There isn’t one person on this Earth who hasn’t thought, “I wish I could learn how to drastically cut expenses.” Well, I am here to teach you how to save more.
A lot of my readers ask me how can they escape debt and find easy ways to save money. There’s no magic pill, it is simple planning and focusing a few minutes each day on changing your finances. I speak with and come in contact with quite a few millennials who have no savings in their savings account whatsoever. That seems to be the biggest problem for most people, and I almost always provide them with this incredible plan on ways to save and changing up their finances and they all tell me how it really does work.
I’m here today to tell you the same advice I give them, and how you can change your finances and get out of the paycheck to paycheck way of living and find easy ways to save money even on a tight budget.
How Will This Work?
When you don’t have a good understanding of money it’s difficult to properly manage it. Education and savings are key to changing your money problems.
So, today I am going to help you with finding easy ways to save money. In order for this to be successful, you must track your savings in a new account or you won’t be able to see your progress. If you track savings in the same checking account that you use for everything else, it doesn’t usually work.
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This is one big thing that most people forget to do, so now that you get its importance what should you do?
If you’re serious about getting things off on the right foot, I suggest you open a new savings account (see top offers below) or use an account that is different than your daily bank checking account.
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Once you have one dedicated to tracking your savings, start depositing money—$1, $5, $10, $0.01—any amount is good. It’s just about getting over the hump, trust me!
18 Ways to Cut Monthly Expenses
There’s a whole world out there filled with ways you can save money. Where do you even start? Start with these easy steps that are proven to help save money today, tomorrow, and this year! And here they are.
How to Save Money on Transportation
Insurance companies can really take advantage of millennials and charge them a lot of money for their car insurance. Additionally, the cost of the car and fuel can render driving not realistic. Proper car maintenance is key to keeping your ride performing at its best. Our 6 car maintenance tips for maintaining your vehicle also help you save money.
1. Cut gas waste by driving sensibly
Repeatedly accelerating and braking are the fastest ways to burn a lot of gas. According to experts at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aggressive driving can increase your fuel consumption by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% at normal town speeds. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is responsible for the development and maintenance of the U.S. Department of Energy and EPA’s website on fuel economy and regularly shares ways you can save money on gas.
2. Set the cruise speed at 50 mph
Gas mileage usually decreases as you pass the 50 mph point, so make sure you set your cruise control to this value. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimates that every 5 mph on top of the value of 50 mph is the equivalent of paying 20 cents more per gallon of gas.
3. Avoid idling
Whenever you’re parked and waiting, turn your engine off. Idling can eat up to half a gallon per hour. According to the Argonne National Laboratory, restarting the engine consumes only as much as the equivalent of 10 seconds of idling. In addition, don’t wait until your vehicle warms up in winter. Specialists recommend that you drive slowly for the first 30 seconds after starting the engine. As the engine warms up faster while driving, it will reach the optimal temperature faster.
4. Learn to love the heat
Try to give up your air conditioning or set it at a higher temperature. Running the air conditioning can increase your fuel consumption by 25%, as calculated by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The specialists recommend driving with the windows open to let the hot air get out as you start moving, and using the A/C only at high speeds when driving with your windows open generates too much noise and discomfort.
5. Choose the right motor oil
You should always use the grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer or the vehicle. When using the wrong oil, you can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2% because of the additional friction in the engine. The right oil will attenuate these frictions, so make sure you don’t make mistakes when you purchase your motor oil. Using oil containing friction-reducing additives is also a good idea, as recommended by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
6. Look for better insurance
Yes, it may seem obvious but when was the last time you compared your car insurance rate?
There are so many insurance companies out there, however many of us only check a very limited number. Going online and comparing can get you a better car insurance deal. This can help you save a notable amount of money each year.
Most people just pay the monthly bill, whatever it may be but car insurance companies make all of their money off people who have been with them for the longest time. It’s true, and if you have a clean driving record… have your premiums stayed the same or even gone up over that past few years?
Car insurance companies think you won’t leave once you’re with them, so they charge whatever premium they want. Personally, I compared rates just last month using Gabi and switched from Geico to AllState, as the premium was 65% cheaper. Insurify compares rates for all the major car insurance companies and it’s free.
So if you have 3 minutes of time, head on over to Gabi to check your options in order to start saving money.
