Ask for money-saving advice and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of “spend less” and/or “create a budget.” And while both are critical, those tips can also be kind of hard to get your mind around. But there are lots of small, and, yes, random money-saving hacks to help us keep our hard-earned dollars where they belong: in our checking accounts. Or, better yet, we can aim to save more money and then invest those funds.
To help you achieve your financial goal, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite hacks to save money. No matter whether you’re new to saving or have the basics on lock, we’ve got you covered.
Cut down on eating out
Yes—we know it’s hard. But you’ll be surprised at how quickly those $5 lattes and $15 (+tax!) orders from GrubHub add up. Read more about why we’re so hooked on them.
Meal prep in the way that suits you
Just think: Colorful, perfectly-portioned containers full of fresh ingredients and the right seasonings. Read more about the different ways you can meal prep.
Change your mentality around “saving”
If you’re thinking about saving as something you have to do that’ll leave you with less money for things you want to do, try to change your perspective. One of the key ways you can do this is by thinking about saving with a “pay yourself first” mentality. Read more about what that means.
Simplify your lifestyle
There are easy tweaks you can try, from buying multi-purpose furniture to cutting down on your beauty regimen. Read more about how to simplify.
Do the 52-Week challenge
Does saving a $1 a week sound like a lot of work? Probably not. But the way this challenge works is by slowly increasing the amount you save week by week. Read more about how to get started.
Understand your retirement options
Yes—retirement seems so far off! But you’ll increase your savings by starting now. Don’t understand the difference between a 401(K) and a Roth IRA? Read more about it here.
Save discreetly with an app like Digit
Apps like Digit make saving a process that happens in the background of your daily life. Digit works by moving small amounts of cash from your checking account into a savings account. Read more about the pros and cons.
Do a ‘7-day spending detox’
Sometimes you just need to reset your spending habits. If you’re someone who likes the idea of a personal challenge, consider doing a ‘7-day spending detox,’ where you commit to not making any purchases for a week. Read more about how you can make it work.
Sell your old junk
Remember the days when you used to host a garage sale on your family’s front lawn? While that’s still a good option, there are plenty of apps on the market that make it easier. Read more about how they work.
Think about your spending differently
When we reframe why we spend the way we do, we can save more. One of the key ways we can do this is by categorizing our spending into “urgent” and “not urgent.” Read more about why that makes the budgeting process more pleasant.
Fill your calendar with free events
Scope out what’s on the community calendar and check out Facebook events to see what free concerts you can attend. Summer is the season of free fun. Read more about how to find what’s on in your city.
Learn money skills during your commute
Put the hours you spend commuting to good use by plugging into a podcast about money. Read more about which money podcasts will teach you how to save and invest.
Improve your credit score
If you have a low credit score, you could be spending more than you than you need to on interest rates. Read more about some smart ways you can raise your credit score and lower those rates.
Consider apps that make saving money fun
Saving money can easily sound like a big ol’ bore, but there are some apps that have made the process into a fun game. Look for apps that offer cash rewards for taking quizzes and surveys. Read more about some of our faves.