Monster List of 155+ Money Saving Tips

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The last money saving list you’ll need!

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Ways to Save Money

 

The initial version of this list had 12,432 words and it’ll likely grow over time. I know it’s not about quantity but I can assure you that I did spend a lot of time putting this list together with quality in mind.

I honestly got sick of having to search all over the Internet to find tips on saving money. The Internet is full of sites that have Top 7/10/25 “tips” that regurgitate the same stuff over and over and over… again. So here is a compilation of all that with my own comments.

If this is your first time on Freedom Nova, please take a look around. The whole purpose of this site to make Financial Education easier and help you find ways to earn extra income, plan your finances and invest for your future and eventual financial freedom!

This list will be updated regularly as I come across new ways to save money. Please post in the comments if you have additional ways to save money!

Please share this with your friends and family, I’m sure every single one of them could save an extra dollar or two (well actually if you read this you’ll save much much more!)

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General

Reward cards are a great way to accumulate points through your purchases especially if you keep an eye on deals or extra point promotions that give you the best bang for your buck. If e-mails don’t drive you crazy, by being part of the reward program, you’ll get e-mails telling you about the best deals.
If you’re phoning abroad, use Skype or other free messaging services that have a phone function attached. With the internet connection that we now have and how we can buy cheap microphones, you don’t need to pay for International calls. It isn’t that hard to teach someone to use Skype or a similar app on the other end either.
Regardless of what the item is. For big purchases (car, house, etc.) this is a no-brainer. But even with small daily purchases it makes sense to do price comparisons as every dollar you save is a dollar you can put to better use. You can websites or apps like Price Grabber.
The chances of winning the lottery are 1 in 14 million according to this site. Now I don’t know about you but those chances seem horrible, regardless of what the price is. Save the money that you put into the lottery and invest it, this website teaches you about how to earn, save, and invest your money. You don’t need to win the lottery to be wealthy. And in fact, they say that people that win big with the lottery actually end up unhappy.
There are many things that we can do on our own that we don’t because we think it’s either impossible or takes way too much time. But, a lot of the time doing something on your own can be a great learning experience, be a lot of fun, and save you money. So the next time you’re considering buying something such as a piece of art, why not trying doing it yourself?
Not only will you find books at the library, you’ll find the latest magazines, movies, audiobooks, and discover new things all the time. The library is full of ways to keep you excited and can actually turn into an intellectual date spot, I’ve seen libraries with video games too!
I’ve had to have a serious talk with many of my friends that smoke and I’m happy to say a few have listened. If you stop smoking not only do you save money (let’s admit it, smoking is expensive!), it’s also extremely good for your health as well. So before you buy another pack of cigarettes, think about what the money and health you’re wasting. The same goes for alcohol and other bad addictions…I leave that to your imagination…
I’ve never been a big fan of taking the cab anywhere, and one of the reasons why is it’s always more expensive than public transit. Unless it’s late and you’re drunk and helpless, use the public transit and save the $10-20.
For big family gatherings, work out a spending limit on gifts so that it doesn’t burn a whole in your wallet, or worse, increase your credit card balance. The point of gift giving isn’t about spending a lot of money; it’s the thought that matters.
Gym memberships are extremely difficult to cancel but beyond that they can be expensive. Learn some simple exercises that you can do on your own or getting a pair of nice running shoes and go for a run!
This is a tip that applies to every single category. If you educate yourself about what you’re buying or repairing, you won’t get ripped. Let’s uses cars as an example. If you don’t what the market price of a vehicle is (yes, even if it’s brand spanking new), you’ll be at the mercy of the car salesperson (and we’ve all heard what they’re like). The same goes for when you’re getting your car repaired if something goes wrong, I’ve heard many nightmare stories about car repairs where friends were overcharged because they didn’t do their homework or didn’t get enough estimates.
Whenever you’re getting a job done or agreeing on something, always get it in writing. To add to my last point about car repairs, getting an estimate in writing will not only give you negotiating power when going to other mechanics to get a quote, but in case something goes wrong or they attempt to overcharge you, you will have it in writing. Unfortunately, there are many people that try to scam for the extra dollars so cover yourself at all times!

Shopping

The biggest savings are often after major holidays. After Christmas there’s Boxing Day and of course in the US there is Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. These are great times to search for great deals and give a present for the next birthday or family gathering.
When was the last time you looked on your company website? Did you know that bigger companies have some sort of discount program? This could be for shopping, financial services, event tickets, etc. Ask around and see if your company has something similar. Not everything will be a great deal but there might be something that could save you some decent money, always remember to shop around!
If you know what you’re looking for, always do some research online to see what the market price is or if there are deals to be found, and trust me, there are always deals to be found!
These sites will send you “great deals” and “sales” e-mails, which will inevitably lead to impulse purchases down the road. Unsubscribe from them so won’t by that lime green sweater that you’ll never wear, even though it’s 80% off.
I always roll my eyes when I see this promotion. “Buy 3 shoes for the price of 2” First off, why on Earth would I need 3 shoes and second of all, that’s not a good deal at all. It’s a way for the store to increase their revenue by making you think it’s a great deal. Sure it’s a sale, but you’re going to end up with two extra pairs of shoes that you really don’t need.
This is one of the greatest way for companies to make money, which on the flip side means it’s one of the worst ways for you to spend your money. Extended warranties are expensive and actually don’t cover everything. Don’t let the salesperson trick you, most of them don’t even know the full contents of the extended warranties and are only worried about the nice commission they get for each extended warranty sale. These warranties are also constructed so that they expire right before the item in question breaks. It’s a numbers game, heavily tilted in their favor, avoid extended warranties!
Amazon is great place to find pretty much used book. A great website that my professor back in undergrad let me know of is addall.com this site let’s you punch in the title, author, ISBN, etc. of a book and does a search for used book sites worldwide and includes the shipping and handling fees (where applicable) so that you can find the best deal.
You’ll find coupons for pretty much everything from web hosting, domain names, clothes, freebies and more. Check out sites like retailmenot.com before making any purchase or simply do a google search for “name of store coupon” and you’re bound to find something.
If you’re going to make purchases online, why not utilize sites like Ebates.com and get cash back for your purchases? For signing up Ebates will give you a bonus and even on sites like Amazon.com you can get a rebate! You’ll find a ton of other online retailers that you can also purchase from and get cash back from. There’s no reason not to utilize sites like Ebates to save a little extra!
Many retailers will have a point system in place. If you shop from the same retailer on a regular basis then collect points. This could be for a drug store, airline, grocery, gas station, etc. You might think that it’ll take forever to earn enough points but over time these points really do add up and will save you money in the long run. I mention this in the credit card section too, but if you couple this by buying with your credit card you’ll be collecting points on your credit card too!
If you’re looking to buy something specific then do a quick search on eBay.com. Chances are there’ll be someone selling that item and that person might have bought the wrong model, size, color you name it and be selling it for a steep discount to the retail price. Sure you might not that be lucky but it’s worth a shot, I’ve bought many things on eBay and saved quite a bit of money.
Impulse purchases kill our savings. We seem something that seems like a great deal and the store makes you believe that it’ll be the last time in forever that you’ll be able to buy it! But it turns out a day or two later you seem the same item for an even better deal, or you could have bought the item online and saved even more.

