Do you want to learn how to spend less and save more money? In this article, I'll share ways you can trick yourself into saving money by being frugal.
Everyone wants to make extra money or spend less money a month, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
The best part about this article?
A lot of these money hacks to spend less require no effort at all.
I get it. Life happens.
Sometimes you need to spend less money on groceries and save more. You don’t want to fall behind on your savings goals and are wondering how to save money fast. Sure, another 200 dollars in your savings account each month sounds great.
We’ve all been there, but what do you usually do when that happens?
This is an exhaustive list of things that anyone can do, today, in order to save money by being more frugal.
Frugal living refers to a way of life that is designed to keep you out of debt and living below your means.
It is a way of life that enables you to spend as little as possible and use the extra cash to pay down debt, take a vacation that you always wanted, or use your free time to spend quality time with your loved ones.
If you're strapped for time, I'll go ahead and share some examples of some major changes you can make to your life in order to adopt a more frugal living lifestyle.
How Does Spending Less Money Work?
Spending less money works when you end up spending less money than you earn and you save, and ideally invest the difference. You really do have more options open to you when living a more frugal lifestyle. There are many ways that you can find ways to save even if you are suffering from cripping debt.
How to Save More and Spend Less
Becoming frugal stems from simple lifestyle changes such as not cutting the gym membership and exercising at home or bigger commitments such as cutting down to one car for a single household.
Try to save for the future, of course.
I'm sharing examples of some changes you can make in your spending life in order to save more and spend less.
Actionable Steps to Take to Spend Less Money
Not feeling so fiscally smart lately? Even if you have some bad spending habits, by reading this list you can set yourself up for success. Start today, not tomorrow in order to get a financial cleanse.
Who knows – you may be able to put that saved money towards that dream vacation at the end of the season, pay off looming debt or save up for an emergency fund. Below are six steps on how to go about it.
1. Track your spending.
While it may sound tedious, start by monitoring your spending. This will help you see where your money is going and pinpoint any “money pits,” areas in your budget where you’re spending too much and finding ways to save.
These days, there are plenty of great budgeting apps such as Empower or Mint at your disposal to make it easy. While tracking your spending gives you information on your spending woes and saving wins, it’s putting the work into changing your habits so you become a successful saver that makes the ultimate difference.
2. Take inventory of what you have.
While taking inventory of your possessions, use it as an opportunity to do some decluttering. It’s a great way to see firsthand how much stuff you end up not using and can stop you from buying stuff you don’t need.
To start your purge, you can apply Marie Kondo’s ever-popular KonMari Method. Make sure you get rid of stuff shortly after you’ve decided to toss or donate it. Otherwise, you may find yourself having second thoughts.
3. Go on a digital cleanse.
The Internet can be a huge gateway to impulse shopping. Sometimes all it takes is an email notification to pop up about a flash sale to trigger an impulse buy. To curb buying things you don’t need, Flanders suggests unsubscribing from your favorite stores’ email newsletters and unfollowing them on social media.
Be sure to also unsubscribe from lifestyle blogs, as they can also create unnecessary material wants. “Don’t feel bad about it—even if you know the store owner,” says Flanders. “You need to remove all temptations.”
4. Keep a list of your spending regrets.
We’ve all experienced buyer’s remorse at one time or another. We would suggest creating a list of recent purchases you regret. Keeping this list in your wallet or on your phone to serve as a reminder will help you from continuing the same habits.
It’ll also help give some insight into when you made emotional purchases and impulse buys. Were there certain times during the past year where you were going through a difficult time in your life, such as stress on the job or a bad breakup, and splurged to boost your mood? Or maybe you tend to fall prey to super sales? By pinpointing circumstances that caused you to make these purchases, you may think twice the next time.
5. Go on a fiscal fast.
To help you change your bad money habits, you can go on a “fiscal fast,” which is when you stop spending money for a week. This forces you to make do with items you already have in your home. You can turn it into a group event, where you do it with your family, friends, or co-workers.
Once you’ve completed your fiscal fast, you may find out that there’s a lot you can do without. It can also help you realize that a lot of the time we may spend out of habit and not from necessity. You can do this once or twice a year for a week or commit to a longer amount of time.
