Get Your Money Right With These 50 Money Saving Tips From the Experts

We rounded up easy money-saving tips and other penny-pinching tricks.

In the words of Cardi B, "All I really wanna see is the money." Building up your savings and learning how to budget are always hard, but if we've learned anything from the past few years, saving money is more critical than ever. Luckily, if you're looking for ways to save money and the best saving money tips, we have 50 right here.

If you don't know when (or from where) your next paycheck is coming in or even if you've been lucky enough to have a job but could use some new financial habits, it's the perfect time to read up on some of the most effective money-saving tips, straight from the $$$ experts themselves.

It's a new year, after all, and the perfect time to make the resolution of saving money!

50 Ways To Save Money

1. Identify what you're saving for.

It may sound painfully psychological and generic, but this is the #1 money-saving tip from Berna Anat, Financial Hype Woman of @heyberna fame.

"My top tip is to find your painfully specific, one-sentence reason to save. I'm not talking about someone else's reason—don't save up for a trip to Santorini just because social media says you should," Berna tells Parade. "And I'm not talking simply about, 'Build an emergency savings.' What do you truly want to save for, how much, and why?"

It's totally OK if your reasons for saving are different from someone else's. What are your personal goals? Once you identify them, you'll have a real, tangible reason to hunker down on saving.

"Are you building $5,000 in emergency savings specifically so you can finally start that side hustle? Are you saving exactly $399.95 to buy your partner the gadget she's had her eye on forever? Pinpointing the amount and the personal emotion behind your savings goal will keep you way more motivated than, 'Because I should,'" Berna adds.

Related: 125 Ways to Earn Extra Money

2. Remember that you can negotiate.

"Dedicate yourself to keeping a clean credit record and make all your payments on time. If you can't, because... life, let your lender know and give yourself the chance to negotiate and explain your situation," Berna explains. "You might be surprised as to how understanding lenders can be—they want your money, after all, and would much rather not deal with accounts going into collections. Your lender may be able to work out a deal for you, instead of automatically reporting your missing payment to credit bureaus."

3. Focus on cleaning up your credit card record.

Really? Clean up my credit? But how does that help me actually save up money? Well, if you're still paying off debt with high interest rates, you can't really save that money, can you?

"The biggest factor that affects your credit score is your credit history—AKA are you good at making payments on time, all the time? Do you have any negative marks, warrants, or other 'bad' behavior on your credit record?" Berna explains. "Inquire directly with credit bureaus, such as Transunion or Equifax, and make sure there are no falsely-reported negative marks on your credit history.

Related: How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

4. Communicate with the banks and credit bureaus.

Have you ever found yourself hiding from the bank? Avoiding the credit bureau? Berna says that's the wrong way to go. Instead, communicate with them. You won't accomplish your financial goals if you choose to see the bank or the credit bureau as your enemies.

"I've heard of folks checking in with credit bureaus and finding out that their credit history was full of someone else's late payments, purely by mistake," Berna says. "Yikes. While you're getting your errors removed, it might be worth asking if they can remove any other negative marks—your mileage may vary here!"

5. Set goals with a specific timeline.

They can be small at first in order to be attainable. But no matter what your goal, make sure you set it and give yourself a deadline of sorts. A goal of "save $5,000" isn't going to get accomplished if you give yourself your whole life to accomplish it.

"My top piece of advice is to set goals in order to hold yourself accountable," Shannon McLay, Founder and CEO of The Financial Gym, tells Parade. "Too often, we lose track of sticking to our budgets because we don't have the motivation. Make your goals personal, be specific, and set a timeline. For example, if you want to save $10,000 for an emergency fund, covering 3 months of expenses, in 1 year ($10,000 / 12 = $833) you need to save $833 a month," McLay adds.

Related: 25 Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bills This Winter Even When You're WFH All the Time 

6. Nickname your savings account.

"Savings account" as a title is pretty boring. McLay recommends specifically nicknaming your account for the thing that you're saving for.

"I am a big fan of creating separate savings accounts to help accomplish your financial goals," McLay says. "Nickname your savings account (ex: 'Peloton Bike') and have an individual account for each goal."

