- 1 Set up your savings so that it happens automatically
- 2 Set small but achievable goals when you’re starting out
- 3 Cancel your subscription services
- 4 Spend more time cooking at home
- 5 Read more
- 6 Spend more time with your kids
- 7 Spend more time doing creative activities
- 8 Choose affordable hobbies to try with your family
- 9 Take care of and maintain the things you already own
- 10 Try a No-Spend Challenge
Hi, I’m Judy Copenbarger.
Today, we will be discussing 10 tips for you to save money. And while there are so many ways to save out there, the core theme of saving remains the same. Saving is about allocating your money, optimizing your money, and creating a life that you can really enjoy continually and sustainably.
It can be easy to forget how little it actually takes to enjoy life. And we can fall into the habit of thinking that dollars spent equal happiness. In my experience, this is not always true. Let’s look at your 10 tips as a way to get back to our roots and enjoy a simpler way of living.
Before we get started if you haven’t read our other article on saving called “Ways To Save Money On A Tight Budget“, go ahead and take a few minutes to check that out. You’ll have a good foundation and even more tips to boost your saving skills.
Set up your savings so that it happens automatically
This first tip is one worth repeating. It’s effective. It’s efficient, my clients use it, successful people everywhere use it, and I use it. Simply open up a brand new savings account at your bank, better yet a different bank, and create automatic monthly transfers every day that you receive your paycheck into your checking account.
You’ll be implementing one of the most effective and popular savings tips around known as the pay yourself first principle. Because you never physically see the money in your regular account the temptation to spend is eliminated.
Most employers can help you split your direct deposit into several accounts. Take advantage of this strategy and you’ll have peace of mind that your saving goals are being met. Make sure not to order a debit card for these other accounts and if you do, lock it away.
Pro tip: Using your online banking portal, create and name each account in your separate bank. For example, Emergency Fund, College Savings, Investing, and New Car can all be separate accounts! One receives the direct deposit and your automatic transfers move the money as you see fit!
Set small but achievable goals when you’re starting out
If you’re not a super saver yet, it will take you some time to adjust to a lifestyle change. Give yourself permission to feel satisfied with those small wins. Focus on the important stuff first. Paying off your debt, building an emergency fund (6 months of living expenses), and then maximizing your contribution to your tax-advantaged accounts! Make a simple spreadsheet and write out all the predictable expenses each month. Subtract from your income and decide how you’re going to divvy up the extra income.
Next, let’s re-examine our home life and the savings opportunities there. These simple strategies also double as a convenient and practical way to simplify your life.
Cancel your subscription services
You may find that the time you spend at home can be much more relaxing and productive if you could just find a way to turn off the TV.
It can be easy to end up paying for streaming subscriptions and packaged entertainment. We forget about the simple joys around us all the time. You’re probably already thinking of a few things you’ve lost touch with. You’ll find time slows down in a nice way. The days feel full and long again in a good way. And if you’re really in the mood for a movie it’s always a few clicks away.
Many things that bring us joy cost us, absolutely nothing.
Spend more time cooking at home
You might consider spending more time cooking food at home and sharing family meals and dining with those people you care about. Dining out is the number one activity that Americans waste their extra income on and the quality of the food isn’t really hard to copy! Watch a few Gordon Ramsay videos, inventory that spice cabinet, and research those favorite food you normally go out for and try them out yourself!
I’ve seen a lot of fantastic cooking with everyone at home this year. Let’s keep a good thing going. Don’t forget to involve the family!
I really like this community on Reddit. You can find recipes and inspiration for meals that are healthy and cheap!
How about reading or listening to a fabulously good book? Chances are you remember really enjoying reading at one point and you’re wondering what happened!
A good reading session is always available to you and it’s one of the few experiences that offers so much value for so little money.
Spend more time with your kids
Spending quality time with the kids? Always a good idea. My husband and I have five children and we’ve discovered you don’t need to spend a lot of hard-earned cash to create meaningful and fun experiences for them.
They say the best things in life are free and with your kids, this is almost always true. Start with publicly available resources like the library, the local parks, and hiking trails. Kids also benefit from major discounts on some of the coolest experiences like museums, sporting events, and water parks or theme parks.
Create memories that last a lifetime while saving your money for the important things that improve their lives that they might not even think about. Like bills or the house mortgage.
Spend more time doing creative activities
Arts and crafts, photography, writing stories together, maybe you could create a culture night and learn about a place you’ve not yet visited. Enhance your dinner menu with the smells, the tastes, and the sounds of that part of the world. Play board games and create your own! Make up a scavenger hunt around the house. Kids have amazing imaginations that turn simple activities into amazing adventures. Let them inspire you to see the world the way they do!
If this isn’t your current way of life or is not your preferred way to be at home, I completely understand. Maybe you prefer to do home the way that you do home!
If this is the case then here’s a more general tip for you!
Choose affordable hobbies to try with your family
Explore and discover a hobby that you and your family can take up that is affordable.
Now, I don’t recommend that you start out with hockey or skiing or sports that have a higher buy-in for lessons and equipment but have some fun exploring what they might enjoy. What might that be?
You might be surprised just how many activities and interesting communities there are out there. For me personally, I enjoy organic gardening, rare fruit tree growing, and going for hikes.
Focus on hobbies that get better with experience rather than the cost of the equipment needed.
Here are a few examples to jumpstart your search:
- Making music
- Knitting or sewing
- Creating art
- Hiking and Camping
- Running or biking
Take care of and maintain the things you already own
Regular preventative maintenance should be achieved for your car and home so they last longer. Doing these activities puts you in the place where you don’t stress about exactly when those things might break down. This removes some of the unexpected, large expenses that seem to show up out of nowhere.
My advice? Make a little list of all the things you expect to break once in a while and make it a research project to learn how to prepare for and maintain those items. Start with the user manuals and then jump on over to Youtube for a visual example.
Master maintenance on your major home appliances. AC and heating need annual attention. Back up that computer and keep it updated. If it’s mechanical or electronic find out early what you can do to make it last longer.
Live the DIY lifestyle and enjoy the financial benefits.
Try a No-Spend Challenge
Okay here’s your last tip guys. This is your big challenge. Are you ready? Experiment with a break from spending completely, like don’t spend it anything!
What? Ha, don’t spend any money? Yeah, try it!
Either plan a day or two or a week where you agree to spend no money on activities or food. You can also try this challenge for a longer period of time if you’re up for it.
What would that be like? Could you do it?
If you feel it’s achievable, whether for a day or a week. Set a goal and do it.
You will probably surprise yourself with how much money you can save and how disciplined you could be when you have a plan.
And that’s your 10 money saving tips!
At this moment, I hope you’re feeling inspired to experiment and rediscover the joys of simple living, saving money, and being fulfilled all at the same time.
Please share this article if you know someone who is working to save more and could use some direction and inspiration. Follow our newsletter for more financial advice to achieve the life of your dreams.
Share your favorite, low-cost activities in the comments below so others can try out your ideas. We want to hear from you! Have a wonderful day.
I’m Judy Copenbarger, God bless.
Judy Copenbarger is the Founder and President of Comprehensive Financial Services, based in Irvine, California.
She holds a Juris Doctor Degree, with a Taxation Emphasis, is FINRA Registered and maintains various Securities and Insurance Designations. Her professional expertise is in Estate Planning, Retirement and Education Planning.