If you feel like you can’t save any money, or if you want tips and tactics to start saving money faster, then this article is for you.
We’re going to look at the best ways to save money FAST each month, plus a few key money-saving mistakes to avoid.
Let’s get started…
If you can’t save money, it’s due to spending more than you earn each month. The only ways to solve this are to reduce certain expenses, eliminate some expenses, and/or find ways to earn more income.
Coming up, we’ll look at easy ways to accomplish all three of these steps so that you can save more money.
The following ideas are all effective ways to save more money and grow your bank account faster each month.
And if you’re not using the following tactics, it could be a reason that you can’t save money.
Whether you’re looking to build an emergency fund, save up for a down payment, or just have extra money to spend later in the year, these ideas will help you save money faster:
If you feel like you can’t save money or you never have enough money at the end of the month, it may be an issue with spending too much.
You may not realize where most of your spending happens, or where your extra money is going, since little expenses can add up.
And if you can cut down on some of this spending, you’ll obviously start saving money faster.
So start by analyzing your weekly and monthly expenses. Look at your credit card bill and other expenses to see exactly where the money is going.
It’s also helpful to divide your list of expenses into necessary and optional expenses.
Through this step, you may realize you’re spending too much money in a certain area, and that you could cut an expense completely (for example, if you notice that your monthly expenses are high due to eating out, you could try not dining out for a month to save more cash immediately).
And even for the necessary expenses, can you find a variation that doesn’t cost as much money?
For example, maybe transportation is necessary for you to get to work, but there could be more than one transportation option available.
Once you know your spending habits and living expenses, it’s time for the next step…
I know this isn’t the most exciting personal finance tip out there, but it really does help your financial situation to write a budget and plan out your financial goals/spending.
Money management just becomes a lot easier if you have a target in terms of what you’ll spend each month.
So try to write a goal for the maximum amount you’ll spend next month.
This will let you anticipate all the bills you’re responsible for, and see if you’re spending more or less than you expected.
It’ll also let you compare your income to your expected spending, to see if you’ll be able to hit your financial and savings goals or not.
Having a budget and comparing it to your monthly income will let you understand what it will take to start saving, and how fast you can put away extra money.
Don’t worry if your expenses wipe out most of your income, though. There are some more tactics you can use to save money each week.
Let’s keep going…
If you struggle to limit your spending, and just can’t save money because you use your entire income each month, then you can try setting aside savings first each month.
As soon as you get paid, put a certain pre-determined amount into your savings account or investment account.
Then, put your spending money into your checking account.
Now that you’ve separated your money, only spend the cash in your checking account and treat your savings account like it cannot be touched for expenses. Better yet, open an investment account that you can’t touch and put your monthly savings into that.
This is one of the best ways to discipline yourself to save extra money.
This step is easier if you completed step 2 above, though.
It’s helpful to have a budget and know where you need to spend money each month so you can then know how much to set aside for savings.
This tactic won’t work if you don’t give yourself enough money to spend in your checking account, so analyze your expenses first.
10% of your gross income is a recommended amount to put aside as soon as you receive your paycheck, but that might be a lot at first. Start with what you can handle and increase it as you are able.
Note that if you currently have no emergency fund, you can also put some money into an emergency fund savings account each month.
This should be another separate account where you’re saving money just for emergencies. It’s recommended that you aim to have 6 months of living expenses saved up for emergencies.
It can be tempting to want to save right away or build up that emergency fund, but if you have credit card debt each month, it’s smart to pay that off first.
Credit card debt typically comes with a very high interest rate, often 18-20% or higher, and the sooner you can pay your card off and reduce or even avoid paying interest, the more money you’ll be able to save each month.
Ideally, aim to pay the full balance of your credit card each month so that you never have to pay interest.
Your bank account will actually grow faster in the long run if you pay down that credit card debt first.
I recommend you try to spend money less and pay down the credit card ASAP if you do carry credit card debt right now.
If you have other debt, like student loan debt, compare interest rates and put your extra money toward paying off whichever loans have the highest interest rate.
You’ll be able to start saving money much faster once those payments are out of the picture!
Having a goal to aim for will make it more fun to save money and will keep you motivated.
You’re more likely to make monthly payments into your savings or investment account if you’ve got a savings target in mind. And you’re less likely to spend that money on wasteful items that you don’t need, too.
So I highly recommend setting a goal for your emergency fund and savings/investment account, that you’d like to hit at the end of the year. Consider setting monthly savings goals, too.
Having a low income makes it much harder to save money, even if you follow every other step and tip on this list.
So don’t forget to also increase your pay as you pursue your financial goals.
Some expenses are simply necessary and cost money no matter who you are. But if you’re earning $10K a month instead of $2K, those expenses are a lot less significant.
Level up your skills and ability to earn money. Invest in yourself through reading books, taking relevant online courses, and continuing your education in other ways.
Or if you’re underpaid in your job, consider looking for a new position that pays more money.
Saving money becomes so much easier if you’re earning more money, and you can only cut expenses so much! So never forget to work on increasing your earnings.
Also, consider starting a side hustle to earn more money if you have time.
One possible reason that you can’t save money is that you’re dining out frequently.
Eating out, or even buying coffee out regularly, can make it harder to save money fast.
