By: Kim Suazo.
With a New Year comes one common goal – saving money. Many Americans struggle to save, and the fact that most have less than $1,000 in savings is evidence of that. If that describes you, you likely want to know how to save money fast.
Whether you need to grow your savings account, pay off debt, or increase retirement savings, finding creative ways to save money quickly will help you do it. You may feel saving money is too difficult so you never even start. You may also believe small amounts are insignificant.
Don’t believe these lies! Saving money does require discipline, and sometimes the amounts are small. However, with effort it becomes more natural and small amounts add up to something significant over time.
If growing your bank account is a goal for the year, our guide on ways to save money fast provides ideas on where to start.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY FAST
Personal finance is personal for a reason. We all face different situations. Not all of the below tips to save money are for everyone. If some don’t apply to you, let the list get your creative juices flowing to find other opportunities. Also, keep in mind – some of these options do require sacrifice or a bit of work. If you’re working to improve your finances, the result is worth the effort. Pick a few off our list and use it to grow your savings. By the end of the year, you’ll be shocked at how much is in your savings account. If you’re looking for how to save money fast this year, consult our list of 15 options to use.
1. CUT THE CORD
Do you still pay for cable? If so, cutting the cord on cable is the easiest way to save money quickly. The average cable bill is $110 per month, and with the wide selection of streaming options available today, you can save at least half the amount per month.
There are several choices for streaming providers, including:
AT&T TV Now
Our favorite choice is Hulu with Live TV. You receive 60+ channels (including local ones) and 50 hours of DVR storage for $54.99 per month. That’s half the cost of cable. You can cut the price even more if you sacrifice live content. As long as you’re comfortable waiting 24 hours to watch your favorite content, Hulu is only $5.99 per month.
2. GET A CHEAPER CELL PHONE PLAN
Another great way to save money fast is to lower your cell phone bill. How much do you pay for cell phone service each month? It’s probable that you’re spending too much for your service.
Like the cable space, there are various choices to save money and grow your bank account. While there are several excellent choices for no-contract cell service, Ting is our favorite provider.
Ting operates on two networks – Sprint and T-Mobile. And, you create a personal plan with the provider, so you only pay for what you need. Users of Ting, on average, spend just $23 a month on their cell phone bill.
Compare that to what you pay now, and how much could you save?
Better yet, Frugal Rules readers receive a $50 credit when you sign up for service. This deal gives you two months of service for free if you’re near their average monthly user cost.
3. HAVE A SIDE HUSTLE
When you think of how to grow your savings, you may think of ways to cut expenses. But what about earning more money?
A side hustle is the best option to save money fast on a low income, especially if your full-time job does not offer additional earning opportunities.
There are countless ways to make extra money, but my favorite way is through the on-demand delivery space. You can work on your schedule, and often earn tips.
Postmates is a terrific choice for a side hustle. With Postmates, you deliver items to people, including:
Meals from local restaurants
Postmates claims you can earn up to $25 an hour while delivering meals and groceries. However, reports indicate it’s closer to $18 per hour.
Regardless, it helps you get money quickly to grow your savings account. Just be careful, any money you earn as an independent contractor is subject to taxes, and you may have to pay up at the end of the year.
4. CUT BILLS
While we’re talking about cutting the cord, and saving on cell phone bills, let’s talk about saving money on other bills too. One of the best ways to stop overpaying on bills and subscriptions is to call the businesses and negotiate for a discount.
If simply reading that made you nervous, or you don’t like making calls, there’s still a way to negotiate on your bills.
Enter Trim, a bill negotiation service that’s completely free. They negotiate on your behalf to cancel subscriptions, reduce bill costs, and analyze your spending patterns to save you even more.
If they successfully negotiate savings for you, the only money they take is 33 percent of whatever they saved.
Other than that, you aren’t on the hook for any additional fees. BILLSHARK is a suitable alternative that works like Trim and keeps 40 percent of what they save.
5. SAVE MONEY ON UTILITIES
Are you stuck with your utility or cable provider? Locked into a contract? In situations like there, you probably feel like you can’t negotiate your rates. However, that’s often not true, and a service like Truebill can even do it for you.
Truebill operates much like Trim and negotiates lower bills on your behalf. However, unlike Trim, they also focus on downtime monitoring.
Truebill also gets 40 percent of whatever they negotiate for you, unlike 33 percent at Trim, though the former does provide a more specialized service.
6. GET CASH BACK ON SHOPPING
Do you like to earn cash on your shopping? If so, Fetch Rewards is an excellent choice to make money when shopping. The Fetch Rewards app is strictly for name brand products.
Buying generics are an awesome way to save money, but you may prefer a specific brand, or not have the option to buy generics at each store.
Fetch Rewards is an easy to use app. After you buy your groceries, you scan your receipt. If your receipt is itemized you receive points for each product that has an active discount offer. The app gives you ten points for each dollar spent on those products.
You can redeem these points for cash, or gift cards from hundreds of retailers. Fetch Rewards has a minimum redemption amount of $3, so it’s simple to redeem earnings.
