What would you do if you have an extra $20, $50, or even $500 a month? Would you spend it, save it, or invest it? We all have our own financial problems and some of us love the idea of having extra money for the month. Whether you are looking to pay down debt, cut down your college loans, save for retirement or fund a vacation, here are 25 creative ways to save money.
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meal for the week is a great way to save you a lot of money, energy, and time. You don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner every day and stand in the kitchen for hours. All you have to do is figure out what you want to eat every day and get the groceries for the week. This is one of the creative ways to save money when you are on a budget. It is healthier, cheaper, and timely managed when you have other things to worry about.
Plan Your Outings
There are times where you are stressed and need a change of pace, but you don’t want to go on a splurge. Look at your expenses for the month and see where you want to go that doesn’t go over your budget. By doing so, you are saving yourself from overspending. Plan your outings a week or two ahead so it gives you time to plan and get the essentials you need.
Plan Your Clothing Purchases
We all love online shopping, and it can be very tempting to buy everything you see on the internet. Check your monthly expenses to see if you have extra money to spend on an outfit you’ve been dying to wear. You might have an occasion so plan ahead to save up for that outfit. Always check your calendar if you have anything planned for the month so that you can spend your money on clothes.
Plan Your Entertainment Purchases
We all need a break once in a while and going to the museum, zoo, theaters, concerts, or theme parks can be a bit pricy sometimes. You may not do it sometimes, but setting money aside for entertainment purposes is a creative way to save you money. Figure out what day you plan on going and save up that amount for that particular day.
Plan For Christmas Gifts
A year can pass really quickly so it is best to start saving for Christmas when it is July or August. As it gets close to Christmas, your wallet can go empty really quickly. One of the creative ways to save money during Christmas is to start shopping for people early. By shopping early, you are saving yourself from stress and energy when Christmas comes around and you’re spending the charges out across multiple months vs having to cover it all in one or two pay periods.
Plan For Birthday Gifts
Birthday parties do come around all year long so it is best to think about a gift that doesn’t hurt your wallet. Plan a day to shop for a gift or make the gift yourself. By making a gift for someone, you are saving some bucks in your pocket and making a one-of-a-kind gift.
Plan For Transportation
We all use some type of transportation every day and gas can be very expensive if you go around town a lot. Why not walk if the place not far? How about carpooling with people? Riding a bike is always an option as well. These are great ways to save money where you don’t have to just use a car to get to your destination.
How often do you watch TV? Most people watch Netflix these days. By cutting the cable you can probably save an extra $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year! Sometimes you have to revaluate your lifestyle and see if you need cable or not. If you don’t, it is time to say goodbye to it.
Hit up the thrift shop
Nothing is better than going on a quest to find a one-of-a-kind piece at the thrift store. By shopping at thrift stores, you can save more than shopping online or at the mall. Who wouldn’t like getting 5 shirts for $10? It may take a long time to find things compare to traditional retail, but it is one of the creative ways to save money in the long run.
Throw a potluck
It is better to have everyone participate in contributing something than doing everything by yourself. If you host a party and did it all by yourself, you’ll destroy your wallet. A party can be very costly so letting everyone bring a dish can put less stress on your shoulders and save your wallet.
Get a reusable water bottle
Not only are you saving mother nature by reusing water bottles but you are saving a lot by not buying water bottles. Think how many families buy bulks of water bottles and leave them in their homes? The more water bottles you buy, the more money you’ll end up spending. By reusing your water bottle, you don’t have to spend money every time you need water.
Get your media from the library
Why not go to the library to get your media? Isn’t it free? You can save a lot of money by getting information from the library. The library has literally everything that you need and not just media. What other creative ways to save money than getting everything in one place. Who doesn’t like going to the library?
Get free museum passes from your library
Who doesn’t love free passes? Depending on where you live, you can get free passes to museums and other fun places. All you have to do is check your local library. What better way to spend a relaxing day than by going on an adventure.
Cancel your subscriptions
We all have a lot of subscriptions that we have to pay for every month. Getting an app to track your expenses and subscription is one of the best ways to save money. If there is a subscription you don’t use anymore, you can cancel and use the money towards your side hustles, investment, or entertainment purpose.
