20 Creative Ways To Save Money This Year
Whether you have to wake up early in the mornings, drive far, spend hours behind a screen, work late hours, travel, hop from meeting to meeting, or juggle your WFH job and your home, you know that money comes with some kind of sacrifice. Money doesn’t just fall off from trees and it most certainly comes with a price. That’s why it’s important to learn how to manage your money well so that when you take a look at your bank account, your sacrifice shows in dollar amounts. If you’ve been having a hard time saving money, today I’m going to share 20 creative ways to save money this year. You can save money and not have to penny pinch all the time!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase by clicking on the link, I may be compensated – at NO additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here. My blogging dreams would not be possible without you, so thank you for your continuous support. It means the absolute world to me! XO
Use realistic ways to save money.
If your goal is to save your hard earned cash and grow your savings account, you have to be three things: realistic, disciplined, and very consistent. Now, this doesn’t mean that you are only going to eat canned beans every single day and never buy anything again. Absolutely not. I’m a huge fan of treating myself and my loved ones! But, if you want to save money, you have to incorporate good money spending habits into your life. Having good discipline will help you cut down on pointless expenses and save you more money. Let me show you 20 smart ways to save money!
20 Creative Ways To Save Money This Year.
1. Downsize and declutter your home.
In order to get into the right mindset of what you are trying to accomplish, you need to clear your mind with a good declutter. There’s nothing more productive than decluttering your home, room by room. When you have too much clutter all around you, it’s hard to think straight and be aware of what you already own.
Have you ever made a purchase because you forgot that you already bought something?
Um I totally have!
There’s even times that I’ll find items in my drawers that haven’t been used yet after I already make a duplicate purchase (just because I didn’t give myself the time to check sooner!)
That’s why decluttering is important!
When you take the time to go through the items you have, you’ll be able to tell whether you need to buy something or simply save that cash! You can always shop your stash and save yourself money because you most definitely don’t need to buy what you already have.
2. Use a monthly budget calendar to save money.
This habit may feel a little tedious, but it’s so worth it down the line. Using a budget calendar is one of the smartest ways to save money. With a budget calendar, you can track your income, expenses, and savings! This will also help you keep a record of where your money is coming from and going out throughout the year. I’m sure you can purchase budget calendar templates online, but something as simple as an excel spreadsheet can work.
I currently use a budget tracker that I created for myself on Excel! I duplicate the same template every single month and fill in as I go. But what I love about using this template is that I can tweak and modify as I please. So, create a budget calendar that works for you and don’t be afraid to change it up.
3. Try the cash envelope challenge.
Challenge yourself to join the cash envelope challenge the upcoming month. If you need guidance, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to do the cash envelope challenge! The point of this challenge is to only allow yourself to spend cash that you’ve budgeted into envelopes. Use what’s in the envelope and try to stay on budget. Do not overspend under any circumstances!
And make sure to track your progress daily to make sure that you’re staying on track with your money.
This is a fun way to save money and be aware of what you are spending your money on!
4. Meal plan for the entire month.
As daunting as meal planning can be, it is a major money saver. When you meal plan you have a clear map of what you’re going to make and spend every single week. Plan out your breakfast, lunch, and dinner with options that are budget friendly.
You can even order your groceries within your app and pick them up these days. This will also help you stay on your budget. When you grocery shop in person, you are always tempted to buy more things than you need. Take it from somehow who loves grocery shopping – I always come out with something I didn’t plan to buy!
But if you do prefer grocery shopping in person, I recommend going grocery shopping with a list of what you need and also when you aren’t hungry. If you’re starving while grocery shopping, your hunger will make you want to add every item you see to your cart. You’ll want to make this and that! But it’s all misguided by your current hunger! So don’t shop on an empty stomach.
5. Limit takeout.
Takeout is the fastest way to get delicious food to you when you are hungry. You don’t have to cook but you pay with your money for this convenience. And often, it’s a lot more than you would have spent if you had just made the meal yourself. So, limit how much you spend on takeout weekly or even monthly. Because every dollar you spend on takeout adds up. Instead of eating out a few times a week, limit yourself to one! Or if you already eat out once a week, limit yourself to twice a month.
This will not only help you save money, but it’ll help you eat healthier.
A healthier wallet and a healthier body!
6. Bring snacks from home while running errands.
Because life happens, you need to prepare for the unexpected (as much as you possibly can.)
