1. Break up with cable.
There may be a cheaper way to access the TV and movies you watch. Take time to evaluate what you actually watch and make sure you’re using those home entertainment dollars in the best way possible. Another upside: spend more time away from the television.
2. Gamify your savings with a goal-based app.
Use an app like ImpulseSave — it encourages you to making impulse savings decisions instead of impulse purchases. Set dollar amount goals with names like “Vacation” and “New TV” and anytime the urge strikes to buy something small and unnecessary, you can use the app to send that money to a goal instead. You can even send a text message to do it.
3. Or gamify your savings IRL.
Grab a mason jar. Everytime you or a family member/friend/roommate says a certain word, they’ve got to put in a dollar. Instant squirrel fund.
4. Use free tools to see where your money is going, and to make smarter choices.
Saving is so easy when you can visualize where your money is going. Use a free service like Mint.com to see how you’re spending and in what categories. Break it down, and eliminate unnecessary bloat by adding automatic email alerts, like ALREADY SPENT $50 ON TOYS THIS MONTH, STOP.
5. Cut your own hair.
It may seem like the mistake of an irrational kid, but it’s actually a great way to save a few bucks. That is, if you’re willing to put in the time to learn.
6. Embrace thrifting.
It’s shocking how much one can save with a simple ironic trip to the thrift shop. Ask the money!
7. Start biking to work.
If it’s feasible to bike to your place of work, you should. See how many dollars you could be saving.
8. Seriously, start brewing your own caffeine-juice.
Invest in a quality machine, some quality beans, and a few filters. Do it right, and your coffee could be as cheap as $0.10 / cup. Who knows, you might even want to start experimenting with cool stuff like cold brewing for iced coffee.
9. See how creative you can get with packing a lunch.
10. Be spontaneous with your entertainment plans, and watch the savings pile up.
Ticket discount websites like SeatGeek.com sell unsold seats to big games and concerts at surprising rates. Wait until a day or two before the game, and you might have money in your pocket for those $10 nachos. You could save hundreds.