51 savvy ways to start saving your money right now


Written by:

Everywhere you spend money, there are opportunities to save, and most take very little effort on your part.

Saving money doesn’t mean sacrificing everything you enjoy, nor does it require you to spend hours clipping coupons. If you’re looking for easy ways to lower your bills and pocket more of your income, you’ll find a variety of simple ways to establish healthy habits and work toward your financial goals.

Small expenses add up fast, but the opposite is true as well; finding areas to trim your budget, even by just a few dollars here and there, can lead to a lot of extra pocket change at the end of the month. And the more you can stash away, the better prepared you’ll be for future emergencies and retirement.

Next: How to save money on utility bills


SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.





Related: 7 brilliant moves to thrive in an uncertain economy

Image Credit: GradyReese.

1. Go paperless

Many utility companies offer you a discount for paying your bill online and receiving paperless statements.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

2. Schedule an energy audit

An energy audit can lead to energy-efficient improvements that could potentially save you more than $1,000 per year.

Image Credit: jittawit.21 / istockphoto.

3. Reduce your usage

You can save up to 10% on your energy bill each year if you turn back the thermostat seven to 10 degrees for eight hours each day. Be sure to adjust the temperature before you leave and wear appropriate clothing while indoors. Purchasing a smart thermostat can help you save money on utilities as well.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

4. Swap your lightbulbs

You can save $75 per year on your electric bill just by installing Energy Star light bulbs.

Image Credit: Estradaanton / istockphoto.

5. Install weatherstripping

If you weatherstrip your double-hung windows, you could save $42 to $83 per year.

Image Credit: EkaterinaZakharova / istockphoto.

6. Keep the shades down

And consider purchasing blackout curtains. The more you insulate your home, the more you’ll save on heating and cooling costs.

Image Credit: Aleksandr Golubev / istockphoto.

7. Access renewable energy

Arcadia Power matches you with renewable energy through your current power lines, so there’s no installation cost, and you can actually save money on your energy bill.

Next: How to save on your cell phone bill

Image Credit: anatoliy_gleb / istockphoto.

8. Shop around

Prices for service vary so be sure to compare monthly rates across providers for the service you need.

Image Credit: Osobystist / istockphoto.

9. Opt for a group cell phone plan

Sharing a plan with your family, friends, or roommates can help you save on your monthly cell phone bill.

Image Credit: fizkes / istockphoto.

10. Be mindful of your data usage

Understand the data caps associated with your plan and be careful not to incur any additional fees.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

11. Avoid upgrading

It can be tempting to snag the newest cell phone as soon as it hits the market, but you’ll save money by sticking with your old phone for a couple more years.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

12. Have a company negotiate for you

There are some companies that will negotiate your bills for you and take a cut of your savings. For example, the Truebill app saves users money by canceling unused subscriptions and negotiating rates with providers.

Next: How to save on your cable bill

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

13. Cut the cord altogether

With all of the streaming services out there, including some that are free, you don’t need cable TV to stay entertained. You can save a significant chunk of change by switching to an internet-only plan.

Image Credit: zimmytws / istockphoto.

14. Negotiate with your provider

Most internet service providers would rather extend your introductory rate than lose your business to another company. It’s a good idea to call when your contract is almost up, and again annually, to see whether you can secure a lower rate.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

15. Downsize

Choose a less expensive package with fewer channels or get rid of your DVR and use a streaming service instead.

Image Credit: metamorworks/istockphoto.

16. Bundle

Some companies will let you bundle internet, cell phone service and cable for one low price. Take advantage of these opportunities to save, but only if you’ll use all of the services included.

Next: How to save money on insurance

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

17. Compare auto and home insurance quotes

With so many options for insurance, it can be difficult to know whether you’re getting the best deal. Using a comparison tool such as Provide Insurance allows you to see personalized insurance rates side-by-side, so you can snag the lowest offer. Users save up to $610 on their annual premiums.

Image Credit: vgajic.

18. Assess (and consider reducing) your coverage

Do you still need the amount of insurance coverage you originally signed up for? Perhaps you paid off your mortgage so you no longer need as much life insurance coverage, or you’re not driving currently so you don’t need comprehensive car insurance coverage. Reducing your coverage can save you money.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

19. Ask about special discounts

You may be able to install a telematics device and get discounts for safe driving or bundle your home and auto insurance policies to save money that way. Call your insurance agent to see whether you’re eligible for any discounts.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

20. Practice preventative healthcare

Most insurance plans cover an annual primary care visit. Be sure to get a checkup and also see a doctor right away if a problem arises. This can save you money on healthcare costs in the long run.

Image Credit: Lordn / istockphoto.

21. Quit smoking

Not only will you save a ton of money, but you can also reduce your health insurance and life insurance premiums.

