Looking for ways to save money fast in the new year? I’ve got you covered fam.
We all could benefit from saving a little more and spending a little less. I know it can feel daunting at times, but with the tips I have for you today, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
If you’re ready to be your best financial self in 2019, here are 36 ways to save money fast:
1. Switch to a better bank account
I know a lot of millennials who are using the same savings account they deposited their first checks in, and while that’s okay, you might be missing out on a little extra savings.
Banking is pretty competitive, which is good for consumers. This means banks are running promos, offering decent APYs on savings accounts, and more. If you’re interested in finding a better bank, one that will help you save money fast, check out this list from Bankrate.
You can find a bank account with an APY as high as 2.45%.
2. Check your tire pressure
If your tires aren’t properly inflated, you may be replacing your tires more often than you really need to, spending more than you should on gas, and even increase your chances of getting into an accident.
The thing is, checking your tire pressure and inflating them to the correct PSI is really freaking easy, and you don’t need a mechanic to help you do it.
Keep a tire pressure gauge in your car (they’re just a couple of bucks at the gas station or auto parts store) and read your car’s manual to see what pressure level your tires should be inflated to.
3. Sell some of your stuff
I bet there are a ton of things sitting around your house that you could sell to save money fast, like an old armchair taking up space in your basement, unused electronics, clothes, and a ton of really weird things (seriously people… #4, #6, #8, #14… I’m dead).
Weird stuff, normal stuff, whatever, there are lots of places to sell your things online, like Craigslist, eBay, etc. My favorite is Facebook Marketplace.
4. Keep dressing like a scrub
You all know that I feel very strongly about keeping clothes around WAY longer than I should. My wife bought me some super boujee stuff to wear before we went to Italy, and it was probably the first time in years that I had some nice, brand new clothing to wear.
The thing is, I didn’t really need it. I could have gone with the jeans and gym shorts I typically wear. That’s the thing, you can wear your clothes for longer than a season, even when they get holes in them, they’re okay… not according to my wife, but that’s another story.
This will not only save you money but also give you that sort of hobo hipster aesthetic that I’m going to claim is super on trend right now.
5. Negotiate your credit card rates, or get a balance transfer card
If you are struggling to pay your credit cards off every month, then you are probably spending a ton on interest rate charges.
All it takes are a few phone calls to your credit card companies to see if they can lower your interest rates to save you money. Another option is to find and apply for a balance transfer credit card.
6. Bring your lunch to work
This one is super easy and it will easily save you a significant amount of money. Think about the amount you spend on lunch when you work outside of your house. $10 a day? $15? If you’re doing that just twice a week, that’s $80-$120 a month you could be saving.
Instead of wasting your money on eating lunch out, pack something from home. It’s a simple solution to save you more.
7. Get to know your library
Libraries have always been amazing places, but they’ve gotten even better in the past few years. Not only can you borrow books for nothing, many libraries loan movies, music, and even things like cameras, telescopes, and laptops.
Remember, though, to always bring things back when they’re due. Libraries can actually bring you to collections if you don’t. What a bummer way to get a ding on your credit score.
8. Pay attention to unit costs when grocery shopping
Alright, this is one of those things that I’m not great about, but that’s because I can’t really be trusted to go to the grocery store in the first place.
I’ve been told that there are these little tags on each item that not only tell you the price of the item, but they also tell you how much you are paying per ounce (typically). While the per unit cost of two items might be just marginally different, those little amounts can add up.
When you’re trying to find ways to save money fast, it will pay to check the prices on the things you need.
9. Get rid of any subscriptions or services you aren’t using
When was the last time you looked at all of the subscription services you were paying for but weren’t using?
It’s probably been a while.
If you aren’t using those streaming services, getting the value out of your meal planning service, or using that gym membership like you should, cut those subscriptions out of your budget to save more each month.
10. Buy used when you can
New things are almost always going to cost more than used things. We all know that.
But, you don’t need to have new things all of the time. If the quality is still there, or if you’re looking to save money, buying used might be the way to go. Fortunately, you can find used phones, clothes, appliances, and more for much less than you would pay when buying them new.
11. Start holiday shopping now
Americans were spending around $885 on holiday gifts this past year, and most of them probably did that in just the few weeks leading up to the holidays.
When you start holiday shopping now, you can spread that spending out to take advantage of sales. It will also alleviate some holiday shopping stress, and that’s always a good thing.
12. Refinance your student loans
Millennials have an average of $42,000 in student loan debt, and you all know how much I hate student loan debt.
One of the best ways to save money fast is to refinance your student loans with a company like Credible. Credible can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your student loan repayment period. Read my Credible review to learn more.
13. Stop speeding
Okay, so driving fast can feel fun sometimes, but there are three reasons it can cost you. One, speeding tickets are expensive. Two, they can raise your insurance rates. Three, speeding can cost you money in gas.
Driving efficiently (not driving aggressively) can reduce your fuel mileage by 10%-40%.
14. Meal prep
Meal prepping can feel like a real drag at first, but when you sit down and plan out your week’s meals and make a grocery list, you will save money on groceries and waste less food.
You’ll also have something ready to go in times when you just don’t feel like cooking.
15. Start bartering
If you have a good or service that you can offer someone else, you can trade that for another good or service and not spend a dime.
Bartering is an age old tradition, and there are a ton of different ways to barter.
16. Learn how to fix things around your house
While there are some home repairs you should outsource (for me this would be electrical work or plumbing), one of the ways you can save money fast is to learn how to do repairs on your own.