7. AUTOMATE SAVINGS
One of the easiest ways to save money fast is to automate it. You can do this by asking your employer to split your checks or deposits into two different accounts.
Or, you can do it yourself by using a bank and bank account that allows you to split your pay easily.
If you want to save money quickly, CIT Bank is an excellent choice through their Savings Builder account. As long as you open an account with $100 and deposit $100 per month, they pay you 1.80 percent in interest.
That’s a seriously impressive rate in today’s market.
8. SAVE ON AUTO INSURANCE
When was the last time you analyzed your car insurance needs? Reports indicate 40 percent of drivers have not compared other policy options within the past three years.
Car insurance is expensive, especially if you can’t easily customize your plan to match your coverage needs.
Even worse, dealing with a local agent is a hassle. So, why not do everything online and save yourself some money and time?
Esurance is an insurance company owned by Allstate. Since it’s completely online, they’re able to pass the savings to you. You can get the same coverage for a much lower price and throw the savings into your account.
9. SELL UNWANTED ITEMS
With electronics getting older or falling out of style, you may find yourself with multiple phones, tablets, or other devices that you’re holding onto but not using.
Instead of letting them collect dust or continue to clutter your home, sell them for some extra cash and throw it into your savings.
BuyBackWorld is our top choice to sell unwanted items. In addition to phones and tablets, you can sell the following items to BuyBackWorld:
Sites like BuyBackWorld provide you instant quotes on your items and let you ship them to their warehouses for free.
10. RENT OUT A ROOM IN YOUR HOME
Do you have an extra room or space in your home that you aren’t using? One of the more creative ways to save money is by renting available space in your house.
Airbnb is the go-to resource to rent a room in your home. The platform allows homeowners to rent out parts of their home, including couches, to guests that want to stay in the area with amenities.
Even if you don’t want to know how to save money fast, this is an excellent way to grow passive income. Aside from cleaning, which you can hire out, much of the income as passive.
Airbnb allows you to list rooms for free, and they manage much of the administrative work.
11. MEAL PLAN
You’d be surprised to see how much money many Americans waste, simply because they don’t plan their meals. As grocery prices continue to rise, it’s easy to waste food and money mindlessly.
Meal planning is vital and is one of the classic ways to save money fast. But, for many, meal planning is time-consuming and can cause a headache.
If you find meal planning difficult, or if it’s not fun for you, a service like $5 Meal Plan is a suitable alternative. The service helps you plan meals, along with the exact items you must purchase at the store.
The service costs just $5 per month after a 14-day free trial.
12. USE COUPONS FOR GROCERIES
Another way to save money on your food bill is to use coupons for the items that you do need to buy regularly. And that goes for food and other necessities like toiletries and household goods.
Apps like Ibotta are helpful tools to use to save money at the store. They display offers based on your current location, or you can scan your receipt after shopping to redeem savings.
Ibotta works at other retailers than your local grocery store. They work with over 300 retailers, including:
13. EARN GIFT CARDS
One of the easiest ways to save more money is to side hustle. But even if you don’t have a lot of time to get a side job or hustle for hours every week, you can still find time to earn some extra income.
Sites like Pinecone Research allow you to take surveys, or test products, for money that you can then exchange for gift cards.
They offer gift cards to dozens of retailers, allowing you to spend less of your own money. If you prefer cash, you can also claim that directly to your PayPal account.
You can complete surveys on your own time, whether that’s one hour a week, or 20. No matter what, you still earn money to add to your savings.
14. FIX YOUR CREDIT REPORT
A way to save money fast on a low income that you may not have thought of is to fix your credit report.
Think about it. Most people have a loan in some way or another. Whether it’s a credit card, personal loan, car loan, student loans, many people make monthly payments to pay these loans off.
And, if your credit score is low, you will pay a lot more on your loan over time. So, fixing your credit and monitoring it closely can be useful when negotiating a new loan interest rate or refinancing interest rate.
There are many ways to watch your credit report. But Credit Sesame is an easy and free way to do it regularly.
15. SWITCH TO TERM LIFE INSURANCE
Do you have life insurance? If you have whole life insurance, it’s likely you’re wasting money. One of the more creative ways to save money is to switch to term life insurance.
Term life insurance works as it sounds. You pay for coverage for a specific period, such as 20 or 30 years, instead of permanent.
This feature makes term coverage significantly cheaper than whole life, and you often have more coverage too.
Bestow is a great choice to save money on term life insurance. The provider offers rates as low as $3 per month. They also provide terms up to 20 years and up to $1 million in coverage.
The best part? Bestow does not require an exam to receive coverage.
TIPS TO SAVE MONEY: BOTTOM LINE
With a New Year comes new opportunities. If you want to save money fast, and always thought impossible, now is the time to start. Yes, it requires sacrifice and work, but the outcome is worth the effort.
If you don’t know where to start, pick one of these options, and work on it for a month. Keep what works, ditch what doesn’t, and select another option. Within a few months, you’ll have several efforts working to save you good money.
Let 2020 be the year you grow your savings account in ways you never thought possible!
How to Save Money Fast: 15 Tips to Save Money originally appeared on Frugal Rules