Looking for creative ways to save money every month? Most of us struggle to save money each month even after creating a budget and doing the stereotypical money-saving tactics like bringing a lunch to work and canceling the gym membership.
The good news is there are plenty of more creative ways to save money!
If you are currently struggling to save or just feel like you’re bleeding money every month, I have put together a list of some creative ways to save money to help you reach your savings goals!
1. CREATE A MONTHLY BUDGET
The first step to start saving money every month is to create a monthly budget. By creating a budget you can get a clear picture of how much you can afford to spend and where your money is going. A budget can help you completely cut out unnecessary expenses and cut back on essential expenses so that you only spend money within your means and save as much as possible.
One of the creative ways to save money every month is to set aside a certain amount of money that will go straight into your savings account. Make sure to create a budget line item called “savings” in your expenses category so that you can put some money away every month in savings. A realistic budget will help you save money each month.
2. PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Paying yourself first is one of the most creative ways to save money every month! Pay yourself, aka save, a set amount every month (like 10% of your paycheck). Do not leave saving until the end of the month after you’ve spent your money on everything else. To make sure you pay yourself first, calculate how much money you should be saving each month and set that aside in the beginning of each month to go into your savings account. The best way to pay yourself first is to automate your savings. You can set up automatic deductions to set aside a specific savings amount each month automatically.
3. SAVE SPARE CHANGE (AND THE $5 BILLS)
One of the smartest ways to save money is to keep your loose change and put it in a jar. Saving money this way can be done daily easily! When you pay with cash and are given a $1 or $5 bill for change, don’t spend it. Place them in a jar or your savings account. You will be amazed by how much you can save over time!
4. AVOID IMPULSE BUYING
Think carefully before making a purchase, especially if it is expensive! If you identify something you would like to buy, sleep on it for 48 hours. If you have more time to think carefully about a purchase, you will make a better financial decision. If you have your credit card numbers stored online, removing this information can save you from impulse shopping.
5. DIY THINGS TO SAVE
One of the most creative and effective ways to save money is learning how to do things yourself! Develop some household DIY skills such as fixing leaky toilets, changing the air filters, cleaning the vents, etc., and you can save money on hiring others to get these jobs done. You can watch DIY videos on YouTube to learn various DIY skills or learn from a friend or relative how to DIY things too. You can also DIY craft projects and even self-care things like makeup, hair, and nails and save a lot of money over time.
6. PLAN YOUR MEALS
If you plan your meals in advance for a week or month, you will know what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the week or month. By planning your meals in advance, you will waste less because you will know what you already have in the fridge, freezer and pantry, and will save more because you will know what you will need to buy.
By making your own meals at home, you will be able to cut down on eating out and save a lot of money every month!
7. EAT OUT LESS
Eating out regularly not only causes long-term health issues but also affects your wallet. Instead of eating out regularly, buy healthy foods to cook at home to save money and stay healthy!
My Budget Dinners Cookbook + Meal Plan is designed to help you cook easy, cheap meals at home and eat out less.
8. FOLLOW THE 24-HOUR RULE
If you want to buy something, don’t do it right away! Think about it for 24 hours or more to see if you really want to buy it. If you still want to buy it after 24 hours, it’s probably worth spending money on! There is nothing wrong with spending money on things you want, you just want to avoid buyers remorse and wasting money on things you really don’t need.
9. CANCEL MEMBERSHIPS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS YOU ARE NOT USING
Do you have a rarely used gym membership you have been paying for month after month? Maybe you have signed up for several on-demand streaming services but don’t have time to watch them all? Cancel the heck out of them!
By getting rid of memberships and subscriptions you don’t use, you can save a few hundred dollars each year. The FREE app Truebill can help you identify and cancel the subscriptions you are not using.
10. USE MONEY-SAVING APPS
There are a variety of money-saving apps out there that give you cash back whenever you spend money on groceries, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc. For example, apps like Fetch rewards and Rakuten (formerly Ebates) can help cut your grocery and household expenses. These are my two favorites because of the ease of use.
When you need to buy something online, check out through the Rakuten app and you’ll earn cash back on purchases you were already making from thousands of stores (Amazon, Target, Sam’s Club, etc.). To earn cashback on your grocery shopping, simply enter your paper and e-receipts into the Fetch Rewards app after shopping, and earn cashback without having to clip a single coupon!
