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Saving money can feel daunting. Living paycheck to paycheck is the norm, but it makes it nearly impossible to set money aside. Need a few ideas to help you find a little more money in your account or your wallet that you can save for the future? Here are our top ways to save $100 a year, in no particular order.
30+ Ways to Save $100 a Year
Save your change. If you use cash at all, chances are you have a lot of change floating around your house or car. Gather it all up and put it in an actual piggy bank so you aren’t tempted to use it.
Eat out less. If you eat out once a week, cut back to a couple of times a month. Put the money you would normally spend into savings. This is more than ways to save $100, this could be thousands depending on how much you eat out.
Check your insurance. You may be overpaying on your car insurance. Contact your company and ask about increasing your deductible, applying discounts, or combining other insurance options to save you money over time.
Coupon smarter. Don’t use coupons just because you have them. Instead, look for coupons for the items you need. Printable and downloadable coupons are helpful for shopping smarter.
Look for free or discounted entertainment. Utilize your local library or get involved in your community! Social media can alert you to free events and your library offers not only books, but music, movies, and even games for free or very little money.
Use cash only. It’s harder to spend cash than it is to grab a credit or debit card. Using cash will help you know how much you have already spent and how much you have left each month.
Find a side hustle. Especially in the age of blogs and food delivery, finding a way to make some extra cash every month is very doable. Donating plasma, becoming an Instacart shopper, an Uber driver, or a Door Dash delivery person could offer you a flexible option for extra income.
Flip the switch. When you leave a room, turn off the lights (this is a challenge with kids!). But also make sure you turn off anything that draws power (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) in a room. You’ll save tons of money each year by conserving energy.
Say no to credit cards. When the store associate offers you a credit card, just say no. Yes, you may save a little that day, but annual fees and high interest rates will find you in the end and cost you more in the long run.
Request discounts. Contact your phone or internet provider and inquire about monthly specials or bundling options. Often, they will offer you a discount to continue using their services. Or switch services altogether.
Cut out Starbucks. This one for sure is a big bummer. But if you add up the amount you spend every week on buying coffee versus what it costs to make it at home, you’ll agree this is definite ways to save $100.
Or treat yourself, with a caveat. Go ahead and buy your coffee on the way to work today, but put the same amount into savings! You may think twice about convenience purchases if it technically “costs” you twice as much out of your paycheck. But either way, you’ll get coffee and save the same amount.
Cook at home. Another bummer, especially if you aren’t much of a cook. But it is possible to have a full meal with leftovers for lunch for a few bucks a day. You’ll spend more than that on one meal out! We have tons of recipes to help you get a dinner menu together!
Pay off credit cards monthly (and on time!). If you aren’t able to get rid of credit cards completely, be sure to pay them off every month. If you have credit card debt, especially on credit cards with high interest rates, stop using them and first pay them off.
Needs vs. wants. Before you make a big purchase, take a minute and decide if it is a need or a want. If it can wait until your birthday or Christmas, you may be able to get a better deal on it or put it on a wish list. Or, maybe you’ll decide you don’t need it. Impulse purchases are the enemy of saving money!
The 24-hour rule. For non-essential items, wait 24 hours before deciding to purchase. You may find that you didn’t have to have those shoes after all!
Buy within your means. Sure, the shiny new car has a lot of appeals. The beautiful new house in the pricey subdivision has the perfect layout. But can you afford the payments and the upkeep? Try creating a budget. It will help you figure out what you can afford.
Cut back on superfluous things. Sure, it feels cozier to decorate your home or office, but maybe keep it to a minimum or buy second-hand and save some of that money instead!
Refinance. If you haven’t tried refinancing your home, look into it! You could get a lower interest rate and/or a lower house payment. Even $20 less a month turns into $240 saved in a year!
DIY Car and Home Fixes. You may be used to hiring out small fixes or upkeep for your home or car. What if you watched some YouTube videos or called a friend or parent to come to help you do it yourself? You may be surprised what you can handle on your own and how much money you save in labor. Think oil changes, drain unclogging, filter changes, and other simple things.
Find people who do work on the side. If you don’t feel comfortable doing fixes or upgrades on your own, you can save a lot of money by finding someone who does a job on the side, not as part of a company. Having a handyman is very useful and much more cost-effective!
Say no, even when it’s hard. Your friends may go out every weekend. You may have regular dinner invites. Consider saying no, at least every once in a while. Don’t feel guilty treating yourself sometimes, but you don’t have to say yes to every invitation. If you can pay with gift cards, it’s even better!
Ask for gift cards. Speaking of gift cards, consider asking for gift cards for Christmas and your birthday. Anything from restaurants to Amazon or Target will help offset costs, whether of fun things or everyday items. Even grocery store gift cards can go a long way toward helping you set aside some money! This article may help as well – 45+ Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards for Free!
Pay off debts. This is a huge way to save money in the long run. If you have a lot of credit card debt, student loans, or a large monthly payment on your car, consider throwing any extra money at your debt to free up money in the future. Start with whatever has the lowest balance or highest interest rate. Slow and steady will win this race.
Automatic Withdrawal. A great way to save money without having to even think about it is to set up a savings account and have a small amount withdrawn directly from every paycheck and put it into savings. Even just $5 per paycheck (if you’re paid bi-weekly) is great ways to save $100 and more.
Unsubscribe. If emails are an effective marketing ploy for you, consider unsubscribing from the ones that offer the most temptation.
Unplug. Make a list of the services you pay for (such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Amazon Prime, HBO, etc) and decide if you can drop any of them for a time. Even downgrading your Netflix subscription, for example, can save you $5 a month. That’s $60 for the year which is over halfway to your $100 goal! If you subscribe to all of the above-mentioned platforms, you spend over $60 per month. A few of them even have an option to pay a few bucks less per month if you watch ads. Check into what you pay for! If you simply can not live without Hulu at least try to get it for free.
Volunteer at events. Often, festivals use volunteers to run things, but they give you free admission! Working for a few hours save you some money and gets you into your favorite events. Contact the organizers of the events to find out more.
Swap clothes. Talk to your neighbors and friends and set up a swap meet. This can be for your clothes, your family’s clothes, or even other household items. Make it free for anyone who brings items. It’s a great way to get the next size up for kids or update your wardrobe and home for free!
Meal plan. You’ll be surprised how much less you’ll spend if you go to the store with a plan. Write down your meals for the week and what ingredients you need then stick to it at the store! Avoid impulse purchases. A menu plan board for the fridge seems to work well too!
Stick with water. If you do still go out to eat, order water instead of soda or alcohol. This will save you between $2-10 per meal! One of the easiest ways to save $100 a year or more!
Transfer credit card balance. If you have a credit card balance on a card with a high interest rate, do some research and find a card that will give you 0% APR for a year if you transfer a balance from another card. Avoiding paying high interest rates can save you a lot of money in the long run.
What are some other ways to save $100 a year? Share with us in the comments.