6. Stay accountable.
During your financial cleanse, you may find it difficult at times to stay on track. If you’re determined to stick to your financial cleanse, stay accountable by partnering with a friend or making an agreement with someone. Besides support, your friend can also offer you financial tips. If you fall off the bandwagon and relapse into a bad habit, don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to the best of us. Just recommit to your goals create checkpoints to help you along.
Going on a financial cleanse will help you develop a better relationship with your money and develop saving habits. By going through a cleanse, it will put you back the driver’s seat so you can take control of your finances.
7. Move into a smaller home.
Just because you can afford to live in a larger home doesn't mean that you should.
Many of us think that we need the added space that a larger home brings us. In fact, if we got rid of useless clutter and things we don't use, then a smaller home would be more suitable. You always would save money in the long run because a smaller home will cost you less, saving you money.
You don't have to move into a tiny home, but if you are a family household a three, then living in a 6000 square foot home doesn't really make sense.
8. Try renting instead of buying.
This is a split opinion amongst most as many people believe that buying a home is a better investment than renting. However, if you calculate the interest that you are paying on a mortgage as well of the costs of insurance and maintenance, it works out to be a lot more expensive in the long run. You can see for yourself in this renting vs buying calculator.
9. Cancel cable subscriptions.
Do you actually use all the stations that come in your cable package? Odds are that you don't and you are wasting money. By getting rid of cable subscriptions you can save a to over the years.
10. Look around before buying.
Before you make any big purchases consider asking friends or family members if they have the item and aren't using it before you buy a new one. Next, you can even check consignment shops or use local selling apps to see if anyone is selling a used one. Every penny counts when you are trying to live frugally.
11. Eat out less.
Restaurants and even food delivery services аrе еxреnѕіvе and mаnу of us dоn't realize hоw muсh wе are spending each year on this expense. Consider meal prepping for the week or even learn how you can get cheaper or free food.
12. Quick smoking/drink in moderation.
This sounds like an extremely challenging change but just think about the money you would be saving over the years by quitting. In fact, SmokeFree.gov has added a calculator to its website that shows smokers how much money they can save if they kick the habit. You can save $1,934.50 a year based on smoking 20 cigarettes a day, or one pack, at the national average price of $5.31 per pack.
13. Stop impulse purchases.
Look for easy ways to stop impulse buys. Before making an impulse purchase, think to yourself, is this something I actually need? If it is, take your time doing research to see if you can find the item at a discount. For online shopping, consider using cash backs apps like the Rakuten app which can help you find deals and discounts.
14. Trim your car expenses.
According to a recent study, the average vehicle costs $9,576 per year to own and operate. Choosing to be frugal means finding ways to save in every aspect of your life, your car included. You probably are already very thrifty with expenses but you can still use gas rebate apps or get free air for your tires because every penny adds up.
If you want to take control of your financial life and be more frugal then be mindful of your car expenses.
15. Leave the credit card at home.
Another trick (and probably the most obvious) is to just leave that credit card at home. This can help you by no longer adding more debt on your card, instead, you can work towards paying it off. You'll be surprised at how much weight is lifted off your shoulders each time you make payment. It actually feels better than shopping does (You won't believe it until you do it!). If it helps, you can even consider cutting up your credit cards to prevent yourself from overspending.
16. Remove yourself from unhealthy situations.
Lastly, you can remove yourself from any situation which is unhealthy for your bank account. Whether it’s the company you keep, the job you hold, or the lifestyle you are living, there are often changes you can make to reduce your spending and live more frugally.
How to Use Tricks to Save Money
Here are some nifty money hacks that you can use to help you save even more money. Some of them even allow you earn free cash (not kidding!).
The app you should know about is SoFi Invest. It's easy, it's fee-free, and it's a bright idea.
Not-so-newsflash: fees are frustrating and they can keep people from investing. It’s why SoFi charges $0 in SoFi transaction and management fees. So there’s no reason not to start investing.
Become an investor-without commission fees. Make your first trade or your next trade with active investing. Learn the market as you do-it-yourself.
- Buy and sell stocks with no commission. Plus, there are no account minimums.
- Anyone can be a smarter investor with news updates and more—all in the SoFi app.
- Connect with other SoFi members at exclusive events and experiences.
