I recently took an informal poll of some people who love saving money and asked them to tell me their favorite ways to save. It was interesting to hear what they all said. Some people focused on some big all-encompassing ways to save, while others focused on saving in one particular way. Regardless, it was fun to see what other people do to cut their costs and save money. Maybe you’ll be inspired too!
1. Cut coupons like it’s my job.
I know some extreme couponers who rarely pay more than 10-15% of retail price on the groceries, toiletries, and household items that they buy. I’ve never been able to get that serious with my couponing. But, if you can manage it, you can really save quite a bit of money this way.
2. Cut out cable and home phone.
This is a common one. I have not had a home phone in years. I’ve cut cable a couple of times, but currently I do have it. You can read my cable cutting saga here. The bottom line though, is if you sign up for a bunch of alternative services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc., plus internet, you aren’t going to save as much as you think by cutting cable. However, there is savings to be had if it’s worth it to you.
3. Had a strict budget and watched it like a hawk.
Obviously, right? I know many people don’t keep a strict budget. But budgeting with YNAB has helped me so much. My finances turned around big time once I started paying close attention to what I was spending.
4. Stopped upgrading my phone every two years.
This is not something I’ve been able to stop doing, sadly. I love my iPhone and I love technology. But, I’m coming up on my 2 year mark now and am trying to convince myself to wait a bit. We’ll see.
5. Brought my lunch to work.
I always did this. Going out to eat for lunch was something I only did maybe once a month at most. It is just way too expensive to go to restaurants all the time. Plus, bringing food from home means saving calories as well.
6. Sold the family’s second car and used public transportation more.
This is great if you have the option. In some areas, especially rural areas and small towns, public transportation is not available or not at all convenient.
7. Got a roommate.
This was easy to do when I was younger, before I was a parent. I spent all of my early 20’s with roommates. I would have done it longer than that but my roommates got married and I decided it was time for me to move one. It sure helped me save money though.
8. Shopped insurance companies every year to find the better deals.
I’ll admit I don’t do this enough. I did finally make some calls last year and saved some money by switching. But it had been at least 5 or 6 years since the last time I checked. Oops.
9. Moved closer to work.
This has always been difficult for me, especially with a child. I have always had long commutes because I’ve needed to live in certain areas due to childcare arrangements or school districts. I did buy a hybrid car to help reduce the gas expense though.
10. Walked everywhere I possibly could.
If you live close to things and have good sidewalks or walking trails, this is great. Good exercise too!
11. Consolidated credit card debt.
I am torn on this one because I think you just need to eliminate credit card debt. But if you find yourself with some high interest credit card bills and can find a way to consolidate them into something lower so that you can pay them off faster, then I’m all for it.
12. Cut back on after school activities for the kids.
My daughter does one activity each year, so we are good. I think kids need down time and time to do homework and just relax, so even if I could afford a bunch of activities, I wouldn’t let her do them.
13. Go to the library more.
As a former librarian, this is a no-brainer for me! We love the library. Free books, free movies, community activities, etc.
You can see that if you look hard enough, there are almost always ways to cut back somewhere or do a better job managing your money. Even if the savings is very small, those savings add up. It pays to try.
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