Allstate was the cheapest one for me in my state of Virginia. However, the rates differ between states. I was impressed to learn something by switching companies, did you know at Allstate they pay you for safe driving? You should get to know all the ways your auto insurance can work for you.
Ways to Save on Debt
The most important thing anyone should be doing financially is working towards being debt-free. Once you are officially debt-free (besides a mortgage or real estate), you can work towards financial independence or earning more money. Here are a few ways to help you lessen your financial stress and cut down on debt and save more.
7. Get help paying down your debt with an app
Debt can be a never-ending cycle that’s almost impossible to escape. Sometimes it’s difficult to pull together your minimum monthly payment, and any progress you make towards reducing the balance may get eaten up by interest charges. To become debt-free faster and save money on interest fees you should learn about the life-changing Qoins app.
This is the new best way to become debt free, faster than ever. Qoins is the first financial app that makes extra monthly payments towards your debt for you! Select from round-ups, smart-savings and more. You can also pay off credit cards, student loans, auto loans, or mortgages using only your spare change. But is it legit? You can learn more in our Qoins review.
8. Earn more cash to pay off debt
The first thing you can do is sign up for Swagbucks which pays you, in cash via PayPal, to watch fun videos & take surveys and they’ll also give you a $10 free bonus just to give it a try.
By spending just 5-10 minutes per day on this (either on your lunch break or during TV commercial breaks) you can earn and save an extra $50/month. More people should be using money making apps like this!
9. Consolidate your debts using a balance transfer card or personal loan
If you’re serious about saving money, then you should know about balance transfer cards. If you’re paying the only monthly minimum each month then you’re subject to paying money in interest alone and not even the principal balance.
An example is: If you have $2,000 on your VISA card, and it has an 18% APR, then you’ll be paying $400/year in interest alone if you only pay off the monthly minimum each month. That’s $400 down the drain. Here’s a quick video explanation:
You can avoid this by signing up for American Express Blue Cash Everyday. AMEX Blue Cash Cash Everyday is a card with no annual fee, and you can transfer your current debt from any type of credit card (all with no fees), and pay 0% interest for 12 months on your current debt amount. With no interest for 12 months, you can steadily pay down your balance with your savings from the other steps, which will save you a great deal of money in most cases.
For those with decent credit that have higher debt amounts that will need more than 12 months to pay it off, LendingTree can help you save thousands in the long run by refinancing your debt at rates as low as 5.99%. It only takes a few minutes to see how much you can save, and it’s 100% free to give it a try.
And if you’re credit isn’t great or need some special help, then you should know about Prosper. They offer personal loans that can help you consolidate certain types of debt into one loan with a lower interest rate. Say hello to better finances with Prosper that offers loans with low, fixed rates and no surprises. All you have to do is sign up.
If you don’t know your current credit score, you can also check, completely free, with Credit Sesame. Not only will they show you your score, but as part of their service, they’ll help you identify the different factors that impact your score and how to improve them, all for free.
10. Refinance your student loans
If your student loans have a high-interest rate, it may make sense to refinance your rate so you can save on interest payments. If you do find a lender with a low-interest rate, you could save money every single month. To chalk it up, if you have multiple student loans, a high-paying job, and good credit (or a cosigner), refinancing your student loans always makes sense.
You can usually check what your new rate would be in 2 minutes or less. Here are the top student refinance lenders:
$5K - $300K
2.95% - 7.63%
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$5K - $1M
2.99% - 6.88%
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2.49% - 6.25%
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$5K - $500K
1.88% - 5.64%
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11. Get extra income by driving
The next thing you can do is register to drive with Uber – if you have a car, it’s a perfect way to make a good amount of extra cash whenever it’s convenient for you to help burden the stress of debt. A lot of people do this full time, so you can imagine that’s it definitely possible to do this on the side and make extra money and be able to pay down debt
Once you’re a driver you can choose to turn the app on or off and drive whenever you have some time to spare. They also have a feature that allows you to select your destination, so if you are leaving work (or any other long commute), you could pick up a ride that was going in the same direction. You can do this 3-4 times a week on your commute and can easily make up to $300 each month and use it to eliminate debt.
While for some this may seem like a nice little amount to add to your savings account, according to Uber, the national average in April 2019 was $601 a week… so it’s definitely a good choice if you really want to earn extra income and start beating debt.
