Saving money never seems easy when you are not doing it.
Knowing a few simple tricks on how to start saving money will make your life just that bit easier.
We don’t save nearly enough money according to many different studies.
58% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings and 15% of British people have no savings at all!
So it’s easy to see why we could do with a few tips on how to start saving money.
In the ideal world, everyone would have a juicy emergency fund with 3-6 months of living expenses saved.
As well as retirement accounts, vacation savings accounts and sinking funds for the expected but irregular bills.
Starting Afresh Today
If that seems like a whole heap of saving that right now you are not doing then let’s break it down a bit further.
Don’t get put off by the thought that you aren’t where you need or want to be.
Be encouraged by the fact that you are now thinking about saving money.
It’s more than a lot of people are doing right now.
Saving money is HARD when you haven’t done it in a long time.
It takes effort, practice and for you to make some changes to the way you spend.
Knowing a few tricks to save money can really help you get started.
For me, as someone who has never earned a large salary, I struggled for many years to save any money at all.
Knowing the simple tricks for how to start saving money, just a small amount, is what helped me go from being permanently broke to being mortgage free 10 years early.
As the saying goes “it’s the small things that count”.
Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)
How To Start Saving Money
It can seem like an impossible feat to go from never saving money to actually doing it, month after month.
The simple truth is if you are wanting to know how to start saving money it’s that you need to be accountable to yourself.
It can be as little as $1, the amount is not important, it’s the money saving habit you are trying to build that is.
You are the only person that can save your money, no-one else is going to do it for you.
So if you are sat here saying you want to save money then please, do yourself a huge favor, and work out what you are going to do and why you want to.
Because knowing why you want (or need) to save money is half the battle.
When you get tempted to spend a bit more than you should, you can remind yourself why you shouldn’t spend right now.
Developing The Savings Habit
The second thing you should understand that saving money is all about developing a new habit.
And habits take a little time to bed in and become exactly that, a habit.
Initially it might seem strange to not spend all your money or to deliberately not buy something because you want to make savings.
But when you start saving money on a regular basis it becomes easier.
The more automated your savings habit is, the easier it is to keep it going.
If you can, automate some savings to go into a separate account as soon as you are paid.
Use these tricks to save money to increase how much you can save.
Every extra $1 you save is money in your pocket.
How To Save Money – 7 Tricks You Need To Know
1. Round Up Your Money
Cents and pennies add up, even though they are very small amounts of money in their own right and you wouldn’t get very far with just a few of them.
But rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar or pound and saving the change can add up over the course of just one month.
Think about it, how many purchases do you make that end in .99, or .97?
You won’t miss that tiny amount of change on each transaction.
If you do a hundred transactions a month (very easily done!) then that’s a minimum of $1 saved.
Even better, many accounts actually have this feature so they will automatically transfer your change into a separate account.
There are also apps that have this feature. Here in the UK, Monzo, Starling and Revolut offer a save the change feature.
Most people who use a save the change app or bank feature save upwards of $10 or more.
Over 12 months that’s $120.
You may also like:
2. Use A Meal Planning Service
This might seem strange to you but if you don’t have your grocery shopping down to a fine art then you will save money using a meal plan service like Eat AT Home Cooks.
To make your life easier, it can make sense to actually spend $7 a month for Eat At Home Cooks to organize your entire monthly menu of meals for you.
And of course it’s not just a basic meal plan, they offer 4 different meal plans to choose from (and you get 21 meals a week).
Plus the recipe instructions and the shopping list of ingredients you need.
Using Eat At Home Cooks allows you to try new recipes and know that you won’t have to resort to takeout or an extra trip to the grocery store.
With much less temptation to move away from meals that you regularly make and possibly get bored with.
More help and advice on meal planning:
3. Get Comfortable With Half
Many products come with instructions on how to use and how much to use.
Manufacturers want your business so not only do they want you to buy their product they want you to do so on a regular basis.
So they have a vested interest in you using a decent amount of their product each time.
Don’t take the manufacturers word for the portion or dosage size, test it out for yourself.
I have found that I can usually use half the recommended amount for many products.
Things like shampoo, washing up liquid, curry paste, washing powder all lend themselves to using less.
If you use half the product, it lasts twice as long so you buy it less often.
Such a simple trick to save money, right?
You may also like:
4. Save Coupon Money
Coupons are a great way to save money.
But to really appreciate the savings you have made, it helps to see how those coupons stack up.
The trick here is to save the money you would have spent if you did not have that coupon.
For example, if your coupon is for $1.50 then put $1.50 into savings.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a grocery coupon or a 10% coupon from your favorite store.
Save up the equivalent amount that those coupons are saving you.
You’ll appreciate your coupons all the more when you can see that money mount up.
You may also like: 9 Tiny Frugal Ideas To Save Money Every Day
5. Review Your Trolley
I am sure you know the best way to save money on groceries is to meal plan and create a shopping list that you stick to.
Being realistic though, how many times have you walked out of the store with only the exact items on your list?
