Do you always end up with little savings at the end of the month? Check out these 50 clever money hacks that will make a massive difference in your finances without the need to count the pennies!
So, I talk a lot about how to make money!
After all, that’s what we’re all here for:
To find a way to increase our earnings to finally live the life we want, explore the world, and do more of what we genuinely enjoy by taking back our time.
But what about optimizing your spending by saving money?
I have a confession to make: as much as I can think of myself as a good saver, I am much better at making money than saving it!
Plus, I do love to treat myself, especially when it comes to traveling and eating out!
I think that once in a while, it’s great to splurge a little at your favorite coffee shop or plan that vacation you’ve always wanted to take.
You’ve earned it, and your hard work should be rewarded.
But it’s always good to plan for a rainy day!
Whether you have a job or work from home, things can always change in your life, and you just don’t know if the amount of revenue you earn today will keep coming in at the same pace.
And remember, the more you can save today, the earlier you can reach financial freedom!
How Can I Save Money Every Day?
Frugality is not about not spending money.
It’s about being as efficient as possible with it.
It’s about not wasting resources and optimizing what you do with your time and your cash!
I want to show you that saving without counting pennies every day is possible!
The best part?
You can do these things without sacrificing much in how you currently live and still be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I will share 50 genius money hacks, so you can start doing this today.
Read on and be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back and reference it – you’ll want to keep these life hacks in mind.
Let’s get started on the brilliant ways you can pad your emergency fund today!
50 Clever Money Hacks
Money Hacks: Personal Finance
Table of contents
1. Automate your savings
Take the work out of savings by automatically placing money in a savings account. It doesn’t matter how much.
Just set aside a certain amount every month, and it will add up, and before you know it, you won’t even miss the funds.
The great thing about online savings accounts is that they usually offer much higher interest than bank-based accounts!
This account will give you over ten times the national average if you deposit at least $100 a month! It’s one of the best rates you’ll get for your money without having to invest it or lock it away!
But the best thing is that you won’t be tempted to spend what you set aside because it’ll be out of your reach!
2. Create a monthly budget
Ok, so maybe it’s not really a saving hack, at least at first glance.
It’s true, though, that you can’t save if you don’t know where your money is going.
So, first things first, you’ve got to start tracking your expenses and get a budget.
If the idea of setting up a budget sounds about as fun as finding your receipts to give to your accountant, relax. There are easy ways to start tracking your money!
All you have to do is find a tool that works for you. You can use your own spreadsheet (or download my intentional budget system).
But if you love technology, there are plenty of apps that can help you!
These programs are designed to do all the hard work for you!
No receipts, no formulas. You just get to track your spending at the touch of a button.
Sound great? Well, here’s the money-saving hack part: these apps are free!
3. Discover if your employer’s 401(k) is the best option for you
Most employers use their own 401(k).
You might be paying hidden fees and not investing in the best possible funds for you. Make sure you do your own research to find out how you can get the most out of your 401(k).
If your employer’s 401(k) plan doesn’t match your financial goals, it could delay your goal of reaching financial freedom.
Also, just because a plan is provided by your employer, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best or most lucrative for you. It might have high hidden fees that can eat into your retirement savings over time.
And it could only have costly funds or investment strategies that don’t align with your risk tolerance.
Consider using an app that analyzes your 401(k) and helps guide your investment choices.
This kind of tool can optimize your retirement savings plan, helping you to stay on track.
4. Use a raise to save more
Getting a raise is one of the best ways to make more money! But it doesn’t mean you have to spend it all.
As soon as you get the extra money in your next paycheck, put a portion into savings.
Not only will you still be able to enjoy a little perk from the rewards of your hard work, but you’ll save more, too.
Don’t inflate your lifestyle, and use this great opportunity as one of the best money-saving tips out there!
And if you need any help getting the raise you deserve, check out these amazing tips!
During the last ten years, I’ve been both an employee and a boss, looking after a big team of people, and I know exactly what techniques you should be using to get the raise you want!
5. Get a robot to save for you
Are you sure you are not paying for things you don’t even use anymore? Like that gym membership, you bought last January and used twice?