11. CANCEL OR CUT THE CABLE
If you are looking for creative ways to save money, cutting the cable cord is one of the best! If you aren’t watching much TV anyway, you can cut the cable and instantly save hundreds of dollars every year.
If you still want to be able to watch your favorite TV shows and movies, you can use cheaper alternatives such as Netflix, Sling TV, Amazon Prime and more. These on-demand TV services are much cheaper than the cable TV subscription packages, and can save you hundreds.
13. FIND FREE ENTERTAINMENT AT HOME
Staying at home is a great way to cut down on entertainment expenses. Instead of eating out at fancy restaurants, heading to the theater, or going to the movies, find something to do at home instead!
Look for inexpensive or free fun activities that you can do with your family and friends. Play games with your children. Find a new hobby like cooking or reading!
14. USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
While it can be convenient to drive, you have to pay for parking, gas, and car maintenance constantly. When you use public transportation such as trains, buses, and other cheaper alternatives to driving your own car, you can save money! If you work nearby, biking or walking to your workplace will save you money on paying for parking and fuel while getting free exercise!
15. SAVE ON BANK FEES
Do you pay bank fees, like a monthly account maintenance fee? You don’t have to! Look for banks that provide basic bank accounts with no account keeping fees, ATM fees, or other bank fees to save money.
Also, always remember that if you overdraft on accident, you should call your bank, explain your situation, and ask for a refund! 9/10 times your bank will refund your overdraft fee. It happens, but try not to overdraft too frequently!
16. UNPLUG ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES
When your electronics and appliances such as computer, TV, washing machine, cell phone chargers, dryer, and more are not turned on, they still consume electricity. So unplug your appliances and electronics when you are not using them to save money on your energy bill.
17. GENERIC BRANDS
Buying the cheaper generic brand items will save you some money. The savings will definitely add up over time! There is little to no difference in quality if you buy generic-brand products rather than name brand products.
If you’re picky about name brands, do what I do! I buy name brands when I can really tell the difference, and buy generic brands when I can’t tell!
18. SAVE MONEY ON CHILD ENTERTAINMENT
You can definitely save money while still entertaining children on a budget. Play with the kiddos in your backyard, go for a walk, go to the local park, hit up a farmers market, head to free concerts, or visit libraries and museums to save money on family fun!
Make most of your entertainment free and save the activities that cost for special occasions and you’ll have hundreds of dollars over time!
19. BUY SECOND HAND
You can save a ton of money buying secondhand items online, at local stores or through a variety of apps. Some used items can sometimes be the same as brand new if they have been gently worn or have been used only once or twice. They are much cheaper than buying new.
There are so many things to buy second hand such as clothes, books, games, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, furniture, home decorations, kitchen appliances, toys, unused gift cards, bikes, cars, accessories, and much more if you want to save some money!
My favorite sites to buy secondhand items on are eBay and Poshmark! Mercari is another fan favorite, but I don’t personally use it.
20. USE CASH
If you use cash instead of a card, it will be easier to stay within your budget. After you’ve set a budget, withdraw the allotted amount of cash for the week to cover your expenses. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. When you go into a store, only bring the allotted amount of cash with you so you can’t bust your budget!
21. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
I know this is no surprise, but healthcare is expensive! Taking care of your health will help you cut down on healthcare costs for a lifetime. Eating healthy food, sleeping enough, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly can help you stay healthy and save money. This may seem like a longterm investment, but don’t ignore this one.
22. QUIT BAD HABITS
Bad habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, and even drinking large amount of soda or energy drinks are terrible for your health in addition to affecting your budget. Quit your bad habits to save a ton of money every month and live a healthier life. If you quit bad habits, you can also cut down on healthcare costs to save more money long term!
23. BUY GENERIC MEDICATIONS
Generic drugs cost much less than brand name drugs, but generics are no different than brand name medications in terms of effectiveness, safety and quality. So, buy generic drugs instead of name brand drugs to save money!
BONUS: For a creative way to save even more money on prescriptions, use the Good RX app! It’s a game-changer. It’s free and you don’t even have to log in to save money on your prescriptions! Just enter the name of your drug, enter your pharmacy, and show the coupon to the pharmacist. I have saved hundreds with this app and seen medications go from hundreds down to $20 with this app. Some pet meds apply here too.
24. SET MONEY ASIDE FOR HOLIDAY SPENDING
Many people rely on our credit cards to cover holiday expenses and end up getting into holiday debt. But if you set a small amount of money aside in savings every week or month, you can stay out of holiday debt and save money on interest payments from your credit card!