If you’re disciplined and make a list of items that you really want it’ll prevent impulse purchases. This isn’t a list of items that are necessities, they’re actual items that you want. Yes, put the $800 pair of Christian Louboutins for the ladies or a new Macbook Pro, TV, vacation, or even a new dishwasher. Put all the items on the list so that you know what you want, and if it didn’t the make the list then you clearly don’t need it, just be reasonable with yourself please. And the key is to save money before making some of these purchases, don’t put everything on your credit card!

We’re all guilty of this. We buy something just because it’s on sale and seems like a great deal. But it turns after a few months you realize that you have stuff in your closet that you’ve never worn or used. Sound familiar?

Impulse purchases are the worst and I’m still guilty of this on a regular basis. If you really need to buy something plan for it beforehand. For example, create a list of items that you need and want and think it through before pulling out the credit card. If you let a decision sit for 24 hours, even an hour then sometimes what seemed like a great deal won’t appear as appealing. Trust me, you’ll always find another pair of beautiful shoes that will be 75% off. It won’t be the last pair, I assure you!

If you have some necessities around the home or have an item on the “want” list that you want to buy and have saved for, then checking on sites like fatwallet.com or eBays’s daily deals might be a great place to check on a regular basis. The key here is “if” you can control yourself from impulse purchases as there will be “great” deals everyday. Here’s the link to the fatwallet site.
There’s no question that by buying bulk you’ll save money when you consider the price per item. But that doesn’t mean you should be buying everything in bulk just because it might seem like a better deal. Let’s talk about some of the things you’ll want to buy in bulk and some you just want to flat out avoid.

Alcohol (Boxed wine or a case of beer)
Items that have long shelf life: Pasta, dried fruits, cereal (kind of), did you know there was a website dedicated on shelf life? I didn’t know until I was doing research for this article, check them out!
Toilet paper, tissue paper, and paper towels
Toothbrushes
Supplements: Vitamins and other supplements
Diapers
Condoms
Just to name a few, we all have different needs in our lives so if you have something that you use quite often and can save money by buying bulk then it should be a no brainer. You obviously have to pay more upfront but you’ll save more money in the long run.

Here are two other amazing articles that talk about what you should and should not buy bulk for:
Simple Dollar
Lifehacker

Have you gone to the store and bought extra vegetables, fruits, or shampoo forgetting that you already had some at home? I’m sure you’ve done it, I certainly have, and it’s because well for one, we’re all very busy and have better things to think about. But it’s also because sometimes we get a little disorganized and it can be hard to stay on top of what we do and don’t have at home. By being organized in general we’ll have a better grasp of what we have at home. Start with your refrigerator!

Housing

You’d be surprised by how much interest you can save by making a small extra mortgage payment. The reason this saves you money is that the extra payments will go straight to the principal of the mortgage. By making an extra $100 payment you could be cutting your mortgage amortization by months and saving thousands of dollars of interest.

For example, let’s say you have a $300,000 mortgage with a current interest rate of 3.50%, 25 year amortization. Let’s also say that you muster up $100 every 2 months as extra payment and you do this for 10 years, which is a total of $6,000 paid. This allows you to save $6,094.57 of interest (that reads over a 100% return) and the amortization of your mortgage is reduced from 25 years to 24.3 years.

History tells us that variable rate mortgages are usually better than fixed rate mortgages. Variable rate means that the rate of the mortgage is tied to the prime rate of your country’s bank. If the prime rate goes up, so will your mortgage rate. Fixed means, you pay a fixed interest rate that is predetermined at the time of setting up the mortgage. Many people opt for fixed rates “just in case” the interest rates go out of control. However, since the average mortgage length is 5 years, it’s quite rare for a mortgage interest to go high enough in that time span to offset the benefits of having a variable rate mortgage. Obviously, it depends on how good a deal you can get on the fixed rate mortgage.
Whether if you’re buying or rent, buy downsizing your home you’ll be saving in all ways. Less rent, less maintenance, less electricity, it’s less money all around. Moving is a hassle, but just think about how much money you’ll be able to save in the long run and what you’ll be able to accomplish with that money.
LED lighting is said to use 75-80% less energy than regular light bulbs, which means you’ll be paying significantly less for your electricity bill. LED light bulbs are more expensive so do a little shopping around for the best deal. Either buy bulk at Costco or find a great deal online.

Here’s an example.

LED light bulbs are said to last at least 25,000 hours while the average light bulb is 1,200 hours.