Consider cooking more at home and making coffee at home to save money faster each month.
When I was in my 20s, I was able to save money much faster because I brought meals to work instead of buying, and I only ate out once per week.
Meal planning and cooking at home helped me pay off debt and grow my savings faster.
It’s tempting to buy that new car, new cellphone, new laptop, etc., yet you can often find a used alternative.
Even if you can afford to buy new, consider how much you’ll save by buying used, and then make the best decision for your savings goals.
Avoid taking on debt at all costs, too, since the interest payments will stop you from saving in the future.
Before buying that new car, think about how much lower your car payment would be if you buy used.
Or, consider public transport as another alternative to save more money.
In my experience, a lot of people act as if their entire income is spendable, and then find themselves in a financial rut if they lose their job.
Even in the best-case scenario, where they stay in the job for years, they’re still spending their entire pay each month and not building their savings.
That’s not a good long-term financial plan, and the solution is to stop spending so much on new items when there are cheaper alternatives.
Whether you’re currently employed or looking for a new job, you can often save money by arranging to work from home instead of commuting.
You’ll save on commuting costs but you’ll also have more time for work, for a side hustle, etc.
You’ll also be saving money on food most likely, since you can prepare meals at home instead of having to spend money on lunches at the office.
So if you’re in a financial rut or just want to hit those savings goals faster, one smart step is to talk to your employer about the prospect of working from home.
You can start by requesting to work from home for two or three days per week as a test period.
One of the more practical tips to save money each month is to wait until basic necessities like paper towels are on sale, and then stock up for the year!
Or, buy these items in bulk instead of per unit, which also often brings a discount. Ask various stores that you shop at about bulk discounts.
Even items like protein bars are often cheaper when buying a box/case, versus an individual bar. You simply need to ask the store.
Finding bulk deals and discounts on food and household items can help you save more money faster without impacting your lifestyle at all.
If you haven’t taken a close look at your cell phone bill, cable bill, etc., review those documents to see exactly how much you spend each month, and for what services.
Think about whether you could be saving money by lowering your cellphone data limit, having fewer (or no) cable channels, etc.
Sometimes, by simply calling your provider and explaining that you can’t afford to pay the bill as it stands, they can find ways to reduce the money you owe each month.
They may offer a discount or tell you about a plan that costs less.
Even a small percentage of savings will add up to a significant amount of money at the end of the year since you pay these bills every single month.
Housing costs are one of the biggest costs for most people.
If you own a home, consider renting out a room for spare money. If you’re a renter, consider taking on an additional roommate (or a first roommate, if you live alone) to help pay the rent.
This can drastically reduce your monthly payments that go toward housing, allowing you to save more cash each month.
It’s often possible to buy a less-expensive brand of certain products and still receive a good product that won’t reduce your quality of life.
For example, you can skip the expensive iPhone and buy a cheaper cellphone brand.
You can buy a cheaper television brand, too. No matter what TV you end up putting in your home, you’re going to become acclimated to it. It’s not going to change your life either way.
So pick a reasonable choice, but not necessarily the top brand.
This is another way to save even more money.
For my entire 20s, I drove an old Toyota Camry which was fully paid off, and I never spent money on a new phone until my old phone broke.
While this wasn’t glamorous, I was still happy and able to live well. I spent very little each month and instead was putting most of my income into a savings account.
This paid off later in life, as I’m now in my mid 30s and completely financially free.
Most people don’t want to delay gratification and therefore spend too much on items that don’t matter.
The money you put away in savings is an asset that you can invest and earn more from. It gives you freedom and additional income.
I’d encourage you to consider this simple concept of saving a bit now to greatly enhance your life in the future.
Relocation can be expensive and difficult, so this isn’t a short-term solution. But if you’re trying to plan your financial future and optimize your personal finances for the long-term, then it’s worth finding a city where you’ll get the most for your money.
Before making any moves, ensure that you can find a high-paying job in the new city, though. Some cities offer a cheap cost of living but also lower pay.
A low income makes it quite hard to build your savings, even if your expenses are relatively low, too.
So I do not recommend taking a hit to your income if you can help it.
Saving money is a lot more fun if you reward yourself occasionally. So if you set and hit a savings goal for the month, consider giving yourself a small reward.
Or, plan a trip at the end of the year to celebrate hitting your personal finance goals.
The aim here isn’t to blow a large amount of money and set yourself back financially. That’s counter-productive if you’re trying to figure out how to save more money each month.
However, a small reward can keep you motivated toward your financial goal and make it easier to stick to your budget in future months.
Reward yourself if you’ve made a positive change and are on the right track financially, and you’ll be more likely to continue saving.
If you feel like you can’t save money, or you’re growing your savings too slowly, it’s likely that you’re not following one or more of the tips above.
Implement these ideas to save money faster and reach your financial goals.
At first, it can be tough to implement a new idea or form a new habit, but after a month or two, you’ll be in the habit of following these steps and saving much more in the process.
Biron Clark is a former executive recruiter who has worked individually with hundreds of job seekers, reviewed thousands of resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and recruited for top venture-backed startups and Fortune 500 companies. He has been advising job seekers since 2012 to think differently in their job search and land high-paying, competitive positions.
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