creative money saving ideas

Top 20 Creative Money Saving Ideas

In a saving rut? Check out our list of the top 20 creative money saving ideas for all who want to hit new savings goals.

Did you know that 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account? Are you part of this group? If you don’t have a lot of money (or any money at all) saved, now is the time to change that. We’ve got a list of creative money saving ideas to help you out!

Take the time to build up your savings account now and you won’t have to worry about taking out a loan or maxing out your credit card when an emergency arises. You’ll also have an easier time funding your retirement, funding your kids’ education, or supporting yourself and your family during a career gap.

Not sure how to save money each month? Read on for some practical and helpful money saving ideas. You’ll also find some general guidance on how to manage your money and even increase your earning potential so you can save more.

How Much Should I Save Each Month?

A lot of people are completely lost when it comes to figuring out how to save money or how to effectively manage their finances. For these people, it’s important to understand these basics before exploring different money saving ideas.

Do you know how much you should be saving each month?

There’s not one specific dollar amount that everyone should strive to deposit in their savings account every month. It all depends on your income. However, a good strategy for most people is to abide by the 70:20:10 budget rule.

The 70:20:10 rule states that when creating a budget, you should divide your monthly income into the following categories:

Expenses (70 Percent)

Your monthly expenses will take up the majority (70 percent) of your budget. This 70 percent includes your monthly mortgage or rent payments, your utility bills, your cellphone bill, groceries, etc. If you spend money on it, it’s part of this category.

Savings (20 Percent)

The next largest segment of your budget should be for your savings. Aim to set 20 percent of your monthly income aside in your savings account so you can start building up an emergency fund or saving for something specific.

If you have a pressing debt that is costing you a ton of money in interest each month, you may want to dedicate some of your monthly savings to pay it off faster. By dedicating more money to paying this debt off in the short term, you’ll find that it’s easier for you to save in the long term.

Investing (10 Percent)

The final 10 percent of your monthly income should go toward investing. It’s a common misconception that investing is only for the rich. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though.

Anyone can become an investor! There are lots of apps and tools out there that make the process easy and fun, even if you’re a total beginner.

If you’re not interested in buying stocks or investing in real estate, though, you can also use the remaining 10 percent for long-term savings. For example, you can contribute extra money to your retirement account or use part of this 10 percent to invest in your kids’ college fund.  

How Can I Save Money Creatively?

Okay, you understand how much you, ideally, ought to be saving each month. Are you confused about how to implement this plan into your own life, though?

There are lots of creative money saving ideas you can use to reduce expenses and put more in your bank account. Outlined below are the top 20 options we recommend, broken down into the following 3 categories:

Save Smart

As far as the best money saving tips go, these suggestions for saving smart a great starting point:

1. Pay Yourself First

When you get paid, transfer money to your savings account first. Rather than covering all your expenses, treating yourself to a few new things, and then finding yourself with hardly anything left over for savings, reverse it.

You may even want to try setting up automatic transfers to your savings account. Then, you won’t have to worry about remembering to put money aside and you’ll be saving without even realizing it.

2. Eliminate Impulse Purchases

Do you have your credit card details saved on your computer or phone? If so, you’ll likely find that you’re more susceptible to impulse online purchases, and your bank account may suffer as a result.

To eliminate, or at least reduce the frequency of, your impulse purchases, delete your credit card details. That way, if you want to buy something, you have to get up and get your wallet, which may give you enough time to consider whether or not you actually need it.

3. Stick to the 24-Hour Rule

Speaking of consideration, give the 24-hour rule a try, too. The 24-hour rule states that you should wait 24 hours before making any kind of big purchase.

If you still want to buy the thing one day later, you can go ahead and buy it, but give yourself that space to decide if it’s something you want and need or if you can leave without it.

4. Cancel Subscriptions

It’s so easy to get sucked into subscriptions these days, from streaming packages to toothpaste deliveries.

Set aside some time to go over all of your subscription plans and decide which ones you want to keep and which ones you can cut. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save each month by doing this.

5. Look for Free Entertainment

Once you’ve cut out some unnecessary streaming services, you may find yourself with a little more free time on your hands.

