Looking to for easy ways to save more money in 2023? This list of actionable tips will get your snowball rolling!
With our renovation on the horizon, we’re trying not to spend unnecessary money this year. And at the same time, I’m trying to squeeze every drop out of our budget!
Whether you are looking to beef up your emergency fund, save for a down payment, or set savings goals for a big trip, most people want to save more money. Some of the best ways are pretty obvious: automate transfers to savings, don’t waste groceries, examine bills like your cell phone plan, renegotiate expenses like car insurance, cancel unnecessary subscriptions, and cut back on frivolous spending habits.
Changing your larger fixed expenses like car costs and housing costs will add the most money to your bottom line in your long-term savings. But sometimes making big changes takes time, so I came up with a list of small, quick-and-easy ways to save more money. If you want some extra cash on hand, these ways are quicker and easier to tackle.
How much money you have at the end of the month is made up of hundreds of small decisions. Here are a few ways I squeeze the most out of my monthly budget.
10 Easy Ways To Save More Money
Add Cash Back Sites To Your Browser
I discovered Rakuten back in 2014 (per my account history) but somehow had forgotten about it. That is until Beautycounter had a 10% cash back promo and everyone was talking about it. I used it on my own order and got $16 added to my account.
Adding shopping tools to your browser extensions can rack up cash back or share promo codes and help you save money that you’d otherwise spend time hunting for. Capital One Shopping is another good one that plugs in promo codes.
Lastly, check your credit cards before you make an online purchase. All of my major cards have cash back and discounts deals tied to the cards, but you have to activate them before shopping for them to work.
Start Using Travel Rewards
If you have noticed me talking about about travel rewards a lot this last year it’s because this method of accruing points to spend on travel has been truly game-changing for our budget! While I still save for travel expenses like food and activities, flights and hotels are now paid for with points. Not only are we saving money, but we’re traveling more, too. (You can learn more in this email course I created.)
If you are still using a bank card as your primary credit card, check out these two best cards to get started with: the Chase Sapphire Preferred (a great travel card that gets you 1.25 points per dollar) and the Capital One Venture card, which you can use to erase travel purchases after they occur, including Airbnb.
People often ask about my credit score with opening new cards each year, and actually it has gone up! Still well above 800. Note if you have credit card debt, it’s probably not a good idea to start this yet.
Hack Your Necessary Purchases
Another credit card trick I learned from the ChooseFI podcast is to think of something you buy each month or year and use points to cover that purchase. For example, I usually have to buy my kids some new clothes each spring and fall for the season ahead. I have an Athleta / Old Navy credit card that I can use on things like groceries or their dental bill (UGH!) just until I accrue enough points to be able to buy them a few new things with points, and it’s no cost to me! Free clothes FTW.
Side Hustle Your Habits
Take a look at your budget at some of the categories you regularly spend on. Skincare and personal care products is a good example. I save 25% (actually more with promos) on my Beautycounter skincare because I am a consultant. The math makes sense because it’s $50 to join and I spent more than $200 a year to get that 25% discount. Plus I earn money by sharing the things I love, so that’s a no-brainer way for me to cancel out my skincare purchases to 0 for the year (net positive if I sell a lot!) Learn more about being a Beautycounter consultant here.
If there’s something you consume a lot of – like wine or green juices or yoga classes – see if there’s a way you can either get a discount on that thing or maybe even make money while you do it!
Whether its wine or coffee, look at your drinking habits and cut them in half. I laugh at how ridiculous I am sometimes when I refuse to spend $15 on something but I would drink $15 in wine in 20 minutes at a restaurant (more with tax and tip). Alcohol (and coffee shops and restaurant spending) are SO expensive, and if you can figure out how to slow down and turn your usual amount to half, you’ll make a big dent in that line item.
Have Fun With Budget Software
If you aren’t aware, I’m a Queen Budgeter and love using YNAB to manage our dollars. (Here’s a blog post I did about it.) Using a budgeting software makes me feel super organized. When I started budgeting I noticed a direct correlation in stopping to those spontaneous trips to Target for things I didn’t really need.
When you’re checking numbers on a daily basis, it can have a profound impact on your everyday money habits. Tracking your net worth with an app like Personal Capital is also a good way to check in with your finances.
If you really hate the idea of a budget, at the very least go over your bank statements at the end of the money to analyze where you spent money and how you can shift those choices for the month ahead.
Here’s a post about zero-based budgeting.
Trade Babysitting or Pet Sitting
Both babysitting and pet setting can get VERY expensive! While it takes the right match, if you find another family who will trade watching your kid or pet for short date nights or trips, it can save you both so much money. Better yet if your kids love their kids, or your dog loves their dog!
Go On A Clothing Freeze
This one is in here for me. While I don’t buy clothes that often, I can look at my closet right now and say that I probably won’t need to buy ANYTHING this year. Cutting out all online shopping would be great for my budget! Think about the time you’ll save with returns and breaking down boxes and all that hassle. Time is money.
Have A List At The Grocery Store
This one is also in here for me! I am such a statistic when it comes to grocery shopping. If I go in with a shopping list I am much less likely to pick up some new cool product (I’m looking at you gourmet ice cream sandwiches). I also spend less at the store when I’m mildly in a rush. It doesn’t get me time to peruse aisles I might not need to go down and my bill at the checkout is thankfully lower.
Open A High-yield Savings Account
For a while high-yield savings accounts were a bit of an oxymoron because the interest they paid was so negligible. But there is a silver lining to interest rates rising – savings accounts are paying again! Current rates are 3.5-4% and that is free money to you.
If you keep your emergency fund, estimated tax savings, or any other money set aside for a near-future expense in your checking account, stick it in a savings account instead. (We have been racking up the interest while our renovation budget is sitting in one these past 9 months!)
Make More Money
The easiest way to save more money? Make more money. Whether you ask for a raise and see that cash in your paycheck, take the first step towards a new job, or accept some extra work on the side, there are a lot of ways to work towards making more. Here is a great article on negotiating from ChooseFI. And another on how to make more money. Side hustles count too! There are endless ways to make more – get after it!
Whatever your financial goals are for 2023, I hope they come with lots of abundance!