This free IOs app can save you the pain of going through all your subscriptions.
Trim shows you exactly how you spend and in what ways, which makes it easy to see where you can cut back and find those expenses you didn’t even realize you had.
It’s exceptionally secure with encrypted access, two-factor authentication, and read-only access so that you can feel safe saving money.
Trim can also help you cut spending in other ways by negotiating with your service providers to lower your monthly bills.
Plus, it analyzes your transactions to quickly and easily understand where your money goes.
You can download it for free here.
6. Buy term life insurance when you are young
It might seem counter-intuitive to purchase this while you’re young, but buying term life insurance now will save much money on your premiums.
It just makes sense to purchase it while the rates are the best, especially since the benefits stay the same.
For example, buying $100,000 insurance when you are 30 could save over $1,800 over the policy’s life compared to purchasing the same insurance at 40!
Get a quote in a few minutes here to find out how cheap it could be!
7. Try a non-spending day
Have you ever had a no-spend day? Ever tried not to touch your wallet for 24 hours?
The trick is to prepare ahead of time. It’s much easier to do it during a workday, as you’ll probably want to treat yourself over the weekend.
Walk or cycle to the office, bring your lunch in, and drink the free coffee work provides. Don’t be tempted to stop at the grocery store on your way home.
Cook a healthy meal for dinner, read a book, or watch a free movie in the evening.
You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll learn.
And if you are up for a real challenge, go for a non-spending week!
You’ll learn there are many things you can easily live without (and some that are really hard to give up!).
8. Become financially literate
Money might not buy you happiness, but in modern society, being poor isn’t great either.
If you want to transform your life, personal finance books are the right way to start.
By learning how to manage your money correctly, you will begin to feel in control of your life.
Once you know how to manage your money, pay off your debt, and invest your savings, you might not be happy, but you will have financial security.
This will give you more freedom for more important things in life: health, love, friends, family, and personal growth.
You can start with this list of books. They helped me reach financial freedom and changed how I think about money.
Money Hacks: Food Shopping
9. Use less plastic and save cash
It’s surprising to many that you can save money buying the same things you usually get by skipping all the plastic waste generated by traditional grocery shopping.
Many stores offer discounts on any number of these activities, from bringing your own reusable bags and refilling bulk containers such as water, coffee, soap, and detergents to skipping the produce wraps as you shop.
Not only will you be helping your bank balance, but you’re also contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment.
10. Get money back every time you spend
Get paid to shop? I mean, if you’re going to shop at the store anyway, why not? It’s free cash!
Rebates are a great way to snag incredible sales or get cash back on your purchases.
Rakuten leads the way in this area by giving you up to 10% cash back on things you were going to buy anyway! Rakuten lets you start a shopping trip, and every time you find an item with a Rakuten link, purchase it there. You’ll earn cashback.
I made over $200 with Swagbucks in only a few months!
It works much the same, but with the bonus of watching videos or doing surveys to earn gift cards to major retailers (I picked Amazon gift cards!).
11. Make a meal plan
Although I always loved cooking, before I discovered meal planning, I always had the wrong veggies in the fridge and ended up throwing away and wasting food without reason.
With meal planning, life gets much easier, and you only buy what you will use.
Think about what you need in advance and check what you have left in your kitchen.
It’s a great way to eat healthy food while saving money on meals and reducing food waste.
12. Cook at home more
Get your Tupperware ready and go ahead and meal prep when you get back from shopping.
When working all day, it’s tempting to break your grocery budget by eating out.
If you have everything prepped and ready to go, you’ll avoid the infamous time crunch that has us picking up the phone and ordering a pizza more times than not.
Not only will your meals be healthier, but you’ll also use the food you purchased at the store.
No waste, no fuss.
13. Try intermittent fasting
Why would you suggest a diet? I can hear you saying.
The 16/8 intermittent fasting involves eating food and drinks containing calories for a set window of eight hours per day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
But how is this going to help you to save money?
As your eating window reduces, you’ll be less tempted to buy food on impulse.
