If you’re looking for ways to save money fast, there are several strategies you can use. Many of those strategies can easily be adapted to fit your budget and lifestyle.
Ways to Save Money Fast
A savings account can help you feel more secure, especially when you have money set aside for emergencies, large purchases, and even retirement — and that security goes further than your bank account. Financial security has a big impact on your stress level and your ability to take on new hobbies and interests. So, the more you can save, the happier your life will be overall. If you have kids, teaching them how to save at the same time you’re learning is a great way to get the whole family on board with new spending habits.
If all you’ve got in savings is what you needed to open an account, or if you’re in debt, that kind of security can seem out of reach. However, with some persistence and a little “belt-tightening,” you can start saving money fast.
Take a minute to learn more about each proven way to save:
1. Set Up a Budget
Making a personal budget is an easy first step that anyone and everyone should do. And while no one likes to feel limited or controlled, you should know that growing your savings the right way will take some discipline.
Start by examining your savings goals. If you’re saving for a new home or the down payment on a car, your savings schedule has a time limit. Saving for a comfortable retirement or budgeting to start a family takes a different strategy.
In general, it’s best to put 20% of your net monthly income into savings. That will leave you with about 80% of your family income to cover regular expenses, including some discretionary spending.
Seeing it all on paper may help it feel more real, so consider recording all your daily expenses to see where your money goes. This includes utilities, meals, and online and in-store purchases. You’ll be surprised how quickly a few casual purchases add up.
2. Examine Your Spending and Use a Credit Card Responsibly
Living with a budget also lets you see where you can cut back or where you can save with cheaper options. For example, that barista coffee might seem like a little luxury but just two visits to the coffee shop a week for you and your partner can total $1,000 each year. You can save a ton and get out of line by making quality coffee at home. On top of the savings, home-brewed coffee will make your house smell great and you can fertilize your garden with the used grounds — a win-win all around.
Streaming services, gym memberships, subscriptions, seasonal shopping, nights out, and “retail therapy” are a few areas to cut back or replace in order to ramp up your monthly savings. Buying in bulk and clipping/downloading coupons are other ways to contribute to your new savings without sacrificing what you enjoy.
Credit cards that offer rewards programs and cash back on purchases can boost savings through your everyday purchases too. Shop around for the best offers, often reserved for new cardholders, and put your automatic credit card expenses on the new account. Take advantage of card holder discounts and double points offers to maximize your credit card rewards. Then apply the rewards to future purchases or sweep those bonus reward dollars right into your savings account.
3. Negotiate and Research
It’s easy to get used to paying the same amount each month on essential services. With a little digging and a few determined phone calls, you may be able to get a better deal just by asking somebody for one. Companies often change their pricing structures or service packages — you just need to search them out. This can be a great way to save money on entertainment or necessities.
When it comes to professional services and major purchases, don’t jump on the first offer, even if it sounds like a deal. Take a moment to look around, ask friends and neighbors, and wait for a time when demand and prices normally decline. This strategy will take some time, but soon you’ll be good at it and will start saving money fast.
4. Create a Side Hustle
Since building up savings is a bottom-line activity, you can also look at it from the other side and see how you can earn more money. You could think about changing jobs or maybe even starting a side hustle.
Many people first think of the gig economy, but you don’t have to be limited to what’s cool and trendy. Selling off old possessions such as jewelry, clothes, gadgets, and collectibles also brings in revenue and declutters your space at the same time.
The best side hustle is the one that builds on your current strengths. Fix or set up computers, paint homes, sell crafted items or tasty treats, or adopt an aspect of your main profession into a side business. Keep in mind that it’ll take away some of your downtime, so make it something you enjoy doing.
5. Automate Your Savings
To help make regular savings even easier, many banks and credit unions can set up an automatic funds transfer option on your accounts. You can arrange to transfer a set amount of funds from your checking account or a portion of your paycheck to be transferred directly to savings. This convenient, automatic service not only takes it off your to-do list but also takes the sting out of seeing less income coming in each month because you won’t even notice you’re missing the money after a while. This strategy, like the others, is designed to get you off to a fast start and keep your long-term financial goals on track.
Now it’s time to get started. Your next step is to start your budget. Doing this will allow you to set a goal for how much money you want to save each month. And if you want to save money fast, you’ll have to be disciplined with your budget, so try to be strict. Don’t worry. You’ve got this.