I’ve been frugal for a long time but I still end up with an item or 3 that wasn’t on the list.
Confession – it’s usually snacks because I always make my list as healthy as possible then reality sets in when I’m in the store!
The trick to saving money here is to review your trolley before you reach the checkout.
It’s easier to do this at the end than to stop yourself from putting things in as you go along.
Check your trolley items against your list and see what you can put back.
I usually find I can save $3-5 each trip this way. That works out at $20 a month.
6. Reward Yourself
If you have kids or are young enough to remember then you’ll know about reward charts and the bribes parents offer their children for ‘being good’.
Re-create the reward system for yourself as a way to encourage yourself to not only save money but to keep at it month after month.
The reward does not need to be expensive or even cost money. It just needs to be something you wouldn’t usually have.
Your reward is something to look forward to, something to keep you focused on achieving your goal to save money.
Whether you have a small reward every month, every quarter or once a year is entirely up to you.
You may also like: How To Embrace The Joy Of Being Frugal
7. Use A Change Jar
Change jars used to be a great way to save a good amount of money quite quickly.
And they can still be but probably not quite as much money as we use plastic for so much of our spending these days.
However, where you do spend some cash, save your coins.
Whether that’s just one denomination or all your silver, your choice.
More Creative Ways To Save Money
Of course there is so much more to learn about how to save money, but the above 7 tricks are easy peasy ways to get started.
Here are a few more creative ways to save money that you might find fit you nicely, they are currently my favorite, more fun ways to save money.
The full list is here: 45 Creative Ways To Save Money (You Need To Know)
Do Your Washing According To Weather
In the UK it can rain a lot so it’s easy to assume that I and many other frugal folk have a dryer to make washing and drying clothes nice and easy.
But I don’t and haven’t used one for over 8 years now.
Instead I check the weather forecast and wash according to the weather.
When I was working this did mean getting up earlier in order to hang the washing outside before leaving for work at 7am.
And yes I do this throughout winter too. Knocking off the frost and ice from my rotary line makes me smile.
Especially when I think about what some of my neighbors might think!
Using a dryer not only increases your energy bill it also wears out your clothes that much quicker.
Why not try it and see?
Shop For Groceries Alone
Even when my girls were young I tried hard not to take them to the grocery store as my stress levels would be through the roof by the time I reached the checkout.
I might not get stressed when Mr2p comes with me but our bank account notices.
You will be super focused on looking at new ways to save money but family and friends might not be so interested in doing so.
Shopping alone allows you time to focus on getting the best deals into your trolley.
You have space to work out the different shelf edge prices and do the math without interruption.
Don’t let others derail your plans, leave them at home.
Use Alternative Solutions For Gift Wrap
Gift wrap if bought when it’s on sale can be pretty cheap. However you could go one better and use other products for gift wrap that cost you nothing.
You can use newspaper, magazine pages, last years used wrapping paper (carefully folded and stored) like I have.
Or you could make present bags for immediate family and reuse these time and again.
How can I save a lot of money fast?
Saving money fast means making bigger changes in your life.
You need to not only create and stick to a budget, it needs to be a really tight budget.
That way you can free up some extra cash.
Adopting some extreme frugal living habits will help you keep to your tight budget.
Be warned though, they are extreme!
And most importantly, rethink what you consider needs and wants. Needs can be as basic as shelter, warmth, food.
Anything else could be deemed a want. That would certainly free up a lot of money for you to save quickly wouldn’t it?
How can I force myself to save money?
I know it can be difficult to start saving money if you’ve always been a spender.
But here’s the thing, only you can force yourself to save money.
You have to take responsibility for your money.
I would start by setting yourself some financial goals and think about what you want to do with your money if you aren’t overspending.
If you get very tempted when out and about then switch to using cash.
Using the cash envelopes system can help you to re-train your spending habits.
Because once the cash is gone it cannot be spent again.
These posts might also help you with tactics on how to help yourself save money:
What is the 30 day rule?
The rule is very simple. If you see something you want then wait 30 days before you buy it.
Put the money it would cost into a savings account for those 30 days.
If you still want it in 30 days then feel free to go buy it. If you no longer want said item, keep the money in your savings account.
But don’t be putting it on your credit card or going into debt please!
How To Start Saving Money Every Month
Saving money is often more about your mindset than it is about having spare cash.
If you focus on learning a few tricks to save money, then save money is what you will do.
It might not be hundreds to start with but starting small is so much better than not starting at all.
Here’s a few practical ideas to help you with your saving mission:
- Start small – even $10 a month is a good start
- Save into a separate account
- Set yourself a savings goal to aim for
- Set up a regular transfer to your savings account as soon as you get paid
When you are looking at how to start saving money the worst thing you can do is to put it off until you think you can afford it.
You don’t need to change everything you do in order to save money, just a few small changes can free up some spare cash.
You can make the changes, you just need to take the first step.
For more help in saving money grab your FREE copy of the Money Saving Mini Bundle today!