There is no magic to save money fast. However, you don't have to live like a miser to save significant amount of money fast. There is also no need to do everything mentioned on this list. How ever it is our recommendation you pick and choose what is truly important to you.
If a $3.00 coffee makes you happy, we want you to continue doing it! Eliminate the empty fees and expenses that don’t bring you happiness and you’ll be taking a trip with your saved up money in no time!
It is also important to note that you should have a use for your saved money. It makes it easier to give up on some convinces for the greater good. Find out what are some important things to be saving for.
1. Stop paying bank fees.
If you are currently paying anything more than $0 for your checking or savings account, you need to find yourself another bank. Some of the best banks offer sign-up bonuses simply for opening an account with them. Holding your money with the bank benefits them more than you so don’t go paying fees so they can use your hard earned cash to make more money off another poor soul. Good banks also offer perks such as money, excellent interest rates to new customers as well.
Interest rates aren’t reason enough to hop from bank to bank, find a reputable bank to hold your money with a competitive interest rate and you should be solid. Don’t fall for the “Higher interest for 6 months” promotion. Savings are built over a long time, and 6 months definitely is not a long time when it comes to personal finance.
Here are some checking and saving accounts we recommend:
2. Find items to sell in your home.
When I was working to get out of debt, I realized there was a ton of things around my house that I had collected which I didn't need or use anymore. Even things that seem to be of no value can bring in some solid cash. I honestly had no idea that I let it get to that point, but at the end I become a technology hoarder and had a hard time letting go of anything. Maybe have a garage sale or use a local resale site like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or Craigslist. Sometimes you need to let go of things that cloud your vision before you can save money fast.
3. Learn to purchase items after someone else has taken on the bulk of the depreciation.
People love buying things brand new, without thinking about its value in a few weeks, months or years. Most household goods, technology and vehicles experience significant depreciation over the first year and then the price tends to even out. Buying a iPad Pro 2017 10.5” in 2019 will run you around $650 usually with the added accessories. Compare that to spending a minimum of $1100 on the 11” iPad Pro 2018.
Another tactic I used to save money fast is I learned to do general maintenance for all the devices I decided I needed to own. This includes your car, your computers and other devices. Spend a bit of time early to learn the ins and outs and basic maintenance.
A letter to everyone about to buy a brand new car. If the average Joe with a net worth above $1,000,000 is driving a used Toyota, I think you should be able to hold back from buying that brand new Land Rover.
When it comes to technology wait until the users of the previous devices are ready to jump ship to the latest goodies and that's when you should be looking to buy.
4. Negotiate with your cellphone, cable and internet service providers.
Check your service providers, cancel things you don’t use and talk with competitors and ask them the best deal they are able to offer you. Call your own company back and negotiate better prices and never agree to a locked date term. My father used to often jump back and forth between Rogers and Bell, as they would offer an amazing deal for 12 months and then if they refused to offer him something even better, he would call the competitor. It was a wonderful experience to watch and it worked almost every time. When my neighbours would be paying $140+ for their services, we would be indulging in those same services for less than half that price.
We often suggest cancelling cable. We are at a time and age where every form of consumable resource can be found on the internet. If you want cable channels, there are plenty of IPTV services that offer those same channels so you can pick and choose exactly what you need and pay for just those.
5. Utilize reward programs.
Most retailers have their own reward collection services, and not using them is leaving money on the table. Use our guide to maximize reward program benefits. Remember to create a new and simple email that you can use for promotional emails, and collect every card you can. Use an app to store them because no one likes a bulky wallet. For the stores you shop at often you can talk to the customer service representatives to ask how you can maximize your experience as a customer.
A lot of times you can double or triple the rewards by using the right reward credit cards in the right place. Remember to use them and think about a game plan so you don't leave them unused!
6. Find cheap ways to entertain your children.
Utilizing public recreation centers is an amazing way to get your children involved without breaking the bank. Your local recreation center has many activities planned for kids as well as open pool for the public at certain times, make a list of activities in advance so you are able to make a planned decision when the kids become a bit restless.
The Scarborough Pan-am center offers many activities, including free swim, badminton, basketball and camps for children's and adults alike. There are even classes for karate, tae-kwon-do and other martial arts for children and adults.
7. Write a grocery list before you go shopping.
Shopping without any clear direction and being hungry at the same time is a recipe for disaster. As a student I remember spending over $300 dollars on a random visit to Costco, on groceries for the week. That's something you need to avoid like a plague. Have a list, even a general idea of the meals you want to be having is great!
8. Negotiate Rates with your credit cards and consider balance transfers.
Negotiating with your credit card companies does wonders! Just look at our How to negotiate better credit card rates guide, they will be hesitant at first, but inquiring doesn't hurt. Most of the time, if you plan on paying off your debt aggressively, creditors often decrease your rate to assist you.