Electronics plugged in even if they are turned off will eat up electricity. I know it can be a lot of work especially if you have a bigger house but keep the electronics that you don’t use unplugged and it will actually add up over time.
If you think that by holding onto your old appliance is saving you money, think again. Sure you’ve been able to avoid buy new and replace what you have, but in the meantime your old appliance is eating up a ton of energy compared to the newer models that are much more energy efficient.
Believe it or not, by simply replacing your showerhead, it will amount to significant savings. Most showerheads waste a lot of water and newer showerheads can provide the same amount of water pressure while only utilizing a fraction of water. Just by changing the showerhead it’s said to save you up to $200 per year.

Here’s a showerhead from Kohler for under $25, I don’t know about you but this is a no-brainer.

If you locked in a fixed mortgage rate when rates were higher, then it’s time to look into seeing if you can break that mortgage and get a lower rate especially with mortgage rates at record lows. Just be careful of penalties for breaking the mortgage. With fixed mortgages the penalty will generally be higher than for variable mortgages.
Even if you phone your relatives abroad, don’t use your regular landline. There are plenty of free ways to phone international and the most famous option being Skype. Even if you have to call someone that doesn’t have Skype you can use Skype to phone landlines for a small fee. I can’t remember the last time I used a landline to phone Internationally. If you must you can always get a phone card that allows you to phone Internationally for cheap.

There’s also the option of using messaging apps. Line for example allows for phone calls through the app and then there’s Facetime, etc. as well.

Whether if you turn on your thermostat on or off, lowering it by 1 degree will amount to savings. That one degree could be a $100 saved every year, $100 can get your pretty far in a candy shop.
Instead of cranking up the air conditioner in the summer, open the windows. You’ll get a fresh air and save money on electricity.
By living closer to work there are a few benefits. First, you have a smaller travel time which means less stress of having to deal with grumpy and crazy drivers if you drive, or less crowded trains and buses if you take transit. It also mean you can spend more quality time at home with your family or take a little extra time in the shower or sipping that delicious coffee!

Living closer to work may mean a higher rent but always consider how much transportation is costing you as well. Money is one thing, but sanity and time is another and in this case I opt for sanity and saving time. Living closer to work especially makes sense if you drive to work since the gas, maintenance, and car payments will make a life of a difference. In fact, you might be able to get rid of the car for good!

You local Electric or Gas Company may provide a free house audit to see how efficient your house. They will guide you through how much energy or gas your house may be wasting. While you might be reluctant to have someone come to your home and lecture you about how bad you are at wasting energy and gas, that one visit they make you could save you thousands of dollars over years and it’ll be one lecture worth getting!
It might not seem like a big deal, but some say that by simply stopping the water when scrubbing the dishes can save 200-500 gallons (750-1,900 liters) per month, now that’s a significant amount of water! Not only is it good for saving some money, it’s a great way to help the environment.
Ink cartridges are how printer companies make money. Instead buy a refill pack for a fraction of the price! Here’s an example.
Outlet malls are great, I love shopping at outlet malls because there are lot of deals that you just wouldn’t find in the retail shops of all sorts of brand names. Burberry, Coach, Ralph Lauren and so on, but did you know that many items that are sold at outlet malls were made just for the outlet malls?

Clothing

For items that matter, like shoes, sweaters, coats and jackets it makes sense to splurge a little more up front and buy something that is of high quality. I’m not talking about spending $3,000 on a fur coat, I’m talking about spending $400 on a solid, warm, long lasting coat in comparison to a $150 one season only not-so-warm coat. In the long run, if you spend that extra money on something that is high quality, it’ll last longer, make you look better and just be worthwhile overall. This is one of those times, spending more makes more money sense.
On the other hand, it might make sense to spend much less of clothing items that you either spend less time wearing or get worn out quicker. Underwear, undershirts, t-shirts, and socks might be a few of those items. Obviously, it depends on how picky you are, but I’m sure more people notice a nice sweater over a nice pair of socks. Just saying.
The obvious reason, because you have to spend more money on dry cleaning to clean it, unless it’s something that’s somewhat of a necessity (read: suit for work) you probably don’t need it.
If you’re attending a party or an event that requires you to dress up, considering renting the piece of clothing that could cost you a few hundred dollars. You’ll still look just as good. When in doubt, check eBay.
I’ve been doing this for a long time, every week you go through at least 5 work shirts, if you spend $2 per shirt (probably more) then that’s $10 per week. If you work say 45 weeks in a year, then you’re spending $450 on dry cleaning your shirts. So which iPad did you want to buy again?
Spend the $20-25 to get your soles repaired instead of spending another $200 on a new pair of shoes. If you bought quality shoes, they should last for a very long time as long as you take decent care of them. They’ll last even longer if you repair the soles and polish and maintain them regularly.

Take the simple steps to take care of your nice shoes, get a shoe tree
And polish your shoes regularly.

If you’re ok buying second hand clothing then this will save you a lot of money in itself, especially if you want different looks all the time. You can hit the local second hand shops, or you can try eBay or Craigslist for deals. You can even buy designer items at a steep discount with this method.
Or check out sites like thredup or Twice
Buying out-of-season clothing is great since you’ll find many usually expensive items at a steep discount. Buying a coat going into the spring or a short sleeve shirt going into the fall will save you money. To take this a step further buy pieces that are timeless. Sure there are fashion fads that will go out of style after one season or year, but if you buy clothing items that last and don’t go out of style, then you’ll be saving heaps of money while looking great. Just because you’re buying on sale doesn’t mean that you are buying items that don’t look good! But be selective! Which brings me to the next point…
When you’re adding to your wardrobe or replacing clothing pieces, as we’ve already mentioned it makes sense to buy quality clothing that will last longer and is comfortable. But you don’t want to be splurging on brand names for every clothing piece. To give yourself more purchasing power for the items that matter a little more such as a coat, sweater, shoes, or jeans spend less on basic clothing that is durable and comfortable with generic brands.

In my opinion, items that people can’t see or aren’t going to be the main piece of clothing that stands out don’t need to be expensive. No one is going to criticize the fruit of the loom undershirt that you’re wearing if they don’t see it.

