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When your expenses equal your income, it’s nearly impossible to break free of the vicious “paycheck to paycheck” lifestyle. I know because it was my reality for years and it’s the worst feeling to have things you want to do but can’t afford.
Being able to save more money allows us to use the extra dough towards things that really matter to us, like paying off credit cards or actually being able to afford that vacation overseas. The best thing is that you don’t have to become a certified penny-pincher to make some wiggle room in your budget! Just a few simple tweaks can yield some pretty big results.
Here are 14 ways to explode your savings!
Use multiple bank accounts.
If you’re only using one account for all of your expenses then you may find yourself accidentally overspending. You don’t really know what goes where and any chance at saving money is slim.
Using multiple bank accounts allows you to separate your essential and non-essential expenses. This way, you’re not unknowingly “borrowing” money from your bills to cover your wants. If you go a little crazy on fast food one weekend you can rest assured that your rent money will be untouched.
I recommend at least having a specific account for all of your bills. This includes:
- Insurance plans
- Cable/cell phone plans
In total, I have six bank accounts that all help to keep my finances organized. If you want to know more about how I use them I wrote a post about it here!
Pay off debt
It’s no secret that the less debt you have the more money you have available to do as you please. When you’re giving up your hard-earned money to a lender, you can pay yourself instead.
For example, let’s say you have a $400 car payment. By putting your focus on paying off your auto loan you can save yourself both interest and time. Imagine what you could do with an extra $400 a month!
Since starting my debt-free journey I’ve paid over $19k in debt on one income and let me say that targeting debt has helped my spendable income increase from $100 to $1,300 each month.
If you’re struggling to get out of the rat race then you need to take my free debt payoff email course to get access to the strategies I’m using. You can learn more about the course here.
Track your spending for the next 30 days.
We’ve all been there and by there I mean wondering where the heck all of our money went. You have to know what your weaknesses are in order to save more money, and tracking your spending is a great way to bring them to light.
For the next 30 days, take note of every transaction you make. You can opt to use a spreadsheet, the notes section in your smartphone, or just old fashioned pen and paper.
Tracking your spending allows you to see what type of expenses you’re spending the most money on so that you know which areas of your budget you need to monitor more closely.
Set a big goal.
When it comes to saving money, many of us lack the motivation needed to consistently save. It becomes more of a burden than a pleasure, and when we don’t enjoy doing something then we don’t do it. Plain and simple.
By setting a big goal, such as saving for a new home, there is more of a priority placed on stashing cash rather than spending. You’ll become a lot more intentional with how you spend your money because you have a specific reason for saving versus blindly putting back cash.
Set up automated contributions!
It’s a lot harder to save money when it’s staring you right in the face. You have a million things you want to spend the cash on, and sometimes temptation gets the best of us!
This is where the perks of automation come into play. When money is automatically deducted from your pay and deposited into your savings account you can’t miss what was never really there. Out of sight out of mind!
Automation forces you to save even when you lack motivation because it’s done for you. Whether you like it or not, that deposit is going to happen.
Most employers make this super easy by offering direct deposit. Just add the routing and account number and the amount you’d like to save from each paycheck.
Lower your personal funds.
When you’re wondering how to save more money, the funds you use for “fun” are in danger. You can’t live it up and expect to reach your goals at the same time. Financial success takes sacrifice and a whole lot of discipline so you have to get comfortable with delaying pleasure.
Making a small adjustment, such as $20, can greatly benefit you in the long run.
Search for a new job/ask for a raise – you can do it!
It’s no secret that an increase in pay means that you can also increase your savings but sometimes we get complacent and become a little too comfy in our positions. Reasons for this include:
- Our working relationships
- The job is easy
Or worse, you don’t believe you’re deserving of better pay. Either way, get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
In my previous positions, I let the fact that I loved my team and the familiarity of my position hold me back. Truth is, while these things are important, they’re not a good enough excuse not to push yourself forward when you know you’re capable of so much more!
So, I prepared myself for a job promotion and after a year of working my ass off, I got a promotion making $6 more per hour!
If you’re satisfied with your role, but know you should be paid more, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a raise. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. When you’re a valuable person to the team your company will be more willing to work with you.
Tips for asking for a raise:
- Do your research to see how much others in your field are making in your area.
- Ask your supervisor about how to improve your skills.
- Document your accomplishments and present them during your annual review.
