Skip to Main Content

Money Talk: 38 Ways to Save Money Without Trying (Much)

All credit to the list provided below goes to this PopSugar article.

We're always looking for helpful hints on how to save a dollar here and there. This gem of a list from PopSugar incorporates so many of the tips we've shared in the past and discusses some new ideas, too! Will these save you hundreds of thousands of dollars quick? Probably not. But hundreds, and maybe even thousands over the course of months and years? Definitely. It all adds up!

Tips to Save Money | Image source: / Photographer: lithian

1. Automate
Automating your bank account so part of your paycheck immediately gets dumped into your savings is an easy way to save without really thinking about it. This way, you'll have to live within your means. | You may like our article: Automate Your Payments + Save

2. Lay off the credit cards 
Swiping credit cards may cause you to spend more than you like. If you're not responsible with your money, try to opt to live credit-card-free. Yes, you may be losing out on reward points or cash back, but if you're going into debt because you're not thinking about your purchases, perhaps you need to lay off charging things to credit.

3. Read more
Do you know what Warren Buffett does with most of his time? He reads. OK, maybe you won't become a billionaire, but reading personal finance books or self-improvement books can put you on track to having a healthier relationship with money. Saving money will become second nature to you, which will make it easier to save.

4. Go to the library
Reading more doesn't mean spending more cash on books. Start thinking of your local library as your friend and explore all the freebies they have to offer — it's not just books. You can borrow free DVDs, use their Internet for free, and more.

5. Make your own coffee
Invest in a coffee machine or a french press to easily make coffee instead of going to your local Starbucks on your way to work. Instant coffee is a good idea as well if you don't mind the flavor. | You may like our article: 7 Ways to Recycle Used Coffee Grounds

6. Make exercising part of your lifestyle
Studies have shown that picking up one healthy habit can lead to positive benefits in other parts of your life. If you add working out to your routine, your relationship with money may benefit from it as well.

7. Hang out with frugal friends
Your friends can be a huge influence on you, so choose wisely who you spend the most time with. That's not to say that you should avoid your spendthrift friends like the plague, but be honest when you can't afford to do something instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses.

8. Start a money-making hobby 
You may think that a second income sounds like a lot of work, but hear me out. If you already have a hobby that you spend a lot of time on and enjoy doing, figure out how to make money from it. It can be anything from making homemade laundry soap you can sell on Etsy or writing freelance pieces for a magazine. | You may like our articles: How to Take Up a Hobby on a Budget and How to Supplement Your Income Without Getting a Second Job

9. Get good sleep 
Getting a good night's rest can really affect your impulse control. Make sure you're not caving into or fighting off impulse purchases that can really wreck your savings.

10. Get a Brita filter 
Instead of buying bottles of water, save the environment and money by investing in a Brita filter pitcher ($21).

11. Use vinegar to clean 
Instead of buying cleaning products, use this powerful cleaning agent that you already have in your kitchen — vinegar. Using pantry items to clean is not only cheaper, but less toxic for the home as well. | You may like our article: Vinegar - The Budget-Friendly Miracle Worker

12. Replace your light bulbs 
Upgrading your light bulbs to more efficient ones can save you $50 a year, and all you have to do is just screw them in! | You may like our article: How to Save Money on Your Electric Bill

13. Try fun and free activities 
Having fun doesn't always mean a drain on your wallet. Go for a hike, fly a kite, or grab a well-loved book to reread. Start equating fun with activities that don't cost much, it's very important to make that connection.

14. Cut cable
More and more households are cutting the cord. Read our step-by-step guide to quitting cable cold turkey. It's an option to consider if you're not a big TV fanatic. | You may like our article: Quick Money Tip - Cut the Cable

15. Improve your credit score 
Working on your credit score will save you money in ways you won't expect. For example, you'll get a lower interest rate on your mortgage and credit cards, better rates on insurance, and some companies like your cell phone provider or cable company may waive big deposits for your clean credit record. Here are some tips on raising your score. | You may like our articles: Credit Scores - How They're Calculated + How to Improve Yours and Dear 3Rivers - How Important is My Credit Rating, Really?

16. Take care of your things 
Something that tends to trip up our savings is having to buy new things when the items we own broke or get worn out. You can prevent that by properly taking care of your things and lenghtening their lives. Here are some tips to make groceries last and to preserve your clothes.

17. Reward credit cards
If you're good with your money, taking advantage of reward credit cards would work very well in your favor. Figure out what the biggest things you spend money on and find the best reward cards for that category. | You may be interested in: 3Rivers Credit Options

18. Use free texting apps
Keep in touch with your friends for free with these apps that let you  text and talk for free. It's great when your traveling overseas and don't want to rack up a huge phone bill.