Related: How One Couple Said Goodbye to $78,00 of Debt + Other Side Hustle Success Stories

7. Reduce expenses.

Assuming you have a budget (if you don't, check out our best 100 budgeting tips), look at your budget with a fine-tooth comb, specifically looking for areas where you can cut back. Where can you reduce your expenses? Do you spend a lot on takeout? Do you spend most of your budget on clothes? These could be areas where you cut back. Subscription services are also a big area where people tend to spend. After all, many subscriptions auto-charge, making the expense easy to forget about.

8. Pause retirement and other contributions.

Um, what?! But all other financial advice I've ever read in the past tells me to start contributing to my 401K or to open an IRA. You're not wrong, but that was before COVID-19. Ask yourself where you need the money most right now.

Are you good on your savings? If you have six months worth of expenses saved up, then maybe you can afford to keep contributing to your retirement fund or other long-term contributions.

If not, pause your retirement and other contributions to focus on building up a six-month expense fund. This is sometimes referred to in the financial world as a F--k Off Fund. You know, so you can say, "F--k off" to the expenses that may unexpectedly come up and simply pay them off.

Related: How to Save Enough Money to Actually Retire in Your 30s 

9. Get your F--k Off Fund right.

Speaking of a F--k Off Fund, it's one of the first things you should do while aiming to save.

"After paying off my $50,000 in debt, I became laser-focused on my F--k Off Fund, and it changed my life," says Berna. "My F--k Off Fund is what gave me the concrete confidence to quit my job, along with my partner, and travel the world for a year."

But again, this fund is most efficient when has a specific goal (save X amount of dollars) in a specific timeline (in X amount of months).

"I think a F--k Off Fund is most helpful when you have a ridiculously specific timeline and goal in mind," Berna adds. "It's nice to save a chunk of money for a hypothetical dream situation, but in my case, it was even more powerful to take time, do my research and build a tangible goal: 'We need to save $35,000 in order to quit our jobs and travel through Asia for a year. If we both deposit $X into the F--k Off Fund for X-months or years, we will be able to hit $35k and put in our two weeks in October 2018.' Which is exactly what we did!"

Related: Hands Down, This Is the Best Way to Save for a Down Payment—Even If You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck

10. Work on your budget.

"Do you have some type of budgeting system? Do you know how much money you earn and spend each month to cover your essentials—and from that budget, do you know how much money you have available to invest each month, without jeopardizing the rest of your basic financial needs?" Berna says.

11. Put that F--k Off Fund in a high-yield savings account.

Whether you're still building your F--k Off Fund or if you already have saved six months' worth of expenses, make sure that you're getting the most bang for your savings buck.

"Do you have an emergency savings of at least six months of expenses? Is it sitting in a high-yield savings account and earning you interest of at least 1 percent?" These are a few of the questions Berna asks before recommending a person start investing. After all, all your ducks need to be in a row before taking on something new.

12. Automate your savings.

Saving is so much easier when you don't have to manually move the money to a specific account meant for saving.

"Once you’ve figured out your goal and the monthly amount you need to save, schedule an automatic transfer or direct deposit of that amount," explains McLay. "By taking the decision out of the equation and simply setting aside money BEFORE you have a chance to think about spending it, you’ll be amazed by how quickly and easily the money accumulates."

13. Create a weekly budget.

Got a monthly budget? Great, now it's time to get even more specific. Create a weekly budget.

"Give yourself a weekly budget," McLay advises. "After you've accounted for your fixed expenses—rent/mortgage, utilities, monthly recurring charges, loan payments—and your savings goals, the leftover amount is what you can spend on everything else. Break this number down with a weekly amount and try to stick to your weekly budget.

14. Take out cash for your weekly budget.

Sometimes, it's easier to budget with cash than it is a credit or debit card. After all, swiping a card can feel limitless and you don't physically see the $$$ leaving your account (unless of course, you check). But cash? You see that leave your hands and it feels kind of, well, unfortunate.