Plus, by only cooking one or two large meals a day, you will waste less food (although you’ll be eating the same amount of calories).
By reducing the type of meals you cook, you can buy in bulk and reduce costs. And by optimizing what you eat and when you eat it, you can reduce waste.
How does it work?
Many people prefer to eat between noon and 8 p.m., which means you’ll only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast but can still eat a balanced lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks throughout the day.
If you are interested in getting started, check out this great book.
14. Write a list before you go shopping
Yes, everything from your weekly grocery plan to cute clothes. Plan it, set your buying budget, and stick to it.
It’s incredible how much money impulse buys add to our overall spending, so take the time to realize the savings yourself.
15. Drink water but stop buying it
It’s not a secret that you can save a lot of money by drinking water and giving up fizzy drinks, wine, and beer. But by stopping buying water altogether, you can save much more!
Plastic water bottles are not only bad for your wallet but for the environment too: bottled water is about 2,000 more expensive than tap.
It also takes three times as much water as that contained in the bottle to manufacture it, and less than 30% of plastic bottles are recycled every year.
Carry around a reusable water bottle, and not only will you save hundreds of dollars per year, and you will help the environment too.
16. Eat less meat
Planning a few meatless meals a week is not only good for your bank balance but also great for your body.
Meat is expensive, and by making a few meals plant-based, you’ll not only see a saving in your grocery bill but also contribute to your future health.
And when I say plant-based, I mean whole-food, plant-based diet. Avoid anything processed and buy real and simple ingredients like fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes.
It’s all about getting a bit more creative in the kitchen!
You can start with some delicious ideas here.
17. Shop for food online
When I started shopping for food online, I wasn’t sure I would be making much savings.
But the reality is that you’ll be less tempted to buy food that you don’t need by shopping online!
You can save quite a lot, especially if you know what you need to buy (see above – write a list and stick to it!)
Plus, you can find great offers online and save money on gas and time.
Give it a shot and realize the savings and convenience.
18. Try generic brands
Ok, so there might be some things you just don’t want to purchase the store-brand equivalent for, and that’s totally fine.
But there’s virtually zero difference but the price when it comes to basics like toilet paper, seasoning, spices, and cleaning products.
Generic brands are cheaper due to the lack of promotion (yes, marketing!) and less expensive packaging. But the quality is the same, if not better!
Be smart and snag the value.
19. Buy seasonal produce
It not only tastes better, but it is also better.
Produce in season is more likely to have more of the vitamins and nutrients you’re looking for in your food, and because less money has been spent on shipping, it’s often cheaper.
20. Scan your receipts
Did you know there is a free app that gives you money back if you scan your recipe?
Ibotta is a fantastic app to save money on the things you already purchase.
You need to take a picture of your grocery receipts with your phone and upload them to the app. You will then receive between $0.25 to a few dollars per receipt as cashback for buying certain products. It’s so easy.
I can’t believe they actually give you cash for that.
And you also get a free $10 sign-up bonus! You can check it out here!
21. Bring your lunch to work
We all start the year with good intentions, going out with co-workers only on Fridays. But before we know it, we end up going out every day!
With an average work lunch costing up to $10 a day in a big city, you can spend over $2,500 a year on work lunches alone!
I am not asking you to pack your lunch every day, but if you prepare your lunch at home 2-3 times a week, you can easily save more than $1,000 a year!
22. Try the baby section for cosmetic products
It might surprise you, but the same products can vary in price depending on where in the store you pick them up from.
Items such as cotton buds and sunscreen are often cheaper in the baby’s section than in the standard cosmetics aisle.
Bonus? Lotions are usually formulated with fewer chemicals as they are specifically made for children.
23. Use a reusable coffee cup to get a discount in coffee shops
Now you can have your coffee and drink it, too. Many coffee shops give customers who bring their own mugs discounts due to saving money on disposable cups.
Plus, you are also saving the environment too!
Did you know disposable coffee cups are not recyclable? What doesn’t help is the mixture of paper and plastic in their inner lining, designed to make them both heat and leakproof. This means that over 99.75% aren’t recycled.
