13 Ways to Save Money You Probably Never Thought Of
Saving money is empowering and it’s easier than you think. From swapping clothes to switching banks, here are 13 ways you might not have thought of to help you keep more of your hard-earned paycheck.
- Create a realistic budget.
Mint is a free finance app that links to your checking, savings, and credit card accounts to track your spending and help you create a realistic budget. The app alerts you if you’re in danger of exceeding your budget and helps you establish achievable savings goals.
- Switch to an online bank.
The top 10 brick-and-mortar banks charge an average checking account fee of $9.99 per month. Switch to an online bank like Ally and you may avoid these fees and benefit from higher interest payment rates on your deposited funds.
- Manage your credit.
Good credit can reward you with lower interest rates on credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. To help you keep your credit in good standing, use online finance tools like SavvyMoney. In addition to giving you free ongoing access to your credit score, SavvyMoney also explains the factors that can affect your score and offers recommendations to help you improve it.
- Set up automatic transfers.
Automatic transfers can help you save money without even thinking about it. Set up an automatic transfer to take money out of your paycheck and deposit it into a separate retirement account or emergency fund. This way, you don’t have to see a reduced number in your spending money.
- Shop cash-back rebate sites.
Ebates is a cash-back shopping site that offers coupons, as well as deals of the day and week. Create a free account, then shop at nearly 2,000 stores, and earn up to 40 percent in cash-back rebates. From Target to Sephora, there’s a good chance you’ll find your favorite store on Ebates.
- Swap your clothes.
Save money on your wardrobe by swapping clothes online. SwapStyle is a free fashion marketplace where you can swap, buy, or sell everything from accessories to professional attire. Not only will you save money, but you can swap out something you don’t wear anymore with something new that’ll boost your mood.
- Reconsider your gym membership.
A typical gym membership costs about $58 per month or almost $700 per year. Save money and stay in shape with free workout videos on YouTube Fitness Channel BeFiT or join a local recreation center, which usually has more affordable rates. If giving up a gym membership is out of the question, ask management what discounts they can offer to reduce your bill.
- Get creative with your vacation.
The average American spends $1,145 on a vacation, but there are several ways to lower the cost of your getaway. Instead of flying to a resort, drive to a national or state park and rent a cabin. Or stay in a hostel, some of which cater to particular groups, like couples or women traveling alone.
- Adjust the thermostat.
Save money on your utility bills by adjusting the thermostat. Turning the thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees can save you up to 15 percent on your heating bill. For additional savings, turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Evaluate your Internet plan.
Faster Internet connections usually cost more than slower ones, so it’s important to find out how much speed you need and compare this to the speed you’re paying for. If you’re signed up for faster Internet than necessary, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and make adjustments to your plan.
- Forgo cable.
The average household spends about $65 per month for cable television, but alternatives like SlingTV can cost as little as $20 per month. SlingTV gives customers access to live television shows broadcast on popular channels like HGTV and Food Network. Plus, customers can watch SlingTV from their mobile device when they’re on the go.
- Raise your deductibles.
Raising your insurance deductibles might help save you money on your insurance premiums. For example, by raising your auto insurance deductible from $100 to $500, you could lower your annual premium by up to a few hundred dollars. Remember, raising your deductible means you’ll pay more out of pocket before insurance kicks in if there’s an emergency, so make sure you have this money set aside.
- Reduce how far you drive.
By cutting back on the number of miles you drive each year, you can also save money on your auto insurance premium. You can do this by carpooling to work, using mass transit, or moving closer to your job. In addition to helping you save money on auto insurance, driving less will help lower fuel and maintenance costs for your car.
Whether you’re saving up for your first home or trying to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule, these money savings tips can help you reach your goal.