What are the Best Tips for Saving Money? (with pictures)

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
An empty jam jar can be re-purposed to make a drinking glass as a way to save money.
An empty jam jar can be re-purposed to make a drinking glass as a way to save money.

Understanding how to save money, whether for retirement or a snazzy new pair of shoes, is an important ability to develop. Just as dieters find more success when they change their lifestyles rather than try out a fad diet, so do many would-be spendthrifts find saving easier when they alter their lifestyles to match saving goals. There are many tricks and tips to help start saving money, but it remains the job of the individual to create a daily routine in which saving is a primary goal.

Spending cash instead of making purchases with credit cards can help some people save money.
Spending cash instead of making purchases with credit cards can help some people save money.

One of the most important things a person can do to start saving money is analyze their current habits. While going out to $300 US dollar (USD) dinners once a week might be an easy place to see wasted funds, the smaller spending leaks of $4 USD lattes, lunch out every day, and indulgent cell phone service packages are much more likely to be doing damage to a savings plan. Using a notebook or budgetary software, track purchases for three months, being sure to break each expenditure into a specific category, such as “groceries,” “take out,” or “clothing.” Doing this type of tracking for a few months will quickly reveal where money is leaking out on extras when it could be going toward a savings goal.

A great place to start when trying to save money is to analyze current spending habits.
A great place to start when trying to save money is to analyze current spending habits.

Some people find that using cash can help with saving money. Though automatic debit and credit cards are easy to use, they also make it easy to overspend. If a person has a budget for each necessity, such as food, gas, and entertainment, they may find spending goals easier to match by withdrawing the total amount at the beginning of the month, and using the cash exclusively for purchases in each category. One bonus of the cash method is that any unused cash at the end of the month can be used for a splurge or be diverted back to the savings account.

Collecting change to put into a savings account is a good way to save up money.
Collecting change to put into a savings account is a good way to save up money.

Another important trick to saving money is to prevent temptation by opening an automatic debit savings account. This way, each time a paycheck is deposited, a set portion goes directly into a savings account, retirement account, or other savings mechanism. Removing the money before it has a chance to be spent can help keep savings safe.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle is not only a means of helping the environment, it can also help with saving money. Try to reduce excess spending by buying reusable water bottles and filling them at home, or by re-purposing empty jam jars as vases and drinking glasses. For the amount it costs to buy coffee out, a person can easily French press their own beans, tote them to work in insulated mugs, and even have extra to share with friends. Incorporating a reuse and recycle method into spending habits may help benefit both the earth and the retirement account.

Cutting down on ordering out for food can help save money.
Cutting down on ordering out for food can help save money.

Make sure that money in the bank is working its hardest to generate interest. Instead of using a regular savings account, consider investing savings or opening a retirement account that generates much higher interest over time. While retirement account investing usually requires that the money be left alone for a certain period of time, the increased returns can be considerable in the long run. Putting money into savings accounts with higher interest rates can turn a nest egg into a flock of savings benefits.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a writer.

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    • An empty jam jar can be re-purposed to make a drinking glass as a way to save money.
      An empty jam jar can be re-purposed to make a drinking glass as a way to save money.
    • Spending cash instead of making purchases with credit cards can help some people save money.
      Spending cash instead of making purchases with credit cards can help some people save money.
    • A great place to start when trying to save money is to analyze current spending habits.
      A great place to start when trying to save money is to analyze current spending habits.
    • Collecting change to put into a savings account is a good way to save up money.
      Collecting change to put into a savings account is a good way to save up money.
    • Cutting down on ordering out for food can help save money.
      Cutting down on ordering out for food can help save money.
    • Getting a less expensive cell phone package is one way to save money.
      Getting a less expensive cell phone package is one way to save money.
    • Packing a sandwich for lunch can help cut down on food costs.
      Packing a sandwich for lunch can help cut down on food costs.
    • Some people make their own laundry soap to save money.
      Some people make their own laundry soap to save money.
    • Learning to perform simple auto maintenance can save on repair bills.
      Learning to perform simple auto maintenance can save on repair bills.
    • Growing fresh vegetables in a garden can help save money on the grocery bill.
      Growing fresh vegetables in a garden can help save money on the grocery bill.
    • Cutting back on water use can save money on utility bills.
      Cutting back on water use can save money on utility bills.