Saving money doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring, there are plenty of creative ways to save money that are fun, challenging or just slightly weird.
When you’re in it for the long haul, saving money can get a bit same old, same old, with everyone telling that you should:
- Save 10% of your earnings
- Create a budget
- Automate your savings
- Make your own coffee
- Cut cable TV
- Change your cell phone plan
- Clip coupons
All good solid advice to help you save money, but meh, a little boring if you’ve been doing all of them for a long time already. This is where finding unique ways to save money can help.
Saving money is saving money, but finding more interesting, fun ways to achieve your savings goals will help you to achieve them faster without being bored out of your mind!
Being inventive and having fun saving money also cuts the risk of boredom making you give up on your savings goals and start spending money.
Why you need to get creative in how you save money
Boredom makes us do things to liven our lives up a bit. Get bored with how you save money and you run the risk of spending more and using your credit card just to add a little interest into your finances.
There’s nothing like a large credit card debt to make you sit up and notice what is going on with your money.
But it’s a much better idea to not overspend and instead enjoy the process of saving money every month.
Savings trackers can help, anything visual makes an impact on how we see our progress.
If you are wanting to start a 52 week money challenge then head over to that post as there are 10 printable trackers you can download as a visual reminder of your progress.
Finding different and unique ways to save money helps you to squeeze extra money out of your budget. Of course you do need to create a budget first!
The more crazy ways to save money you do, the more likely you are to not only achieve your savings goals but smash right through them and save more money.
Related post: How To Save 10K in A Year, And Some!
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45 Creative and fun Ways To Save Money
When I followed all the usual advice on clever ways to save money it paid dividends and I managed to save money every month.
But it wasn’t enough.
I have tried every one of these creative money saving ideas, indeed I still do most of them. Because I find most of them fun and they’re more of habit now.
Each of these creative ways to save money will save you some money. Maybe only a few dollars but small savings add up into large savings.
Switching off lights when you leave the room will realistically save you only a tiny amount each day. But over a whole year you might save $10.
Using your local library might save you spending $50 on books over a whole year. But that is still $50 you could realistically save and budget for something else.
Multiply $10 by every one of the more realistic ways to save money and you are looking at hundreds saved every year and most likely thousands.
It is more about the little things you do to save money, not the big things.
clever ways to save money on your utility bills
Unless you are living off-grid (kudos if you are!) then you will have energy and water bills that can add a few hundred every month to your budget if you are not careful.
I can’t help you get your energy savings down to zero but these more creative ways to save some money on these bills will certainly help.
1. Take a cold and short shower
Save water and be more energy efficient when you take a cold shower. I do this daily even when there is snow on the ground. It’s an extremely energetic way to start your day, honest!
This might be on the more extreme side of money saving but it’s creative and different even if slightly too much for many people!
2. Layer up
Instead of turning up the heat put another layer on. There’s nothing wrong with wearing 3 layers inside your house if you are looking to save money. Heck, there’s nowt wrong with wearing a hat and mittens if you so choose!
3. Take a water bottle to bed
Keep your bedroom heating down low or off and stay warm through extra blankets and a water bottle. We have 2 duvets on our bed in the winter, a total of 20 tog! You might think this is a silly or funny way to save money but it works and I’m saving money.
4. Wash according to the weather
Hanging your clothes outside is one of my favorite things to do and it’s free! Unlike using your dryer which can eat so much money and electricity. Check the weather forecast (or look out of the window) and wash when it looks fine or windy.
5. Cut phantom power
Phantom power is where a small trickle of electricity still runs to items like phone chargers and devices on stand by.
Using a power strip will also protect you from power surges so well worth spending a small amount of money. This is the power strip we have.
6. Increase your light bulb life
Energy efficient light bulbs use far less electricity and last far long than traditional light bulbs. These are the energy efficient bulbs we prefer and are saving us money in the long run.
7. Wash clothes on a cold wash
There is no need to be washing everything at 60, most detergents and clothes are now designed to be washed at 40 or even 30.
Many machines have a short wash that is also energy saving that you can use for lightly soiled clothes. My new machine has a 20 minute option as well as the normal 3 hour wash.
Guess which program is my go to?!
8. Winterproof your home
Follow all the tips in my post about how to keep your house warm in winter to save a ton on your heating costs.
cool ways to Save Money On A Tight Budget
1. Turn it into a game
When you want to save money there’s nothing like a game to keep you motivated. Find the fun in not spending money and each different way to save money that you try, and you’ll want to continue them and take them to the next level.
