Do you want to efficiently save money so you can live better without the annoying debts that hold you back from saving?
With monthly bills lined up for you to pay, it is tough to live comfortably and save. You work only to spend it on your bills and have regrets about saving nothing.
In a statistics report, more than half of people in their 20s have no savings.
Save Money. Live Better.
Don’t fret as I share with you 17 strategies that personally helped me to build my savings.
If you’re looking for other ideas you can generate some extra income check out these articles as well.
1. Cancel Gym Subscription and Exercise For Free
Exercising is part of a healthy lifestyle, so you may think that going to the gym is an excuse for spending money on membership fees to keep you healthy.
However, you are paying a lot for using the gym with membership fees.
Bid farewell to your gym membership and save money.
Exercising for free is a step to save better, especially if you are on a tight budget. You don’t need that monthly gym.
An alternative for your gym sessions is taking up free virtual fitness sessions and fitness apps.
Save Money. Live Better.
Fitness Apps You Can Use For Free
- Abs Workout: Abs Workout allots 4-8 minutes for every workout exercise focusing on your abs.
- Gaia Yoga: This is great for those who do yoga and incorporate consciousness, meditation, and mind into their routing.
- Nike Run Club: The app tracks your running journey and motivates you with celebrities’ speeches after a workout.
- Down Dog: This other yoga app provides more than 30 000 yoga poses to help you with your routine.
- 7 Minute Workout: 7 Minute Workout is another workout app that plans 7-minute body exercises.
Fitness Videos on YouTube You Can Watch For Free
There are tons of free fitness videos up on Youtube that allow you to workout even at home.
Among these channels are ‘Boho Beautiful’ and ‘Yoga with Adrienne.’
Both of these channels offer free videos on yoga or exercises for body pains.
Get Paid to Exercise
Why not get paid when you exercise? It is a great motivation and reward if you are planning on working out.
Sweatcoin is an activity tracker that pays when you exercise. Every step comes with a corresponding amount of digital currency called sweat coins. You can use this to buy fitness goods.
What an excellent way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while earning money!
Related Reading: Apps that Pay You to Walk
2. Save Money With Lower Bank Fees
If you have experienced sending money abroad or withdrawing cash from an ATM when you travel overseas, you know how expensive the fees are.
These fees can be your money to save, invest or spend on things you wish to buy.
Let me introduce you to TransferWise and Xendpay. They are inexpensive but still safe for international transactions when sending money.
Other helpful platforms when withdrawing overseas are Revolut, Monzo, and Transferwise. They provide a free debit card that you can use to cash out your money with cheaper fees.
You don’t need to worry about these platforms’ security and legitimacy because they are all protected by the government.
3. Don’t Buy Books
Books are not a luxury because reading is essential. It helps people open their minds to new knowledge and ideas.
Reading books influences some decisions in your life. They can help build your career, find your desires and guide your life.
But did you know that you can still read books without buying the hard copies? Save money and live better by choosing alternatives for your reading materials.
Try renting books from the library or downloading an ebook version of the title you plan on reading since they are cheaper options.
Renting through a library is practical; meanwhile, ebooks are conveniently available on your kindle or phone.
Save Money. Live Better.
4. Make Money From Your Car
Some may enjoy driving around in their car but while you have fun, make money from your vehicle in these various ways:
Put your car for rent.
Buying cars can be costly, but if you make your vehicle useful, you can gain back what you spent and save money.
Try out these side hustles to earn money by renting your car out with these apps:
- Hire car
Your car is in good hands because these apps provide car insurance. They will compensate you for any damage that may happen while renting your car.
Drive people around
In your free time, you can use your car to drive people around to their destinations. It is another way to earn money from your car.
These two companies pay you to do just that:
To earn more, strategize and anticipate the peak hours when there is a high demand for cars.
If you think carefully, Friday and Saturday nights are some of the busiest hours. Also, check when are concert events happening because more people need service during those times.
Another thing to consider is the location. People who travel to and from airports need cars as well.
If you are free during these times, then it is highly likely for you to get more bookings.
Rent the extra car space
Some of you drive your car to work, and of course, there is that empty car space behind you. That spot will allow you to make money.
Rent your car space with these apps:
- Garage Time
Use your car for advertisement.
Cars have become a rising advertising property. You see cars every day, on every street, and rush hour traffic.
You might as well use this chance to earn and save money so you can live better.
Companies will place advertisements on your car by wrapping it with their promotional material designs.
Below are some of the companies that pay you to place advertisements on your car:
- Pay Me For Driving
- Sticker Ride
- Car Bucks
- Referral Cars
- Car Quids
You can more about getting paid to advertise on your car here.