Image Credit: Kenishirotie/shutterstock.

22. Compare life insurance quotes

Several of the best life insurance providers offer surprisingly low rates. Compare quotes with online insurers to find an affordable option.

Next: How to save money on groceries and essential items

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

23. Make a list and stick to it

It’s easy to get distracted by non-essential purchases and leave the store with a year’s supply of cheese. Don’t let it happen to you. Make a list of the items you need based on the recipes you have planned — and don’t stray.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

24. Plan meals based on what you have at home

In the U.S., between 30% and 40% of their food supply gets wasted. You can do your part to reduce food waste by using all of the items you buy. You can use a tool like Fridge, Table, or Supercook to find recipes based on the ingredients you have at home.

Image Credit: Tijuana87.

25. Buy in bulk

Assuming you have the storage space, always buy the larger package of dry goods and cleaning supplies, and buy bulk fresh food you know you’ll use as well.

Image Credit: Detlef Voigt / istockphoto.

26. Avoid buying brand-name items

In most cases, store-brand items offer the same quality at a lower cost. Avoiding brand-name buys can help you save a lot of money on your grocery bills.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

27. Opt for reusable items

Buying reusable storage and cleaning supplies can help you save money and protect the environment.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

28. Grow a garden

Herbs and spices can be expensive, but growing your own can be fun and save you money. If you have the space, consider starting a vegetable garden as well.

Image Credit: Bobex-73/istockphoto.

29. Drink tap water

If you’re buying bottled water, you could be spending a lot more at the grocery store than you need to. Opt for tap water and a Brita filter instead.

Image Credit: naumoid / istockphoto.

30. Look for coupons

When you shop online, be sure to do a quick coupon search before checking out, or use a browser extension from a cashback or price comparison app that will find coupons for you automatically.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

31. Use a price comparison app

There are tools that help you avoid overspending, both before and after you buy. Price comparison apps search for products you are shopping for or have purchased to find the lowest price.

  • Paribus: Paribus takes advantage of the generous price-adjustment policies at 25 major retailers, including Target, Wayfair and more. When you purchase a product and the price drops later, Paribus will automatically get you a refund for the difference. It’ll even compensate you for late deliveries.
  • Wikibuy: Wikibuy runs a price comparison while you’re browsing on Amazon or searching on Wikibuy directly. Just click the Wikibuy prompt to see matching products with lower prices, including any eligible coupon codes.

Image Credit: .

32. Use a rewards credit card

With a rewards credit card, you earn valuable rewards as you spend. If you do a lot of your shopping at grocery stores, you might even consider applying for one of the best credit cards for groceries. You can use your rewards for future travel, or redeem for cash or gift cards.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

33. Use a cashback app

You can also earn cash back with a selection of apps. Choose the one that works best for you, and stack your earnings by using a rewards credit card as well.

  • Fetch: If you don’t want to clip coupons, Fetch will reward you points just for scanning your receipts from grocery stores, convenience stores and big box stores. Once you have at least 3,000 points, you can claim rewards like gift cards.
  • Ibotta: There are three ways to earn with Ibotta: linking your store loyalty card to your Ibotta account, shopping online through Ibotta, or preselecting offers and then scanning your receipt after making a purchase. You can redeem your earnings for gift cards, Venmo, or PayPal payments.
  • Drop: Drop lets you earn rewards at more than just grocery stores by using a linked credit or debit card. You can get points for shopping at more than 300 brands and redeem them for gift cards.
  • GetUpside: With GetUpside, you can browse local offers on a map. Claim the offer and scan your receipt after your purchase to earn points. It works at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants in some areas. You can get up to 25 cents per gallon back on gas, and you can redeem your points for digital gift cards or PayPal payments.
  • MyPoints: You can earn points shopping online at over 1,900 retailers with MyPoints. And when you’re not shopping, you can take surveys, play games and more for extra cash. It’s common to earn one to 10 points per dollar spent, and you can redeem them for a variety of gift cards.
  • Dosh: Dosh rewards you for spending at hundreds of retailers when you shop online with a linked debit or credit card. You get the rewards automatically, without having to select offers or scan receipts. You can earn 2% to 5% back at most stores, and some retailers offer up to 10% cashback. You can even earn up to 40% back when you book hotels through Dosh. Once you’ve racked up $25, you can cash out via PayPal, bank account transfer, Venmo, or donation.

Next: How to save money on credit card interest

Image Credit: oatawa / istockphoto.

34. Set up automatic payments

If you ensure to make all of your credit card payments on time, you’ll avoid a penalty APR. Just be sure you have the money in your budget to make the payment.

Image Credit: Youngoldman / istockphoto.