To save money, take advantage of free entertainment options. Go to the library to borrow books or movies, for example, or plan some hikes at nearby trails. There are lots of ways to entertain yourself and your family without breaking the bank.

6. Renegotiate Contracts

Take a look at your contracts and consider whether you can negotiate them to get a lower monthly rate. For example, can you get a cheaper internet package or cellphone plan?

Often, if you look up competitor rates and share them with a representative from the company, they’ll be willing to make you a deal to avoid losing your business.

7. Automate Bills

Are you constantly racking up late fees because you forget to pay bills on time? Try automating them so they’re always paid on the due date.

Just make sure you maintain a sufficient balance in your bank account after doing this. You don’t want to get hit with overdraft fees, do you?

Lifestyle Habits

In addition to changing the way you think about saving, there are also some great money saving tips you can utilize that have to do with changing your lifestyle:

8. Do More DIY

Consider incorporating more DIY projects into your life.

For example, instead of paying to get your nails done every couple of weeks, why not paint them at home? The same goes for dying your hair or getting your eyebrows waxed.

You could easily save close to $100 per month (if not more) by taking these jobs on yourself.

9. Start Meal Planning

If you eat out regularly, you’ll likely find that it’s harder to save money. Fast food and restaurant meals are expensive! Instead of eating out because you don’t have time to cook or are too tired to prepare food at the end of the workday, start meal planning.

Set aside some time on the weekend to chop vegetables and prepare foods in bulk. That way, it’s ready to go in the fridge and you’ll just have to heat it up when dinner time rolls around.

10. Buy Generic Products

When you’re shopping for groceries or household supplies, get the generic version whenever possible. In most cases, the generic option tastes just as good and works just as well as the brand name, but it’ll be a lot cheaper.

11. Buy in Bulk

Try buying in bulk when you can, too.

You’ll spend more upfront when you take this approach. However, you’ll end up getting items for less per unit than you would if you bought them in smaller quantities.

12. Give Up Bad Habits

Do you smoke? Have a habit of drinking alcohol or soda regularly?

These habits aren’t just bad for your health, but they can also be bad for your bank account. Work on quitting or cutting back so you can put that extra money toward something better for your future.

13. Reconsider Coupons

Coupons can be useful money-saving tools. However, if you’re using coupons to buy things that you don’t need in the first place, they’re probably not having the kind of effect you’d like.

Take a look at your current coupon collection and ask yourself if you would have bought those things otherwise? If not, it might be time to give up coupon-clipping and try some other, more creative money saving ideas.

14. Reduce Energy Usage

Try lowering your utility bills and reducing your energy usage. Unplug electronics when they’re not in use, for example, and make sure you’re shutting off the faucet while you’re washing dishes or brushing your teeth, rather than letting the water run endlessly.

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Investing

Now, let’s break down the best money saving tips related to investments and making your money work for you.

15. Prioritize Credit Card Debt

If you’re dealing with a lot of credit card debt, the best investment you can make is to pay it off as quickly as possible. Credit card interest rates can be astronomical and can seriously eat into the amount of money you have available for saving or investing each month.

16. Use an Investment App

Try downloading an investment app so you can automatically dedicate a certain amount of money to invest each month. These apps make it easy for you to dip your toe in the investment world without having to spend a lot of money upfront.

17. Take Advantage of Employee Matching

If your employer matches your 401(k) contributions, make sure you’re taking advantage of that and contributing as much as you’re allowed. This is a great way to build up your retirement savings for when you get older. 

18. Open a Roth IRA

If you want to add more to your retirement funds, consider opening a Roth IRA (Independent Retirement Account), too.

You’re allowed to contribute up to $6,000 to a Roth IRA each year. This money is taxed like regular income now, but you won’t have to pay taxes on it when you withdraw it after you retire.

19. Open a Health Savings Account

If you already have a Health Savings Account (or HSA), make sure you’re contributing to it regularly. If you haven’t already opened one, do so now.

An HSA is a tax-free account that you can use to pay for healthcare costs that aren’t covered by your insurance plan.