19. Get a crock pot 
You've heard repeated reminders of making your own meals to save money, but who has the time right? Well, if you invest in a crock pot, cooking will seem like a breeze because all you have to do is throw the ingredients in and let it work its magic. | You may like our article: 5 Ways a Crock Pot Saves You Money + Bonus Recipes

20. Don't procrastinate 
If you have problems with procrastinating, you know that bad habit ends up costing you money. You'll have to pay for late fees, penalties for canceled appointments, and more. Nip your procrastinating problem in the bud with these tips.

21. Double-check things 
Being careless can be very costly. For example, you might miss some wrongful charges on receipts or forget your phone in a cab. Always, always double-check everything to make sure it's accurate and to make sure you have everything with you.

22. Get a prepaid phone 
This is not a big secret, but one of the biggest ways to save money on your phone bill is to get a prepaid phone instead of signing up for a contract. Read about how one woman saves over $300 a year on no-contract plans. | You may like our article: How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill

23. Get fake flowers 
Instead of continually buying flowers, get fake flowers that look real to freshen up your home. Gone are the days of super cheesy plastic flowers that look fake — these days there are plenty that look real. Or you can even go a different approach and get flowers made out of cool materials like coffee filters and book pages. | You may like our article: Over 100 Crafty Ways to Recycle Old Books

24. Stay with friends and family when traveling 
It's no hardship to spend time with friends and family, so kill two birds with one stone by crashing with them on your trips. Better yet, they'll be able to share their local knowledge with you when you explore their cities. | You may be interested in: Travel Week on the 3Rivers Blog

25. Swap clothes with friends 
I'm sure you have items in your closet that are collecting dust that you just can't bear to sell or donate. What about outfitting your BFF with them? Swap clothes and accessories you don't use with your pals and see some of your favorite pieces on him or her! While you're at it, perhaps throw a clothing swap party!

26. Shop at the outlets or factory stores 
I have a friend whose motto is to never buy things at full price — that can be yours, too. Wait for sales, which usually come during national holidays, and shop at outlet and factory stores. | You may like our article: Top Tips for Thrift Shopping

27. Get a water-flow regulator for your shower
Install a water-flow regulator in your showerhead to save money and the environment. You can purchase them from around $10 to $20 and save up to 60 percent on your water bill.

28. Moderate your temperature 
Everything in moderation, right? That goes for your temperature too if you want to up your savings. Invest in a thermostat to regulate your heating bills. Perhaps even a smart thermostat might be worth the high initial investment as well.

29. Ask for a raise 
Time to put on your adult pants and ask for the raise you deserve. It can be nervewrecking, but it'll pay off in more ways than you think. Not only will you have more money in your savings account, but you'll gain confidence and some smart negotiation skills.

30. Put your tax refund, birthday presents, or bonuses straight to your savings account 
Funnel any windfall you get straight to your savings account. You won't even notice the loss, but you'll definitely see the gain in your savings! | You may like our article: 5 Ways You Should Be Using Your Work Bonus

31. Cancel subscriptions you don't need anymore 
Subscriptions that you were too lazy to cancel can be sucking up your savings. A simple phone call or online request can put a stop to them immediately, and you won't have to deal with them anymore. | You may like our article: Quick Money Tip - Cut Subscriptions

32. Get your hair done at a beauty school
Haircuts can get expensive, so take a chance at your local beauty school. You'll be able to get deeply discounted haircuts (or maybe even free!) in exchange for hairdresser newbie to practice her snipping skills. Do your research online to see which one of the beauty schools in your area has the best reputation for haircuts.

33. Unsubscribe to daily deals 
Kick your daily deal habit to the curb and buy the ones you really need. Not only are the everyday prompts clogging up your inbox, but you may also be tempted to buy things you don't need. Unsubscribe from their mailing lists, and shop for the daily deals when you need them. Search the site Yipit, which aggregates all the daily deals out there to find the deals you actually need.

34. Make a big batch of food whenever you cook 
Maybe you're not into cooking every day, but if you cook once in a while, be sure to make a huge batch of food so you can keep on eating the leftovers. Freeze whatever you have leftover or pack it for lunch. | You may like our articles: Make-Ahead Freezer Meals and Meal-Planning to Save Money

35. Get friends to pet sit or house sit 
Pet and house sitters can be quite pricey, so try to get a pal to do it for you instead. Many people are more than happy to have the company of a pet or stay in a location they may find more convenient or comfortable than their own.

36. Babysit for each other
Swap babysitting services with fellow moms and dads. You'll get a night off without paying a dime in the hands of a parent you trust. Win-win all around.

37. Only drink at happy hour
Make it a point to take advantage of happy hour prices and limit your alcohol consumption to those times. You're not totally cutting it out of your diet and you'll still be able to indulge!

38. Automatically increase your 401k contribution each year
Opt to have your 401k contributions increase automatically so you don't even have to think about it. You may have to request the auto-increase but there are many plans that already have you enrolled. | You may like our article: Dear 3Rivers - I Quit My Job, What Happens to My 401k? and 3Rivers Investments & Trusts

Return to the top of the page