You can improve your financial situation by taking the right steps in the right direction. But it’s not always easy to make that first step. Millennial saving habits often get a bad rap. Building good saving habits overnight isn’t feasible. What is possible is making little adjustments that build up to making a significant difference. That’s what we’ll do here. We’ve put together over 20 creative ways to save money that you can consider making. You can choose which of these changes you want to make to cut unnecessary expenses and increase your savings.
Easy Ways to Save Money on Extras
Remember, the choice is yours as to what tips you want to apply to your life. Not every one of them will apply to your life. Use any combination that makes sense for you.
You would think that by cutting out cable, you’re already saving a lot of money. But once you start adding your Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, ESPN sports, Spotify, and YouTube TV, you are already back to a cable bill. Take a look at what you’re paying for and manage subscriptions to those services that you don’t use that often. You can also limit yourself to one or two, then swap out subscriptions once you’ve gotten maximum “use” out of them.
Sign Up for Customer Reward Programs
Just about every national retailer you can find offers a rewards program for shopping with them. You probably don’t want to get all those emails sent to your primary email. However, you can create new Gmail or other mail accounts used only for this purpose. Then check the account for coupons or other savings when you’re ready to shop. Many of these customer reward programs use a point system that allows you to earn points too. You can redeem these points for cashback and other benefits on purchases.
Use Your Credit Cards Responsibility
Racking up purchases that you can’t pay in full is not a savings habit you want to develop. If you have a problem with overspending, come up with ways to avoid the temptation. Leave your cards at home when you’re out and use cash instead. To reduce your purchase impulses, make a rule that you must give yourself until the next day before buying something. You’re less likely to want it after that timeframe, especially because it requires that you must go back to purchase it.
Turn on your autopay bill feature, too, so you never forget to make a payment. You’ll avoid late fees and prevent your credit from being negatively impacted. Every credit card company offers an autopay bill feature so take advantage of it!
Stick to Your Shopping List
A trip to the grocery store without a list will almost certainly lead to many impulse and unplanned purchases. Get into the habit of making a shopping list before heading to the grocery store, and most importantly, stick to that list. The items on your list should fit with your menu plans for the week and prevent having to make multiple trips to the grocery store. Your purchase planning will save you hundreds of dollars over a year. We’ll explain more about how to meal to save money in this later.
Entertain Your Friends at Home
Millennial saving habits can get challenging to implement with this generation with their love of experiences. Going out with your friends for dinner, drinks, and other activities make for an expensive evening that slashes away your entertainment budget. Instead, make plans for friends to come over and do some activities together.
Host a potluck or bbq where everyone pitches in. Some fun activities that you could have could include playing cards, watching a movie, binge-watching a series, lawn games, or viewing a sports event.
Look for Free Events to Attend
Going out with a family of four to the movies is well over a hundred dollars with ticket, popcorn, and drinks. Instead, find events around town that are free to attend. These locations might include museums, parks, walking trails, and other activities. Check out your city’s community calendar for some ideas on free events. Your local library may host events like author readings, book clubs, concerts, and film nights. Plus, they have access to entertainment in CDs and DVDs that are perfect for weekend activities.
Save Money on Necessary Expenses
We all have the same basic needs like food, shelter, insurance, etc. Let’s look at some tips on easy ways to save money on these essentials.
Trying Meal Prep to Save Money
You can try meal prep to save money. It has become popularized by food bloggers over the last several years. The idea behind it is that you plan out your meals for the week and create a list of everything you need. This method is one of the best ways to improve your saving habits. Usually, during a day in the weekend, you cook these meals and store them (typically in the freezer). This idea is handy for busy families who juggle work, kids, and other activities that make it challenging to prepare meals daily. Instead of opting for buying more expensive take-out options, you can warm up food in the oven or microwave when it’s mealtime.
Consider Alternatives to Driving
If you live in a city with a good transit system, think about using it to get around to school or work instead of driving. You’ll reduce not only how much you spend on gas but also the wear and tear on your car, so you have fewer visits to the car shop.
Ask around to find out if your co-workers or colleagues live nearby and consider a carpool. Parents could also reach out to their friends to see about switching off school drop-off and pick-up duties. If you are buying a house or renting a new place, look at what might be available within walking distance to your work.
Slash the Cost of Utilities
One of the easiest ways to save money on utilities is to install a programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat will cut down your home’s energy usage when you’re not home and help regulate the temperature. Reducing your energy usage when you’re not home or awake is an automatic way to save money.
Another hack is to lower the temperature on your water heater. A water heater that’s set above 140 degrees is wasting your money. Reduce the temperature to around 120 degrees, and you’ll save not only money but also decrease your tank’s mineral buildup.
Shop Around for a New Insurance Policy
When you own a car or home, you have to get insurance. Make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Every few years, shop around to make sure you couldn’t save by switching to a new provider or changing your policy if you have too much insurance.
Shop Wisely for New Appliances
You’ll have to replace your appliances one day. Purchase planning of these big expenses will get you financially prepared to handle them. But what you should also do is research the appliance before making a purchase. Getting a more energy-efficient washer with the dryer might cost more initially, but over a decade or more, the savings will be even more significant.
Creative Ways to Save Money by Creating Income
Cutting down on unnecessary expenses isn’t the only way to save money. Not having enough income is often a reason why many people find it hard to save. So try adding income with these ideas below.
Get Rid of Your Unwanted Stuff
Do you have a garage or attic full of housewares, electronics, and other items that are just collecting dust? Or how about those shelves of clothing in that closet you stick things after you are through wearing them? Cut down on the clutter and make some extra money selling these unwanted items. You can host a garage sale if you have many items that you need to get rid of. Otherwise, online platforms like Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist are also available.
Rent a Room
A spare bedroom or empty basement is potentially a source of side income. Offer up space to a tenant and collect monthly rent that helps offset your mortgage costs. You could also list your place or even couch on Airbnb and other platforms.
Rent Equipment to Others
ToolRent and PeerRenters are apps that allow you to share items like drills and cameras and get paid for it. This idea is a good option if you have a lot of specialty items. These tools or equipment can pay for themselves in the process.
Turn Your Passion Into Profits
You can turn your hobbies like web or graphic design, photography, making jewelry, and other skills into cash. Figure out how you can monetize your hobby. For example, if you are crafty and enjoy making glass art in your spare time, you could use Etsy to help find people willing to purchase your wares.