To learn how to negotiate your salary and win you need to check out this post here!
Take a look around your storage room. Yea, all those things collecting dust used to be money so why pay full price for something you can get on a discount? Whether it be furniture, electronics, or clothes, buying secondhand has the potential to save you thousands!
The average person spends nearly $2,000 a year just for clothes that probably won’t be worn for longer than two years or so. That dollar amount increases when you have kids, and we all know how quickly they grow out of things!
Since I started buying our clothes from consignment sales, I spend no more than $400 a year for me and my 2 kids! This is because you can buy and sell your unused clothes all in the same place.
For my clothes, in particular, I shop with thredUP! I save over 70% off retail price every time I order and you cannot even tell they were previously owned. Here’s $10 to use if you want to try them out!
More money-saving posts to check out!
Adjust your tax withholdings!
If you typically receive a large tax return then it may be time to adjust your tax withholdings. A large refund often indicates that you overpaid in taxes the previous year, which means you let the government borrow your money tax-free. By adjusting your withholdings, you can fatten up your paychecks and make that money work for you each month versus waiting on one big lump sum.
Use the IRS withholding calculator to determine how many deductions you should be claiming to get your return as close to $0 as possible. You’ll need a few pieces of information, such as:
- the amount withheld in federal taxes on your last paycheck
- how much you paid in federal taxes so far this year
- how much you plan to contribute to retirement savings
- how much you anticipate paying in childcare expenses
Then, file a new W-4 with your employer and use the extra money towards your goals!
Bring your lunch for two days per week.
The average person spends $3,008 on dining out a year! When you include the fact that this is separate from groceries, that number is insane.
A combo meal can easily cost you around $10. Times that by a 5-day workweek and you’ll find that you’re shelling out $50 a week. That’s $200 a month you could be saving if you packed your lunch every day from that grocery budget! *wink
Of course, if you’re a foodie, switching from eating out every day to bringing a lunchbox is not realistic. Challenge yourself to bring your lunch two days per week has the potential to save you $80 a month.
Ditch the plastic.
Did you know when you use cash over credit/debit cards that you’re more prone to reduce your spending? I like to think that this is because you can actually see your money dwindling versus blindly swiping.
This year I switched to the cash envelope system and have consistently come under budget by at least $60. I recommend using cash for a budget category you struggle with, such as fast food or beauty, as it will make you more conscious of your spending.
Order your groceries.
Cringing at the check-out line as your total slowly rises above your budget is a thing of the past. Ordering your groceries online not only spares you from dragging your kids through the aisles, but it has the potential to save you more money!
When you order your groceries online, you have time to sit down and take your time going through your list. You can compare the price of items to find the best value and avoid the temptation of throwing random items in your cart because you shopped hangry.
The thing I love best about grocery pickup is the fact that you know the price of your order before you press submit. This is an advantage, as you can adjust your cart as needed to ensure you’re not going over budget.
Currently, I use Walmart Grocery Pickup which doesn’t charge you a fee, unlike Kroger! Order for the first time through this link and get $10 to use!
Try a no-spend week!
Doing no spend challenges are a great way to put your savings on turbo! Obviously when you don’t spend you have more money to use towards your goals.
Some go months, even years, doing these challenges, but I believe that a week is more than enough!
How to prepare for a no-spend week:
- Make a list of all the things you need (toilet paper, groceries, etc.)
- Plan out free activities
- Meal plan
- Make all family and friends aware that you’re doing a no-spend week!
Lower your electric bill.
Some expenses are fixed, such as your rent or mortgage, but variable expenses depend on your usage. What you paid last month may differ from this month, depending on how much you used a service or product.
One variable expense, in particular, is your utility bill. With a few simple tweaks, you can reduce the amount of energy used in your home. In just one month I lowered mine by $60 by doing these 10 things!
When you learn how to lower your electric bill, you can use your savings to increase other budget categories.
I truly believe that being able to save more money makes us happier human beings overall. There’s less financial stress to deal with and you can afford the things that add value to your life. If it weren’t for most of these tips, I definitely would not be able to support myself and two kids.
Today, make time to comb through your budget and monitor your spending to set yourself up for financial success.
Take the FREE money-saving course!
If you’re sick of checking your savings account and not seeing any money or struggling with being a consistent saver, I’ve created a free online course just for you! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND ENROLL!