SoFi Invest is one of the best ways to invest with little money. With fractional shares that let you buy a part of stock from your favorite companies. That means you can invest as much or as little as you want, starting at $5. To learn more about how stock bits work, visit the Stock Bits FAQ.
SoFi Invest is one of the best investment apps, especially for beginners in the US. It offers an intuitive trading experience, active or automated investing, and options like cryptocurrencies. SoFi Invest offers a variety of investment options, including stocks, bonds, fractional shares, ETFs, options, IPOs, crypto trading, retirement accounts, and robo-advising.
18. Start saving — without much effort.
Rocket Money is a real, much better and desirable alternative to all the other money saving apps on the market. With Rocket Money, they have saved over $15M for its users on their bills (think cable or cell phone bills) and canceling forgotten subscriptions.
Have a cable bill that has been increasing over the years? You can now simply download a free app, and they will negotiate it down for you.
Rocket Money will help you take control of your money, users have saved over $15M to date, and all without being a financial expert or dealing with staying on top of your bills, which can be a full-time job.
There is a reason why they currently have over 50,000+ users, this app really gets you back free money.
If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for more information from Rocket Money by clicking here.
19. Get a free $5 right now with Dosh.
Looking for an easy money hack? The Dosh app is the free cash back app that finds you money for shopping, dining out, and booking hotels and travel activities with more than 100,000 merchants and brands nationwide.
This company not only allows you to get cash back on everyday purchases, but no receipt scanning required!
You can learn more about this app by checking out our Dosh Review.
20. Get paid to start investing — with a bonus.
Yup, it’s true! There are several companies out there that will give you free money to invest in stocks.
The best one right now is…
Acorns: CNBC calls it “the new millennial investing strategy.” Once you connect the app to a debit or credit card, it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into an investment account.
Once you get the process automated, Acorns investments make your digital change work for you. I downloaded it and within a year I had $1394.25 in my account.
Interested in investing your own spare change? Check out Acorns for the details.
Remember, you’ll get a $10 bonus when you sign up and make your first investment!
The sooner you start investing, the sooner your money can start to grow toward your goals. This is one of the best money making apps that can help you earn real passive income over time.
21. Get paid to take surveys.
Taking online surveys with Survey Junkie to make extra money is a no-brainer!
You definitely won’t get rich or make hundreds of dollars per day with surveys alone, but you won’t waste much time, and you can make some money the easy way. It is my #1 favorite (and highest paying) survey site:
Survey Junkie: This is a free survey app for your phone that pays you to take online surveys, participate in focus groups, and try new products.
And, I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge anything to be a member (they will actually pay you in cash via PayPal).
Join for free through this link and get your free registration bonus.
Survey Junkie is one of the highest-paying survey sites available. Complete three or more surveys a day, and you can earn as much as $100 monthly. With $76 Million paid out to date, Survey Junkie is one of the best survey sites available.
22. Earn free gift cards while watching tv.
Swagbucks is another great money making app, to earn some easy cash for just pushing a few buttons in your free time. I personally use it and usually make up to $35 per survey while watching TV, and it does add up ?.
Getting started is easy:
- Click here to sign up. Remember, it's 100% free.
- Confirm your email to get the $5 sign up bonus.
- Take paid surveys anytime and anywhere via PC, Laptop, Tablet, Cell Phone or Mobile App earning up to $35 per survey.
- Get paid cash via PayPal
23. Stop deleting your emails.
So this happened. I bought something online from Target. The price of the item that I purchased dropped in price after the fact.
I effortlessly got refunded (for free) without doing a thing, other than originally sign up for Capital One Shopping.
It's as simple as that.
This free app will scan your emails for any purchase receipts from dozens of online retailers. You don’t even have to know about the price drop in order to get your refund. It’s 100% free and Capital One Shopping Price Protection can help you receive reimbursement when possible.
Capital One Shopping helps you save money while you shop online. Free for everyone - no Capital One account required. With Capital One Shopping: It does the work for you -- it’s kinda genius. In the last year alone, Capital One Shopping found over $160 million in savings. Capital One Shopping is just another way Capital One is looking out for you and your money.
- Find deals and savings from stores you love
- Earn Rewards and redeem for gift cards
- Easily find and apply available coupon codes
Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for their service using the links we provide.
24. Get paid to watch videos & collect your $5 right now.
The next thing you can do is sign up for InboxDollars which pays you, in cash, to watch fun videos & take surveys.