20. Open a 529 Plan

You can also open and invest in a 529 Plan to save for your kids’ college education. A 529 plan earns interest (earnings aren’t taxed), and you don’t have to pay taxes on the money withdrawn, as long as it’s used for educational purposes.

What Can I Do for Extra Money?

Sometimes, it’s not enough just to cut expenses.

If you’re trying to figure out how to save money fast and how to save more, you need to think beyond money saving ideas and look for ways to earn more. This is especially important if you’re trying to pay off debt.

Here are 10 part-time jobs that can help you put more money in your savings account each month:

At $9-$10 per hour and 20-30 hours of work per week, this shoe sales associate job could help you earn an extra $640-$1200 per month.

👉 Check out the Shoe Sales Associate job listing on GrabJobs

As a MagiQuest Attendant at Great Wolf Lodge, you could earn approximately $1,040 per month making $13 per hour.

👉 Check out the MagiQuest Attendant job listing on GrabJobs

Haynes Furniture Company is looking for a part-time customer service coordinator. At $15 per hour, you could make $1,200 a month at this job.

👉 Check out the Customer Service Coordinator job listing on GrabJobs

Part-time assemblers at Havis, Inc. can earn up to $16 per hour, which would work out to $1,280 per month.

👉 Check out the Assembler job listing on GrabJobs

A part-time cashier at Whole Foods can earn $15 per hour, which works out to $1,200 per month.

👉 Check out the Cashier job listing on GrabJobs

Packers at Berry Global, Inc. work 12-hour shifts every other weekend. They can earn $23 per hour for 12-hour daytime shifts (about $1,656 per month) and $23.75 for 12-hour nighttime shifts (about $1,710 per month).

👉 Check out the Packer job listing on GrabJobs

A trimmer at Channell Commercial Corporation can early $18-$22 per hour working part-time. This works out to $1,440-$1,760 per month.

👉 Check out the Trimmer job listing on GrabJobs

Part-time TransPerfect customer service representatives earn $18 per hour, which means approximately $1,440 per month.

👉 Check out the Customer Service Representative job listing on GrabJobs

A room attendant at Great Wolf Lodge can earn $14.50 per hour, which works out to $1,160 per month.

👉 Check out the Room Attendant job listing on GrabJobs

Working as a part-time front desk agent for Great Lakes Services can earn you $14.50 per hour or $1,160 per month.

👉 Check out the Front Desk Agent job listing on GrabJobs

What Is a Good Amount of Savings?

It’s hard to list a specific number that everyone should strive to hit when it comes to savings. Your savings will be relative to your income, as well as the general cost of living in your area.

That being said, here are some general recommendations that you can use as benchmarks to set your own, more personalized savings goals and implement money saving ideas that work best for you.

How Much You Should Have Saved by 25

10 percent of annual income (If you earn $40,000 per year, that would mean $4,000 in your savings account)

How Much You Should Have Saved by 30

1x your annual income (If you earn $40,000 per year, that would mean $40,000 in your savings account)

How Much You Should Have Saved by 40

3x your annual income (If you earn $40,00 per year, that would mean $120,000 in your savings account)

How Much You Should Have Saved by 50

5x your annual income (If you earn $40,000 per year, that would mean $200,000 in your savings account)

How Much You Should Have Saved When You Retire (Assuming you retire at 60)

7x your annual income (If you earn $40,000 per year, that would mean $280,000 in your savings account)

Remember, the figures mentioned above are just examples. Hopefully, your annual income will increase over time. You may be making $40,000 per year now as a 25-year-old, but you’ll likely be making much more in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

This is why a percentage-based system works so well. It makes it easier for you to adjust the amount you deposit or invest as your income fluctuates and you learn new money saving tips.

Closing Thoughts

If you make an effort to learn how to save money fast and maximize the amount you save now, you’ll be setting yourself up for a much more successful and less stressful future.

It doesn’t matter if you want to put more aside for your retirement, give your kids’ a college education, or simply have a more robust emergency fund. These money saving ideas can help you get there.

Keep the tips outlined above in mind, and don’t forget to check out the part-time jobs section of our site today. It’s full of great options for those who want to bring in more side-income so they can pay off debts faster and bolster their savings accounts.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology.
Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/