10 Definite Ways to Save Money

Are you also among those people whose monthly bank statement is preceded by a drum roll? Looking at my spending I knew I needed to save money. So I did the research and found some of the easiest ways to save money and here’s what you need to know!

No matter how much you earn, you need to know that its always possible to save money. To start saving money you first need to know how much you spend on a monthly basis and why. Based on that, you can start to remove unnecessary costs or negotiate better terms with your providers. Finally, you will have to learn to budget your spending and pay yourself first. For example, instead of buying lunch at work, make it yourself at home. With these simple steps you can set a little bit more money aside every month.

Saving is not buying an item at a sale for 25% less its understanding the difference between what you really need as opposed to what you just want

Why is saving money important?

There are a few key reasons why saving money is important. Whilst you might read in some of my other articles that you should use your money to build assets, you must also know how to actually save money. Learning to save money, does not mean you should hang on every penny. It means you need to have a healthy look on what your money is actually being spent on and is it worth it. This in turn will help you to actually understand the difference between your needs and wants.

Another reason, and maybe the most important one, is that accidents happen! Some risks you can control, but most you don’t. For example, you control what you eat, how often you exercise and take care of your body. However, a car accident or a disease is a risk you have no control over. What about if you injure yourself at work, become handicapped and your insurance doesn’t cover everything? Are you covered for such an uncertainty?

Or maybe your end goal is to make more money by having an extra side hustle, you will actually need some savings to hold you over until you can make that hustle you main hustle. Some side hustles even need seed money to get you started.

Know your numbers?

Before you can actually start to save money, your going to need to know where the money is going to. I did not want to spit a bullet list of things to do, before going through the basics with you.

Knowing your numbers these days is the easy part. If your like me, then most of your monthly costs are automatically transferred to companies I pay for my utilities (electric, water, internet and such). Open Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or Numbers on Mac, I generally use Google Sheets because it’s free (the goal is to save money, right!) and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

Now open your bank statement and write all your fixed costs in a neat row stating the name/description, the monthly amount. For the costs that is not monthly, calculate the monthly spend amount and add that to the list. Now here comes the hard part, and I’m going need you to be strict here, add two more columns with the headers “Estimated hrs per week used” and “Keep or Kill” and write down your honest answer behind every row of costs.

In the “Keep or Kill” column, you write down why you’d keep or kill it (try your best not to make excuses to keep it). I advice making it visual by making the cell green for keep, red for kill and orange for maybe’s.

google sheet to save money by knowing your numbers

The final step is to create another sheet, I advice in the same doc so you can keep everything together. And create the same 4 columns as before, but this time fill them with your spontaneous spending, like that trip to McDonald’s, or your every morning Starbucks run (I’m not judging, I was sitting in the booth next to you!).

After finishing this part, you should know your numbers. Come back to these numbers at least once every quarter to see if the list is still accurate. Keep a look out for increasing costs and adjust accordingly. But don’t forget to rejoice where the costs go down, that means its working.

Now let’s look at some ways to bring those costs down and actually start saving money.

Now, how to save money?

save money in mattress

Saving money is not just the act of stuffing your mattress with money. It starts with having the right mindset. If you haven’t been saving money, or have trouble keeping your hands out of your savings, there is a chance that you do not really know why you are saving money.

The first two paragraphs guided you through understanding as to why saving money is important and where your money is actually going to and why. If you followed along you might have even crossed out some spending you never really needed. In the following part I will deliver what I promised, “10 easy ways to save money”.

The first steps will on prepping you mindset to saving money. Understanding these principles you will help you to prevent relapsing into a “making it rain” state of mind. And lastly some take action steps to actually save you the money for a investment or just a rainy day. There are a couple of gems in here, so be sure to read till the end and leave a comment about what you think.

Pay yourself first

The first rule in money, pay yourself first! You might have heard it before, this is a popular mentality in the personal finance world. This rule can be combined with the 50-30-20 rule, which basically splits your income into 3 parts, the first 50% goes to your necessities, like housing and bills. 20% should go to your savings or financial goals. And finally, 30% to whatever else you like. A combination will change the order to first secure your savings in a savings account.

But what does “pay yourself first” mean?

Paying yourself first is not spending your money on things you want. It means that the first thing you do with your money is set it aside to either save or possibly invest. The first person you should pay should be yourself!

So how to “Pay yourself first“?

The best way would be to automate this process. Plan a schedule on your bank account to automatically transfer the desired amount to your saving account each month right after you receive it. Start with a small amount every month $10-20, and check every month if you can increase this amount. This way you won’t have to worry about saving money, and at a certain point you won’t even miss it.