Another ride-sharing option that’s available to you is Lyft. Uber seems to be more globally known, however, if you’re in the United States you probably have heard about Lyft. It’s basically the same as Uber, but some argue that you make more as a Lyft driver.
12. Refinance your home
If you are a homeowner, then this one of the smartest things you can look into. I currently work as a Business Analyst at Freddie Mac, so I know a thing or two about the mortgage market. If you own a home and have not yet taken advantage of historically low refinance rates, you probably are spending way more than you should be on your mortgage.
LendingTree could help you refinance your mortgage at a significantly lower interest rate – Let’s say you can lower your rate by around 1%, on a $200K mortgage, can save you over $100/month and over $40,000 in total over the course of your 30-year loan!
Ways to Save Money on Everything Else
If you still need more ideas on how to drastically cut expenses, it’s time to consider some other things you may be wasting money on. These ideas can help you dig deeper and save even more.
13. Save money on items you’re buying anyway
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14. Download a gaming app that can turn you into a saver
We all know saving money is a good habit, yet many of us still struggle to make regular deposits into our rainy-day accounts.
At Long Game, they encourage you to save consistently and earn interest on your long-term deposits. With an account, you get a safe, FDIC-insured account. Every time you deposit, earn coins you can use to play the exciting lotto and adventure games for a chance to win up to $1,000,000. Set up auto-deposits and earn even more. The more you save, the more chances you have to win. You can check out our full review of the gaming app here.
15. Save money with your child’s college savings plan
You want the best for your children, and an important part of that means helping to provide an education. Setting aside college funds isn’t easy, but you don’t have to go it alone. Thanks to CollegeBacker, you can set up a savings program that you, friends and family can all build together.
CollegeBacker is devoted to helping parents organize a 529 College Savings Plan, a specialized account that builds over time. Using aggressive investment strategies at first to build a foundation, the plan gradually grows more conservative to create a solid account that your child can use towards any educational expenses, tax-free. You can learn more in our full review here.
16. Find the best life insurance
Traditionally, applying for life insurance is a pain. Many companies require medical exams, forcing you to set valuable time aside for a visit. Then there’s the paperwork, which takes even more time to fill out, review and submit. After that, you have to sit patiently, waiting and waiting for approval.
Haven Life is changing that concept completely. Instead of taking up your time filling out forms and scheduling doctor’s appointments, you supply the team with information via the website and your application gets reviewed immediately. Learn more about Haven Life in our full review.
17. Attack your monthly bills
If you’re paying for any monthly service, your provider typically changes their rates frequently. Unfortunately, most subscription services don’t inform their customers that they’re paying outdated, overpriced rates. This means you could be paying a significant amount of extra each month. Trim will check these common bills and negotiate strategically to save your money:
- Cable TV
- Satellite TV
- Satellite radio
- Cell phone
- Home security
- Cleaning service
Each of these can be updated as often as every six months. Don’t spend your valuable time constantly checking with each of your subscriptions. Instead, Trim’s bill negotiators can help you get the best deals. Larger bills that are older, particularly bills from major phone and internet providers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, are far more likely to see savings than newer bills.
18. Have a budgeting spreadsheet handy
By having your own personalized free budget spreadsheet you can keep your personal finances organized and control your spending and debt. A well tuned personal finance spreadsheet can help you plan your financial future. All of this sounds good? Well, next you’re probably thinking where can you find the best budget spreadsheet? No worries, we’ll give you the best budget spreadsheet that’s free in 2021 here.
Make Saving Money Fun…
If you’ve done everything on this list and didn’t spend the extra money, in a few months or so you should have saved and earned a total of at least $1,000. $1,000 is great, but what’s better? $5,000. You’re really not that far away if you can keep this going.
If you’re competitive in nature, you can make a game out of it and make a money saving challenge some of your family and friends to see who can save the most: Click the share button below to see if any in your network wants to do the same!
Take The Following Actions Today
If you are looking for easy ways to save money then you should know that you do not have to stay living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s up to you to change it. If there is no change, then your situation won’t and can’t be different. Set a goal to take action today, and make a plan to break free. Start small if you need to and educate yourself. Knowledge is definitely powerful!
Kick-start your savings by finding clever ways to get free coupon books! It’s the first step toward reaching your goal of saving an extra $1,000 this month.