Determine how much you are planning to spend this holiday season. Then decide on an amount to put aside each week or month to save all the money you will need for your holiday expenses by the time the holiday season rolls around!
25. DOWNGRADE YOUR SERVICES
One of the most creative ways to save money every month is to downgrade various services, like your cable package, Internet package, cell phone package, and so on. If you are paying for an unlimited cell photo data package but only use 2GB of data per month, downgrade your data package! Are you paying for extra TV channels, but you don’t watch them? Stop paying for the extra channels!
26. MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE
If you make your own coffee at home every day, you can save a ton of money every year. Instead of grabbing a latte every morning from your local coffee shop, buy coffee beans or coffee grounds to make your own coffee at home! If a takeout coffee costs $6, you would spend $42 a week and $168 a month on takeout coffees. But brewing your own coffee at home costs 15 cents to 20 cents per cup! Invest in a great coffee machine and enjoy your cuppa joe from home.
27. DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking more water throughout the day is not only good for your health but also good for your wallet. If you drink more water, you will be less likely buy expensive beverages such as coffee, soda, juice, alcohol, etc. Invest in a good water filter and a reusable water bottle to drink filtered water anytime whether you are at home, work or on the go.
28. DO NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER
Buying bottled water not great for the environment and it’s the most expensive way to drink water. The costs can really add up! Instead, invest in a good water filter and a reusable water bottle. Drink filtered water at home and on the go to save money on buying bottled water.
29. RENEGOTIATE YOUR BILL CONTRACTS
You could save a lot of money every month if you can get a better rate on your cable, internet, car insurance, landline phone, or other contracts. Contact your service providers to negotiate a better rate on your contract. You can use comparison websites to compare prices on everything and find the best rates on your contracts. Or you can use a great app called Truebill to do it on your behalf. This FREE app will find the best rates on your contracts and contact your service providers to renegotiate your contracts.
30. VISIT YOUR LIBRARY
Your local library can be a great source of free entertainment! Once you get a library card from your local library, you can save a lot of money on buying books, subscribing to the daily newspaper, buying DVDs and going to the movies because you can get all these resources for free at your local library!
Go to the library to check out books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and more. You can also connect your library card to the Libby app and borrow audiobooks and e-books for free!
31. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST AND STICK TO IT
If you make a shopping list and stick to it, you will save money on impulse purchases whether you go shopping for groceries, clothing, etc. When making a list, make sure to only include items you really need in order to save both time and money.
32. BUY IN BULK
You can save money by buying items you regularly use and can safely store in bulk. Some of the best items to buy in bulk are toilet paper, paper towels, snacks, laundry detergent, pantry staples, canned goods, and other less or non-perishable items. Typically, you can get the best deals per unit when you buy these items in bulk.
You can save even more when you buy them on sale. You can also use coupons to maximize your savings. Do not bulk-buy perishable items, dairy and other fresh items that will spoil quickly, but you can buy them in bulk if you intend to use them immediately.
33. USE COUPONS
Using coupons before you purchase anything is a great and creative way to save money. Check out couponing sites for online coupons for the items you are going to buy anyway. Then print out those coupons and use them to save some money! You can cut coupons from newspapers and magazines too. Don’t use coupons just for the sake of getting a good deal on things you normally would not buy.
Don’t have time to clip coupons? I totally understand! After shopping, make sure you enter all your receipts into Fetch Rewards to get cashback on your grocery trips. This is the easiest cashback grocery app. No coupon clipping. Just scan your receipt and rake in the rewards money!
34. SIGN UP FOR STORE LOYALTY PROGRAMS
If your most frequented stores offer store loyalty programs, sign up for them to earn points on your purchases. You can typically redeem your points to buy goods you are going to buy anyway to save some money.
35. BUY PRODUCE IN SEASON
For the best prices, try to buy most of your fruits and vegetables in season! In addition to cheap prices, they are better for your health. They’ll taste better too!
36. GO MEATLESS ONCE A WEEK
Meat is expensive. If you drop the meat at least once a week, you can save money on an expensive item on your plate. Instead, make meals with chicken, eggs, and plant-based protein like beans, vegetables, lentils and whole grains to eat healthier food and lower the risk of certain diseases.
37. DON’T SHOP WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
Never go to the grocery store or on a Target run when you’re hungry! Eat before you go because when you shop on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to buy junk food or make impulse purchases. So, eat a meal or healthy snack before you head to the grocery store or on a Target run.