Set financial goals

person sitting on a wooden chair making financial goals to save money

It is extremely important to have financial goals. Financial goals are targets you set to achieve a certain objective. Some financial goals are saving money for retirement, children or just to become financially free. When setting a financial goal, be sure to determine the reason and time its going to take to reach this goal. Recommended time frames are short- (3 months of less), medium- (3 to 12 months) or long- (12+ months) term goal. And most important your why, by knowing why you do anything will help to motivate you in reaching all your goals.

In real life, you can use your financial goals as a guide when you see something intriguing, that does not seem too pricey and is very tempting to buy. By knowing and remembering your goals, you will start to think more about how bad you actually need it and in most cases decide to save money instead. You then apply the 10-second or 30-day rule, and in most cases realize you don’t really need it.

Master the 10-second & 30-day rule

In the previous step I mentioned the 10-second rule, and if you haven’t heard about it before let me explain. The 10-second rule is not extending the 5-second rule, where you quickly pick up food after dropping it on the ground (a myth by the way). The “10-second rule” means that whenever you get the urge to spend money on something, you pause for 10 seconds and consider whether you should actually spend the money or not. Its quite simple and something anybody can do, but nobody ever considers.

The 30-day rule is basically the same, instead of counting to 10, you wait 30 days before buying an expensive item. I have saved up the money multiple times and when I reached my goal amount, I realized most things were not that important anymore. Society programs us to search for instant gratification and this leads to spending money unnecessarily and impulsively.

Negotiate better terms and prices with your providers

Now you know your numbers, and I’ve given you a couple of handles to help you along our journey, so let’s get into the money. In the “Know your numbers” chapter, we created a detailed spreadsheet with all our expenses, why we are actually spending the money and if we should keep or kill. A couple of you brave souls has also killed out a couple you don’t really need. So come the first business day it’s time to cancel those subscriptions, it’s going to sting a little, but you’ll thank yourself later.

Now go through your keep list once more. If you really need them, your not done yet, now you need to work on them. Tell me, how often do you sit down and compared prices of all the providers who can service you against your own. This tactic can save you a lot of money over the mandatory subscription period.

Instead of letting your provider silently extend your membership, compare prices to other providers, contact yours and negotiate better prices for the next term. If they aren’t willing, contact other providers and negotiate with them. One or both options will work. Your old provider wants to keep your business so most are willing to make a deal, at least for the first couple of months of your new term. And a new provider would love new business, and they usually already have welcome deals in place to steel you from your current provider.

It’s also a good idea to reevaluate the options in a subscription. By cutting out services you aren’t using anymore, you can save money each month. For example going from premium to standaard plans.

Search for free entertainment sources (free events, board games, walk outside, reading)

Now that we’ve canceled the excess, we should not forget to enjoy the new found piece of mind. With all the distractions gone, we can dig into the community calendar and get to know your city. Although you may not know it, most communities have tons of free events. Scroll through your towns website, or visit your local library and get a hold on the listing for upcoming events. Now you save money on entertainment, and if your lucky and pay attention you might even get free stuff out of it.

photo of people watching a live street performer

Even if your not an outdoors man, there is enough other free and fun things to do inside. You can plan a game night with friends, enjoy a nice evening reading a book, walk outside or just talking to your significant other (you might learn something new). Digital entertainment, though they cal it social media, has the ability to socially disconnect each other. By cutting the out as much as possible you do not only save money, but you also reconnect with each other on a human level.

Get Healthy

Now you might think, how does this help me to save money. Sometimes it seams like living healthy costs even more. This is another mindset change you might need to make. By taking care of your body, you’ll automatically start taking care of other aspects in your live. For example, if you set your self to eating healthy, your spending will change as well. You’ll buy less junk food of the streets, instead of watching tv you can go for a run and save money on the electric bill. Even if your a smoker, once your committed to living healthier, you’ll start smoking less and eventually you might even stop.

I admit, you will start to see the real savings here down the road. You will save on your doctor’s bill by preventing certain type of illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes and other preventable illnesses which can cost up to thousands per year. You can also reevaluate your insurance, you might get discounts if you choose to live a more healthier lifestyle.

Give yourself an allowance

The advantage of giving yourself an allowance is having the freedom to spend a certain amount on whatever you want and save money. It teaching you to control your spending by reinforcing the habit of only purchasing what you actually need. At the end of the week if you have any allowance left, you can proudly add this to your savings.

Using your financial spreadsheet you should now know where you spend your money each month. I’m not talking about the fixed costs, but all the other, let’s call it, spontaneous things you might buy. Now look at this last and the keep or kill column and ask yourself, if you’ve been truly honest with yourself? If you have, you can use this list to determine what kind of allowance you need. Whatever the amount, it should be reasonable and an absolute limit.