Find a bank willing to accept a balance transfer, a lot of times you can just mention that you are planning on doing a balance transfer and they will reduce your rate almost immediately.
9. Save Money Fast by Planning out your Meals.
We all need to eat! So how come so few people plan out their next meals? Do you know what you plan on having for lunch and dinner tomorrow? If not then you need to get on that. Planning your meals is a great way to save significant amount of money. It's healthier as well! Not only for your wallets but for your mindset as well.
Utilize resources like Budget Bytes which offer excellent and delicious meal recommendations. Start with one meal that really catches your attention. My girlfriend fell in love with Louisiana Hot Fried Chicken, so we grabbed some chickens and gave making that a shot by using Sam the cooking guy video link. I can’t begin to tell you how delicious that was, it was a great boost of morality, we have made that and a few other dishes.
So skip on the plain chicken and broccoli, focus on delicious meals and then start learning how to transition that into healthier but still delicious meals. Remember the human brain has been trained to strive for guilty pleasures for tens of thousands of years. Use that to your advantage.
10. Buy in bulk
If you have a good meal plan in order, it might do you good to buy certain things in bulk. Things such as non perishable food. Rice, pasta, canned tomatoes I think it’s beneficial to buy in bulk. Paper towels and toilet paper are also other things that I buy in bulk.
I suggest you have a strong idea of what you would like to purchase before running into Costco thinking you have strong willpower. Even willpower giants will have a tough time holding back from buying those scrumptious tuxedo cakes or that 24 pack of energy bars sitting at the back of your trunk.
11. Swap and trade!
It absolutely blows my mind how many people don't like second hand things. Think of it as seasoning. As long as you train your eyes on what to look for, do your research (Which should help you determine if you really need it or not), buying used is very easy.
All you need is Google, your local classifieds, a few Lysol wipes and compressed air.
You’re set! Go out there and instead of buying your next consumer good brand new try to see if you can find a better deal buying used.
I should note, buying used is not always a good deal, there are times where you should buy brand new depending on the market and the product. Check out our post on How to get a deal buying used goods
12. Become environmentally conscious.
This comes down to two factors, use less and be more conscious. Those elements translates directly to saving money very fast. What can you be doing? Using less plastics and driving less while using the public transit more is a good first step.
Start by also looking at long term solutions, weather proofing your windows and updating your appliances to be more efficient may have a larger draw now, but over the course of the time you spend at that home it will be wonderful.
I also suggest people install a programmable thermostat, and there is usually a lot of government grants for updating to a smart home, doing small renovation to make your house more weather proof and installing more efficient appliances.
15. Use credit sparingly
Credit should only be used if you can pay off that amount in full at the end of the month. If you are spending money on interest then you are failing the most important rule of saving money fast. Understand that no one acquires $20,000 of debt overnight, it happens overtime but it always feels so sudden.
If you need help dealing with your debt you can read how I emotionally dealt with my debt and
You should use your credit, but only if its within budget, I made many purchases and throw it on my credit card thinking its going to be okay, I’ll just use my excess from the months after, and they always start piling up. To save money fast you need to remove any areas of your expenses such as fees and interest.
Once you break the barrier of budget security, you have opened yourself up to being over exposed and back into debt. I recommend avoiding that at all costs.
16. Learn to compare prices and reviews.
Don’t ever believe the first price you see and think its the best price. Just because a certain store has a product on 30% off does not mean you are saving money. Spend some time researching the product you are buying, the price it goes for online and also what others say about the durability of the product.
There are many resources that are built to help you find the best price. Also feel free to use amazon as a resource to understand more information about the thing you plan to buy. A lot of buyers don’t want to see the negatives of a product before they buy it. Instead, look at is as constructive, if the device is easily bent, get yourself a sturdy case with the purchase.
17. Become a DIY’er
Learning hand skills help you save money fast. Learn basic skills to fix things around the house. Fixing a clogged sink, removing a stripped screw and basic paint and drywall fixes, can help keep your home looking tip top and also save you hundreds of dollars in repairman expenses.
Over the course of time, you can even make a significant amount of money thanks to your DIY wall paints and furnishing, when you sell your home.
18. Identify Stress Spending
Under the pressure of exams the only thing that seems to make me feel better is going out for AYCE sushi for dinner on weekends, or buying the latest tech that is supposed to make my studying feel easier. That is how I stress spend my precious savings. How do you deal with stress? If you are upset do you go out and buy a coffee to cheer yourself up?
I don't think it's necessary to remove everything that makes you happy, but keeping track of your delinquency will help you plan around it. Perhaps being aware of it will be enough to help you save.