Save money and live better by carpooling.
Cut your commuting costs by carpooling. Not only does it help you spare the expenses and live better, but it also reduces fuel and transportation costs.
And the best thing you probably didn’t know yet, some carpooling apps match passengers and drivers on their music preferences.
It saves you the awkward silence by playing a song you both like. Great idea, right?
Here are the carpooling apps you can use:
- Trees For Cars
5. Repair Your Damaged Clothes
Do you buy new clothes whenever your old ones tear apart? How about learning how to repair them instead of buying them?
You can save money and live better if you start learning how to sew even minor repairs on your clothing pieces.
Learn hand sewing, and you’ll realize how easy it is. Other than that, it also saves you a lot of money.
Save Money. Live Better.
6. Make Creative Handmade Gifts
Sure it is nice to buy gifts for people on special occasions or not. But if you try to compute all the gifts you purchased, it becomes expensive.
There are many homemade gift ideas that you can easily DIY if you’re thinking of gifting them to someone.
Also, aside from homemade gifts, you could give them the gift of labor. You can make a hefty meal, offer babysitting or pet sitting, or just anything that you can physically do.
For example, make coupons that grant the person’s wish or task that you are willing to do for them.
Some tasks you can offer as a gift are massage, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, and little gestures that provide comfort.
7. Ask For The Best Rates
Having a good eye for the best interest rates makes you a good rate player. A rate player relies on what banks offer them the best.
So whichever banks offer a credit card plan with the lowest interest or savings accounts with the highest interests, go for it!
Sometimes, you have to ask your bank. Call them and inquire if there are better rates available.
For some banks, they give the best rates to customers only if they ask for it. Under discretion, banks can raise interests for individual savings accounts.
8. Find A Side Hustle
While you’re at it, why not find a side hustle to keep you busy earning.
You can reduce your expenses, find other income sources, or do both to save money, live better, and earn an extra to achieve your goals for the year.
Search for side jobs that can make you extra money during your free time.
Try doing freelancing jobs like writing, editing, teaching, or virtual assistant. If you’d like to try doing odd tasks that pay you, go for it as well.
You can try these online and offline odd but paying jobs below:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
9. Set A Savings Goal and Plan
Before I succeeded in achieving my savings goal, I always laid out a plan.
Think of saving like when you are cooking a new recipe.
You see how the food is going to look based on the picture. Through the picture, you have an idea of what you are cooking.
Then, you have the recipe for the dish. Your recipe contains the ingredients and the procedure. The recipe is the plan.
If you only have the picture without the recipe, you will not perfect the recipe. If you only have the recipe without the picture, you have no idea how your dish is supposed to be.
Without the picture of the dish and the recipe, you can’t make a new dish. The same thing applies to saving.
Choose your goal
First, you need to set a specific amount to work towards, like a finish line. This amount is your goal for working and saving.
By having a goal, you can identify how much you need to save, how much you have to earn, and how long it will take before you reach it. It makes you motivated to work.
For example, my goal is to buy a house for around $200,000. If the average deposit for buying a home is 20%, my initial goal is to earn $40,000.
Write down your goal. You can even visualize it to get a clear picture of what your goal is.
As long as you make a plan, claim that goal is close to your reach!
Make a financial plan.
To make a financial plan, break down all your expenses. Filter what is necessary in your daily life and what your wants are.
- Cell Phone Plan
- Utility bills (electricity, water, internet)
- Dining out
- Workout classes
- Sports training
You now have your list of needs and wants. Decide on where you should lessen the money you spend.
Understandably, you may want to keep some of your life desires. So instead of completely crossing them out of the list, allocate up to 30% of your income per month for that.
You don’t always have to avail all your wants in one month. Try choosing one every month, and another for next and so on.
For instance, if you want to treat yourself to a lovely spa, then you have to pass a dinner out for one time to compensate for it.
To get an idea of how your financial plan should go, take note of this:
Add your necessary expenses and your wants, noting that it is a maximum of 30% from your salary. Once you get the sum, deduct it from your income.
Whatever is left will be your savings.
Another helpful tip is to use Excel and download budget planner templates. They are free!
10. Earn Money With Your Savings Account
Open another savings account with a high-interest rate.
Banks offer interests on your savings, so open an account that pays you with the highest interest. Ideally, choose a fixed deposit or notice account because they have higher rates.
These accounts save your money. However, cannot withdraw or access the money until its maturity period.
Assume I opened a fixed deposit account and placed my savings for six months with 4.25% interest.