Here is one of the tips that I’ll allow you to splurge. Buy a great quality and amazing looking swimsuit that will last you for years. I know many people that buy new swimwear for every vacation they go on and this is honestly a huge waste of money. Unlike your daily clothing, unless you’re always travelling with friends, no one will know if the swimwear that you are wearing is new or not. Buy one awesome swimsuit and use that for several vacations and you’ll come out ahead in the long run.

Digital

Do you really need cable? In North America, we have so many channels it’s ridiculous. Even with the invention of PVRs we still don’t need to have 400 channels and can do just fine with the Youtube, Netflix and renting the odd DVD.
If you have to keep cable then make sure you’re bundling all of your services such as Internet and landline. This way you’re still wasting money, but doing a bit of better job wasting less money.
Cable companies have promotions going on all the time but usually they’re only for new customers. Even if you still have time left on your contract, call your cable supplier and negotiate your rate. Tell them that your friend is getting a better deal or that if they aren’t very helpful, you will seriously consider switching cable companies when your contract is up.
If you are on some sort of premium package, maybe you consider reducing the level of service that you have. You might not need access to a movie channel or the extra 43 channels that are provided with your package.
How much are you paying? Likely too much, if you have added services you don’t need, it might be time to get rid of some of those services. If you don’t use your phone much then you might want to switch to a prepaid or pay-as-you-go type plan. That way even if you have a smartphone, you can take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots (read: not have a data plan) and phone only when you need to. But considering how many apps that we have for messaging, you likely won’t even need to make phone calls. I can’t even remember the last time I made a phone call.
How much are you paying? Likely too much, if you have added services you don’t need, it might be time to get rid of some of those services. If you don’t use your phone much then you might want to switch to a prepaid or pay-as-you-go type plan. That way even if you have a smartphone, you can take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots (read: not have a data plan) and phone only when you need to. But considering how many apps that we have for messaging, you likely won’t even need to make phone calls. I can’t even remember the last time I made a phone call.If you use your cell phone/smartphone for most things and have a landline, you likely don’t need a landline. Everyone has different needs but that extra $20-30 a month is an extra $240-360 a year, every bit counts.

Credit Cards

Instead of using a credit card that gives you no rewards, look for credit cards that give you amazing cash back rewards. Cash back reward credits often don’t have the best point-to-reward conversion, meaning you aren’t getting the best bang for your buck (because it’s cheaper to provide travel rewards in comparison to cash), but getting cash back is great.
If you are carrying a balance on your credit card, try and negotiate a better credit card rate. This won’t always work but while the credit card company makes money from the interest that you pay, they also want you to eventually pay the money back. Tell them the extra interest is hindering your ability to pay back the funds.
I’m not a huge fan of this, but if you can’t control your spending habits then this might be a good place to start. By cutting up your credit cards, you’re saving yourself from spending too much money and it’s a good start.

Insurance

Shop around! Whether if it’s home, car, or life insurance it helps to shop around and see what a similar insurance will cost you. You’ll be surprised to see how differently priced the same insurance coverage is depending on where you go.
Insurance is not an investment, if you want to invest, check out our investing section. Insurance in the eyes of many is a necessity, but you shouldn’t be putting investing and insurance together. Save the money by buying term insurance and putting the difference into actual investments that have greater potential to yield a higher return over time.
Whatever type of insurance you’re considering, look at what you need. Have you looked at all the coverage you’re getting? There’s a chance it’s too much and you might be paying for something that you’ll never use, such as driving your car in another country.
The deductible is the amount of you will pay before the insurance kicks in. A low deductible means that if something were to say happen with your car, you pay the amount of the deductible (say $500) and above that amount your car is covered. To go along with the car example, if you are a safe driver you’ll likely use your insurance less which means you can likely have a higher deductible and therefore a lower insurance cost.
Depending on where you live and the insurance companies that are available to you, insurance companies will allow you to combine home and car insurance policies. It’s almost like a bulk discount because you are a customer that will have multiple products. Give you insurance company a call and see if this is possible to save some money!

Vehicle

A car is built to last, well if you buy a decent car that is. There’s no need for you to get a new car every 2, 3, or 5 years. If you take care of your car it will easily last for extended periods for the average drive. Plan your purchase and take care of it, a car is not an investment, cars lose their value extremely quickly so make sure that you buy something within your means and squeeze every penny out of it!

I know it’s nice to have a brand spanking new car every 2 years with the latest model. But that is one of the worst financial decisions to make unless you are leasing or have a job where your company pays for your car, which is a totally different topic.

Here’s an article by Forbes about cars that last over 250,000 miles.

If you must buy a new car, then consider buying last year’s model. The look of the car doesn’t change every year. Each car model last 3-5 years and so you could buy last year’s model and it could look exactly like this year’s only it’s a year old. The great thing is, you’ll get a decent discount considering it’s still a brand new car. You might have a couple hundred kilometers as the dealership may have used the car as a test drive vehicle.
With all the nice cars on the market I know it’s tempting to splurge and get an awesome SUV with a V8 engine and 400 horsepower but chances are you don’t really need that car. The bigger and nicer the car you get, not only will it cost more to buy, it will cost more to maintain and fill up with gas. And overtime this money could have been much better spent on more important things like your retirement savings. The monthly car payments might seem too bad don’t forget that you’ll be locked in for 3-7 years and the car is a depreciating asset meaning it’ll be worth a lot less over time.
If you’re looking for a new car, why not consider buying a used car? I know we’ve all heard of the many horror stories of buying a used car where the engine died on the first day they drove the car. I’m not talking about buying a shady car off of Craigslist that was only $1,500 when the car should have been worth $20,000. I’m talking about buying a solid car that is maybe 2-4 years old where you could be saving a significant amount off the ticket price of a brand new car. You also have more room for negotiation with a used car compared to a new car.

Just make sure you do your homework, spend money on an inspection from a trust source (a dealer) or even buy from a trusted dealer. Buying a from a dealer will cost more but they’ll likely have a certified pre-owned type certification that will be covered with all sorts of protection in case something goes wrong.

