How to Spend Less Money and Save More

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Do you want to learn how to spend less and save more money? Here are ways you can trick yourself into saving money and some money hacks.

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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.

spend less and save more

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.

In today's economy when wages are falling and product prices rising, what will a frugal person dо?

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.

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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, which is 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.


Take control of your finances with Empower's free personal finance tools. Get access to wealth management services and free financial management tools.

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2. Take inventory of what you have.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 of three, then living in a 6000 square foot home doesn't really make sense.

8. Try renting instead of buying.

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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.

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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.

In a practical ѕеnѕе mаnу оf uѕ are nоt in a position to fully cut the cord but you can always find cable alternatives or even try and get free cable TV.

10. Look around before buying.

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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.

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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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!).

17. Invest in fractional shares.

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Investing in fractional shares lets you start small and diversify your investments without needing a lot of money upfront. This approach allows you to own pieces of expensive stocks with just a few dollars, helping you spread your risk across different companies.

By investing in a variety of stocks, even in small amounts, you can potentially grow your money over time as these companies grow, making it an effective way to save and invest even with limited funds. If you want to get started, you can check the best fractional share brokerages.

18. Start saving — without much effort.

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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.

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Rocket Money helps 3.4+ million members save hundreds. Get the app and start saving today. Save more, spend less, and take back control of your financial life.

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19. Get paid to start investing — with a bonus.

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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 $20 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.

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With Acorns, you can easily invest your spare change. Anyone can “squirrel” away some money and become an investor with Acorns. Enjoy a $20 welcome bonus when you open a new Invest account and set up recurring investments.

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20. Get paid to take surveys.

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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.

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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.

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21. Earn free gift cards while watching tv.

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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:

  1. Click here to sign up. Remember, it's 100% free.
  2. Confirm your email to get the $5 sign up bonus.
  3. Take paid surveys anytime and anywhere via PC, Laptop, Tablet, Cell Phone or Mobile App earning up to $35 per survey.
  4. Get paid cash via PayPal
Earn around $50 to $1,000 per year
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Swagbucks offers a variety of ways to earn money online. You can take surveys, play games, surf the web, watch videos and more to earn points towards gift cards or cash.

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22. Stop deleting your emails.

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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.

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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.

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23. Get paid to watch videos & collect your $5 right now.

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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!

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InboxDollars offers a variety of ways to earn money online. You can take surveys, play games, surf the web, watch videos and more to earn points towards gift cards.

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24. Let Nielsen learn about your internet usage.

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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.

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Branded Surveys is quickly becoming one of the top survey sites. At up to $5-10 a pop for some surveys and a free 100 points for signing up, it pays to check in daily to see which ones are available to you.

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26. Invest in apartments and commercial real estate for as little as $10.

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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!


Fundrise is a very easy-to-use app that allows individuals to access crowd-funded real estate investing without spending a fortune. This option is best for users who want to make money consistently and let their money make them money. Open an account with a minimum investment of $10 and get quick access to real estate funds tailored to different investment goals.

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27. Download a money app that gives you $2.

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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:

  1. Click here to download Fetch and use referral code C1JAV to get your $2 referral bonus!
  2. Scan any receipt from any stores that you use daily.
  3. Get cash (via PayPal).

Enjoy your free money!


Fetch is one of the top apps for scanning receipts that we've tried. It's great because it always gives you the same amount of points for each receipt, at least 25 points, and you only need to earn a little ($3) before you can take your money out. You can scan up to 35 receipts every week, so if you shop a lot and keep using the app, you could get a few free gift cards each year. Get 250 points when you use the code C1JAV during sign-up.

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28. Download the best cash back app.

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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:

  1. Download the app and start a free account to browse deals in your area.
  2. Got friends? Invite 3 friends and they’ll credit you with $100.00. After that, get $10 for every person you refer.
  3. Get paid and cash out cash via PayPal.

However, you do have to be 21 or older to take advantage of the booze deals.


Ibotta pays you cash back for shopping at over 500,000 retailers, which you have to do every month. So why not get paid for it? Get started saving today.

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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?

Best Apps to Help You Save

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  • Get control over your subscriptions
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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News,, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!