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People are always looking for ways on how to save money fast. Aren’t you? I’m sure you’ve read a million articles online telling you all kinds of ways to save money.
I created a list of things we stopped paying for in the household that saved us more than $7,400 in 1 year. Keep reading if you want to see my money-saving tips and if any of these are an option for you and your family.
How To Save Money Fast
I just want to be clear that when I say ‘how to save money fast,’ I mean in a year or less. This isn’t an overnight solution. Yes, these are all things you can immediately make adjustments to but the big savings will come in time.
I want to show you how to save money fast with real numbers and sharing with you the alternatives we used.
Cancel Your Cable
We did this about 3 years ago and it was the best decision we ever made. We barely watch TV as is, so why are we paying so much for it?
There are plenty of streaming services to consider that might be a better option for you. A few of those include:
We used to pay $164.57/month for our cable bill. Canceling that saves $1,974.84/year.
We opted to sign up only for Netflix. (We seriously watch very little TV.) We pay $14.01/month which totals $168.12/year.
In total, we saved $1,806.72/year.
Quit the Starbucks Run
Here’s another great way on how to save money fast. Plus, it’s one of those money-saving tips that can apply to almost everyone.
I personally used to stop at Starbucks every morning before work and occasionally after work too. (That meant a minimum of 6 stops/week.)
I didn’t just get the basic cup of coffee, I always wanted something yummy like a caramel macchiato or mocha frappuccino. I paid on average $5.50/drink. That equates to $33/week.
Over the course of 1 year, getting my morning coffee cost me $1,716/year. That’s CRAZY!
I opted to buy a Tassimo machine which I absolutely love. This allows me to make individual cups of coffee in the morning that I could take to-go. The pods average out to roughly $.50/coffee. That equates to $3/week.
Over the course of a year, making my coffee at home cost me $156/year plus the cost of creamer.
That’s a savings of $1,560/year.
Cut Your Own Lawn
You may look at this option with confusion but where I live, it’s extremely common to pay for lawn service. I understand this may not apply to everyone but if it does, it’s one of the most overlooked money-saving tips. Consider these numbers and this being yet another great way on how to save money fast.
We pay $120/month for our lawn service. They come every other week in the winter months and every week in the summer months.
Trying to cut back, we opted to buy a lawnmower and cut the lawn ourselves. We got the lawnmower for $50 at a garage sale. (The people were moving into a condo and no longer had a use for it.)
Canceling our lawn service ended up saving us $1,440/year.
Expensive Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies are super expensive as you know. I knew there had to be a cheaper way to reach the same outcome.
We opted for white vinegar which is known to be a great product for cleaning.
When we were paying for name-brand cleaners full of harmful chemicals, it cost us $10-$15/month on average. That equals $120-$150/year.
I hated that option because I have two toddlers and two dogs in my home that could easily be harmed by those products. It was a must for us to get rid of.
This is another smaller savings but still one of the best money-saving tips.
White vinegar was not only safer but it was cheap. You can get a 128oz jug for $2-$3. You can make that stretch for a while also. We can make a bottle last about 3 months making our total cost $8-$12/year.
Our total savings ended up being $112-$138/year.
Stop Eating Out
This was a huge problem. I get it, it’s so convenient to just grab food on the go. It takes away the need to grocery shop, meal prep, cook, and packs a lunch to-go. This by far though is the easiest way to cut back if you’re looking for ways on how to save money fast.
I’m going to run with rough numbers here because the cost of a meal varies greatly from a $5 pizza from Little Caesars to $40 for carryout for my family. (Usually, the kids split a meal and then nibble on ours also.)
I’ll run with $20/day for 4 days a week. That totals to $80/week. Keep in mind, some weeks we ate out more and others only once or twice. I feel like this is a fair estimate.
This totals $4,160/year on eating out. This is an INSANE number. We also, still bought groceries to feed us all the rest of the meals.
We opted to replace those takeout meals with groceries that we are turned into packed lunches and eating dinner at home. I could cut that number in half by buying groceries and cooking at home. Now, this is how to save money fast.
We ultimately saved around $2,080/year just by cooking at home.
Stop Buying Name Brand Items
Buying name brands can be a lot more comfortable for some consumers to purchase. They see the brands plastered all over TV during the commercials, in ads in their magazines, ads on websites they visit, and ads at sporting events they attend.
Brands take the opportunity to put themselves in front of consumers any chance they get.
It makes consumers feel more familiar with those brands and ultimately makes them purchase them more often than the off-brand options. (They are off-brand because they don’t advertise.)
To be honest, most of the time the off-brand options are just as good and so much cheaper. There are very few products that I still insist on buying the name brand and that’s simply because I can taste the difference.
This section is way too broad to run numbers in this post but it can be substantial savings if you reconsider your options next time you’re at the store. This is yet another one the most overlooked money-saving tips.
Make-Up Remover Isn’t Necessary
If you’re a mom and you have a baby or a young toddler still in diapers, use the baby wipes to remove your makeup. You already have to buy them so double their use. I’ve been using them to remove my makeup for years now and they work better than most removers in my opinion.
Another great option for taking off eye make-up is baby oil. You can find a bottle at the dollar store and it will last forever. You only need a little bit on a cotton square and it comes off in a couple of swipes.
Again, this is a smaller saving but still one of the money saving tips that keep extra money in your pocket.
The remover I previously used cost $8/bottle. It usually lasted me about 1 month before I needed to replace it. It cost me $96/year just to remove my makeup.
Given I only use 1-2 wipes/day (if that), I didn’t calculate the cost of using extra wipes.
So all-in-all, I saved $96/year by not buying makeup remover.
Don’t Buy Smaller Portioned Items
Shop Sam’s Club or Costco and save big on things you buy on a regular basis. I buy everything in bulk. There can be substantial savings to be had buying your everyday products and groceries in bulk. This alone is a great way on how to save money fast.
Examples of groceries I buy in bulk include:
- peanut butter
- macaroni and cheese
- canned veggies
- chicken broth
- tomato sauce
Toiletries and other items include:
- body wash
- shampoo & conditioner
- toilet paper
- paper towels
I know there is more that we buy but when you calculate it out, its huge savings in the end. We also have a business account with Sam’s Club so we accumulate money in our account to use at the end of the year.
For us, this averages to be about $300 we get back for our purchases every year. I’ll definitely take that free money.
The good news is, making these changes wasn’t as hard as it may seem. These are all practical ways on how to save money fast.
Just in the examples I gave you, we saved more than $7,420.12 in one year. Some of these are things we have been implementing for more than a year but I thought it could be super helpful to share with others.
*Keep in mind two numbers that I did not factor in this total because I don’t have the calculations:
- purchasing from Sam’s Club vs. the local grocery store
- buying off-brand items vs. name-brand items
These two things alone could easily generate an extra $1000/year if not more.
We are all looking for money-saving tips and how to save money fast. Even if you can only implement a couple of these, that could potentially be a few thousand dollars back in your pocket every year.
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Take these money-saving tips and see how to save money fast in your real-life scenario.