Invest in a travel mug and start packing your own today.
24. Monitor Amazon for price drops
A friend taught me this just before Christmas last year!
Put something you want in your Amazon watchlist or your cart and monitor the price.
Chances are, it will fluctuate, and you’ll have the opportunity to snag it at a discount.
25. Write it down before you buy (The 30-day Rule!)
If you really want to purchase a high-ticket item, write it down. Keep it written for 30 days before you take the plunge.
If you forget about it or just decide after a month that you don’t really need it, you’ve saved yourself from an expensive purchase.
If you still want it, at least you’ll know that the item will be used.
26. Stop upgrading your phone
Are you still paying for your cell phone in your contract?
You might think you are getting a great deal, but you are pretty much renting your phone for a much higher price.
You should simply buy your phone, keep it for a few good years and switch to a much cheaper plan.
If you are in the US and are looking for an affordable cell phone plan, check out Republic Wireless. They have monthly plans for as low as $15 per month + $5 for data.
It’s a great deal that can save you hundreds of dollars a year!
27. Join email and Facebook groups for your favorite brands online
It often pays to be a member of the club, especially with shopping and brand loyalty.
Many major retailers offer exclusive discounts to member-only clubs in exchange for the following, so hop on to the ones you genuinely love and snag the deals.
28. Make your own gifts instead of buying them
Even if you don’t think you’re the creative type, you might surprise yourself. Everyone has a talent that can be developed.
Not only will you gain a hobby, but you’ll also be able to gift your loved ones with unique presents.
You can bake delicious cookies, make a tasty jar of jam or pickles, or some great homemade soap!
Giving a present made with your own hands has much more meaning, showing how much you care!
29. Hunt for used items
It’s true. Whether you’re thrifting or going to second chance boutiques, you can find some fantastic deals on clothing and housewares.
Don’t be shy. Go in and look around. Ask the staff what day they get their shipments so you’ll stand a better chance of finding the excellent stuff.
Don’t forget to check out the furniture items.
Second-hand stores are often chock full of solid wood furniture that just needs a little polish to look good as new again and can be had for a fraction of the cost you’d spend on particleboard pieces at retail shops.
30. Borrow what you need just once
From lawn care tools to books, if you’re only going to need them once, try to borrow rather than purchase them.
Just ask your friends and neighbors. You’ll be surprised by how many things they have that they will happily lend you for a day or two.
You’ll save money and space!
Money Hacks: Home and Transport
31. Bigger isn’t always better
Housing is one of the highest costs we have in our life! You should never spend more than 30% of your income on housing (including taxes and bills), but the less you pay, the more you can save!
About six years ago, Dan and I had a choice: keep living in our 600ft apartment or buy a bigger place for ourselves. We decided to stay put and invested the extra money in a rental property.
That decision was one of the best money moves in our life!
Our housing costs haven’t increased, and we are now property investors and generate around $2,500 a month in rental income alone.
I know some people love to live in a huge house but remember that you will have more costs if you live in a big space. And I am not just talking about your rent or mortgage.
A big house or apartment will mean:
- Your house tax will be higher.
- Your utility bills will be more expensive.
- You are going to have to fill a bigger space with furniture!
- The more space you have, the more room for the stuff you think you have, which leads you to buy unnecessary items!
32. Compare, compare, compare
This one often goes over many people’s heads, but how long have you had your insurance policy? If it’s over a year and your driving record hasn’t changed, chances are they’ll offer you a cheaper rate.
The current rate you’re paying was established on your driving record; however, many years ago, it was that you signed up.
If you’ve been accident-free for a while, making the call can make a big difference to your premiums.
The same is true for your utility companies. There are often competing providers, all with adjusted rates for new customers.
Call and compare, and you could start seeing substantial savings for the items you have to pay for.
I started doing this five years ago, saving over 50% on my utility bill (over $500)! I now set a calendar reminder every year to know when my contracts are up and shop around again for the best deal.
33. Drive a used car (or get rid of it entirely!)
Transport comes second as an expense after housing for most people, and driving a car is often the culprit.
