We all know that saving money takes time and effort. Having a plan and setting a big goal helps you stay motivated, but there are many ways you can save every day. You don’t have to make a grand plan to start making strides with your finances. Creative ways to save money right now turn simple things into significant savings over time.
Instead of waiting to implement big changes, taking these steps will help you keep a little extra in your bank account today.
Creative ways to save money right now:
1) Cancel a streaming service
According to Forbes, the average American watches 3.4 streaming services. I’d be willing to bet that with so many people staying home much more than usual, many of us are signed up for multiple streaming service subscriptions.
That means that many of us are paying for 3 or more subscriptions each month!
However, with so many options, it’s easy to get sucked into one show and not even click into your other subscriptions for days or weeks at a time. It might not seem like much, but those monthly streaming subscription fees add up.
Finish up your current binge and then cancel just one of your subscriptions right now for the next month to save on the fee.
2) Set 1 easy money goal
A great way to get overwhelmed with saving money is setting too many goals, many of them unrealistic, all at once. Meeting your money goals can take a lot of time!
Having big goals is great, but it takes a lot of work and effort to achieve them. Starting off with something small and simple gives you a quick-win that can provide a boost of confidence.
Start small and set just 1 money goal right now. Make it something simple that you can actually achieve. It could be something like:
- Save $100 to start an emergency fund
- Reduce grocery budget by $25
- Set aside $50 a month for a Christmas budget
- Find a lower car insurance rate by shopping around
Having just 1 achievable money goal gives you something to focus on and strive for, and you’ll see results much sooner than if you shoot for the moon.
3) Search for a coupon code before you buy
Many of us have made a major shift in how we shop these days, increasingly turning to online shopping for everything from groceries to gifts to household essentials. Amazon alone has had record sales of nearly $89 billion in 2020, with several more months to go. Before you place your next order, don’t forget to look for discount codes and offers to apply to your purchase.
It only takes a few seconds to do a search for a coupon code before you buy something online. This is especially important if you’re shopping from a retailer that you haven’t used before.
With so many companies competing for our business today, many offer special discounts for new customers, free shipping, etc. Don’t forget to take this quick and easy step the next time that you’re about to click Buy in your shopping cart!
Want more money-saving ideas? Check out our epic list of 101 Easy Frugal Tips
4) Sign up for a library card
If you aren’t using your local library, you’re missing out on more than just savings. Libraries are incredible resources and can provide you with so much more than just books.
Google your local library system today and sign up for a card. Browse their catalog of items, which today likely includes ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs and Blu-rays, and good old fashioned books.
Libraries also often offer a wealth of helpful services and programs that are entirely free. They may offer informational sessions, book clubs, and even passes to local museums, parks, and more.
5) List an unused item for sale on Facebook Marketplace
If you’re at home, look around the room in your in right now. Chances are, there’s something sitting around that you’ve been meaning to get rid of.
Instead of packing up items for donation or planning a yard sale, snap a picture of the item and upload it to Facebook marketplace. It’s an easy way to offload an unused or unwanted item and make a little money back, too.
Not on Facebook? Try an app like Letgo, Nextdoor, or Poshmark.
6) Try generic versions of your favorite brand products
Are you loyal to a specific brand of something, or do you just automatically buy a brand out of habit? We all have our preferences and favorites, and we often pay for them, too.
However, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that a store brand is both cheaper and just as good, if not better, than your favorite brand! The next time you go grocery shopping, swap out the branded item for the generic version and give it a chance.
Now let’s be real, not every generic product is going to meet your expectations, and that’s okay! But if it can save you money, it’s important to give it a try and see if it works.
With the price of groceries and essentials going up, anywhere that you can find savings in your food budget can make a difference. Generics can be noticeably cheaper than name-brand, and those savings can really add up!
7) Make a grocery store staples list
Grab a pen and paper right now or open up an excel spreadsheet and create a list of grocery staples that you always buy. Print it out and then add on any items you need for upcoming meals.
Think about those items that you grab week after week, like a gallon of milk, butter, your kid’s favorite breakfast cereal, etc. Instead of having to add those items to your list every week, you can create a list that automatically has those items listed.
Don’t need to buy more butter on your next trip? Simply cross it off. The benefit of having a set list to build off of is that you’ll save time when planning before shopping. You can just add on the extras that you need for the week.
If carrying a paper list isn’t your thing, tap it out in your phone’s memo and keep it handy when you shop. Having a master list of staples and products that you always buy week after week makes it easy to shop.
With that list in hand (or in your phone) you’ve already got most of what you need ready to be checked off. This also helps you cut down on frivolous purchases and impulse buys once you’re in the supermarket.
8) Refinance a loan
Do you have a mortgage or a car loan with a high-interest rate? Now is an excellent time to look into refinancing.
Check to see if you qualify for a lower interest rate on any loans you may have. We recently refinanced a car loan and are set to save hundreds in interest payments over the next few years! Just a little effort comes with a big payoff.
It takes a bit of work but can be well worth it if your credit is good and you can get a better rate than what you’re currently paying. So start shopping around for a lower rate from a reputable financial institution today.
9) Try a cheap and easy recipe
Do you find yourself making the same meals day after day, week after week? If you’re stuck in a rut, try something new that’s also cheap and easy. One of the best creative ways to save money in the kitchen is by refreshing your meal plan with quick dinners that taste great.
Using a slow cooker saves you both time and money, and it can be a game-changer if you’re bored with making the same old meals. Find an easy and interesting slow cooker recipe to try out for dinner tonight.
10) Do a DIY repair
One of the most creative ways to save money at home is by tackling projects on your own. Not everything is a DIY if you don’t have tools and skills, but so many things can be with just a little time and effort.
If there’s something that you’ve needed to fix around the house, whether it’s a leaky faucet or shirt with a button missing, try to DIY it first. Instead of replacing an item or hiring a professional, you could make a quick fix all on your own and save more money.
YouTube is a wealth of information and you’ll be amazed at how easy some things are to do on your own after watching a video.
Of course, there are plenty of things that you shouldn’t attempt to do on your own, like say, changing the breaks on your car if you’re a complete novice. However, simple repairs can usually be done easily, and you might even impress yourself while saving money!
11) Make a handmade gift
Birthday or holiday coming up? Don’t stress out trying to shop for the perfect present and end up buying something overpriced and impersonal. Plan ahead and put some thought and creativity into the next gift you give.
There are plenty of handmade DIY gifts that come from the heart and will definitely surprise the receiver. One of the most literal creative ways to save money is by putting effort and thought into something special to gift a friend or loved one.
You may think that a handmade gift comes across as cheap, but if you put thought and heart into it, it can be a million times more meaningful than anything you can buy at a store. Think about the person you’re making the gift for and what they would truly love.
Saving money is something we can do every day with just a little effort. These creative ways to save money will help you achieve goals and keep more cash in your bank account.