Ask the Readers: What Are Your Best Money-Saving Tips?

As I wrote in a recent post, money plays an important role in our lives. For that reason, it’s essential that we know how to deal with money.

There are many aspects of personal finance, so I’d like to focus on just one for now: saving money. Here is my question for you:

What are your best money-saving tips?

Please share your answer in the comments so that everyone can read it. Thanks!

Photo by Bigstock

35 Comments

  1. Being older than most of your readers (I assume) I can only tell you what HAS worked for me over the last 30 years.

    PAY YOURSELF FIRST

    I signed up for a 10% matching stock plan (I put in 10%, the company matched 3%) at the very beginning, IN ADDITION TO setting aside 5% of my pay into a retirement savings plan (RRSP or 401K). So that’s 15% of whatever I made was deducted before I ever saw it – and it was never missed.

    But now that I’m >50, the savings amount is considerable, and I can rest easy that “there’s enough”….

  2. If you want to charge something to a credit card, make sure you already have the money put away in your checking account – then when the statement comes in the mail, you can pay it off 100% each month. In other words, don’t charge something on a credit card unless you already have the money for it.

  3. Hi, I am very happy getting your impressive mails.
    Thank you.
    Here is my contribution, and thanks again for giving opportunity to making me think something good

    1-> Fuel saving: Car pooling to daily office travel with colleagues

    2-> Daily Food Purchasing: find the shop which offers best lowest prices and good quality in your neighborhood

    3-> Cook sufficient food daily so that you donot waste the remaining

    4-> Exercise daily: Exercising regularly will enhance our diet and keeps our health in proper way. It reduces the medical bills cost and more importantly our and our loved ones precious time and energy

    5-> reduce the unnecessary usage of power by using TV/MusicPlayer/Electronic gadgets optimally

    6-> Reduce expenditures on unnecessary items which we may not find useful later.

  4. Living in New York, one of the biggest expenditures I find is dining out and other forms of entertainment. People just don’t meet at each others’ homes, so socializing is costly. One way I’ve found to cut down costs when dining out is to choose restaurants that have ‘tasting plates.’ This way, instead of ordering an entire entree that no one can finish anyway, everyone orders a small plate, at around $8-$10 each. To make things cheaper, it’s best to buy a bottle of wine rather than wine by the glass. Dining this way a meal can cost $40 per person as opposed to $50+. Further, when planning days out with friends, I look to free days at museums, or free lectures, or enjoying time on the High Line, which is completely free as well. Careful planning in terms of entertainment spending can easily save thousands a year.

  5. Similar to Doug’s comment: Treat yourself as a mandatory bill that needs to be paid every month. Just as your electric bill or phone bill isn’t optional, neither is your “savings” bill. Changing how you think about savings is crucial.

    • 1.ear marking at least 5% of take home salary thinking that it is not our money.

      2.make firm commitments in LIC policies which will help in long run.

      3.By analysing every month expenses, attention could be paid for control over extravagent expenses.

      4.developing Strong will power to reduce unnecessary/redundant purchases

      5. transparent with partners in financial transactions to keep each other aware of the existing situation.

      6. allocating small amount for RD every month to meet out working capital requirements of the family.

      7. Develop savings habits with children right from the beginning.

  6. Money Savings Tip

    1. Prepare and bring your own food when you go to the office, this is cheaper and healthier alternative way instead of dining out.

  7. akomolede raphael
    akomolede raphael

    Money saving Habit.Below are my comment on the subject

    1. Realise that every income you received serve two purposes—seed for sower and bread for consumption
    2. Don’t save from what remain after spending, but spent what remain after saving.
    3.if you are salary earner, go into saving scheme where deduction will be made at source
    4. Waiting for big money before you save is wrong idea about saving. the penny in your hand is both for saving and consumption
    5. consistency in the amount you save is what matter and not how big the size.
    6. a lot of insurance product can be purchased to save money against tomorrow.
    7.there will always time of rain and dry season, hence in the raining period you must save for the dry season. REMEMBER PHARAOH’S DREAM IN THE BIBLE
    8. Try to save 10% of your income
    9. You can also use cooperative as example of good saving habit. Here your contribution is a saving for tomorrow.
    10 if you say because your present income is not enough to meet present expenses, hence i will not save, realise that you say the same thing when your income is at a particular level some years ago, now that your income has increased is this enough to meet your expenses? pls save now. start now.
    11.reduce your expenses in other to save money. it is for your good. it is what you will fall on when the land is dry.
    12. invest saving money to get more.
    thank you.

  8. – Think twice before buying anything that you may end up throwing it away later.
    – Beside saving, we should think of the ways to increase your income also.
    – Monitor your spending, set up a budget for each week/month and try to live within the budget
    – Arrange with your bank for monthly fixed saving – auto deduction from your saving account to your fixed saving account. By not seeing all the amount you have in your active bank account, you may end up spending less.

  9. Well.. with me, i’d create a saving account with which i agree with the bank on the time i’d withdraw any amount. Then i set the time/date to undo the cash i’ve been saving.

  10. Saving makes u to think straight, and empowers rest of mind.

  11. A workable money saving tip:
    I read those very nice articles & ideas by many of readers among us, they told how to save money.

    Buying used products is not a bad Idea for saving money. I’m not saying about grocery, utensils and cloths but we can buy some big things like a house, car, tv, furnitures, domestic gym, mobile phones etc those used very sparingly and precisely. It is not an easy task to follow, but it saves quite enough money.

  12. Try a week of not eating processed foods, cooking everything from scratch. It means you can enter a supermarket and just go straight to the fruit n veg isle then leave. You save a fortune by not purchasing things you don’t need.

  13. Totally agree with Doug, pay yourself first! If you always chase after debts and loose ends without putting yourself first, that’s the way it will always be, full stop.