When the unexpected happens and all of a sudden a 5 minute errand turns into half an hour, you can prepare for this by having things like: protein bars, fruits, snacks, or water on you! That way, you can quickly satisfy your hunger and avoid buying food outside!
7. Stop buying bottled water.
Even if it only means saving a few bucks here and there, try to avoid buying bottled water. There are so many different water bottles you can invest in to avoid buying bottled water. Not only will this help you save more money but you’ll also be helping the planet by buying and consuming less plastic!
8. Less Starbucks runs!
This is not a money saving tip anybody likes to hear, but nevertheless it’s still a necessary one. Getting Starbucks daily or often may not seem like a huge expense upfront, but in the long run every buck adds up! So instead of running straight to Starbucks, Dunkin, or wherever you get your drinks, make yourself your favorite drinks at home, and only go out to your favorite spots once in awhile.
9. Pack your lunch during the work week.
Another good way to save extra cash is by packing your own lunch for work (and yes this includes snacks, too!) Eating out on your lunch break can be so tempting, but you can fight the urge to eat out by planning, cooking, and packing your meals at home.
10. Repeat and eat what you already have in your fridge.
Coming up with different meals everyday can be tedious….and a lot of money. Instead, be creative with what you have and don’t be afraid to eat the same meals more than once. Eat your leftovers, prepare a meal with ingredients you have left over in your fridge, and repeat dishes you make throughout the week.
11. Use coupons or rewards whenever available.
Be on the lookout for coupons. Most grocery stores have coupons available and will either mail them out to you or have them available on their app. Other stores have rewards programs that you can join and make money back from purchases you already make.
12. Download the Fetch Rewards app and scan your receipts.
Make the most out of your purchases by scanning your receipts on this app for money! Everytime you scan a receipt, you get points. Once you accumulate a certain amount of points, you can redeem your points for MONEY. I believe you get $10 for every 10,000 points. So, this is an easy and great way to make some money from your purchases.
13. Shop after a holiday or a season is over.
Buy when no one else is.
Instead of buying right before a holiday or season, do it after. Going shopping after the holidays is a smart move because you can get great items at a decent price, rather than waiting for the next year.
For example I’ve noticed that I can find boots at a more discounted price during spring/summer than in fall/winter.
14. Take advantage of sales, items on clearance, and coupons.
Don’t pay full price on items. Instead, be on the lookout for items on sales or clearance. If it’s not too tempting, you can sign up to your favorite store’s newsletters to keep track of when sales are running. Whenever I buy clothes, I make sure to do it when there is a sale going on or I have a coupon to use.
15. Find name brand dupes online versus buying the name brand.
Name brands are just that; name brands.
As beautiful and luxurious as they are, try to find brands that don’t mess with your budget. Of course you can treat yourself to a little something from time to time, but don’t fall into the habit of only buying from expensive brands.
16. Place more online orders for pick up rather than shopping in person.
Avoid being tempted to buy everything you see by placing your orders online. If you are into meal prepping, this is also a great way to stay on top of what ingredients you need to buy for the meals you want to prepare.
17. Don’t be influenced by influencers.
Because the job of an influencer is to influence, there will always be a new product/service that they will promote to their audience. So by following many influencers, you are more exposed to so many different products/services that you think you may need, when you probably don’t. Don’t get me wrong, some influencers will share great products worth trying, but you don’t have to buy absolutely everything that is promoted. So, if it gets overwhelming to keep up with your timeline without falling into the temptation of buying, unfollow or mute influencers!
18. Be conscious of your spending habits at home.
Limit your electric use when you can, turn off lights after leaving rooms, cut down on shower time, and re-use items as much as you can.
19. Keep up with and reduce your subscriptions/memberships.
It can be so easy to sign up to so many different programs, websites, apps, etc and then forget about them afterwards. Although $5.99, $9.99, or whatever offer you get may seem tempting, you do not need to have a membership for Netflix, Peacock, Disney +, Hulu, etc all at once. So, make it a habit to supervise what you are signing up for and how much you are paying monthly. And if there is a membership that you are not really using, end it! This includes the gym.
20. Save money aside.
Get yourself a piggy bank or something where you can store money in and challenge yourself to fill it up. Everytime you want to spend money on a vanity, food, or something unnecessary, put that money you were going to spend in your piggy bank. Anytime you have “extra cash or change” on you, put it in there. This is a great and easy way to save money!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these creative money saving tips! Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite way to save money.
Until next time,