From weatherstripping, fixing small leaks, cleaning your gutters, fixing holes in your walls, here are 100 home repairs you can do on your own.
17. Stop buying fancy razors
No Shave November may be over, but I’m still rocking a beard that I keep well groomed with a pair of scissors and a razor… this is for my wife, not me.
The thing is, you don’t have to buy a fancy razor to get a good shave. Drugstore razors can get you that nice close shave you’re looking for. Here are some of the best, but cheap, razors on the market.
18. Find a rewards credit card
Know that you can responsibly use a credit card? Then why not make some money back with one?
Your credit cards can earn you cash, travel miles, gift cards, hotel stays, and a whole lot more. If you’re already going to be spending that money, then why not get something back for it.
19. Start exercising at home
Getting in shape has been one of my recent goals (I’m down 20 lbs already), and while I do go to a gym, you don’t need a gym membership or even fancy equipment in your house to work out.
Youtube is full of at-home workout videos to keep you fit, but you can simply go for a run, ride your bike, lift canned vegetables, whatever. If you’re looking for ways to save money fast, quit the gym and workout at home.
20. Automate your bills
Setting up autopay on your bills is one of those “set it and forget it” things. It will save you money on late fees, interest charges, and more.
21. Share your streaming subscriptions
I recently learned that many of the streaming services we use can be shared. Seriously, a lot of the most popular ones, from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu all recognize that many of their customers are already sharing their subscriptions, and they’re okay with it.
Don’t believe me? Here are what the most popular services have to say about sharing your account information.
Find a friend, or two, and split that cost to save money.
22. Get rid of your landline
Do any millennials even have landlines anymore?
If you do, get rid of if and stick to your cell service – you could easily save $15-$30 a month.
23. Make a budget and stick to it
This one obviously had to make the list. Despite knowing we need to do it, only one third of Americans keep a formal budget.
A budget keeps you in the know about what’s coming in and what’s going out. It helps you save money, plan for the future, and prepare for emergencies.
Whether you want to use online budgeting software or Excel spreadsheets, just do something.
24. Stop paying for convenience
I know, I know… you’re busy. I’m busy, we’re all busy… It’s easy to fall into a habit of paying for convenience, like hitting up the drive through, grocery delivery, and dinner delivery.
When you’re looking for ways to save money fast, spending just a little bit of time on things you can do on your own will result in a big financial win.
25. Get rid of your car payment
I will never quite get America's obsession with new cars (aka debtmobiles). They depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot and you can find a really decent used car for a fraction of what a new one will cost you.
When you’re ready to save money and get rid of your car payment, you can find out how here.
26. Map out large purchases, like appliances, electronics, etc.
One of the rules of adulting is that you will inevitably have to replace some really expensive thing in your house, like a dishwasher, dryer, or cell phone.
Because you know you will have to replace some of these things eventually, you should know which months are good for finding the best deals. Here is a guide on what to buy and when.
27. Bundle your bills
Bundling up some of your bills, like using the same insurance provider for homeowners and car insurance, can save you some extra money every month. You could also consider bundling your cable, internet, and cell service as another way to save money fast.
28. Don’t spend your windfalls, bank them
Just got a bonus? Looking forward to that tax return? Instead of spending that cash, bank it.
Using a windfall on something like retirement savings, bulking up your emergency fund, or putting it towards debt payoff are all smarter ways to use your money, and they’ll probably make or save you money in long run.
29. Buy generic
Going generic on things (prescriptions, food items, even clothes) are ways to save money on things you regularly purchase.
More often than not, house or generic brands will be just as good as their more expensive brand name counterparts. It’s typically just marketing that tells us brand names are better, but that won’t help your wallet.
30. Get a better deal on insurance
We have to have insurance for a variety of things, I get it. But, we don’t have to keep paying so much for it. To save money fast on insurance, call your provider to ask about discounts or call around to see who can give you better rates.
31. Increase your deductibles
This goes hand in hand with #29. Raising your insurance deductibles will reduce the amount you pay each month.
When you keep your emergency fund well padded, you’ll be able to handle higher deductibles, which will save you money in the long run.
32. Start turning out your lights and save on your electric bill
We’ve all heard this, but seriously, turn the lights out when you leave the room. It’s a small thing that can save you money on your electric bill.
In addition to turning off the lights, here are 15 ways to save money on your utilities.
33. Adjust your thermostat
By adjusting your thermostat by just a degree or two, you can see some savings on heating or cooling costs in just a couple of months.
To make things even easier, you can invest in a smart thermostat that lets you adjust the temp in your house from your smartphone. God, I love technology.
34. Save your spare change
With many of us using cash less and less, there are still ways to bank your spare change.
Digit, for example, is an app who analyzes what you spend and saves “the perfect amount every day.” They back that claim up by offering overdraft reimbursement.
Acorns is another favorite spare change app that rounds up each purchase you make with a linked card to the next dollar and invests it for you. You won’t be able to retire from micro investing, but it’s a good start.
35. Travel better
Travel is expensive, but you can save money by traveling a little smarter. This is finding the best days to buy plane tickets, using a travel search engine like Kayak, or staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel.
36. Keep up on preventative care
Visiting your doctor for regular check ups will keep you and your finances healthy. Most health insurance companies, including health sharing ministries, cover yearly well checkups.
Beyond your health, things like routine car maintenance can also save you money.