Even in the same city, depending on the gas station there could be a difference. A few cents here and there per liter will amount to bigger differences over time. Gasbuddy is a great site/app for this.
Maintaining your car is a chore, you have to take it to the dealer or wherever you get the maintenance done, you have to leave it there at least for a couple hours and it costs money. But having the regular maintenance done is extremely important. If you don’t have the regular maintenance, it can actually hurt you in the long run with a major repair being needed that could have been averted had you simply taken your car in for service. The oil changes, tire rotations, air filter changes etc. will make a difference trust me.
We all have extra stuff sitting in the car. From the bag of salt from last winter, hockey equipment, textbooks you never read, you name it we have something that’s sitting in the trunk. Leave all that at home, that small amount will actually save you some gas.
If you drive like a maniac, not only are you annoying all the drivers around you, you’re wasting a lot of gas. Instead ease off of the gas pedal. This has been talked about a lot and if you want some concrete numbers check out this CNN report.
If you don’t have the proper air pressure it actually hurts your fuel efficiency and likely not good for your car either. It only takes a small amount of time to check your tire air levels and you can fill up air at any gas station. All you need is a simple air level checker, like this one on Amazon for less than $15.
This isn’t for everyone, but if you live downtown or close to work, do you really need to own a car? Sure it’s nice to have a car to go on a road trip or for a weekend trip to Costco, but you could take advantage of a car share or car rental and save money. Owning a car is expensive with insurance, gas, maintenance, and car payments. Having one less regular payment will make or break your bank.
Close to taking public transportation, but if you live close to work why not bike to work? It’s extremely healthy and will clear your head in the process. Obviously, this is only true if you live in a city that has safe roads to be biking on. Not all roads are bike friendly unfortunately.

Here are some tips about biking to work.

If something you work with lives relatively nearby then why not carpool to work? You’ll have company on your way to work in the midst of all those crazy drivers and traffic, save money on gas, and be good for the environment. If you don’t have someone at work that lives nearby, then try looking for someone using apps or websites like Carpooling.com.
If you don’t use your car much in general, why not get rid of it and use a car share program? Program like Car2go or Zipcar are great ways to save money and you only pay for the exact amount of time you drive. Even when I had a car (I don’t anymore) I used to use car share programs to save money.
Washing your car can cost anywhere from $10-20 per wash. If you do this every 2 months, that’s roughly costing you $60-120 per year. If you get your own cleaning equipment and have the space to wash your car, you’ll be able to save money and get a decent workout too!

Here’s an ArmorAll car was kit that’s on Amazon for less than $12.

Most gas companies will have this, for every x amount of dollars you spend they will give you points. Since you’re going to be filling up on gas anyway why not get the points? And make sure you use your credit card for every fill up to get more points.
Having regular oil changes will keep you engine adequately lubricated and old oil just causes trouble altogether. How often you change your oil is dependent on your car, but a general rule of thumb seems to be either every 5,000 miles (roughly every 8,000 km) or every 6 months whichever comes first. Instead of getting this done at your dealership learn to do this yourself. Oil changes can cost anywhere from $25-$70+ depending on your can and where you go. This Mobil 1 oil is less than $9 so you can see the savings you can make if you change your oil regularly which you should since it also leads to a more fuel efficient car.

Don’t know what oil your car takes? Find out here. And no I’m not endorsed by Mobil 1, I’m just giving you an example.
Don’t know how to change your oil? Find out here.

I say this, but selling private can be a huge pain in the butt. But if you are trading your car in to the dealership expect to lose thousands of dollars. When you trade a car into the dealership, they’re able to make money off of your twice, when they sell the car to you and when they resell your trade-in to someone else.

But even with that in mind the dealership likely won’t be giving you a good price for your car as they need to make that profit. So your best route is to sell your car privately.

First you want to know how much your car is worth, try Kelly’s Blue Book service, it’s free!
If you live in the US, you can try Car Max to see what they’ll give you for your car, this way you know how much you can at least get without the hassle or can take this number with you to the dealership if you are considering trading your car in afterall.

Check sites like autotrader and Craigslist for the approximate market price of your car. Because your car is used, it’ll be difficult to find a direct comparison but it’ll be a good starting point.

Food

This lets you avoid impulse purchases. If it’s not on the list you don’t need it.
If you only have $30 in cash and no credit card, well you can only spend $30.
Always think about the items that you eat or use on a regular basis. Don’t buy everything in bulk because the last thing you want is a pile of meat sitting in the back of your freezer, this might end up wasting money (and freezer space!)
Even if you don’t have too much space, you can grow a couple of vegetables which is a great way to save some money! Here are some examples to get you started.
Stop spending $1-3 per bottle of water, it’s a horrible waste of money. Bring your own bottle of water to work. I’m sure you’ve heard of Brita, well get a Brita water filter bottle for $13, just think of the savings. 1 filter which is $4 will give you 300 refills of 16.9 ounces.
Make your own coffee at home instead of heading for Starbucks or any high-end café. You can save $15 or more a week by doing this. Go to Starbucks as a reward not as a way to fulfill the “need” to drink coffee.

Don’t know how to brew your own coffee? Easy! Learn from the pros at the National Coffee Association USA.

Or, spend the $20 get your own coffee maker and Starbucks beans.

Right after telling you that it’s ok to buy Starbucks beans, I personally drink a generic brand that costs me like $5 for a pound of coffee. It tastes great and I’m an avid coffee drinker. Honestly, I doubt you can tell the difference either.

This goes beyond drinking coffee, anything that you eat or use at home can be a generic brand and over time it’ll make a huge difference on your wallet.