"One trick we like to suggest is taking out cash for your weekly budget in the beginning or designating a separate debit card or credit card exclusively to track your weekly spending," McLay explains.

15. Make a credit payment each week.

Why would I make a payment each week when I could make one a month? Well, $300 all at once can feel a bit more steep than say $75 a week over four weeks.

"Make a payment to your credit card each week," McLay advises. "It will help you stay on top of what you have been spending, and will also keep your credit utilization lower throughout the month!"

Related: Best Budget Tips

16. Take $20 or so bucks out per week in cash for a gift-giving fund.

We know, your mom's Christmas Club isn't exactly sexy, but she might be onto something. If you take anywhere from $20 to $30 bucks out of your account weekly and stash the cash away in an envelope, it won't earn any interest, but by the end of the year, you'll have well over $1,000 come December.

That's $1,000 you specifically put aside for holiday time shopping. Doesn't that feel so much better than draining your account of $1,000 you actually need to live off of?

17. Open a taxes account.

A what? A taxes account. If you tend to owe taxes at the end of the fiscal year, you'll want to put aside anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of what you make each month. So, if you make $5,000 a month, you'll want to put away $1,000 to put away 20 percent a month. If you want to save more aggressively, you'll want to put away $1,500 monthly to put away 30 percent of your monthly paycheck.

When tax season rolls around, you won't find yourself scrambling to pay back what you made. If you made $60K last year, you should have put away $18K, from which you can pull for what you could potentially owe in taxes.

This tip is especially crucial if you freelance or for some other reason, don't get taxes taken out of your paycheck on the reg.

18. Build your emergency fund before going ham on credit cards.

Don't have a F--k Off Fund yet? Then you really shouldn't be paying with credit cards. After all, you don't want to get in the habit of spending more $$ than you actually can pay off.

"Break the cycle of paying extra on your credit card, then having to use it again because you don't have an emergency fund! Build up your emergency fund before or alongside paying down debt," McLay advises.

19. Pay off any high interest debts.

To stay out of debt, you have to get out of it first.

Related: 101 Inspiring Dave Ramsey Quotes to Help You Learn How to Become A Millionaire

"First, get all the way out of it. Shall I repeat that for the folks in the back? Get all the way out of your current credit card debt," Berna says. "The credit card debt system is meant to be cyclical—it is meant to keep you in debt, pull you back in, and make you numb to the weight of it so that you continue to pay lenders interest."

20. Forget you even have credit cards.

OK, so you might not be able to force yourself to forget anything. This isn't Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, after all. But there are a few things you can do to keep your hands from reaching for those little plastic cards.

"So, if you can: Pretend you no longer have credit cards," Berna says. "Disconnect them from all of your favorite shopping sites. Take them out of your wallet and hide them, or give them to someone you trust. Cut them up, if you have to! (This is actually an extremely cathartic experience.)"

21. Download a budget app.

Whether you already have a budget or not, it's time to download a budgeting app. Something like Mint can work fine, as it gives you updates on all of your linked accounts. If you get hit with a bank fee, Mint will let you know. It will also categorize all of your spending so you can more easily visualize where your money is going. If you see in graph form that 50 percent of your money is going towards late-night McDonald's runs, it might just force you to reevaluate that spending habit.

Related: All About EveryDollar

22. Use a credit card debt calculator.

Even if you think you're paying off your credit cards monthly, you may not be paying them off as aggressively as you can or as you need to. Trust us, building up more debt will only cut into your savings and keep you from building up a savings account. That's why a credit card debt calculator can come in handy.

"Get thee to a credit card debt calculator ASAP so you can see, in real numbers, what kind of monthly payments you would have to make—and for how long—in order to become debt free," says Berna. "I'm personally into CreditKarma's debt calculator."

23. Find a buddy.

Like, a financially culpable savings buddy. If you and a friend are in this whole savings thing together, you'll be able to hold each other more accountable than say, you on your own. And that's not throwing shade or doubt your way—it's just that having a partner in anything (in money-saving or in say, working out three times a week) makes a person more likely to actually stick to it.