    It’s like the carrot and the stick phenomenon, under which so many things can be explained: happiness, success, financial freedom, to name but a few.

    It’s great to read through the comments, I reckon you should tally them up into a post, some really good ideas here!

  14. Mary Ng Shwu Ling
    Mary Ng Shwu Ling

    I save money by choosing to work near home, within walking distance. In this way I also save time. Can you imagine how much I can save in three years?

  15. Thanks for sharing, everyone! I get useful tips and reminders from your comments.

  16. Buy only things that you cannot live without!

  17. I buy from thrift stores and yard sales. I re-purpose a lot of items. I shop for great deals on http://www.kgbdeals.com/national and http://www.nomorerack.com. I am a penny pincher in every sense of the word!

  18. Always live within your means and no matter how much money you are earning, always put some of it away for a rainy day!
    I use credit cards only as a convenience and never pay interest on them, this to me would be a total waste of my hard earned cash.
    This philosophy has worked incredibly well for me in my life!

  19. Groceries I buy in bulks or wait for specials. Furniture I save money so that I can buy it cash. Home loan I pay extra every month. For my cars I make sure I also pay extra and finish paying for it in less than three years. Clothes I buy on 6 months interest free account and pay extra as well.

  20. As a oversea reader here, I’m giving my first comment. Most of the saving money tips are shared above. I just skip those part.

    1. Online shop and get extra cash back: I only shop in store for discount clothes and shoes. For those items I really want or I need (but I can wait), I will shop online and use as many coupon as I can find. And I will shop through some extra cash back website to get around 2-5% cash back. Penny and penny laid up will be many. In this case you can also help your friend to order gift or anything online and she/he pays what she buys and you get the cash back.

    2. Buy big portion food / ingredient and keep them well in freezer: Large portion is always cheaper, so I will buy and divide them into several smaller portion and storage in freezer. (google how to keep food fresh in the freezer.) But the point is, don’t forget what you buy. Make a list and stick on the fridge is what I do.

    3. Bring a bottle water when going out: one bottle of drink may cost 2-3 dollar. Not a big amount but count how many you buy monthly and you will know how much money you spend is totally unnecessary. Of course drinking water is better than soft drinks. Same as bringing a cup of a coffe from home everyday before you go to work.

  21. I do cap my monthly expenses. Above that leave I moved to my saving account and by doing this I save handsome amount.

  22. Only buy what you really need at the moment. Look for sales. Great bargains can be had if you only take a little time to look for them.

  23. I make sure that my appliances are energy efficient. I buy things I need and want on sale. I only buy one. You don’t need 12 purses- one for every outfit. I buy quality so it lasts.

  24. Save on eating your own prepared foods by limiting eating out so often. No impulse buying.

  25. The best tip for saving money to me is been on a diet. I have cut my bill by a third just because i am not eating as much.

  26. Similar to Doug’s comment: Treat yourself as a mandatory bill that needs to be paid every month. Just as your electric bill or phone bill isn’t optional, neither is your “savings” bill. Changing how you think about savings is crucial.

  27. yes ,it’s so essential that we know how to deal with money. I have no concept with money before marry , but after marry ,so much money need to spend . so i begin to write down how much money to spend everyday , and one month later , i can check the list and see where can save the money and the coming month , we will spend less than before .

  28. avoid late charges by scheduling your payments. This will boost your credit score as well.

    tip 2 some companies offer a discount if u pay within 10 days. take it!

  29. I have always had a problem saving outside my 401k. I used complex budgets that attempted to allocate all my money somewhere. It to confinding and made me feel like a prisoner to saving, which resulted in spending binges. Since I have simplified and my saving has occurred in an organic fashioin. Here it is:

    -Horde away into my 401k. I am not a good saver, unless you are talking retirement funds. Put away 17% so I never have to worry about retiring when I want to.
    -Concentrate on thrifting on my big expenses. I keep modest living conditions and limit my car use. Especially now that it is getting older.
    -Eliminate one small routine expenditure. Right now it is Friday lunches at work.

  30. Simplicity. If I have one I don’t need two. If I think I want something, I ask if it is a need or a want. Then I step away,. If in a few days, I feel like I can’t live without it and I have the cash, I’ll make the purchase.

  31. I saw one other person had said that having a fuel efficient car saves money. I would say the only way it saves money is if you also put the money you would have spent on gas with a higher fuel consumption care in the bank or another investment vehicle. People often will say that they saved money on something by buying it less expensively but you need to take the difference and actually SAVE it then. Spending money is not saving money… right?

  32. Stay out of the shops. I do my main shopping once a week, and go late when reduced prices are reduced again for the last time. If I went shopping every day, I would spend each time. It is easier and less tempting to just stay away.

  33. Lorraine Strader
    Lorraine Strader

    I have lived hand to mouth more years then I care to say but when I made savings a game it started being fun and I was actually started to save. Not a lot at first but it got better. I now have money but I still watch my spending, maybe too much lol. I have started to learn how to make things from scratch (like my own bread (5 Min Bread) Bisquick, and even laundry detergent. When my family and friends were out spending and having fun when I stayed home are still working and I retired. Money should be fun so have fun saving it too.

  34. Lorraine Strader
    Lorraine Strader

    The single most life changing thing I finally did was to buy a freezer. I finally bought a used smallish freezer on craigslist. Best thing I ever did because now I can buy and make food in larger quantities to use when times are tight or I just don’t feel like cooking. No more stopping for fast food because I don’t have time to cook or go to the grocery store. I can go to my freezer and pull out premade meals, hamburger patties, frozen vegetables. Just about anything can be frozen and the internet is a great source how to do it safely. You will be amazed how much money you can save on your food budget.

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