There are fruits and vegetables that you should buy organic, and there those that you might not really need to. Check out this list at greatest about the Clean Fifteen fruits such as mangos, grapefruit, and papayas might not need to be organic while vegetables like asparagus, egg plant, and onions also don’t really need to be organic.
Ah impulse purchases, the area around the cash register is well known for this. Ignore, ignore, ignore!
You’ve probably heard this one plenty of times and the advice still rings true. Buy items in bulk that you know you’re going to consume. If you eat chicken fingers everyday, but chicken fingers in bulk and not a couple at a time. Having said that…
Costco is a great place to save money since you’re buying in bulk, but at the same time it’s great place to waste money because everything is in bulk. Everything is massive. You want croissants? They come in packages of like 12, and unless you either have a big family or love eating croissants at every meal, you’re likely to waste food. When shopping at Costco, ensure that you’re only buying the things that don’t go bad (toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, soap, etc.) and make a list of the food items you’re going to buy and stick to it!
This is because most expensive items are usually at eye level, which means if you scan up and down you’ll likely find similar items that are cheaper above or below you (harder to reach). Another thing to note is that just because the price is cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s a better deal. Some good supermarkets have a “per 100g” price breakdown, but some don’t. If math isn’t your thing, use your smartphone calculator to see how much the product really is so you can compare relatively. (i.e. 700grams at $10.99 = $10.99/7=$1.57/100grams)
It might sound like a chore but baking your own bread and other pastries can be a lot of fun, save you money, and can be healthy for you.

Here are 10 bread/bagel, etc. recipes from Brown eyed baker.

I once bought my mom a bread maker so if you eat bread everyday, it might make sense. Just think $3 a loaf, 1 loaf every 3 days, or a 100 loafs a year. Even considering the ingredients you’ll get your bread maker investment back in a few months!

This is something you can do for any time of shopping but you can save substantial sums of money by buying items when they are on sale or have coupons. You don’t need to have a newspaper subscription, there apps out there (like the coupon app) or you can look on the website of your local supermarket. In Canada, No Frills is one of the cheaper supermarkets and you can find a lot of deals on their website flyers. Even if it isn’t a coupon, flyers will still have great deals, keep your eyes peeled!
Don’t spend $4 on a granola bar or spend money on unhealthy vending machine snacks, make and pack your own snacks. Here are 23 granola bar recipes from Buzzfeed.
Wherever you are in the world, eating out will always lead to spending more money. By simply packing your lunch, you could be saving anywhere from $3-10 per day, instead buy yourself a fancy lunch bag/box! Make a simple sandwich or make a little extra for dinner and take the leftovers to work.
We won’t go into the electricity and gas that you might be savings from doing this (it’s going a tad too far, maybe), but by cooking more than one meal at once you’ll be less prone to wasting ingredients, something most of us our guilty of.

Banking Fees

There are many free bank accounts out there but be careful because not all bank accounts are made equal. Some accounts may not have a monthly fee but may charge for every debit transaction or withdrawal from your account. Some banks give you a discount, rebate, or free account if you have certain services with them (for example, a bank account, credit card and an investment will give you a solid checking account), this is much better than a simple bank account that has no monthly charge but costs money for doing everything else. Dissect your needs and find a bank account that works for you.
This is about being responsible. Many landlords still want checks for their monthly rent and people forget to have money in their bank account on the day the rent check comes out. It happens all the time and is a major headache for all parties involved, and it’s expensive! Your landlord will be charged and so will you. Many banks charge $40-50 for a NSF or bounced check so be responsible and make sure that the money is in your account. Or setup an overdraft for your account. Yes this could mean a monthly fee (or not if you have a bundled package with your bank) but the $4 you pay monthly will save your butt when you forget to have money in your account. An overdraft basically allows you to have a negative balance (up to a predetermined amount) just in case you forget to have money in your account.
Use your own bank ATM or know how many times you can use other bank ATMs without having to pay a fee. Better yet, learn to use a credit card with benefits or points and not worry about ATM fees at all! Use the ATM only when you need cash and utilize your credit card most of the time. This will help you reap amazing rewards while becoming more responsible with your spending.
Some banks will offer you a rebate or discount on service products if you bundle products with them. They do this because the more products that you have with one financial institution, the less likely you will leave them. This actually is true for any industry especially in industries that are have a hard to differentiating their products and services.

So if you have a checking and savings account, overdraft protection, line of credit, credit card, mortgage, insurance and other financial products consider bundling them all together and see what bank will give you the best deal. Having said that, remember that not all bank accounts are made equal. Some checking accounts are much better than other checking accounts. Be sure to understand your needs from an account. If you live simply and withdraw cash twice a month any checking account will do, but if you travel abroad and withdraw from International ATMs, write a large number of checks, often go into overdraft into your account and have a premium credit card, it might make sense to have a more comprehensive checking account with a higher fee.

If you write a lot of checks, you shouldn’t order the checks through your bank unless you get free checks with your account. You can order checks on sites like VistaPrint or ChecksUnlimited are great places to get checks at a discount.

Entertainment

Having house parties is a great way to have fun and yet make the most of the time with your friends and family. You can choose what you eat (hopefully healthy), play the music you want, play the games that you want and save quite a bit of money in the process.
You’ve probably read and heard this in a hundred different places and for good reason. The $10/month you spend on Netflix is cheaper than a movie night out! Grab some microwave popcorn and enjoy a film at home!
If you must watch a move in a theater, and I don’t blame you because well the video and sound quality is a tad different then why not try to go during the day? Matinee shows have discounted prices compared to evening or weekend showings.
Some Costcos sell great event ticket or packages and movies are one of them. You should also look for Corporate plans or discounts for movie theaters they’re all over the place.
If you love watching movies but don’t want to shell out the money to go watch it at a theatre, then try Redbox. For $1.50~$2.00 per DVD or Blu-ray, you can’t go wrong.
Wherever you live, there are free events going on all the time. You’ll learn something new, have fun while you’re at it and save money. Read this mashable article for great apps that will give you updated information about local events!
If you have the privilege of having a weekday off or have access to happy hour, then why not take advantage of it? To take this a step further pubs all over the world have daily deals (49 cent chicken wings, ½ price Martinis, etc.) so do a little research in your area to see what sort of daily deals exist and try them out! It’s obviously the cheapest to eat/drink at home but it’s always nice to mix it up.
Listen to free music on spotify, Youtube, or Pandora. Nuff said.
Spotify
Pandora
Youtube
Yes it’s great to go to fancy restaurants have $15 martinis, but not so nice on your wallet. There are many ways to go on cheaper dates, like picnics, visit an art gallery or museum. If your partner cares about you, your relationship, and both of your futures then being frugal in this aspect should come easy.
Whether if it’s a magazine, sports channel, box of organic fruit, or even Netflix, if you aren’t using it or isn’t making your life better you don’t need it. It might seem like a minimal amount spent but it all adds up.
Many restaurants will have a lunch menu and when they do you’ll find that the lunch menu will be priced significantly less than the dinner menu. The contents of the menu aren’t going to be the same, but you still get to enjoy the atmosphere of the restaurant and pay a fraction of the price.
Alcohol is the biggest earner for restaurants as the margins are the highest, which is also why you should avoid drinking too much when eating out. The same goes for dessert; the $9 mud pie can wait for another day. Or better yet, buy yourself a mud pie on the way home for half the price.
If you must buy a magazine, it adds up over time. I love reading magazines but I do my best to restrain myself from buying brand new if possible. Magazines usually don’t have groundbreaking information that is a life changing. At least that’s how I see and by waiting a month or two for the magazine to show up on eBay or elsewhere won’t hurt me. If you wait a month or two you’ll be able to buy the magazine for half the price, which amounts to decent savings.
There are tons of hobbies that cost a fortune. I’m not saying quit those hobbies, but try and balance your time with another hobby or two that help you pass your time, are fun and save you money. Reading, drawing, running, knitting, baking, cooking, just to name a few.