As long as I will not withdraw in the duration of the date agreed, I will earn from the savings interest.
After six months, I can withdraw my savings with interest or choose to keep it there for a longer time.
To ensure you have savings accounts that you can use for earning and spending, create separate savings accounts: a fixed and regular account.
Tax-free savings accounts
For the interest, you earn through your savings accounts comes tax charges. It is because the interest from your savings counts as income.
Try looking into countries that offer tax-free to low-taxed savings accounts. Examples of these are U.K.’s Individual Savings Account (ISA) and New Zealand’s Portfolio Investment Entity (PIE).
You can also ask your bank if they offer a savings account with no tax chargers or low tax charges to boost your savings.
11. Automate your savings
By automating your savings, you save more comfortably. There are available money apps that round up your purchases to the nearest dollar.
For example, you bought a sandwich for $2.55 as a quick bite for breakfast. The money apps will transfer $0.45 into your savings account.
Additional: Acorns and Robinhood are online investment tools that help people with micro-investing.
Make sure to do thorough research and understand how you can earn more with your money and how it will work for you.
12. Plan your daily meals
Aside from rental fees, food is probably one of the most significant expenses that someone can have on their list. Some may buy expensive and healthy food to make or eat out.
It is easy to reason out that you buy expensive food because it benefits your health.
But there’s no need to buy costly meals to nourish your body. You can save money and stay healthy at the same time.
Plan your meals before the week starts. Always buy food in bulk, good for the week, since it’s way cheaper.
Also, try using the same ingredients in different recipes. For Monday, you can cook curry with carrots and potatoes, then another day, you can roast your carrots and potatoes.
Another suggestion is to make larger portions of your food during dinner and reheat to eat during lunch the next day.
You don’t have to compromise the nutritional value of your food. You have to avoid spending grocery and transportation costs every other day.
Here’s a useful tip:
Try creating your meal plan weekly using Tesco’s meal planner. You may also follow BBC Good Food’s meal plans for cheap and healthy meal ideas.
Further, go for zero waste when preparing and eating food. Learn how to reduce food waste, including the packaging.
13. Cancel Email Subscriptions
Take the time to unsubscribe from email notifications from those online shops you window shopped!
It takes patience and control to ignore discounts and sale reminders, so it is best not to receive reminders.
Remember, you are trying to save money. Dismiss all temptations that can get you to spend.
14. Try Making Homemade Coffee
For most people, coffee is essential to get through the day. People buy coffee from shops just to get that coffee intake.
But did you know that coffee is, on average, at least $3.00? If you drink one cup of coffee per day 5 days a week, it will cost you $780 for a year.
Now start investing in a coffee maker and make your coffee at home.
You can buy a coffee machine that can last you for years. If you drink coffee this way, your coffee costs just around $1 per coffee.
So try creating good coffee from the comfort of your home!
15. Wait Before Buying It
To avoid impulse buying, assess the item you want to buy and see if you need it at the moment. If not, wait for the right time, maybe two weeks later, or when you have enough extra money to buy it.
Always tell yourself that you can always come back for it if you want it.
When you see yourself not returning for it, then you don’t want it.
By waiting, you will realize the load of work you have to go through before affording it. You can rethink the worth of the item based on your well-earned money.
An impulsive trip to shops can make you end up buying items that are on your wants rather than needs. Hence, avoid places that make you spend money—hint: shops that cater to your hobbies.
16. Plan And Do Free Activities
Maybe you found yourself spending money out of boredom. So the solution, keep yourself busy and entertained.
Find activities you can do in the free time that doesn’t charge you. There are activities available for free that you can do even at home.
For example, instead of spending additional money for transportation to go to the cinema (that you also need to pay for), enjoy a classic movie marathon alone or with friends at home.
Or, instead of dining out in restaurants, plan a picnic by a relaxing spot with your loved ones.
17. Live With One Salary
This style may be old-fashioned, but it always works. This way of budgeting mostly applies to couples or families.
You use one person’s income to pay for the living expenses. Meanwhile, the remaining salary of your partner or the other family members is for the savings.
As useful as it can be for couples, it may not be ideal for someone who is not comfortable about not having their own money to hold.
Despite that, you can overcome the worry if you budget the income correctly.
For instance, whoever gets the first salary pays the necessities. Then later, the pair can have their spending money. It is up to them if they will use it or save it.
Saving money is easy when you know what to do. Think of saving money as achieving a goal in life.
Manage your finances with the strategies to help you save money and live better. Only then can you achieve your saving goals.
Picture your goal, plan, and work for it!