Everybody wants to save money, but if you need to do it fast, there are a few quick tricks that will help you manage your budget. To save money fast, you have to pay attention to how much you spend on transportation, groceries, and entertainment, as well as to make other small adjustments in your everyday life. If you want to know how to save money fast, just follow these easy steps.
- Saving Money at Home
Unplug your appliances when you leave the house. This will save you a lot of money, especially if you’re leaving for a long vacation. Unplug a phone charger from the power supply to save energy soon after it finishes charging.
Turn down the heater. If you’re house is cold, get in the habit of wearing more layers. If it’s warm in your home, then open the windows and let in a cool breeze instead of spending money on air conditioning.
Save money on furniture. Instead of spending a ton of money on new furniture, you can save money by going on craigslist and picking up old furniture that’s still in good condition. You can also spend some time at garage sales to check out reasonably priced furniture.
If you have chairs that are starting to wear, reupholster them instead of buying new ones.
If you’re trying to get rid of old furniture that’s still in good condition, don’t just leave it on the curb. Put up on add on craigslist and you’ll quickly find someone who will take it off your hands.
Flush the toilets with bathwater. Just been in the bath? Empty the water into buckets and pour it in the toilet when you need to flush it. This is an extreme move, but it will save you money if you pay for your water use.
Spend more time hanging out at home. You don’t have to go out to fancy bars or restaurants to have a good time. You can save a lot of money if you make a habit of spending more time at home instead of paying for everything out of the house.
The next time your friends ask you to come out to a bar, invite them over to your place for a few drinks instead.
Try to eat at home as often as possible. Make a goal of ordering takeout just once or twice a week if you can. If your friend proposes a dinner date, invite her over for a delicious meal or ask if she wants to cook together instead.
Do you really have to see every new movie the second it comes out? If you have the patience to wait for it to come out on DVD, you can have a cozy movie night at home and save money not only on the tickets, but on snacks.
Skip your $4 morning latte and make a habit of making coffee at home. You can save a lot of money every week just by doing this.
- Saving Money on Transportation
Save money when you drive. Though you would save more money if you didn’t drive at all, driving to work or to an event is sometimes inevitable, so if you do use your car pretty frequently, there are a few adjustments that you can make to save money while you drive.
Carpool. Carpooling to work or to a party with friends is a great way to save money as long as everyone pays his share.
Save money on gas. Check out the gas stations in your area and see which one has the cheapest gas. You may only save 10 or 25 cents a gallon, but that will quickly add up.
If it’s a nice day out, don’t waste money by running your car’s AC. Roll down the windows instead.
Wash your car yourself. Instead of spending a lot of money at a fancy car wash, get a few friends together with some sponges and a bucket of soap and water. You’ll have fun and save money.
Use public transportation whenever you can. Try taking the bus, subway, or train whenever you can if it’s an option. This will save countless dollars and may get you to work or where you need to be faster than driving. Here’s what you can do:
Get to know your local bus schedule. The bus can get you somewhere just as fast as a car, and you’ll save money because you won’t have to pay for parking.
If you take the train, get a monthly pass. If you use it often, this will save you a ton of money.
Try to avoid cabs as much as, you can. If you know you’ll be out drinking and won’t be able to drive, arrange for a responsible DD to get you home in advance.
Save money when you fly. Even if you only fly a few times a year, you can save some serious cash if you’re smart about when and how to book your flight. Here’s what you can do:
Don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight. Your ticket will be much more expensive.
Don’t book your flight too early. If you book a domestic flight over four months in advance, it may actually be more expensive because the airlines haven’t started opening their big deals yet.
If you’re just going on a weekend trip, try to only pack enough for a carry-on bag to avoid the pesky fee for checking your bag.
Walk or bike whenever you can. If you live in a place where everything is relatively close by, walking or biking is a fantastic way to save some serious cash. Not only will you be saving money on the most basic tasks, but you’ll also be getting some exercise as well.
You may be able to bike to places that seem far away. It can take just twenty minutes to bike one or two miles.
Switch up one of your weekly workouts for an hour of walking instead. You can spread this hour out over the course of a week.
