheap plastic bottles all the time. This is super easy and you will also help to save the environment. Check this post for suggestions.
19. Say ‘goodbye’ to takeaway coffee
In line with using refillable water bottles, you can also use a refillable coffee cup to take away with you. Better yet, you can make your own coffee in the morning before you go out.
20. Find free activities
You can use websites such as meetup to meet other people and do things for free. Other fun free activities could involve going to parks, visiting museums or libraries, joining a local running group, etc.
21. Travel on a budget
Here is a list of my easy travel hacks that will help you to save money.
22. Use coaches instead of trains
Everyone knows that trains are expensive. You may be able to get some money off by using a Railcard but there is still potential for more. For example, you could use a coach instead. The journey will take longer but if you have a good book at hand or even better, can work remotely, you can make good use of your time.
23. Cycle or walk instead of driving
Now, this is a list of “easy” ways to make money and I do not mean walking or cycling miles without end. But for short journeys, it definitely pays to walk or cycle. I remember a housemate of mine who would drive to the corner shop (a three-minute walk!).
24. Cancel your gym membership
As you are now cycling and walking more, you also do not need a gym membership anymore. If you do want to work out, buying your own weights works out much cheaper over time.
25. Make gifts yourself
Rather than gifting a store-bought item, you could try and make your own gifts. People will appreciate the time and effort you put into creating a gift more than the money you spent on a generic item. This does not have to be a huge effort either, you can gift vouchers promising to clean or cook for the person.
26. Take advantage of cashback
27. Sign-up for customer reward programs
Programs like Tesco Clubcard will often send you vouchers for discounts or let you exchange points for rewards. If you sign-up to every single reward program you can find, there is a huge potential for savings.
28. Buy quality that lasts longer
Change your thinking from short-term gains to long-term benefits. For example, a shirt from Primark may be cheap but if you have to constantly replace it, you will end up spending more than you would pay for a single good-quality shirt.
29. Take out annual subscription instead of paying monthly
Lots of services give you a discount if you pay annually instead of monthly. Simply divide the annual payment amount by 12 and compare it to the monthly subscription price. This works well for services you know you will need for a year such as your car insurance.
30. Stay away from temptation
Just browsing through shops or going window shopping fills us with the desire to buy useless junk we do not need. Staying away from such temptations is the most effective way to stop this. If you find yourself browsing online shops too frequently, you can just block these websites.
31. Look out for discounts
Most shops and supermarkets have a discount section. Here, you can find good products for less money. It is always worth having a quick look and it will not take too much of your time.
32. Shop at charity shops or car boot sales
A common reason for people to bring clothes to charity shops or sell them on car boot sales is that they do not wear them. Thus, a lot of clothes are barely worn and still as good as new. Buying second hand also helps the environment as you reduce waste.
33. Borrow books from the library instead of buying them
I love reading but I only own two books myself. I have no need to buy more books because my local library has more books than I can ever read in my entire life. Libraries are free to join and their selection may surprise you.
34. Check whether a purchase is worth it
I compiled this handy flowchart that helps you to determine whether you should make a purchase. By using it as a guide you can avoid unnecessary spending and save money easily.
35. Stop being a slave of consumerism
Ask yourself whether you really need the newest iPhone or a fancy car in your drive. Being more frugal will help you save money and increase your life satisfaction.
Improve your money management skills
36. Set yourself a budget
Knowing the amount of money you have available to spend and what you spend it on in itself will help you save. Setting up a budget can be challenging but it is a one-time effort. Once established, all you have to do is adhere to it.
37. Repay your debts
Repaying your debts is a no-brainer. You are paying interest each month which is essentially burning your money. If you have savings, I suggest paying back your debt right now. Depending on your situation, this may not an “easy” way to save money for you right now, but it is a goal worth working towards nonetheless.
38. Switch to a free current account
If you are currently paying for your current account, it may be time to switch. There are a wealth of free current accounts available so you should only accept paying a monthly fee if the benefits of your account are worth it.
39. Invest in low-fee funds
If you have money currently invested, check what the fees for that fund are. You may be able to save a substantial amount if you switch to a low-fee fund. Depending on how much you have invested, there is a huge potential for savings.
40. Increase your pension contribution
Paying more into you pension means you will not be tempted to spend your contribution on other things as it is locked away. Furthermore, you will also benefit from tax relief.
40 ways you can save money summary
As mentioned previously, this is by no means an exhaustive list of ways you can save money. This list is focussed on ways that are relevant for the majority of people and easy to implement. It is surprising how little effort it takes to save money on a day-to-day basis.
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