If you sign up before the end of December, they also give you a $5 free bonus just to give it a try.
By spending just 5-10 minutes per day on this (either on your lunch break or during TV commercial breaks) you can earn and earn an extra $50/month.
More people should be doing this!
25. Let Nielsen learn about your internet usage.
Have you heard of Nielsen before? They track TV ratings (Nielsen Ratings) and they now want to track how popular apps and online videos are. They do this by measuring normal activity on user's cell phones and collecting it anonymously.
This company has been around since 1923 and have created a unique app that pays $50 per year just for installing it.
It's simple, non-invasive, and doesn't slow down your device or lower your battery life. So, if you want to install the app and collect $50, you can learn more here.
26. Make $1,498.51/mo with a spare room.
Yup, it’s true! There is a company out there called Airbnb that can net you over $1,500+ a month just by listing your spare room just a few nights out of the month.
Are you interested in seeing what your income potential could be by listing a spare room on Airbnb?
It's easy to use…
- Sign up for Airbnb here (you just need to give them a name and email address).
- List your spare space in under 5 minutes.
- You can get paid when somebody books your spare room and you can charge whatever you want.
Remember, is a free room booking app for your phone. I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge any fees for you to list your spare room.
See how much people are making from listings in your area, then make your own!
27. Find out where you're wasting money.
Who doesn’t want to save an extra $100 for a few minutes of your time? Nobody could turn that down. That’s why it’s worth trying out Trim — a free savings bot that promises to save you money.
Trim lets you save money with automation and within a few days, I saved an extra $100. I linked my financial accounts and Trim went to work.
It will find ways to lower your bills and negotiate your cable, internet, and cell phone bill and find subscriptions to cancel. It even helps to analyze your spending habits. It can easily find ways to save you money and remember it’s 100% free to activate. You’ll likely rack up hundreds in savings this year by using it.
28. Collect $1 from Branded Surveys
Branded Surveys asks for information about you so that they can match you with fitting surveys.
At up to $75 a pop for some surveys and a free $1 just for signing up, it pays to check in daily to see which ones are available to you.
Cashouts are through PayPal.
29. Make $1000s playing trivia.
What is the most popular drink in the world that does not contain alcohol? What is the official national anthem of the United States of America? What is the Capital of Australia?
If you answered coffee, star-spangled banner, and Canberra, then you may want to look into the new trivia app that pays you huge cash prizes for your smarts.
Today’s prize is worth over $1,000!
I'll be playing, will you?
30. Invest in apartments and commercial real estate for as little as $500.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could invest in commercial real estate and apartments without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate?
You don't have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. You can now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $10 with Fundrise.
Through their real estate investment products, investors earned an average of 8 – 11 percent on their money last year, and all without painting a wall or dealing with unruly tenants.
There is a reason why they currently have over 200,000+ users, this app really pays you!
31. Download a money app that gives you $2.
Yup, it’s true! There are several companies out there that will give you free money just for signing up.
Fetch Rewards is a mobile rewards app that pays you for shopping (from any store).
This is a great way to make money, the easy way, and can add up to a large wad of cash with time.
Here are the steps:
- Click here to download Fetch and use referral code C1JAV to get your $2 referral bonus!
- Scan any receipt from any stores that you use daily.
- Get cash (via PayPal).
Enjoy your free money!
32. Download the best cash back app.
The app you should know about is Ibotta. This money making app actually gives you cash back on things you buy every day, even booze!
You heard me right, you can make money for the booze you buy at groceries.
Ibotta is a fun rebate app that lets you get cash back on your purchases from major stores like Walmart, Target and almost every grocery store all over the country.
They are conveniently offering a $10 sign-up bonus after uploading your first receipt. So act fast.
How it works:
- Download the app and start a free account to browse deals in your area.
- Got friends? Invite 3 friends and they’ll credit you with $100.00. After that, get $10 for every person you refer.
- Get paid and cash out cash via PayPal.
However, you do have to be 21 or older to take advantage of the booze deals.
How to Spend Less, Save More Summary
How you chose to be extremely frugal is up to you and the above tips are merely ideas to help you along the way. There are so many other ways you can start living frugally.
Start living frugally now and you'll end up saving more money, what's not to love?