24. Only charge what you can pay in $.

"Never put anything on a credit card that you can't already pay in cash," Berna recommends. "The harshest credit-protecting truth is, if you need a credit card to purchase something, then you can't afford it. Hard stop. I think of my credit cards as mileage or point-grabbing machines, and nothing more—every purchase I make, I pay off in cash immediately."

25. Look into a secured credit card.

"If you're weary of the temptation of high-limit credit cards but you still want to build your credit, may I interest you in a secured credit card?" says Berna. "These are essentially like debit cards—you load them with cash, and can spend only that amount—but your purchases count towards building your credit score. It's a wonderful hack for both the credit noobies and credit-conscious."

Related: How to Make Successful #MillennialRetirementPlans—Shocker, It *Is* Possible 

26. Get your taxes done for free.

Do you really need an accountant to file your taxes? Some accountants charge upwards of $200 for a filing after all, and that money might be better spent going straight into your savings account.

"There are tons of ways to get your taxes done for free, especially if your yearly income is under $70,000," says Berna. "You could start by visiting the IRS's Free File website, where they recommend several free tax filing programs."

27. Need tax help? Check your local resources.

"You could also check out your local library or community college, where IRS Enrolled Agents often volunteer to give free tax help," Berna says.

28. Plan your weekly meals.

What the heck does your nutrition have to do with money-saving? Well, many of us tend to go nuts in the grocery store, especially if we step foot in Whole Foods while hungry.

However, if you plan your weekly meals in advance and go to the supermarket with a specific list, you're less likely to impulse-buy random foods and snacks. Don't let yourself deviate from the list and only purchase the ingredients you need to make each meal on your weekly plan.

29. Turn off auto-renew.

Remember? Subscriptions can be black holes of money-spending. Make sure any subscriptions that you do currently pay for have "auto-renew" checked off. That way, you won't be automatically charged for a service you're not sure you want anymore.

30. Avoid ATMs.

Unless you're taking out cash from your own bank's ATM, many ATMs have sky-high fees for grabbing cash on the go. Whenever possible, avoid making withdrawals from machines from banks where you're not a customer.

31. Thrift your gifts.

"Especially for little kids, there's no shame in buying second-hand gifts," McLay says. "There is a certain age where kids do not know the difference between something that is brand new or name brand. Sometimes, they may even enjoy playing with the wrapping paper and box more so than what's in the box."

32. Don't take tax advice from anyone that's not a professional.

No, seriously. Parents and distant cousins have a way of wanting to give you unwarranted tax advice, but don't buy into it.

"Do not take any dang tax advice from non-professionals," says Berna. "Better yet, there are exactly three people you should listen to: A Certified Public Accountant (CPA), an IRS Enrolled Agent, or a licensed tax attorney. Yes, you typically need to pay all of these people for their advice, but when you think about paying their fees versus the penalties, credit dings and potential legal problems you could run into from the IRS? Paying a professional to protect your money is ALWAYS a good investment."

33. Get those store loyalty cards.

Places like grocery stores or pharmacy stores such as Walgreens and CVS almost always have loyalty cards. Each time you make a purchase, the more points you rack up, the more $ might come off in the end. Plus, when using loyalty cards, you're more likely to print out a ton of coupons on the receipt.

34. Adjust the withholding on your paycheck.

Do you typically get a big tax refund? Well, then that's more money that could be going into your account monthly. If you want more dough monthly rather than yearly, adjust the withholding on your paycheck to ensure you get less of a refund in lieu of a fatter paycheck.

35. Put away your tax refund.

When you get a large tax refund, it could be tempting to put it toward something special. You know, something you wouldn't splurge on otherwise. Say, maybe a Gucci belt or something (ahem, speaking for a friend, not from experience). But that tax refund would probably be better served if you simply, put it straight into your savings.

Boring, yes, but definitely better in the long term for saving your money.

36. Use points to your advantage.

"Got credit card points or rewards that you’re not using? Many credit card portals allow you to use your points to buy gift cards at a discounted rate or gift the points [and] miles itself," McLay says.

