Search the Internet for ways to save money and you’ll likely find ideas like drinking coffee at home, taking your lunch to work, etc. Great ideas, but if you’ve already made those changes, you may be searching for something new. Here are 10 not-so-common and, some may say, surprising ways to save money:
- Budget high for all bills/expenses! – Use the highest amount you’ve paid for each bill or expense in the past 12 months. When the bill comes in under budget, save the difference.
- Give yourself an allowance! – Establish a set amount in your budget for your discretionary spending/fun money/entertainment – whatever you want to call it. But that’s it! No more! This ensures that you consistently get some play money – and that any “extra” money goes into your savings account. Even if it’s a dollar or a quarter – it all adds up.
- Raise the rent! Pretend your landlord raised the rent by $50. If they did, you’d find a way to pay it, right? So impose it on yourself, and save the difference. (This will also help prepare you for when you actually do get a rent increase!)
- Save cash back rewards from your credit card! Even better, find one that lets you invest your rewards and save for the future. I LOVE my Fidelity Rewards card, because I can contribute my rewards directly into an IRA or 529 plan!
- If you’re eligible for an HSA, max it out! This is pre-tax money and if you use it for medical purposes, you’ll never be penalized or taxed on it. So, even if you spend every dime of it for medical costs, you’re saving money, because you didn’t pay tax. If you don’t spend it all now, you can save it for future medical expenses – or invest and let it grow. You’ll never pay penalties or taxes on the invested amount or earnings, if it’s used for medical expenses. At age 65, you can use it for any purpose without penalty, just like you would your 401K, just pay the taxes.
- Do a “no spend” challenge! Not only does this save money, but helps you get creative about ways to live below your means, so you can hit financial goals faster! Click here for a great article on how to do a “no spend” challenge.
- Get your kids on board with cutting the electric bill! For example, they get $5 if the bill comes in under a certain amount. This will save money and provide a teachable moment about good spending & saving habits.
- Take the “Back To School Money Challenge” – designed to save you money and engage your kids on intentional spending & saving. If you save money, they earn money!
- Adjust your withholdings! – this will provide more money on each paycheck. Put the additional money from each paycheck in savings. If you don’t touch it, you won’t have to worry if you owe taxes, because it will still be in your savings account – but you’ll earn a little interest in the meantime.
- Make multiple monthly payments toward your debt! Even if you don’t pay a dime more than you did before, increasing the frequency of your payments will cut down on the interest you pay.
In order to do almost all of these successfully, you need a budget, so you know what you can afford to save. Need help getting started? Schedule a free consultation with me and let’s chat!
Have any of these ideas worked for you? What are your favorite ways to save?