Skip To Content

    50 Really Simple Things You Can Do If You're Trying To Save Money

    All I hear is cha-ching.

    We hope you love the products and services we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI, prices and rates are accurate as of time of publication.

    Strapped for cash and trying to save as much money as you can? It's never too late to start saving, so we've rounded up some helpful tips to get you started.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    Here are 50 simple ways you can spend less and save more:

    1. Track your spending and set a budget.

    FOX / Via

    Using a budget is key to figuring out where your money's going and getting on track. If you're not sure where to start, you can always make a simple spreadsheet or try one of these spreadsheet-free budgeting methods.

    2. Start a savings account that earns more interest.

    ABC / Via

    Look for a high-yield savings account at an online bank like Ally or Marcus by Goldman Sachs. These accounts offer higher interest rates than the average savings account, which means you'll earn a little more on your money.

    3. Put a portion of each paycheck into your savings.

    NBC / Via

    To protect yourself when surprise bills pop up, it's a good idea to have an emergency fund. Experts recommend saving enough to cover three to six months of your expenses. If that sounds like a lot of money right now, focus on saving your first $100, then $500, then $1000 β€” and keep going from there. Saving takes time, but it's so worth it.

    4. Start a change jar and deposit it into your bank account once it's full.

    A change jar with coins
    Sorrasak Jar Tinyo / Getty Images

    Or try one of these money saving challenges, like the viral envelope challenge.

    5. Or try a savings app like Digit, which makes small, automatic transfers from your checking account into savings.

    6. Start a travel fund and contribute a set amount each week. By the time it's full, you can set out on the adventure of your choice.

    A piggy bank with a coin going inside of it
    Twomeows / Getty Images

    And if you love to travel, check out these tips that people say help them save money on vacation.

    7. Need to withdraw cash? Use the ATMs associated with your bank or credit union to avoid unnecessary fees.

    A woman at an ATM
    Charli Bandit / Getty Images

    Plus, you want to make sure you never go into overdraft to avoid those fees as well. And if your bank charges you monthly maintenance fees, it can be really worth your while to switch to a bank that doesn't.

    8. Prioritize paying off any high-interest debt, like a credit card.

    Women holding credit card while using laptop
    Marco_piunti / Getty Images

    The sooner you pay off your debt, the less interest you'll pay. If you're not sure how to start, check out these tried and true ways that people have paid off their credit cards.

    9. Replace take out meals and sit-down restaurants by cooking your own food at home.

    Disney / Via

    For starters, check out these hearty dinners that cost less than $10 to make.

    10. Make a list when you're going to the grocery store to avoid the temptation of buying extras you don't need.

    A blank notebook
    Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

    And check out some food storage hacks that can help keep your groceries fresh.

    11. And if your grocery store has a rewards program, be sure to sign up.

    12. Instead of hitting happy hour or grabbing drinks to-go at your local bar, try your hand at being a bartender and craft your own cocktails.

    A variety of colorful cocktails
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    From screwdrivers to mojitos, check out this guide to simple homemade cocktails. Who needs a bar when you have one right at home?

    13. And skip the coffee shop and make your own cup of joe at home.

    Person drinking iced coffee
    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    Like this delightful vanilla iced coffee recipe that helped one BuzzFeeder get through 2020.

    14. Plant a garden so you have fresh fruits and veggies in your backyard or fresh herbs on your fire escape.

    A woman setting up her home garden
    Carol Yepes / Getty Images

    First time starting your garden? Check out some tips for beginners to get you started on your green thumb journey.

    15. If you head out to work or school each day, pack a lunch as often as you can.

    Cartoon Network / Via

    Need some lunch ideas? Check out these easy lunches you make in ten minutes or less.

    16. Head to places like Costco to stock up on staples like laundry soap and toilet paper.

    Rolls of toilet paper
    Picha Stock / Getty Images

    Buying in bulk can cost more up front, but it helps you save money over time. BTW, you can also go online and order certain products in bulk on Amazon and other sites.

