100 Great Ways to Start Saving Money (Even If You’re Currently Struggling Financially)

Written by on January 14, 2016 in Economy with 5 Comments

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By Trent Hamm | The Simple Dollar

No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part.

That’s why we created this list of 100 ways to start saving money today. None of these tactics will be life-changing on their own, but they can make quite a difference over time if you’re able to implement more than one. Some of these suggestions take just a few minutes, while others require a bit of regular effort. Still, they’re all incredibly simple – anyone can do them.

Related Article: Doing This Will Save You Money & Improve Your Relationship with Your Neighbors

Obviously, not all of these tips will apply to everyone. Just go through the list and find 10 or 15 that do apply to you and use them in your life. When you do, you may quickly find that you’re saving more money than you ever thought possible.

100 Ways to Save Money

1. Move bank accounts to take advantage of perks and earn more interest

If you’re paying a monthly fee for your checking or savings account, you would benefit from researching some of newest banking offers out there. Not only do some banks offer sign-up bonuses simply for opening an account and setting up direct deposit, but some offer attractive interest rates to new customers as well.

It’s true that interest rates are not what they once were, but it’s still worth a look. Some of the best free checking accounts and best savings accounts can be found online. Here’s a guide on how to make that switch.

2. Turn off the television.

One big way to save money is to drastically cut down on the amount of television you watch. There are a lot of financial benefits to this: less exposure to spending-inducing ads, a lower electric bill (and perhaps a lower cable bill if you downgrade your subscription), more time to focus on other things in life — such as a side business — and so on.


Want to take things a step further? Consider cutting the cord to cable TV altogether.

3. Stop collecting, and start selling

There was a time when people thought their collections would bring them riches. Beanie Babies were a big fad at one time, as were Longaberger baskets. Now you can find those items on resale sites like Craigslist and at garage sales for a fraction of their initial cost, leaving many people who sunk thousands of dollars into their “investments” wondering what happened.

If you want to avoid that situation, don’t collect items of questionable value. And if you want to recoup some of the money you’ve already spent on collectible items, you can start selling them now and use those funds for any number of worthy financial goals. Read our “Guide to Selling Unwanted Items” for some simple strategies that can help you profit as much as possible.

4. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can.

No matter where you live, you’ll find plenty of retailers who are willing to reward you for shopping at their store. Here’s the basic game plan for maximizing these programs: create a Gmail or Yahoo address just for these mailings, collect every card you can, and then check that account for extra coupons whenever you’re ready to shop.

You can add to those rewards and discounts by using rewards credit cards to earn points on purchases at a wide range of stores that can be redeemed for cash back or other benefits.

Related Article: Wanna Be Wealthy? Here Are 10 Smart Ways To Make Your Money Work For You

5. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store.

If you want to save money while also giving generously, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to accomplish both goals. You can make food mixes, candles, fresh-baked bread or cookies, soap, and all kinds of other things at home quite easily and inexpensively.

These make spectacular gifts for others because they involve your personal touch — something you can’t buy from a store — and quite often they’re consumable, meaning they don’t wind up filling someone’s closet with junk. Even better – include a personal handwritten note with the gift.

6. Master the 30-day rule.

Avoiding instant gratification is one of the most important rules of personal finance, and waiting 30 days to decide on a purchase is an excellent way to implement that rule.

Quite often, after a month has passed, you’ll find that the urge to buy has passed as well, and you’ll have saved yourself some money simply by waiting. If you’re on the fence about a purchase anyway, waiting a while can give you a better perspective on whether it’s truly worth the money.

7. Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.

One of the easiest ways to save money is to only shop when you have a list. Because when you’re without one, you typically end up making impulse buys and unplanned purchases – all things that cost money.

Creating a list before you go to the grocery store is especially important. Not only can it help you buy items that fit with your meal plan, but it can also help you avoid buying food you might waste. Always create a list and, more importantly, stick to it.

8. Invite friends over instead of going out.

Going out to eat or “out on the town” has a way of completely destroying both your food budget and your entertainment budget in one fell swoop. And no matter what, it is always cheaper to stay in with friends and come up with your own entertainment.

Instead of hitting the town, host a fun pitch-in dinner with your friends. Play cards, sit around a fire pit, or watch movies with your guests. You’ll all save money – and have a blast.

9. Repair clothing instead of tossing it.

Don’t toss out a shirt because of a broken button – sew on a new one with some closely-matched thread. Don’t toss out pants because of a hole in them – put in a patch of some sort and save them for times when you’re working around the house.

Most basic sewing jobs can be completed by anyone, and a little bit of practice goes a long way. Learning basic sewing skills is a great way to save some money – and extend the life of your clothing.

10. Don’t spend big money entertaining your children.

Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply. Buy them an end roll of newspaper from your local paper and let their creativity run wild. Play ball in the backyard. Head to the park. Plant a garden. Teach them to ride a bike without training wheels once and for all.

Related Article: 5 Money Lessons You Need to Know By 30

Realize that what your children want most of all is your time, not your stuff, and you’ll find money in your pocket and joy in your heart.

11. Negotiate rates with your credit card company or complete a balance transfer.

If you’re paying a lot of interest on your credit cards, it’s important to know that you do have some power as long as you’ve been making your payments. Not only do you have the right to negotiate your current interest rate with your credit card issuer, but you have the right to transfer your balance to an entirely different card as well. (In fact, that is perhaps your biggest bargaining chip.)

Start by calling your card issuer at the number on the back of your card and explaining your request. If you don’t make any progress with them, check out these balance transfer credit cards to find one with an introductory 0% APR that could help you save hundreds of dollars in interest over time.

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5 Reader Comments

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  1. 10154467701803327@facebook.com' Caro Jonette Smit says:

    No matter what I have always put away ten percent of what I earned before spending a cent, luckily it rubbed off on my kids too.

  2. 963985600335863@facebook.com' Lynn Williams says:

    This helps lots gave me perspective on certain things.

  3. 1462752194034490@facebook.com' Mike Thefridge says:

    Nikki Herner

  4. 10153955786891015@facebook.com' Kate Jacka says:

    Jarrod Power

  5. 10207440134784189@facebook.com' Shannon McCall Pendergrass says:

    Useless information.
    NONE of these things result in more money at the end of the month. Or I would be rich as hell

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