Life is short.
So do you really want to spend more time working? Me neither.
You want to be saving as much of your hard-earned money as you can. And no matter if you’re retired or just starting on the path to financial independence, there’s never enough time in the day to do everything you want.
So you want to save, and you want to do it now, and do it fast.
Here are 8 simple ways to save money, and best of all, they’re all simple to understand and simple to get started.
Ditch TV And Cut The Cord
Are you still paying an outrageous amount of money to your cable or satellite TV provider?
Get with the program, and ditch the bundled TV experience. I cut the cord several years ago now, and absolutely love it! Whether you’re using a Fire TV or just streaming Netflix on your laptop or smartphone, there’s no need to pay the average $80 a month, when you could be paying a tenth the cost.
Get Paid To Shop With Cashback Rebates
Long-time readers know I love me some cashback rebates.
Given the wide variety of credit cards that will pay you for shopping, only you know what one works best for you. Me, I get 1% cash back for every purchase I make with my AmEx Clear, anywhere, any time, and no annual fee. I like it because it’s simple, like me.
Unfortunately AmEx stopped accepting new Clear customers several years ago, but finding a good rewards card is easy. NerdWallet has an excellent overview of several top cash back credit cards.
And remember to use the online cashback rebates too! Sign up for a cash back rebate service like Mr. Rebates and get 3%-15% cash back on any purchase at thousands of online stores, including Amazon, WalMart, and more! Save money, and best of all, no time wasted hunting for coupons. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?
For the win, combine the two and get a Mr. Rebates discount on your online purchase, and then use your rewards credit card for an additional 1% rebate.
There’s nothing like doing your usual shopping and watching the money coming back to you each month!
Join A Credit Union
You may know I’m not a big fan of big banks. Big banks have big fees, but without the big service.
Find a credit union near you and check it out. You’ll be amazed at much money you can save when you take into account all the services your big bank charges for, that you can get for free at the credit union.
And with credit union networks, you can find one near you and use ATMs around the country.
Switch now, you’ll be glad you did.
Switch To Term Life Insurance
Barring complex situations, the best life insurance is term life insurance to get the protection you need at the best possible price.
If you don’t have life insurance, buy it. Your loved ones will thank you.
If you have full life insurance, convert it to term. Life insurance is insurance, not an investment.
While you’re at it, do be sure to shop around to get the best rate for your circumstances via one of the many online life insurance comparison tools. And don’t be surprised when you complete the physical and are told you don’t qualify for the ultra-super-premium rate and have to pay 30% than the original quote.
Read A Personal Finance Book
The best way to save money is to know money – earning, saving, investing, taxes. So invest in yourself, and educate yourself about money. The message is more important than the medium, so whether it’s books, YouTube videos, online learning at Khan Academy or all of the above, take the time to learn what you need to know.
Get A Home Energy Audit
Homeowner or renter, your home consumes energy at an alarming rate.
Don’t believe me? Go find your electricity meter and watch the numbers churning (this was much more impressive with the older meters with the spinning disk!)
A home energy audit will check all aspects of your home that can waste energy, and is a simple prospect. You can DIY, contact your local power company, or hire a pro. Many power companies will even do the audit for you for free! Whatever your approach, make sure your appliances, lights, and all your energy vampires are whipped into shape.
It’s good for your wallet, and good for the environment.
You don’t need me telling you how expensive medical insurance is.
The best way to save on your medical bills is to stay healthy with regular exercise.
And don’t think you have to have a gym membership. There are plenty of free and low cost options to get your sweat on. Apps like Down Dog and 30 Day Fitness Challenge, low cost or even free municipal gyms, and there’s always old fashioned walking and calisthenics.
You know what to do. Now drop and give me 20!
Automate Your Savings
Having trouble finding money to save? Do it automatically.
Unless you’re already retired, you likely have a steady paycheck. Set it up for direct deposit, and while you’re at it, split the deposit into two accounts – one for your regular bills, and the other for your savings. By hiding the money from your usual account, you won’t be tempted to spend it, and you can defend that savings account for investing in yourself and your future.
Even if you just start with $10, increase the amount a little every month until it starts to hurt, and then increase it a little more. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you find new ways to reduce your spending to increase your savings once you see the savings grow.
For bonus points, have your savings deposited into a high interest savings account with your credit union.
There you have it – 8 simple ways to save money right now.
Best of all, they’re easy to get started, and will continue to pay dividends month after month for the rest of your life with more savings, improved health, and a secure financial future. Start early enough, and with a little luck and some hard work, you can achieve financial independence earlier than most and retire early.
Those are my top tips to save money. Have some tips of your own? Comment below with your favorite ways you can save money right now.
Photo of money clock courtesy of Tax Credits.