Pay Less Interest

This applies for all bills and especially credit card bills. Making late payments on your credit cards not only hurts your credit score, but also leads to huge interest payments. Take this one step further and pay the entire balance every month. If you can’t afford to pay the full balance, then you shouldn’t have bought whatever you bought in the first place.
Did you accumulate a lot of debt over the years? Is it out of control? Then maybe it’s time to consolidate your debt which means getting a loan from a financial institution (like a bank) and having one lump sum payment. There are at least a couple benefits of doing this. First, you’ll only have to pay one payment at a time and not have to scramble all over the place to make payments (even if it’s online payments, it amounts to less time spent on making payments). Second, depending on the type of outstanding credit that you have, you’ll likely save a ton of money on interest as some store credit cards have annual interest rates up to 30%.

If you have $10,000 of outstanding debt and pay an average of 15% interest, that’s $1,500 annually you’re paying in interest. Getting a consolidation loan for 9% means you’ll be paying $900, that’s $600 savings. 9% is still very high but it’s better than the 15% average that you would have been paying. It’s scary how many people don’t know how much interest that they are paying.

Travel

Most of the low cost carriers (LCCs) will charge for any check-in luggage. Unless you’re traveling for extended periods, try and pack light so that you won’t incur the check-in luggage fees.
If you aren’t in a huge rush to get to your destination, then utilize connecting flights instead of flying direct. The obvious issue here is that you must be able to bear the longer flights and wait times but if you don’t mind that, you’ll find big savings in using connecting flights.
There is low, shoulder, and high seasons for travelling. So when are each you ask? The answer is it depends on where you are going as well as where you live. Obviously, if it’s spring or winter break that’s high season but for other times of the year depending on where you’re going high seasons might be shoulder season for another destination. Do your homework and learn to avoid high season when possible as this will mean money saved and less people!
Why not try to get a good deal when staying at a hotel. Hotwire allows you to book a hotel and save significant money off of 2-5 star hotels from hotels all over the world.
There are websites and forum discussions that talk about what a hotel might be so that you might be able to pick out what exact hotel the booking might be fore before booking the hotel.
Depending on whom you talk to, you’ll get differing opinions on your car insurance. You should first check two things before buying insurance. First, check your credit card’s coverage, if you purchased the majority of your vacation on your credit card, if you have a solid credit card with insurance coverage it might cover a portion or all of the car insurance that you could purchase at your car rental company (phone your credit card company to verify). The second thing you should is if you own a car, check the insurance coverage and see if you can transfer the insurance coverage on your car while you travel. <a title=”Car Rental” href=”https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/car-rental-cdw”>Here’s a solid read on this topic</a>.
Shopping around on different sites is one way, if you book early then that is one way to save early. Actually according to Business Insider’s article there are plenty of ways to save money on flights like flying on a Wednesday or booking on Tuesday at 3pm EST. You’ll likely have to test that waters yourself, but that article is a must read if you want to save some money on your flights. It’s crazy how the same flight could have significantly different prices.
If you’ve planned your trip well in advance and you’re travelling abroad, then it makes sense to watch the currency exchange rate and get a feel for what a good rate is. And try to exchange some cash in advance so you can lock in a decent rate. Sure if we could predict what the currency exchange is going to do in the future you could be a billionaire, but what we’re trying to do here is hedge the risk of your home currency plummeting which has happened on numerous occasions for all sorts of countries.
Instead of depending on taking the taxi everywhere try and research local public transportation. Regardless of where you travel, taking the taxi will be one of the most expensive transportation methods. The worst part is, some taxi drivers in select countries will rip you off knowing that you’re a foreigner.
Most places you visit will have tourist booklets that you have coupons for local tourist attractions. Some places will even have a pass where you pay a fee for an either a discount or entry to multiple attractions with that one pass which will save you money.
You don’t need anymore key chains, shot glasses, cups, and the like. Trust me on this one. These souvenirs seem like the greatest idea of mankind when you’re on vacation, but when you back at home what are you going to do with it? Ok, it might help you remember the vacation but isn’t that what you took photos for? Sure you might want to get Uncle Joe a shot glass from Cancun but chances are he won’t need another shot glass. So buy souvenirs that are actually useful, although I’m having a hard time defining a “useful” souvenir. I’ll allow you to buy a postcard or two however.
There are plenty of websites out there like Last Minute Travel or Sell off Vacations. If you aren’t picky then you’ll find great deals this way and if you opt for the all-inclusive route your whole vacation will be covered.
The mini bar always has been and always will be overpriced. Do yourself a favor and buy the alcohol and snacks at the local drug store or grocery.
This happens all the time, you’re going on vacation next week (hopefully not tomorrow) and your passport is either already expired or will expire while you’re on vacation. Also, be careful because some countries require your passport to be valid for a certain period. If you need to have your passport issued on a rush basis, it could cost you double or more of that original fee. So check your passport expiration now, or if you don’t have a passport get it right away.