    17. Meal prep so you have food for the week and aren't tempted to order out.

    18. Save for your retirement by opening an IRA (individual retirement account).

    Screenshot of the Acorns app
    Acorns / Via

    If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, it's a good idea to enroll β€” especially if they'll match your contributions. But it's not the only way to save for retirement. You can also open an individual retirement account or IRA on your own in addition to (or in place of) a 401(k). You can open an IRA through your bank or through an investing app like Acorns.

    19. Try your hand at investing to give your money a chance to grow.

    National Geographic Channel / Via

    Investing comes with some risk though, so don't invest money that you can't afford to lose. Before you put money in the market, it's a good idea to learn as much about investing as you can (maybe with the help of these books, podcasts, and courses).

    20. Going shopping? Hit the sales and clearance sections first to find discounted items.

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    Stay up on the latest deals for things you need and track when your favorite stores host major savings events like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale or Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale.

    21. Sell your old clothes, shoes, or purses on an online platform like Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace.

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    It's a great way to make cash and helps clear out your closet. If you're looking to get started, check out these tips from a BuzzFeeder who's made thousands selling her clothes on Poshmark.

    22. Or host a garage sale to make a few extra dollars.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    You can set your own prices and host it whichever day of the week you'd like. It's a great way to get rid of old clothes, shoes or other household items you no longer have a use for.

    23. If you're on a contract phone plan, consider switching plans to save some cash.

    Screenshot of Mint Mobile's cell phone plans at $15 to $30 per month
    Mint Mobile / Via

    Prepaid phone plans can be waaay cheaper. Mint Mobile, for example, starts at $15 a month.

    24. Don't rush into big purchases. Instead, sleep on it overnight to make sure it's what you actually want to buy.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    Whether it's a new jacket or a set of wheels, giving yourself time to think over a purchase will ensure you're making the right decision so you don't end up with a case of buyer's remorse.

    25. And if you're sharing finances with a partner, setting some ground rules can really help you stay on track.

    Couple buying groceries together
    Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

    Recently, couples shared how they manage money as a team, and several people said that they use a spending limit rule where they discuss any purchases over a certain dollar amount together. You might also consider agreeing on how much you each contribute to savings each month for shared goals, like a vacation fund or buying a house.

    26. Shop at your local thrift store and you might score a good find.

    A woman shopping at a store
    Tony Anderson / Getty Images

    Thrift stores can be a gold mine and you never know what you end up finding. If you get a little overwhelmed when you're thrifting, try these tips to help you score some quality pieces.

    27. Take advantage of the cash back or miles rewards on your credit card if it offers them.

    Nickelodeon / Via

    Making some extra cash on your purchases has never been easier β€” just make sure to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid paying interest and fees. And if you want to learn more about how credit cards work, keep these credit card tips in mind.

    28. And take advantage of rewards programs at stores like Sephora or Ulta so you can make the most of your purchases.

    29. Plus, save even more on your shopping trips when you use coupons or promo codes.

    A cashier scanning a person's phone
    Ponywang / Getty Images

    From 20% off your purchase to free shipping, there's pretty much a promo for everything you could think of. Great way of finding these codes? Use sites like RetailMeNot or add the Honey extension to your browser to get notified about coupons before you hit submit order.

    30. Put your bills on autopay so you don't have to worry about a potential late fee for forgetting that one time.

    A list of monthly bills
    Jayk7 / Getty Images

    It'll be a game changer for your finances and you'll never have to sweat that you're missing something. And if you already have your bills on lock, check out some more healthy financial habits.

    31. Check out books from your local library if you're an avid reader and want to save on literary costs.

    A woman at the library
    Cream_ph / Getty Images

    Or if you love reading on your Kindle, tablet, or phone, see if your library uses an app like Libby to lend out e-books for free.

    32. Booking a trip? Track the best time to buy a flight through travel apps like Hopper.

    Screenshot of the Hopper app
    Hopper / Via

    This free app is a one-stop shop where you book flights, hotels, cars, and more. It's a great tool for travelers wanting to catch the best deal, so make sure to set up Flight Watches if you have a set of dates you're likely going to travel.

