Ways to Save Money Fast
If you have little to no money in savings, you’re in line with the majority of Americans. Recently, many of us found ourselves with a sudden change in income without savings to help bail us out. Although times are tight, it’s not too late to change your money behavior to find smart ways to save money fast and start building up your savings.
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It’s inevitable. You’re cruising along through life and WHAM! an unexpected but necessary expense pops up. You need a nice chunk of change and you just don’t have it.
Whether it’s a doctor bill, car or house repair, or any other unexpected payment that life throws at you, coming up with the money to cover it isn’t always easy.
Maybe you’re just looking for ways to save money fast to build up your emergency fund.
No matter the reason, you know money doesn’t grow on trees (no matter how many times I have wished for this) and you have to find ways to save money.
Learning to live within or below your means is not as difficult as some people make it out to be. It does take some discipline and tightening of the proverbial belt, but it can be worth the effort.
Living within your means, at the very least, will enable you to sleep at night knowing you aren’t burdened with a heavy debt load and able to make ends meet.
But living BELOW your means is when the magic truly happens. This sweet spot is where we are able to save money and get steps closer to financial freedom or at least make our goal purchases.
How do you find smart ways to save money fast?
I think I say this in almost every post…
It starts with a budget. You must know where you stand financially before you can move forward.
Fact — most people without savings also do not have a budget. This is a simple step that needs to change.
If you fall into this category, you can start creating your first budget using the steps in How to Start a Budget When You Just Don’t Know Where to Start. This simple budgeting technique can really help you get your spending on track. It’s simple to do once you have a grasp on your money and know what is coming in as well as going out.
Finding smart ways to save money fast is easier than you think
Stop Eating Out!
Cut it out! No more grabbing something on the go or a nice treat. Not even a quick trip to the vending machine because it all adds up!
That $1.50 soda, $1 bag of chips, and $5 sandwich total $150 per month!
OH MY GOODNESS! I can feed a family of 3 for an entire month with $150.
Or if you make a daily run for fast food or a plate lunch you will spend $7-$10 per day or $140-$200 per month.
Wow! I bet you never looked at your total monthly spending on these purchases but now you realize it’s much better to brown bag it daily.
Before we move on to the next expense to cut, let’s talk about date night.
Who doesn’t love going out for an evening and letting someone else prepare the meal? I know I looked forward to this weekly treat…Yes! I said weekly!
A sitter will easily run $20 and then dinner and maybe a few cocktails might cost $80 or more. Having an at-home weekly date night can save you around $400 per month! WHOA! You just have to find ways to still have a special night without breaking the bank. Changing your mindset will make it easier to change your spending habits.
Save your out-of-the-house date nights for special occasions and you will feel your wallet grow…and that’s what we’re trying to do.
Skip the Expensive Coffee!
Brewing at home will save you some serious cash. A $5 daily coffee treat adds up to a $960 yearly expense!
Skip the treat and invest in a great coffee maker such as this Keurig Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker and some great coffee…I always suggest Community Coffee (it’s a Louisiana thing you should really try). A great Contigo Travel Mug makes this at homebrew just as portable as one from your favorite coffee spot!
And if you really want to make your coffee a treat, grab a flavored syrup and make knockoff Starbucks treat!
Forgo the Theater and Watch it at Home!
I LOVE watching movies, but my pocketbook doesn’t feel the same! When you add up the tickets and concessions along with a meal for a family of 4…Well, let’s just say that movie night quickly turns into a large chunk of change spent!
Make a stay at home family movie night a once a week treat! Gather the kiddos and let them pick their favorite family movie and a homemade treat. The idea is to spend time together and spending time doesn’t mean you have to spend loads of money.
Snuggling on the sofa in my PJs with my favorite people is not only more comfortable but a much wiser decision for my budget! We easily find many of our favorite family movies using a streaming service and our Fire TV Stick. Find a list of your favorite Disney films here to watch from the comfort of your home, many you can download (legally) for free!
Cut the Cable!
Yes! I cut the cable! Let’s face it, like you, I am busy! One day, I started to notice that I never sat and watched live TV. I recorded EVERYTHING that I truly enjoy watching.
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial and watch thousands of movies and tv episodes without a cable subscription!
With these services, I am still able to watch the shows I love on my time!
Plan your Meals!
If you really think about it, one meal at a restaurant for a family of four could very well feed that same family for a week with the proper meal planning!
Now, I love planning ahead but sometimes I just don’t have the time to sit down and search for new ideas and create my shopping list.
Eat at Home meals simplifies everything for me! It’s so quick and easy, you’ll never have to think “what’s for dinner” again! My friend Tiffany has taken care of all of the research and list-making and simplified this process for less than a cup of Joe at your favorite coffee spot!
Planning and having a pre-made grocery list have both saved me tons of money. I stick to the list and don’t let temptation cause me to spend extra money. This is always a big win for me.
Pay With Cash!
It’s so easy to swipe a card! But before you know it all of those tine purchases start to add up.
Letting go of cash is much harder. Trust me on this!
If you start carrying cash, you will find you track your spending a little more. And you know when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Want to know more about my cash system? Read this post and find out all about how I budget my money using cash!
By making these simple changes, you can easily find an extra $500 or more in your current budget. That’s a nice chunk of change to apply to an unexpected bill or to your savings/emergency fund. Either way, finding ways to save money fast can be done!
I have tons of other money-savers but these are some of my more significant cuts in my quest for smart ways to save money fast.
What are some of the ways you have embraced to save money? I would love to hear from you!