38. BUY QUALITY PRODUCTS
Buying quality products will cost you more money up-front, but save you money in the long run! When it comes to buying a washing machine, dishwasher, vehicle, furniture, shoes, clothes, etc., don’t buy the cheaper versions of these products. The cost of quality items might hurt a little bit initially, but they will provide greater value and better results in the long run.
39. SHOP FOR THE HOLIDAYS AFTER THE HOLIDAYS
A very creative way to save money is to shop for after-season sales. Typically, stores put seasonal items on sale after the end of each major holiday season. You can save 50-90% on gifts, decorations, and other seasonal items if you buy them on sale after the end of each holiday season for next year!
40. LOWER YOUR CREDIT CARD INTEREST RATES
If you are paying high interest rates on your credit card, call your credit card company to see if you can get a lower rate. Mention their competitors who are offering lower interest rates.
Your credit card issuer may be willing to lower your rate if you have always made your card payments on time. If not, then consider getting a balance transfer credit card with a lower rate. By paying less interest, you can save thousands of dollars on interest payments every year, depending on your credit card balance.
41. USE REWARDS CREDIT CARDS
If you make purchases and pay bills using a rewards credit card, it gives you cash rewards or point rewards. You can redeem your cash rewards for credit to your rewards credit card account, gift cards from various retailers, a check, or a direct deposit to a bank, depending on the rewards credit card and your redemption option.
Points rewards may be redeemed for cash, gift cards, or air miles. Make sure to pay your balance off on time every month to avoid paying interest.
42. USE A 0% BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARD
If you are making a lot of interest payments on your credit cards, consider using a 0% balance transfer credit card to save money on interest payments, and get out of debt faster. When you get a 0% balance transfer credit card, it pays off outstanding balances of your current credit card debt and transfers it onto the new card. The 0% balance transfer card then allows you to pay off the debt without paying any interest within a certain period of time.
43. PUT YOUR BILL PAYMENTS ON AUTOPAY
If you put your bill payments on autopay, you can ensure that you always pay your bills on time to avoid late payment fees without having to remember to do it. Set up automatic direct debits from your bank account to automate bill payments.
44. DON’T USE THE ATM
It is too easy to take out money from the ATM and spend it on something you did not plan on! Not only that, if you take out money from an ATM that is not part of your bank’s network, you may also pay ATM fees. The exception to this is if you’re using the Cash Envelope Method and have a plan for every dollar you take out of the ATM.
45. CUT YOUR WATER BILL
You can cut your water bill by a few hundred dollars annually by using water more efficiently in your house. Some things you could do to reduce your water usage and save money on your water bill include taking shorter and slightly cooler showers, washing your clothes in cold water, installing low flow showerheads, and fixing water leaks.
46. TURN YOUR LIGHTS OFF
It may sound simple, but it does really reduce your electricity bill! Only use lights when you need them. When you leave a room, turn them off!
47. USE ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS
Energy-efficient light bulbs such as LEDs use less energy than the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and they also last longer. So, replace your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs to cut your energy bill!
48. USE A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
You can really save some money by using a programmable thermostat. Set it to turn up in the summer and down in the winter one or two degrees while you are asleep or away from home for several hours. If you turn your thermostat down by just 1°F, you could cut your heating bills by up to 10%!
49. MAKE A BIGGER DOWN PAYMENT
If you make a bigger down payment on your next home purchase, you will save a ton of money on future interest payments! Not only that, in most cases if you pay more than 20% down you can avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) which is an additional monthly fee borrowers have to pay if they don’t put down a large enough downpayment.
50. GET BETTER INSURANCE RATES
You could save several hundred dollars per year on insurance costs if you shop around and switch to another provider that offers the best deal and still meets your needs! Don’t be afraid to shop around for better and more affordable car, home, and health insurance.
51. TAKE ON A NO-SPEND CHALLENGE
Taking on a “no-spend” challenge is a great way to freeze your spending for a specific period of time to save money. If you are struggling to save or want to increase your savings, you may take on a no-spend challenge for a day, weekend, or a few days every month. Of course, a no-spend period does not include spending money on necessary items such as bills, groceries and medications. You should keep paying for those essentials!
And that’s it! Did you discover some new creative ways to save money? No matter how much your income is, you can generate some savings every month with these creative savings tips. If you follow some of these creative ways to save money, you can easily increase your savings by hundreds of dollars every month.