37. Make two credit payments a month.

Can't swing the weekly payments toward your credit card debt? That's okay, as everyone's financial capacity is different. Instead of only making one monthly payment, you can make two.

"Instead of making just one payment toward your credit card each month, make two! A good rule of thumb is to make a payment each time you get paid so that you're aware of your balance and you'll never miss a payment and get a late fee," McLay explains. "If you're only paid once per month, then make a payment on payday and schedule another one for two weeks later."

38. Put away money for a house.

"Buying a home is a great thing when you are truly ready to make the purchase," McLay says. "Save the full 20 percent down payment. If you have to take a shortcut to be able to buy a house, you're probably not ready to buy the house."

39. Hit that unsubscribe button.

Ever notice how the more emails from stores you're subscribed to, the more likely you are to click and actually buy what they're promoting? Hit that unsubscribe button because what's out of sight is out of mind. And what's out of mind, you can't spend your hard-earned money on.

Related: How to Get a Job at Amazon

40. Get gas at superstore centers.

Gas prices vary everywhere, but superstore centers tend to have the cheapest prices around when it comes to gas. Whether it's Costco or another superstore, these places tend to offer discounts if you already shopped there. Since these stores often require you to buy in bulk, you'll be saving on groceries in addition to saving on gas.

41. Avoid overdraft fees.

Make sure to check your bank accounts frequently to avoid unnecessary overdraft fees. If you're the type of person who would "rather not know" and hates opening their bank app to see how much you have in there, it's time to get out of that habit ASAP.

42. Check your account frequently.

It goes with the above tip, but you should totally be checking your bank app at least once a day to see your spending habits, check to make sure you're not getting hit with fees, and to know how much you have in each of your accounts.

43. Pack a lunch.

If you work in an office, it can be super tempting to hit up the cafeteria or the local food truck like the rest of your co-workers. Don't. You'll save so much more in the long run by packing your lunch or eating at home. And if you are WFH right now, do your best to make a good ole' PB&J, as tempting as local delivery may sound.

44. Always ask if there's a special.

No, seriously. Whether you're ordering take-out, delivery, or physically sitting in a restaurant, make sure to ask if there are any specials.

Related: Best Food Delivery Apps

45. Take advantage of any discounts you may be eligible for.

Senior citizen? Student? Teacher? AAA member? Always, always ask. Tons of places have secret discounts—from clothing stores to places like Verizon or Teen Mobile.

46. Start a side hustle.

Now, this isn't exactly a minimal-effort type of tip, but if you can start a side hustle, siphon all of that side-hustle money directly into a savings account. You can sell lightly-worn clothes on Poshmark, start YouTubing, or recommend products for a commission on the Like It to Know It app. Don't touch the money you make from your side hustle, aside from depositing it directly into your savings.

Related: Here's Our Ultimate List of the 100 Side Hustles That Are Trending for 2023

47. Make sure your employer is matching your 401K.

Many employers actually match the retirement fund contributions you make, so be sure to max it out. If you can add a max of $2,000 a year, your employer will also add $2K. Bam! You already have $4K in your retirement fund, just like that.

"Have you exhausted all of the retirement savings options in your grasp—AKA, are you maxing out your employer's 401k matching program, if they offer it? If you don't have access to a 401k, have you opened any alternative retirement options, such as a Roth IRA, and have a plan to max that out this year? Basically, is your future-retired-self covered?"

48. Try a month without spending.

Um, is that even possible? Challenge yourself to do a no-spending month. You might just be surprised with what you can accomplish!

49. Utilize the library.

Libraries are troves of resources, ones that you might otherwise pay for. But instead of adding a brand-new book to your Amazon cart or even subscribing to a monthly magazine, check it out from the library instead. You can also use the library for renting movies (for free!) and other fun, inexpensive resources you would otherwise pay for.

50. Host a yard sale.

Whatever you no longer need, try to make a profit off of. Chances are, your house is full of stuff you don't want anymore that's worth money. We're not saying to pawn off your couch for $500, but if you can host a yard sale and make a few bucks off things you no longer need/want/like, then you might as well get that coin and put it directly into savings!

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