- Saving Money on Groceries
Plan before you shop. Making a game plan before you buy groceries will quickly save you tons of money. This will ensure that you only end up buying what you need and don’t fall victim to the impulse buy.
Write down everything you need for the week. The less times you go shopping, the less likely you’ll be to pick up something you don’t really need.
Plan to shop for an hour or less. Try to race the clock when you shop so you don’t spend time wandering around picking up things that look appealing.
Plan to go shopping shortly after you’ve eaten. Everything will look less appealing if you’re shopping on a full stomach. If you shop when you’re hungry, you’ll be more ambitious about what you can eat.
Be a smart shopper. Once you’ve made a game plan, you need to execute it in a savvy way. There are a number of things you can do to continue to save money once you head to the grocery store.
Shop at a reasonably priced store that still has high quality items. Don’t go to the fancy grocery store just because it’s cheaper. The amount of money you spend on overpriced produce at the gourmet store will add up.
Go for the generic brand products. They will taste just as good as the name-brand products and will save you serious cash.
Use coupons. Using coupons you find online, in the mail, or from your local store will save you tons of money. Make sure you only use coupons on the items you need.
Save money by preparing food at home yourself instead of buying prepared items at the store.
If an item you normally buy is on sale, buy as much of it as you can keep.
Buy in bulk. You’ll save money if you buy your paper products or other items in bulk, as long as you can store them.
Be smart in the kitchen. Saving money on groceries is something you can do even after you’ve checked out. You can still save money by paying attention to how you prepare and store your items. Here’s what you can do:
Use everything you have. Make a goal of cooking everything you’ve purchased by the end of the week, and don’t buy more groceries if you still have fresh produce in the fridge.
Store your items smartly. Make sure to put away refrigerated items that you’re done with before you eat and they will last longer. Strawberries will last longer if you store them on a paper towel in open Tupperware containers and dill and other herbs will last longer if you store them in paper bags.
Freeze your bread and toast it when you make a sandwich. This will keep you from having to throw out half a loaf of bread every week.
Make sure to cook items that will expire soon, like pasta that’s been sitting in your cabinet for a while.
- Making Other Small Adjustments
Become a savvy clothes shopper. You can still look great, while budgeting your money the next time you go shopping. Stop shopping at the most expensive stores and watch the money in your bank account rise.
Find an affordable store where you can still find great outfits. Don’t think you’ll only look good if you shop at the fanciest stores.
Wait for items to go on sale. You don’t have to buy that amazing dress the second you see it — come back to the store in a few weeks, and buy it when it’s 50% off.
Some major department stores will give you back the difference on an item you purchased that went on sale, so keep all of your receipts.
Learn to love the thrift store. You can find some funky and exciting clothes at your local thrift store instead of at the local mall.
Save money when you work out. You can save a lot of money if you don’t spend a hundred dollars a month to belong to your local gym or shell out twenty dollars every time you take a yoga class. Here’s how you can save money when you work out:
Run outside. If the weather allows for it, running is the one of the best workouts you can do and it’s absolutely free.
If you’re taking yoga or dance classes, buy a monthly pass to save money, go to donation-based classes where you can pay only what you can afford, or use a Library book and create your own yoga routine.
Buy online videos or DVDs that will give you a great workout from the comfort of your own home.
Work out at home. You don’t need a home gym to do push-ups, sit-ups, and serious abdominal exercises. Invest in some weights and do a full-body workout right at home.
Spend wisely when you go out for food or drinks. You don’t have to spend all of your social time at home to save money. There will be times when you do go out to have some fun with friends, and you can still be smart and save money no matter what.
If you’re going out to eat, eat a little something at home first so you aren’t so hungry that you order everything on the menu.
If you’re eating dinner with a bigger group, see if you can get a separate check. This will be a small pain, but it will save you the hassle of figuring how much you owe to a big group and inevitably overpaying.
If you’re hitting up the bars with a group of friends and you’re not the one driving, have a drink or two at home first so you don’t end up spending so much money at the bar.
If a friend asks you out for drinks, pick a place with a happy hour so you can save some, money.