19. Cancel unused memberships.
Simply said, don’t have useless memberships straggling you down. Check when the last time you used your Costco membership, gym or Crave HBO membership was, if is few next to never, consider cancelling. You won’t believe how much money this ends up saving.
Something I recommend to everyone, use one month to pay as you go, whether that be to the gym (if you are not a frequent go-er) or when it comes to movies. Pay for just the one movie on pay-per-view and at the end of the month look over your bills and see if those memberships are worth keeping. If you’re not going to the gym more than 5 times a month, you are most likely wasting your money.
Its not difficult to find cheaper alternatives. Toronto has Fit-4-less which is a $10 per month subscription to a gym, so maybe its worth to join that gym if you’re not going to your current gym often, even it is further.
20. Remove credit card numbers from online accounts.
We can all be lazy, and I absolutely love amazon prime, but I often remove my card off the account during the school year or when I am trying to be more aware of my spending.
It does not mean I don’t purchase my essentials. It’s just one more step which really ensures I am not spending money recklessly.
21. Ensure your car is reliable ad fuel-efficient.
Fill your tires, replace your air filters and get rid of that junk in your trunk, those three things alone can save you some serious money. Here is a few more things you can do to improve your milage
Finally it is important you maintain your car, it saves you a heck of a lot more going forward. Especially if you plan to sell it when you want to spice things up in your life.
22. Track your debt.
My biggest downfall was to let my debt get out of control. Don’t let that happen to you, and if it does take incentive right now to get it under control. It’s hard especially at first, coming face to face with your problems and your spending feels like you are trying to ruin your mood on purpose.
It is important to track it, and the more you face the debt the easier it is to swallow the pill of truth. It also helps with being more aware about your spendings.
23. Work on your skills.
Certain skills really help bring your overall costs down. I think of buying food out as submitting to someone else’s wonderful cooking skills and efficiency. For the most part that is okay, but why not spend a few hours a week honing a skill that you could use literally for the rest of your life.
Similar to learning how to submit your own taxes, and changing your engine oil. There are a few things in life we have to do often enough and I think it is important for us to pick up those skills. The best part? Saving money wouldn’t be the only perk you get from learning those skills.
24. Reassess your belongings and keep it simple.
Simplicity helps declutter your life which in turn has many positive influences on your finances. I have had an iPad, MacBook Pro, surface and a desktop PC. At the time it felt like I needed all of them for their own reasons. Once getting rid of a few, I feel like my life has a lot more clarity, I also have attained this new freedom. I can now travel and go where ever I want with a backpack and car that is not filled to the brim with gadgets.
This works with clothing as well. Simplify your wardrobe and you will notice some wonderful things happening. You’ll have less laundry to do, and always find clarity in the morning with what you want to wear.
25. Look for free events and things to do in advance.
It seems like an impossible task to save money fast when you can't even go a day without being bored on this challenge. I can’t stress how much money planning events in advance can save you. Especially if you have kids, you’ll always want a few things to do over weekends that are your budget friendly in your repository. Having a few things to do for dates with your significant other is also a good idea. If you are planning on taking a tight grip on your finances. It will help them be more on board to see you are not sacrificing precious time with them and experiences to save a few buck.
26. Learn about all the benefits your school or company offers.
We leave free things on the table all the time! Let’s turn that around and make an effort to know the benefits of working or attending school. Free gym memberships to free resume checks and tax returns, I have seen it all. To save money fast I suggest spending some time looking at all the organizations you have registered with and checking what they offer. Sometimes it can be as significant as cutting a few hundred dollars from your car and home insurance!
Even at my school, a lot of students don’t know they are automatically registered and paying an amount for dental coverage and medication.
27. Focus on driving and do your best never to get tickets.
Do your best not to get tickets. If you are ticket prone, maybe take public transit out for a spin. It ensures you don’t get a speeding or parking ticket. Tickets are one of the most painful ways to lose your savings money. There is a chance they might even increase your insurance premium which would really hurt your wallet in the long run.
28. Always ask to get fees waived.
It blows my mind how few people ask to get their fees waived. When it comes to registering for any program, there seems to always be fees attached. You can always show a bit of disinterest and ask to get the fees waived. As for long term customers it’s even easier. Companies spend a tremendous amount of money attracting you as the consumer and losing you would be a bigger loss to them than their fee.
Its quite rare that a company will refuse to have my fees waived. Persistence is key, don’t be ashamed to ask to speak to someone who can get your fees waived. This can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per month.
There are a thousand things you can do to save money fast, however it is to your benefit to understand what are things that you can cut out that don't bring any values and vice versa. If you need help with budgeting your hard earned money so you can spend money without fear, check out our post on how to budget money.
With passing time we plan to keep updating this list, so if this inspired you to save money, please sign up for our email list to get more tips sent directly to you!