10 year old holding jar of pocket money

At first it will be tough to control spending and keep it under the limit. But over time you will see it as a challenge by making it a game to save money. For example, try to save as much of your allowance as you can, and try to top it every week. The reward is to use the saved allowance for anything you want, or add it to your total savings towards your (financial) goal.

Make it yourself

This one will help you to keep most of your allowance, and ace your allowance game. Before you go to work or anywhere really, think in advance about how your day is going to go, what would you need and pack accordingly. Will you be away for longer periods, you might want to pack a lunch, a thermos with your finest coffee or thee and some snacks for the road. This can ultimately help you to save money and gives you control over what you eat and drink on the go.

Another tip which easily falls in this category to save money, is to fix broken things yourself. You can find countless tutorials and video online that shows you how to fix almost anything, and all for free. You don’t only save money, but you might also learn a new skill which is time well spend in my blog.

fix it felix in front of wreck it ralph

Ask and ye shall receive

Over the years I’ve learned that you can get almost anything, if you’d just ask. There is this myth that we have to do everything on our own and taking handouts makes us weak or undeserving of greatness. Truth be told, nobody ever makes it without the help of someone. A business needs employees, customers and outside contractors and person needs friends, family and even strangers. In short, we cannot make it on our own.

So why are we afraid to ask for what we want of need? There are a various of reasons why most of us don’t just ask, with fear of rejection being the most common one I’ve heard so far. By asking for what we want or need, be it to a person of a higher power, you are putting it out there and there is a liberating power to doing this. There is this thing called the Law of Attraction, a crude example is to ask, believe you already have it, and it will be yours.

Now what are some tips for asking and actually getting it. First, always ask someone who actually has the potential to give to you what you want or need. When asking for something make sure you are clear, specific and as concise as possible. Always talk in the positive and ask for what you want, not for what you don’t want. Get the person’s full attention to make sure you request is given the correct respect and thought. Remember to use humor where possible and be creative, this opens the mind to new possibilities.

Of course you are going to get no’s. Don’t let this discourage you, perseverance always pays off.

Find a professional financial adviser

Why use a financial adviser? Isn’t saving money the goal here? Yes, while that is true, at some point it might pay of more to invest time and money in an financial adviser. For example, if you actually need help with money. Like I said before, do not be afraid to ask. An adviser can help you before you get too deep into depth. Sometimes it helps to get some third-party impartial advice which can save you from one bad decisions that can cost you everything. Or even spot an opportunity that you might have missed otherwise, they might increase your yearly returns despite the fee.

You can also be one of the many do-it-yourself investors, that would rather save that one percent a year. If investing is not your core business nor passion, then no matter how much you google, watch YouTube or follow online courses, your always missing the most important thing, which is experience. An senior adviser has seen it all, and can help to guide you from past experiences. And if picked well most junior advisers, have a senior adviser they ask advice from. This way you benefit from the success and mistakes of all those that came before you and save money in the process.

money puzzle financial plan

How can I find the a financial adviser? – you might ask. As with any money driven market, there are dangers. That’s why its important to have a logical look at the terms and what they ask of you. Generally I advice you to steer clear from financial advisers who ask for what is called a third-party custodian to hold your assets. This means that you give full access to your accounts to the adviser to place trades and services out of your name.

There are a few key thing you can look at when choosing the right financial adviser. There are different types of financial advisers. I won’t go through all of them, but will stick to those relevant to this post to help you along. I might do a writing about the differences in the future.

  • Financial advisers will focus on all aspects of your financial life. They will help you come up with a plan that suits your goal, for example they will look at your monthly income and compare that with your spending and come up with a plan on how to save money each month.
  • Investment advisers, or more commonly known as portfolio managers, are more in tune with how to wisely invest your money and depending on your needs will manage your portfolio as well.

Our goal for now is to save money, so a financial planner will help us to set up a goal based on our numbers which will help us to accomplish our goal. Be it having money to retire securely, help your kids through collage or save money for any other specific purpose. Together you will look at the amount of money you should save, the types of accounts you need, the kinds of insurance you should have (long-term care, term life, and disability), estate and tax planning and maybe even some investing.


No matter how much you earn, saving money is always a sound plan. It can be to accomplish a certain goal, purchase a much needed or wanted item or to set you up for a secure retirement. There are many ways you can save money, the internet is full of them. What I tried to illustrate here is that it all comes down to having the right plan and sticking to it, without that although possible, it will be considerably harder to accomplish your goals. Some can make this plan on their own, but it can never hurt to get some professional advice.

Remember that there is always someone willing to help, all you have to do is ask!

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