35. Negotiate a lower rate

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, try negotiating a lower interest rate with your creditor. They might agree to a temporary or permanent adjustment if you can show hardship and if you’ve been a long-time customer who has never defaulted.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

36. Apply for a balance transfer card

The best balance transfer credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR for a period of time, so you can put more of your money toward debt repayment and save on interest.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

37. Apply for a personal loan

If you have good credit, you may be able to consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan. This involves borrowing enough to cover your credit card balances at a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying. Check out our picks for the best personal loans.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

38. Apply for a low-interest line of credit

You can use a debt automation app like Tally to both automate your repayment and decrease your interest rate. If you’re eligible for Tally’s credit line, your high-interest debt will be consolidated, and Tally will ask for one minimum payment each month. Tally will automatically pay the minimum payment on any lower interest debts you may have or allow you to pay it yourself.

Next: How to save money without much effort

Image Credit: Anchiy.

39. Automate your savings

You might choose to set up recurring deposits into an emergency fund or retirement account, or you might use an app like Digit, which analyzes your bills and spending habits to determine how much to safely set aside for you. Digit will automatically help you save more, and you won’t have to take any steps to change your lifestyle.

Image Credit: Chaay_Tee / istockphoto.

40. Open a high-yield savings account

If you’re hoarding money in a checking account, you’re missing out on the opportunity to accrue interest. Some of the best savings accounts offer generous APYs up to 1.00%, while most checking accounts don’t earn interest at all.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

41. Cancel unused subscriptions

After all those free trials you signed up for, there could be recurring charges on your credit card for services you don’t even use. If you want to cancel those subscriptions without lifting a finger, download Trim, an app that unsubscribes from unused subscriptions for you. It can also help you set up an automated savings plan.

Image Credit: istockphoto/fizkes.

42. Use roundup apps

Roundup apps automatically save or invest money for you as you spend. Some options include:

  • Acorns: When you link a debit or credit card, Acorns automatically rounds up your purchase and deposits the spare change into a diversified investment portfolio.
  • Chime: When you bank with Chime, you can elect to automatically deposit the roundup amount from your debit card purchases into a high-yield savings account.
  • Qapital: With Qapital, you can set your own roundup rules for automatically depositing funds toward one of your savings goals.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

43. Budget your discretionary spending

To ensure you don’t splurge, set a monthly budget for things like takeout and entertainment. An easy way to allocate your spending money is to use a separate credit card (preferably one that earns extra points in those categories) or add the funds to a prepaid card if you need something more restrictive.

Next: How to save for the long haul

Image Credit: alfexe / istockphoto.

44. Work on your credit score

A low credit score can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in interest, insurance premiums and more. Maintaining excellent credit will help you save.

Image Credit: cnythzi .

45. Create an emergency fund

You should have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund. This will help you weather financial setbacks and job loss.

Image Credit: designer491 / istockphoto.

46. Start a retirement account and pay into it each month

Financial experts recommend that you save 15% of your pre-tax salary per year, including employer contributions, in order to retire comfortably.

Image Credit: Flickr: American Advisors Group.

47. Build a budget and stick to it

If you subtract your bills from your post-tax income and allocate the rest of your money to different spending categories, you’ll ensure you have enough to set aside into savings each month.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

48. Set savings goals

Establishing short-term and long-term goals can help you create a road map for saving. Automate your direct deposit so you’re putting money into savings without even thinking about it.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

49. Separate your savings

To avoid borrowing from your emergency fund when you want to treat yourself, set up a separate savings account for large planned purchases like vacations.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

50. Refinance your mortgage

Refinancing your current mortgage could help you achieve a lower interest rate or reduce your monthly payment.

Image Credit: SARINYAPINNGAM / istockphoto.

51. Make a plan to pay down your debt

Whether you’re trying to pay off student loan debt or credit card debt, the right approach can help you get there. Use an efficient strategy, such as the debt avalanche method, or take advantage of a balance transfer credit card offer. The quicker you can pay off your debt, the less you’ll pay in interest.

Image Credit: Ridofranz / istockphoto.

The bottom line

Don’t try to tackle all of these changes at once. Instead, choose the ones that require the least effort and will have the greatest impact to start. If you don’t have an emergency fund, that’s a good place to start. It will improve your financial resiliency to have the extra cash on hand.

From there, make a small change to your savings habits each week or a more significant change every month to work toward your financial goals. After a while, these new habits won’t feel like extra work; they’ll become a part of your lifestyle.

Making progress toward your savings goals means greater financial security for your future, and it also means having the ability to treat yourself every once in a while. While you work toward a stocked emergency fund and retirement account, be sure to also set aside some extra money for goals that are a little more fun. Follow these money-saving simple tips and watch your savings grow.

This article originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

More from MediaFeed: Marijuana facts you probably didn’t know

39 facts about marijuana we’re betting you didn’t know

Read more:

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.