20 Legit Ways to Save Money Fast on a Daily Basis
69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts. That means that the vast majority of people don’t have much saved up in case of emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis we’re experiencing at the moment.
Having a rainy day fund is a crucial component of a healthy financial future, especially when an unexpected crisis occurs, whether that’s a public health crisis, a lost job, or even a medical emergency. If you need to save money fast, here are 20 actionable tips you can implement that will help you not only save money fast but save money long-term, too.
How to Save Money Fast
1. Follow the 50-30-20 Budget
When drafting up an emergency budget, most experts recommend following the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. Following this budgeting rule means that you’ll use 50% of your monthly income for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings.
2. Take Advantage of Budgeting and Savings Apps
It’s hard to track your income and expenses on your own. And, in today’s digital age, you don’t have to. There are tons of personal finance budgeting apps out there that will help you connect your accounts to track your expenses. Mint, for example, automatically updates and categorizes transactions, allowing users to get an up-to-date overview of their spending in real-time.
3. Stick to a Specific Budgeting Plan
Different people have different spending and saving styles. This means that no one budgeting plan works for everybody. Zero-based budgeting and envelope budgeting are two great places to start. But, do your research and find a budgeting style that suits your needs and makes it easy for you to budget and save your money.
4. Sign Up for Online Banking
Did you know that people lose nearly $200 a year on monthly banking fees? Most traditional banks such as Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo charge monthly fees for having an account. Because online banks don’t have to pay overhead fees, they’re able to offer fee-free accounts that can save you money each month.
5. Cut Some Subscription Spending
Are you overspending on subscriptions? Probably. Americans spend nearly $250 on a month on subscriptions. To save money fast, try cutting back on your subscriptions. Limit your subscriptions to one per category if you can, meaning that you’ll only have one entertainment subscription to pay for a month (Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc.).
6. Automate Bill Payments
If you’re forgetful then chances are that you’ve forgotten to pay a few bills on time. And, if this becomes a habit, you’ll likely also notice that you’re getting charged late fees for doing so. Avoid late fees and save hundreds per month by setting up automatic bill payments.
7. Get a Rewards Credit Card
If your credit is good enough and you’re in control of your finances, you might be able to sign up for a rewards credit card that’ll help you even further optimize your savings. Look for rewards cards that offer high cashback rates or perks at stores that you frequent. If you shop at a specific store, consider a co-branded credit card.
8. Buy in Bulk
If you’re able to do it correctly, buying in bulk is a great way to save money on everyday purchases. Making one big trip to the grocery store each month is a great way to save on household and non-perishable items. If your family isn’t large enough to reap the benefits of a bulk grocery haul, split the purchases with another family.
9. Reduce Trips to the Grocery Store
As mentioned above, making one big trip to the grocery store a month is a great way to avoid overspending. However, simply limiting your grocery trips to once a week can help a lot, too. This will force you to truly be conscious about what you purchase and allow you to save money instead of spending here and there for small purchases that add up over time.
10. Try Meal Planning
Planning your menus is similar to budgeting in that it gives you a great snapshot of what you can expect to spend on groceries each week or month. Start by taking a look at the kinds of deals that your local grocery stores are offering on certain foods and produce. Then, plan a menu based on the cheapest options for food choices.
11. Get a Side Hustle
Earning money online is easy these days. We’ve come up with a list of the ten best summer side hustles you can check out that will allow you to save money fast. From blogging and teaching online to becoming a virtual assistant or delivery driver, the best side hustles are the ones that naturally fit into your schedule and lifestyle.
12. Only Spend Cash
Tempted to put it all on a card when you check out at a store? Avoid temptation by only shopping with cash when you know you’re likely to overspend. This means that if you simply can’t resist overspending every time you go to Target, only go with cash. If you don’t have any other form of payment, you won’t be able to spend more than you have.
13. Use Price Match Apps
Price matching is a term that refers to comparing the price of an item across various different retailers. And, you can download an app that will allow you to earn money back if a price drop. There are apps that will allow you to scan a barcode at a store and then the app will check prices amongst competitors. And, there are apps that are more niche-based, such as travel, gas, groceries, and more.
14. Sell Things Online
While this isn’t a long-term solution, selling things online is one of the easiest ways to make money fast. Sell books online via Chegg, sell furniture via Craigslist, or sign up for an account with Fiverr and sell your services. If you’re looking to make cash fast, there are plenty of things to sell, including clothes and old memorabilia.
15. Invest Your Spare Change
Some banks have checking accounts that will allow you to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put the difference into your savings account. While this is a great way to earn a small amount of interest on your money, it’s better to actually invest that spare change. Acorns is an app that will do just that, but instead of putting it into your savings account, they’ll invest it into a diversified portfolio for you where it will earn even more money.
16. Stop Eating Out
This is one of the easiest ways to save money fast! Don’t eat out. Instead, stick to strict meal planning and cook at home when possible. This means taking your own lunch into the office, skipping happy hours with friends, and resisting the temptation to order Uber Eats every other night of the week.
17. Use GasBuddy for Cheaper Gas
Gas Buddy is one of the best price match apps for gas. It’s crowd-sourced, which means that users can provide up-to-date information on gas prices wherever they are. This means that over 60 million users can crowdsource information on gas prices to ensure that prices are constantly updated across different competitors. It also helps you find the closest locations, spots with the friendliest service, cleanest restrooms, and more. To top it all off, if you sign up using your debit or credit card, you can pay through the app and receive five cents off each gallon.
18. Negotiate Your Bills
If you call your current service providers and threaten to cancel or switch to a competitor, they’ll usually lower your monthly bills. This doesn’t always work, but if you’re able to make a convincing case, they’ll likely work something out with you. Whether it’s $5 or $50 a month, savings is savings!
19. Wait 30 Days for Big Purchases
One of the easiest ways to save money is to follow the 30-day rule. This means that when it comes to big purchases, wait 30 days to take the plunge. This is usually applicable for anything over a couple of hundred dollars. Oftentimes, you’ll find that it’s not something you really need at the moment and the urge to buy it will fade after the first week or so.
20. Sign up for Cheese
Get a Cheese Credit Builder to build your credit for credit cards with better rewards! By making payments monthly into your Cheese account, not only you are saving your coffee money, but also building your credit effortlessly. Cheese reports your payments each month to all 3 credit bureaus. In the end of the term, get your money back (minus the interest) and watch your credit already built! Sign up today.