Easy Money Saving Tips
That Actually Work
Saving for a down payment on a house or that dream vacation to Europe? Follow these easy money-saving tips to put serious money back in your pocket every month.
Easy Money Saving Tips
That Actually Work
Saving for a down payment on a house or that dream vacation to Europe?
Follow these easy money-saving tips to put serious money back in your pocket every month.
Tip #1 – Shop Smart With Free Tools
My secret weapon for smart online shopping is the Capital One Shopping tool. It’s my own personal bargain shopper. You do NOT need to have a Capital One credit card to use this amazing free tool. Just install it and shop. The Capital One Shopping tool scours the internet, searching for the best deals for you. It will let you know if it finds a better deal. Did I mention it’s free? That’s extra cash for your savings account!
Tip #2 – Save Hundreds By Refinancing
Refinancing is by far my favorite method of saving money and it is simple. Refinancing can lower your monthly payments. Put that extra savings into your bank account. I use an auto-draft so I don’t forget. The best part is you don’t have to change a thing about your current spending habits. Just sit back and enjoy watching your savings grow!
Want to know how much you can save on a student loan refinance? Take the free quiz to find out!
Wondering if mortgage refinance is right for you? Answer a few short questions and find out!
Do you think you are ready to refinance your auto loan? Here's a free calculator to show you how much you can save!
Tip #3 – Know Your Credit Score
If you are saving money for a car, house, or anything that requires a line of credit, monitoring your credit health is a must. Even if you aren’t saving for a big purchase, having a clear picture of your credit is good financial practice. A high credit score will save you money by opening the door to amazing deals on credit cards and lower interest rates on loans. There are many subscription services out there that will try to lure you in with a free credit check, then stick you with a monthly bill for monitoring. Don’t fall for it! Credit Karma is a great free tool that monitors your credit for you. And don’t worry, checking your credit through Credit Karma does not impact your scores in any way, so feel free to check on your credit score as often as you like!
Tip #4 – Forget Budgets, Track Your Spending
For me, budgets are almost impossible to follow. I do a great job planning for recurring bills, but fail miserable attempting to plan for surprise bills like flat tires, doctor visits, birthday gifts, and unplanned travel expenses. What works for me is losing the strict budget that plans out every little expense and I instead focus on my spending. Tracking my spending throughout the month allows me to make educated spending decisions.
Track Spending with PocketGuard
PocketGuard links with all of your credit cards and bank accounts to bring all your spending together into one place. It takes the guesswork out of tracking where your money is going each month. It automatically groups your purchases into categories so you get a perfect picture of where all your money is going, whether it be bills, retail shopping, or restaurants. Pocketguard shows you exactly how much money you have left to spend each month and gives you friendly reminders of upcoming bills. When you know exactly how much you have left to spend each month it’s easy to just hold back few bucks and throw them into savings.
Tip #5 – Make Your Money Work For You
If you’ve followed the previous tips you should have a nice bit of cash flowing into your savings account each month. Smart money-savers know you can’t just bury your extra cash in the backyard in a mason jar. You need to put that money to work! If your parents were anything like mine you know that “savings goes in a savings account.” Savings accounts work for some, but they aren’t for everyone. There are other easy options that can help your money grow faster than a standard savings account.
Investing some or all of that extra savings can really help your nest egg grow. TD Ameritrade is what I personally use for investing my extra savings. Opening an account is free, they have zero-commission trading, and tons of free resources to help you learn about how to invest.
Certificate of Deposit (CD)
Think of a Certificate of Deposit as a savings account that you can’t touch for a certain amount of time. Interest rates are typically better than a regular saving account, but they don’t have the liquidity of a savings account, so you can’t access the money as easily. With a savings account, you can withdraw the money in an emergency. With a CD there are limitations on accessing the money until the agreed-upon time limit has run out. This is a great option if you already have a savings account for emergencies, but want a higher return than what your savings account can offer. Any extra can go into your CD, and you’ll be earning that higher interest, while still having some money accessible for emergencies.
Money Market Account
Money Market Accounts usually have better rates than a savings account and offer more liquidity than a CD. Usually, they come with an ATM card or checks. There are usually limits on the number of times a month you can write a check. Make sure you check with your bank or credit union for all the interest rates and restrictions to see if a money market account is right for you.
Tip #6 – Learn When to Buy
Knowing when to buy can be just as important as what and where to buy.
Tip #7 – Take Advantage of New Customer Deals
When it comes to cell phones, insurance, TV, and internet companies are willing to spend a pretty penny for new customers. Take advantage of this knowledge and be sure you shop around for the company willing to pay the most for your business.
Tip #8 – Meal Plan for the Week
When you go to the supermarket you need to be a hunter, not a gatherer. Plan your meals for the week, write down the ingredients you need on a list and take the list with you to the grocery store. Instead of grabbing whatever shiny box of sugar-loaded junk catches your fancy, you’ll be eating only what you plan for the week. Your wallet and your stomach will thank you!
Tip #9 – Clean Out Your Closet
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Next time you do a little spring cleaning, don’t just throw away your old stuff. Sell it!
Tip #10 – Be Flexible On Vacation Times
If you are willing to exercise patience and flexibility, planning your next vacation around the off-season can save you loads of cash.
How To Save Money
Saving money all comes down to thoughtful spending. This means taking time every once in a while to take a hard look at your spending and see if adjustments need to be made. The free tools I recommend make this much easier, but they are worthless if you don’t download them and take control of your spending. That doesn’t mean deny yourself fun things, it just means being more aware of your spending habits so you know when you need to pull back on your shopping or look for better deals on the things you buy. Especially big-ticket recurring bills like loans.