According to Consumer Expenditure in 2017, the average vehicle costs $9,576 per year to own and operate! That’s almost $800 a month!
If you live in a city, like Dan and I do, use public transport, walk or cycle around. You will save yourself a fortune! And if you really need a car, opt for a reliable used car instead of buying a new car. New cars depreciate very quickly!
Buy a car you can afford, and you’ll be much richer every day.
34. Cut the cable & stop watching TV!
Are you still paying high cable prices for a package you likely don’t use?
Investigate whether you can see your favorite shows on another service, like Netflix or a streaming app, and cut the cable.
Also, as much as you might find it relaxing, watching TV is such a waste of time! In the last couple of years, I decided to watch less TV, and I now spend that time reading more and learning how to generate passive income.
That’s how I started this blog!
35. Insulate your house
We all have to heat and cool our homes, but we don’t have to spend so much money doing it.
Be sure that your home is well insulated against drafts by checking the caulking around windows.
If you’re in an older home, you can have blow-in insulation added to bulk up your resistance to energy loss.
What it costs will soon be recovered in savings.
36. Rent out a part of your home on Airbnb
Have you ever heard of Airbnb? Of course, you have! You’ve probably used it to save money on one of your latest trips!
But how about making money with it?
If you have a finished basement, garage apartment, or spare bedroom, you can turn it into cash by posting it on Airbnb.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly the revenue adds up to something big!
Depending on your location, you can make over $100 a night for a room. And if you have a house, you can make much, much more!
37. YouTube it and fix it yourself
We are all for hiring the pros to do the tricky work, but there’s no need to turn to expensive service with many repairs. YouTube some how-to videos and hone your handyman skills.
Not only will you learn new things, but you’ll also save a bundle on labor charges.
Here are a few things I learned to do thanks to YouTube to save a lot of money:
- Cut my fringe ($10 every two weeks – estimate savings of $260 a year- a whopping $2,600 over ten years!)
- Replace a light switch (between $50 to $150)
- Replace a radiator (yes, I am not kidding – go DIYers! Saved between $200 to $300)
38. Get a smart thermostat
I love my Nest Thermostat! We got it around three years ago, which has helped us save hundreds of dollars on our home heating costs.
Smart thermostats give you total control over your home temperature and allow you to program schedules for each day of the week.
You can easily change your settings and see how much you are using every day!
I love how you can turn on and off the heating from far away. I can keep my heating low and switch it on 15-20 minutes before I get home to get that warm feeling without wasting hours of gas for no reason!
Stop paying to maintain your home’s comfort when you’re not there, and invest in one today to see savings on your energy bill.
39. Switch to LED bulbs
With over ten years of life, LED lights are so much cheaper these days!
By switching just the five most-used lights to LED in your home – for example, the lights in your living room, kitchen, and entryway – you could save around $225 a year on your electric bill.
40. Close the blinds
Your blinds help to insulate cool or warm air from penetrating your home. If they’re open, the interior of your house can be changed by external factors.
Close the blinds and relish a little extra privacy.
41. Declutter: sell your junk for cash
I never really liked clutter! I find it hard to concentrate when I have too much stuff around me.
And I really can see how decluttering will help you in two ways: initially, by selling stuff that you don’t need, you’ll get a cash infusion that you can use to invest or treat yourself.
Plus, by getting rid of your clutter, you’ll save money and time with less cleaning required.
And if you ask me, extra money and less dusting is a win-win situation!
Check out this list of 20 Best Selling Apps To Sell Stuff Online And Locally. And then use these apps to sell them.
Money Hacks: Travel
42. Use foreign websites for lower prices abroad
Indeed, local is usually cheaper, so why not shop like a local if you’re planning that vacation abroad?
You’ll find spectacular deals on places to stay in the areas you were already planning on visiting while you skip the non-local price.
43. Stay for free or get paid to house-sit abroad
If you’re really lucky, you can score a housesitting job abroad.
Not only will you get to stay for free in the location you choose, but you’ll also likely have the entire place to yourself.
No motel room can match this deal, so don’t rule it out if you’re planning a vacation.