    33. Compare home or car insurance rates before you renew to make sure you're getting the best price possible.

    A wooden car on a pile of coins
    Sakchai Vongsasiripat / Getty Images

    It's always good to shop around and find what works best for your budget and situation. And because insurance is tricky, here are some tips on comparing auto insurance and homeowners insurance.

    34. If you can, purchase store-brand medications and generic prescriptions.

    A glass of water and some prescription pills sitting on a table
    Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images

    Whether it's ibuprofen or allergy meds, there's usually a generic version of most drugstore medications and they'll also tend to run cheaper than the brand-name version.

    35. Want to avoid pricey gym memberships and online subscriptions? Set up a home gym where you can get your sweat on or find a safe place in your neighborhood to take a run or walk.

    Disney Pixar / Via

    Plus check out some tips to really rev up your home workouts.

    36. Looking to refresh your space? DIY a home project like painting your walls or crafting new cabinets.

    37. Learn how to sew so you can fix old or damaged clothes instead of getting rid of them.

    A sewing kit with colorful threads
    Karen M. Romanko / Getty Images

    Don't let a hole ruin your favorite shirt or pair of pants. These useful sewing tips will help your clothes last a lifetime.

    38. Or repurpose an old pair of pants and turn them into shorts by cutting them down.

    Pile of denim jeans
    Carol Yepes / Getty Images

    You can also transform other clothes in your closet into things like pillows, bags and more. It's a great way to get more life out of your textiles and avoid tossing them into the trash.

    39. Create homemade gifts from the heart.

    Accessories for knitting
    Dragan Smiljkovic / Getty Images

    Don't worry if you're not exactly the crafty type. These yummy DIY treats make great gifts too.

    40. Install a programmable thermostat to help reduce heating costs.

    41. And don't fall asleep with the lights or TV on.

    A set of string lights
    Vinata Ciputra / Getty Images

    If you tend to nod off with the TV on, many televisions come with built-in timers you can set so you don't waste electricity. Plus, making a habit of turning off the lights when you leave a room will help keep your power bill down.

    42. Don't want to pay for cable? Choose one streaming service of your choice instead.

    Disney Pixar / Via

    Can't decide between Netflix or Hulu? This quiz might help you out.

    43. And evaluate how many subscription services you actually use and cancel the ones you don't frequent as much.

    Screenshot of recurring bills and subscriptions in the Simplifi app
    Simplifi / Via

    If you've lost track of all the things you're subscribed to, try a budgeting app like Simplifi, which can show you all your recurring bills. Making a pros and cons list for each service you're paying for can help you narrow down your choices. And if there's one you don't use regularly, you've already got your answer there.

    44. Buy items like jackets or bathing suits during the off-season for extra savings.

    Bravo / Via

    It's a great way to get more bang for your buck.

    45. If you're not going far (and the weather allows) ride your bicycle to cut down on gas costs.

    Netflix / Via

    Not only is a great way to get active, but you don't have to worry about filling up a gas tank.

    46. And depending on your area, public transportation can be a cheap and easy to get around.

    A public transportation tram
    Thomas Demarczyk / Getty Images

    It's not nearly as pricy as buying a car or taking an Uber.

    47. If you need to drive, save at the pump by using an app that can help you find the cheapest gas.

    Paramount Pictures / Via

    Apps like Waze can help you spot gas stations where you can fill up for less.

    48. And stay on top of your car maintenance to avoid surprise fixes down the road.

    Someone working on a car engine
    Seksan Mongkhonkhamsao / Getty Images

    Whether it's changing the oil or rotating your tires, it's always good to stay on track and not skip out when it comes to routine maintenance.

    49. If you've got extra time, think about taking on a side hustle.

    Starz / Via

    Sometimes making more money is the best way to start saving more. For some ideas of ways to start, check out these side hustles that people say are pretty lucrative.

    50. Finally, take that extra money you end up saving and treat yourself once in a while for all the hard work you put in. You deserve it!

    NBC / Via

    Saving money is hard work, so it's important to reward yourself (within your budget, of course) when you reach important goals.

    What's your go-to money saving tip? Let us know in the comments below!

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form