2. Challenge yourself to start saving money
We all work better when we have targets to achieve. So set yourself a target to save a certain amount of money every month. Alternatively find fun things that you want to save up for and make them your target.
Track your progress by updating your totals so far and keeping them somewhere visible like on your fridge or family noticeboard.
3. Save into a hard to access savings account
So you are not tempted during a weak moment to spend money by dipping into your savings. Save with another bank or in a savings account that has limited access, with no debit card.
4. Grow your own food
For one packet of seeds you can have a bumper crop of home grown tomatoes. Multiply that across other vegetables and you can save a lot of money along with a creative way to do so.
Nothing more creative that creating the very food that ends up on your plate is there?
Related post: 21 benefits of having an allotment and growing your own
5. Shop alone
You might be super focused on finding new and creative ways to save money but family and friends might not be so driven. Don’t let others derail your plans, do your grocery shopping on your own.
6. Do the sniff test!
The sniff test is about checking if your clothing is actually dirty or you are just presuming it is because you’ve worn something once or twice.
If it looks clean and passes the sniff test then don’t wash it, wear it again until it fails the test.
7. Barter your services
Bartering with others is a great way to save money on a tight budget because no cash need change hands. You provide them with something they need and in return you get something you need.
8. Save reward points
For a free Christmas. It’s very easy to use reward points you gain over the year as you earn them.
But if you save them up until December then you can use them for a free or very low cost Christmas instead. This is such an easy way to save money without even trying.
Think free groceries, free gifts, free fun, all free courtesy of your credit cards!
9. DIY your gifts
Not only will you save money, you’ll be gifting someone something very special. When your monthly budget is tight, focus on recycled gift ideas to really bring down the cost and how much you need to spend.
10. Drive hypermiling style
And reduce your fuel consumption. It’s a very different way of driving and takes getting used to but other hypermilers say you could save up to 60% of your fuel costs.
11. Save a certain bill or coin
This is a fun way to save start saving cash. Some people choose a low denomination bill/note while others save all their change.
For me, I’ve found it fun to save every £2 coin in the past. The only frustrating thing with saving a specific coin or note is that you can go a few weeks without getting that particular coin in your change.
Especially if you are not spending much money (especially cash) in the first place!
12. Work out how many hours you must work to pay for something
This idea comes from Your Money Or Your Life, one of my all time favorite books.
When you know how much you really earn (after tax, deductions and work related costs) then buying something that means you must work for 5 hours to pay for it takes on a whole different level of thought. It certainly makes you think twice about spending your cash.
For more help in starting to save money download your FREE money saving mini bundle
Creative Ways To Save Money On Personal Care
1. Look after yourself
Being healthy will save you money, through lower medical bills, less time off work and fewer prescriptions to pay for.
Ensure you get enough sleep, wash your hands to keep the bugs away, eat a healthy diet. Don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation and get regular exercise.
2. Cut your own hair
Use YouTube tutorials to get the hang of it or ask your partner/a friend to do it for you. I’ve been cutting my own hair for a very long time. All I use are these specialist hairdresser scissors.
And Mr2p has done his own hair for just as long as me. He uses these clippers and they’re still going strong after 10 years!
We have saved a lot of money cutting our own hair, if you want to save hundreds every year, why not do the same?
3. Don’t buy dry clean only clothes
Specialist cleaning costs money you don’t need to spend. You end up spending twice as much on a single item due to the cost of cleaning.
4. Use soap bars
Instead of body wash use soap bars, not only do you save money, you are using less plastic.
You can get through a (plastic) bottle of body wash way more quickly than one soap bar and the soap is much cheaper. And of course you don’t need to spend money on name brand soap bars, buy generic to save more money.
5. Cut alcohol down or out
It might be your weeknight treat but with all the government taxes loaded onto alcohol the cost racks up pretty quickly.
Here in the UK a cheap bottle of wine is £5 ($6.50) and a decent one more like £8 ($10). Most of which is government taxes.
If the idea of becoming teetotal doesn’t appeal then you could still save a lot of money every week if you cut down how much alcohol is in your monthly budget.
6. Drink water
Not only is it good for your health, it’s a handy, creative way to save money. We use a refillable water bottle like this one which saves us ever having to buy bottled water when we are out and about.