Some fantastic websites to explore to find housesitting deals:
Some of these housesitting websites will charge you an annual fee, but you’ll save so much money by staying in some fantastic homes that if you are serious about trying it out, it’s a no-brainer to pay the fee!
44. Save money using Airbnb
If you don’t mind sharing your space, cruise through Airbnb for travel steals.
You can find a comfortable room in nearly every city globally, so be open to new experiences.
Some of the renters on Airbnb post a single room, while some rent the whole property.
Either way, make sure you can use the kitchen to avoid all takeout expenses.
And if you have never tried Airbnb, check out my top tips and hacks to get you started.
45. Hide your search!
Some websites claim this isn’t true, but I have witnessed it with my eyes: prices go up if you keep searching for a specific flight route!
Open a new incognito or private window between new searches, as cookies are reset and deleted between each session.
Doing this will give you the best chance to find cheap flights without being fooled by airlines.
Check out more money-saving hacks to book cheap flights every time here.
Money Hacks: Health & Fitness
46. Workout from home and save on gym membership
Every single one of us is guilty of it: we purchase a gym membership only to end up not going anywhere near as often as we promised we would.
Take the time to work out at home and skip the monthly fees.
After all, Gym You is always open, and you don’t have to get ready to go, so you’ll likely end up working out more than you did at the gym.
YouTube comes in handy again here. I started doing yoga classes at home and never looked back!
One of my favorite yoga channels is Boho Beautiful!
If there’s a class at the gym you love, speak to the clerks about ala carte options.
You might still be able to participate in the activities you love with a cheaper fee than the membership.
47. Walk more
Save the gas money for trips and take a stroll.
You’ll spend less on fuel, help the environment, work on your fitness, and enjoy an up-close and personal view of your neighborhood.
Consider public transportation if it’s available in your area.
Monthly bus passes cost about as much as a single tank of fuel, and you’ll be able to get around anywhere you need.
EXTRA FREE MONEY HACK: if you are up for walking around more, check out these apps that will pay you to walk. You will not get rich by using apps, but it’s fun to see how much you can make by walking around!
48. Exercise daily
This money-saving tip is a prime example of the domino effect.
Exercising daily saves money in so many different ways! It brings better health, which means fewer doctor visits.
It also helps you feel good about yourself, making you less likely to indulge in expensive junk food. Lastly, while you’re working out, you’re not shopping!
Money Hacks: Make More!
49. Get a side hustle
It doesn’t have to be a full-time commitment. It can be something you genuinely enjoy.
Are you crafty?
Do you like to write?
The possibilities are truly endless, and each task won’t take you long to complete. The more you do it, the better your reputation and the more you can charge.
Eventually, you might decide that your side hustle is better suited to your daily job.
Some great ideas to get started:
- 15 Best Things to Sell on Etsy For Money
- 36 Creative ways to make $100 Every Day
- How to Make Extra Money Fast: Make an Extra $1000 a Month
- How to Make $150 in an Hour With Online Focus Groups
- 15 Best Ways to Get Paid to Shop
- Get Paid To Walk Dogs
- 30 Best Things to Sell To Make Money
- 15 Best Websites To Sell Photos Online
- 30 Best Hobbies To Make Money
- 30 Best Low-Cost Business Ideas To Start On the Side
50. Get a raise
How long have you worked for your current employer?
It might be time to trump up your contributions and ask for a raise. If your boss is less receptive, search the job market to see competitive wages for your position and duties and apply.
It might be scary to switch jobs, but the payoff in greater financial freedom is worth it.
This is a combination of life hack and money-saving hack, but it’s true.
You have the power to make your life work for you, so take advantage of each opportunity!
There you have it!
50 amazing money hacks you can start today.
Remember: saving money is not about depriving yourself, but it’s about being able to spend on the things you truly love and value, whether it’s traveling the world (like me) or finally getting those plants for your fairy garden (yes, it’s a thing…and I had no idea about it!).
Whatever makes you happy!
I hope you found some tips you haven’t thought of and are inspired to take control of your finances.
Do you have any other great money hacks that you use? Let me know in the comments below!