Beauty

Ok, you might be rolling your eyes but I’m sure you’ve heard that many of the ingredients that are used at the spa can be replicated with vegetables and other easily accessible materials. So instead of spending money at a spa, why not make your own items (and have fun making it!) and save some decent cash?
Check out greatist’s site for some DIY recipes.
I’m not saying to get a haircut every six months, however if you do then that’s perfectly fine. What I am saying is that if you get a haircut every month, why not stretch it out to 5 or 6 weeks? That’s 1 or 2 less trips to the salon per year and that’s anywhere from $70-150 saved a year.
Rather than reinventing the wheel I’ll provide this link.

You’ll find “42 money-saving tips for every makeup addict.” You’ll find ways to save money with what you already have, what you can replace some cosmetics with, ways to get samples, and much more!

Instead of buying those expensive Gillette razors, switch to simple razors such as the ones at Dollar Shave Club. It isn’t about the blade, it’s about the person that does the shaving, what you use when you shave and making sure that you’re shaving when your skin is wet among other things.
So in our Marketing class in my MBA program we were talking about why people bought cosmetics. Duh, it’s to look great. But to take that a step further, do you really know what the contents of each product are? When you go to the cosmetics section are you buying thinking about what the collagen content is and how much elastin is used? No, you’re likely thinking of the brand name. If you’re using Chanel or Shiseido you feel much better than using your local drugstore’s in-house brand.

The problem is that while some cosmetic products might be better, they aren’t that much better considering the significant price difference. So this might be a good time to reconsider the cosmetics that you use. You could maybe use a cheaper brand for one portion of your make up routine and see if that makes a huge difference.

Most cosmetic companies will have bonus gifts when you make a minimum purchase. These bonus gift sets are great ways to save money and will also act as great travel sets when you go on vacation.
There’s a reason why duty-free stores are popular. Not only are alcohol and cigarettes cheaper, so are cosmetics. If you aren’t travelling, get a friend or relative to buy what you need on the way back.

Mindset

With every paycheck setup an automatic savings plan that goes into a savings account or investment, this way you can consider as a bill payment that you have to “pay” which in this case you’re paying yourself. The general rule of thumb is stash away 10% of your paycheck. That might be steep initially so start smaller, whether if it’s 2% or 5%, the main idea is to get it started, the mindset is the important part.

As you start saving more money (as in utilize what’s on this monster list!) or get a raise, increase the amount of money that you are stashing away automatically.

So say something costs $200, let’s say you get paid $15/hour (if you’re salaried, divide your monthly salary/160 (we’ll pretend there are 4 weeks per month and you work 40 hours a week to get a ballpark figure). At $15 per hour, it’ll take you 13.33 hours to pay for the item. Now if you consider taxes, you’re probably closer to 17-20 hours of work depending on where you live and the amount of taxes you pay. Now does that $200 sweater seem as attractive?
This applies to all sorts of things such as careers, relationships, etc. But since we’re talking about money in this post, learn to ignore what people have. Sure some people are better off but that isn’t always the case. Some people try hard to look good, but in reality these people might have no money or might be heavily in debt. Don’t worry about what other people own and focus strictly on what your needs are. Don’t be materialistic and think about what’s important to you, think about the things that money can’t buy. You can’t buy happiness.
Round all of your purchases to the next dollar and put the difference in a piggy bank, or get a bank account that allows this to be done automatically! Small amounts will add up over time and you can use these funds to save for something big, like a vacation!
You should know what your take home pay is. If you don’t immediately calculate how much money you are pocketing every month. Now budget how much money you will allow yourself to spend for each activity every month. First start by taking 10% of your take home pay, and stashing that away. It doesn’t matter if it’s a savings account or some sort of investment, the key at least initially is to get into the habit of putting that money out of harms way (read: “you”). Then think about the necessities. Rent or mortgage, maintenance, loan payments, transportation, food, electricity, are some examples.

Once you’ve done that, look into some of the monthly leisure activities like dinners, dates, entertainment, hobbies, etc. Another important tip is to stick with this budget even when you get a raise or even look to reduce it as you get better at managing your money! The only portion you are allowed to raise is your savings!

If you have a line of credit, it means that you have decent credit and your financial institution is willing to entrust you with a set limit of money that you can use on a revolving basis. That means that if you have a $5,000 limit you can use up that amount over and over again, as long as you pay off the balance that you have. You only pay interest on the balance that you have. Many people see this as a way to increase how much they can spend which is extremely difficult. The line of credit should be used very cautiously as it can easily put you into more debt. The smartest way to use the line of credit is for emergency purposes or to pay off more expensive debt like the credit card. And just for the record, a 50% on a pair of beautiful heels is not an emergency!
Keep track of every single penny that you spend. Remember, if you want to increase your savings, then you need to spend less than you earn after taxes. But first, you need to know how much you’re spending, something most people have absolutely no idea of.

I keep every single receipt and look at my online banking account to see what I have spent on my credit card. I rarely use my debit card as most places that accept debit will accept credit. I put everything I can on my credit card because I know I will pay my balance in full every month. Mind you, I have never in my time of holding a credit, missed paying the full balance on time. This has helped build my credit and well given me plenty of points that I use for travel.

So that’s about it! Do you have any tips to add? Please post in the comments below and I’ll add them! Please share this list with anyone that you care about, thanks!

Please be sure to consult a financial professional before making any decisions. All information on Freedom Nova is for informational purposes only and is not be confused with financial advice.

Must Reads!

  • Read about figuring out your roadmap to Financial Freedom here!
  • Grasp the essentials of constructing your customized Investment Portfolio here!
  • The Master List of ways to save money!
  • Master List of Income Sources!

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