Did you know, it apparently takes 7 bottles of water to create one plastic bottle? This is a great reason to not buy bottled water, never mind the extra cash you save by not doing so.
7. Repair your own clothes
This will make them last that much longer. A button missing or a broken zip is no reason to thrown an item away.
You can learn how to do these tasks from a local sewing class or find a tutorial on YouTube.
8. Stop buying clothes
Wear the ones you already have instead. I bet if you challenged yourself you could go without buying clothes for at least 6 months or more.
Especially if you follow the tip above and do your own repairs. Imagine not having to budget for clothes every month, how much cash could you save in 6 months?
Innovative ways to save Money At Home
1. Use alternative solutions to wrap presents
Use newspaper, magazine pages, last years used wrapping paper (carefully folded and stored). Or you could make present bags for immediate family and reuse these time and again.
2. Make one trip
Instead of many and reduce both fuel costs and wear and tear on your vehicle. Combining your journeys will also likely save you time.
3. Make your own furniture from recycled goods
Furniture is extremely expensive to buy, especially items that you want to stand the test of time. Making your own allows you to have the right measurements for your home and at a fraction of the new price.
If you don’t have skills or the will them you can still save a ton of money if you buy second hand furniture from thrift stores, garage sales or online.
4. Review your grocery trolley
Before you go through the checkout, review what you’ve put in your trolley. Unless you are a bit of a machine, impulse purchases are going to find their way into your trolley and increase your spending.
Check your trolley contents against your shopping list and remove those impulse purchases.
Related post: My 5 Minute Grocery Store Hack That Will Save You Money
5. Set yourself a pantry challenge
And use up everything you have stored. You could extend this to include your fridge and freezer.
The aim of a pantry challenge is to use everything up (you have already spent money on these items after all) and have zero waste.
Create a meal plan based on the food that you already have and see how long you can last without spending money.
Related post: Why You Should Eat Your Pantry Stockpile
6. Pay for grocery delivery service
(Or pick up). Yes really! I’m encouraging you to spend money as a sneaky thing to do to save money!
The money you spend on this service will be more than saved by the impulse purchases and treats that don’t go into your online basket every month.
7. Shop after the holidays
For the next one. There are certain things I always buy after Christmas ready for the following festive period. And you can save 50% or more when you do this.
8. Re-use your grey water
Re-use your grey water to reduce your water costs and help the environment.
9. Pay annual insurances in full
And you negate the monthly interest that is added on to monthly payments.
10. Ditch paper towels
Opt for reusable cloths instead. I have ones like these (love the bright colors!) but you can also buy them super cheap from your local grocery store.
11. Buy generic
And dump the premium you have to pay for name brand goods. Even better if you shop around and buy value brands, you can save over 300% on many grocery products this way.
12. Buy seasonal
And eat seasonal. Seasonal produce is always cheaper than those that are flown half way round the world or forced to ripeness in large glasshouses.
And the taste makes all the difference. Here in the UK, June is strawberry season but you can buy them year round. Out of season strawberries have very little taste and you pay more for that lack of taste.
13. Cut out the fizz
Stop buying flavored soda and fizzy water and replace with a free glass of water from your home. More money saved and less plastic used.
14. Eat frozen vegetables
Frozen vegetables are flash frozen within a few hours of being picked so can often have more nutrients in them than fresh produce that has been hanging around for days or even weeks.
15. Go vegetarian for a night or two
Meals made with meat are usually more expensive than vegetarian meals so drop the meat for a night or two and challenge yourself to create a yummy veggie meal.
16. Make your own homemade cleaning products
Make the exact cleaning supplies you need and no more and gain back all that space in your cleaning cupboard, never mind the money you will save.
If making your own cleaning supplies sounds scary then do what I did for many years and use a concentrated cleaner. You save money and only need an empty spray bottle to make up your diluted solution.
I recommend a concentrated cleaner like this one.
17. Buy only grocery clearance items
And build your meals around them. This could be straightforward or one of your more challenging ways to save money, depending on what clearance items are available.
101 Creative Ways To Save Money
There’s many ways to save money, more than the classic 101, but these ones are more on the side of creative money saving tricks rather than boring mainstream ideas.
To continually save money you need to find how to make saving money fun, with cute ways to save money that float your boat, that you are happy and willing to do time and again.
I think I’ve got you covered on the creative side but how about these posts for more inspiration:
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Last Updated on 16th November 2021 by Emma