Finance, Personal

10 Simple Ways to Save Money That Really Work

Assuredly, you would have stumbled on multiple blogs and suggestions on savings. Coming online again to seek help is a first step in the right direction.

From skipping Starbucks’ $4 coffee for a conservative $1 Mcdonald’s coffee to making your coffee from home, you’ve heard these words thrown around. I’d give you ten simple ways to save money to begin this journey.

Simple Ways to Save Money

1. Know and WRITE DOWN how much you earn

You need to know how much comes into your hands from every source. If it is easy to do (just your salary).

Keeping track of your income by writing it down provides you with a tangible refe rence point to assess your financial situation accurately. 

This practice enables you to establish a realistic budget, identify potential areas for reducing expenses, and make informed decisions about your spending habits.

By actively recording your earnings, you become more mindful of your financial standing, facilitating smarter choices that can lead to substantial long-term savings.

Most importantly, you need more than one stream of income. To earn more, check this article on how to make more money.

2. Write down how much you spend each pay period

If your income in step 2 is biweekly, you have to break down your expenses into biweekly blocks (same for monthly). Monthly pay to monthly payments; biweekly pay to biweekly costs.

You currently have step 3 exceeding step 2; here comes the magic 4-letter word ‘debt.’ For how to get out of debt, there’s an article that would help you.

By diligently noting down how much you spend, you gain valuable insights into your spending habits and patterns. 

This practice allows you to identify unnecessary or excessive expenditures, enabling you to make conscious adjustments to your budget. 

By actively tracking your expenses, you become more mindful of your financial decisions, which can lead to more prudent choices and increased savings. 

Writing down your spending each pay period provides a tangible record that helps you stay accountable and take control of your finances.

3. Set up a savings plan

Setting up a savings plan is a highly effective method for saving money. 

It involves creating a structured approach to saving that aligns with your financial goals. 

Start by determining a specific amount or percentage of your income that you can comfortably set aside each month. 

I recommend you start at 10% savings. Fun fact: Whatever lifestyle 90% of your earnings cannot fund, it is improbable 100% of your money made will do. So start by putting aside 10%.

By adhering to a savings plan consistently, you accumulate funds over time, enabling you to achieve your financial objectives and build a secure financial future.

4. Trim your lifestyle costs

Trimming your lifestyle costs is a highly effective method for saving money. 

It involves evaluating your current spending habits and making conscious efforts to reduce unnecessary expenses. 

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Gym membership, Uber Eats, and other lifestyle costs are burning a hole in your account. If you haven’t been in the gym for 1-month, you do not need that subscription.

It takes 20-30 minutes to fix a meal you already have ingredients. If you did that, you just paid yourself that $30 you could in 30 minutes, equivalent to $60/hour. Read another article on How to deal with expenses.

By making intentional adjustments to your lifestyle and prioritizing your needs over wants, you can significantly reduce your expenses and allocate more funds toward savings.

5. Trim your living cost

Trimming your living costs involves identifying areas where you can reduce your expenses and make more frugal choices.

Your rent/mortgage, car loan, insurance, utilities are living costs you need for basic living. They are survival costs. There is such a term as “house poor.” House poor is a financial situation where most/all your earnings go to financing your housing and living costs.

Shop for cheaper insurance; refinance your house for a lower interest rate, trade in your car for a more affordable model and lower interest.

By making conscious choices to reduce your living expenses, you can significantly increase your savings and achieve your financial goals more quickly.

6. Invest in saving

This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is a significant savings hack. Each energy-saving bulb, for example, costs $5 but would save you twice that amount. Every penny counts.

And if you are stuck with a washer/dryer that is not A-rated, shop around for stores you can take the appliance and pay over 24-months INTEREST-FREE. Your water bill and electricity bill will reduce by about 15%.

Instead of leaving your savings idle in a regular bank account, consider exploring options that allow your money to grow. 

One approach is to invest in low-risk financial instruments such as high-interest savings accounts and GICs.

These avenues typically offer better interest rates than regular savings accounts, helping your savings accumulate faster. 

Additionally, you can explore investment options such as ETFs, index funds, mutual funds or stocks, which provide opportunities for long-term growth. 

By investing in saving, you give your money the potential to work for you and generate passive income, facilitating your goal of saving money.

7. Automate your savings

Automating your savings is perhaps the most thrown-around method. It would help if you had funds go directly to an account. Some employers allow you to nominate an enterprise account to deposit your savings, like a Group savings account.

By setting up automatic transfers to your savings account, you remove the need for manual intervention and ensure consistent savings.

Automating your savings allows you to prioritize saving money as soon as you receive your income, making it a regular and effortless habit.

It eliminates the temptation to spend money before saving and helps you build a financial cushion over time.

With this method, you can gradually accumulate savings without even thinking about it, leading to long-term financial stability.

8. Make it costly to spend your savings

One effective way to save money is by making it costly to spend your savings. 

This strategy involves creating barriers or penalties that discourage impulsive or unnecessary spending. 

For example, you to want to consider savings in a Retirement Savings Plan. You get taxed each time you make withdrawals before retirement.

Also, if you do save in an account with a contribution limit annually, like a TFSA are forced to manage your deposits and withdrawals closely.

By making it more difficult to access your savings, you’re less likely to dip into it for frivolous expenses. 

Ultimately, making it costly to spend your savings helps reinforce discipline and encourages long-term saving habits.

9. Lump sums

This approach involves setting aside any unexpected windfalls or lump sum payments, such as bonuses, tax refunds, or inheritances, rather than immediately spending them.

Child benefits, tax refunds, sale of unused items, annual bonus from work will undoubtedly bring you lump sums. Save those in their entirety. Avoid lifestyle inflation (adjusting your spending to match your new “big-boy” status).

Instead of succumbing to the temptation of immediate gratification, you can prioritize saving a portion or even the entirety of these lump sums. 

By treating them as bonus savings, you can accelerate your progress toward financial goals or build an emergency fund. 

This strategy ensures that you are making the most of unexpected financial gains and leveraging them to secure your long-term financial well-being.

10. Read multiple suggestions. (checked – you just passed it)

No single blogger or financial expert knows it all. Learning is the first step; Earning is next and subsequently keeping what you’ve earned. There are some healthy tips from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) on savings.

By seeking out a variety of money-saving tips and advice, you expose yourself to a wide range of strategies and perspectives.

This allows you to cherry-pick the ideas that resonate with your lifestyle and financial goals. 

Reading multiple suggestions also helps you uncover hidden gems and creative ways to cut costs that you may not have considered before. 

Additionally, it provides you with a holistic understanding of money-saving techniques, empowering you to make informed decisions and tailor your savings approach to suit your unique circumstances.


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About John Adebisi

John Adebisi is a CPA, FCCA and MBA holder with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance. He has over a decade of experience in writing personal and business finance content for audiences across North America, Europe, the UK and Africa. In addition to his writing experience, he also has a strong background in financial research and analysis, giving him a unique perspective of the financial markets. John derives pleasure in helping people make smart financial decisions, and he believes that knowledge and experience can be valuable resources for anyone who wants to learn how to manage their money.

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