Automate your savings
Some of us don’t automate our savings which you should. It can give you peace of mind and confidence on your personal finance. You know that if the money goes into your savings you shouldn’t touch it unless there’s an emergency, so set up an automated system to control your finances.
Buy generic products
You don’t need to buy a well-known brand to live your lifestyle because there are many generic brands out there that can do just fine. By buying generic products, you can save between 15%-30% of your expenses per month. There are many generic products that do wonder compared to beloved-name brands. You may not think that it doesn’t make a difference, but it doesn’t. It is considered one of the creative ways to save money by buying affordable brands.
Make your own coffee
We are all guilty in buying Starbucks or other to-go coffee. If you are buying coffee often, you are spending between $1-$6 a day depending on where you live. When you buy it every day for $5, there goes your $35 in a week. If you made it at home, it’ll be 30 cents or less. Not only is it a great habit to change, but it can save a few bucks a week.
Are you always having trouble on what to cook every day? If you organize and plan ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about it until next week. Not only does it saves you time, money, and energy, but you are also keeping a healthy diet for yourself. We all love to stay in shape and have a balanced meal. Plan your meal for next week on Saturday and make it all on Sunday. This way you are efficient with your time
Go (kind of) vegetarian
Did you know that vegetarians save more money than meat-eaters? Vegan meals are considered 40% cheaper than meat and fish. Just by eating less meat, you are saving money and taking care of your healthy diet. It’s not good to eat meat too often especially red meat since it can cause heart problems.
Drinking alcohol daily or weekly can kill your wallet because alcohol can be expensive. It’s alright to drink once in a while, but drinking way too often can hurt you. If you put your money into your savings instead of drinking, it can save up to a paycheck within a year. Not only does this save you money, but it keeps you healthy and fit.
Prepare snacks yourself
There are times you are craving random snacks out of nowhere. Instead of buying them yourself, why not make them yourself. There are many creative ways to save money when making your own snacks, and it is fun and cheaper than buying them at the place.
When you quit smoking, you not only improve your health, but you are also saving a ton just by not buying cigarettes. You could save between $2,000-$4000 per year if you quit and use that money for other things like entertainment, emergency, or investing.
Stick to the shopping list
Whenever you go shopping, don’t you get tempted to buy unnecessary things? The best way to save money is to make a shopping list and stick with it. If you stick with it, you won’t buy anything else that is not on the list.
Negotiate your interest rate
Negotiating can play a huge role in your personal finance. We don’t like high-interest rates because then most of our money is leaving the bank. One of the best and creative ways to save money is to negotiate the interest rate that you are comfortable with. Sometimes companies charge you way too much, and you need to stand up for yourself.
Cancel your gym membership
If you don’t go to the gym anymore, why keep your membership? Unless you go to the gym 4-5 times a week, you should cancel it. Why should you keep the membership when you don’t even use it right? Sometimes you can do a light workout at home as well if you can’t fit your schedule to go to the gym. There are always alternative ways instead of going to the gym.
Take advantage of free fitness classes
We all love free things or services right? If there is a free fitness class why not try it out? Take advantage of things that come your way. You never know if it’s something you want to do or not. What a creative way to save money by attending a free class that you can learn a lot from.
Go to the movies on Tuesday
If there is a movie that you love to go see, save your money and go on Tuesday. Tuesday is considered the cheapest day to go to watch a movie because it’s between $5-$6. Instead of spending $10-15 on other days, you can just go on Tuesday where the price is cut in half. What an awesome and creative way to save money by going to the movie just on Tuesday. We all love a $5 movie day right?
Don’t buy just because you have a coupon
Beware of spending when it comes to coupons. You might actually spend more than you save. Coupons can tempt you in spending your money rather than saving your money. Save your coupons for other situations when you need to get something. Yes, they expire but you only want to spend on things that you need and not what you want.
Hopefully, these ideas gave you so new ways to save money. Whether you want to take a family trip to Hawaii, pay down college loans, credit card debt or save for retirement, start with a couple of these to build new habits.
After designing for so long, I wanted to have more purpose in life than designing 24/7. I decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest to gain financial freedom to do things that I love. I created The Money Dreamer to help and inspire those who needed it the most.