• Alex Mizerski

Quick and easy ways to save money

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

Saving money is something that is top of mind for so many folks right now. The economy is in flux, job stability is a thing of the past and there is no indication that the economy will recover any time soon. When times like this hit us we look for easy or quick ways to save money.



Quick and easy ways to save money

First of all, why do I say "easy or quick"? I say it that way because something that might seem easy for one person may be really hard for someone else. I don't want to assume because something might be easy for me, or you, that it will also be easy for everyone else. I prefer to be sensitive to that difference and ensure everyone feels like these ways to save money are achievable. So, onto our list!


Cut out fast food

One meal at McDonald's = $5.00 - $10.00 depending on what you get. In the midwest, if I got the grocery store I can get a loaf of bread ($0.88), a half-pound of ham ($3.25), and 24 Kraft Singles ($3.97) for $8.10 plus tax. That's like 3 or 4 meals right there. I just lowered my daily food bill from $15.00 - $30.00 per day to $8.10, saving me between $6.90 - $21.90 (if I ate all my meals at McDonald's). While fast food can be easy and fairly cheap, strategically buying groceries can save you a ton of money over the long term


Hulu/Netflix/cable/other subscription services

Super hard, but super quick! Cutting subscriptions, even for a month or two, can be a great idea. If you don't get a discount on a service that would be lost if you cut the service why not take a month off? If you have more than one TV subscription try cutting off Hulu this month and focusing on shows you've found on Netflix, then switch next month. The $5.99 a month you save on Hulu basic time 6 months is $35.94. If you invested that money over 30 years you would have $2,838. While that doesn't sound like a lot of money saved over the course of 30 years it would probably cover flights to a tropical location during retirement and I bet that would be nice.


Cell Phone

when was the last time you evaluated your cell phone plan? I know that since my wife and I have been working from home our data usage has dropped dramatically because we are always connected to wi-fi. So, early in our required WFH tenure, I moved on plan down to the most basic version and we are saving $26/month. Similar to the example above that is a lot of cash in retirement. While we will most likely move our plan back once we go back to working from an office we will be saving money in the near term that can be invested for long-term growth.


Lower the temp on your water heater

I just read about this last week. You can save $36.00 - $61.00 a year if it is set too high. So, that's pretty cool.


Check insurance rates

Insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. If you have been working with one insurance company for more than a year, it's time to call around and see how rates have changed. Especially if your credit score has improved or your driving habits have changed. These are two key contributors to your insurance cost and could help you save some money.


DIY

My family is all over this one. Previous articles (check out this article, and this one, and this one) have walked through all the ways we are making improvements to our house. Typically, we will bid something out and if the bid comes in well above what we thought the cost was going to be and/or we just don't think we can spare the money at that time, then we sign ourselves up for a project.


Volunteer

A few buddies of mine would volunteer at festivals over the summer during college. They loved music and didn't mind working a little bit. Over the course of a few years they had seen a ton of amazing shows and it cost them nearly nothing.


Close your blinds in the summer

Sun can be HOT and really raise your cooling bill in the summer. Being mindful of your blinds and the temperature rise they cause can help you save some money. On the flip side, in the winter, open those blinds all the way up! Free heat can't be beat!


Hack your water

Slow flow showerheads can help you save money and save the planet. Putting a 20oz bottle filled with water into your toilet tank reduces the amount of water utilized per flush. Faucets also have low-flow aerators and shutting off the water while you brush your teeth has always been one of my faves.


Find free entertainment

It might take a little bit longer to find something that might entertain you, but the savings can help you do things you REALLY want in the future (like buying a lake house or something). Something that might help in this regard is just keeping your mind open to new experiences. Maybe you really want to see a movie, but there is a free concert in the local park. You may end up liking the music, or just having a good time in some other way as a result. New experiences can sometimes be the best.


Free exercise

My wife and I follow a Yoga YouTube channel and have some old free weights around the house. Our fitness expense could be $0 if we wanted to save a few extra bucks each month. Living in the midwest makes it a bit harder to exercise in the winter and that is one of the main reasons we keep it around. In a pinch, our gym membership would be the first thing to go.


Summary:

Saving money can be hard, but please always remember that little changes can really add up over time. What ways have you found to save recently?




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