HOW to Save Money in May 2020: [Start TODAY!]

Plan your spending habits and make some changes.

How to save money? 

You need a larger personal budget.

Let’s get started:

Ways to Save Money: Stats and Facts (Editor’s Choice): 

  • Appealing your property tax could save you $1,000 a year.
  • Quitting smoking can add $2,000 a year in your wallet.
  • Using public transportation will save you up to $2,000 for parking fees.
  • Not carrying a credit card can save you 12-18% in expenses.
  • Carpooling can save you more than $40 a trip.
  • You can cut water wastage in the toilet by 19% by installing low-flush toilets.
  • You can save between $100 and $200 a month by giving up cable TV.

How about this:

Our checklist for saving money.

An average US household spends about $78,635 a year on basic things like:

  • Food
  • Health care
  • Transportation 
  • Leisure
  • Home expenses

However:

With the CORONAVISRUS recession 2020 people started saving more. Staying at home and financial instability are making us more careful on what we spend our money.

Let’s see:

Ways to Save Money in 2020

Saving money requires changing our mindsets completely!

Certain hacks and tricks will help but it will eventually come down to changing our spending habits.

Here are some more fixes that you can try!

Simple tweaks to your daily routine can amount to a lot of money saved.

Daily Money-Saving Tips

  • Map out major purchases and restrict yourself to buying expensive items during annual sales events.
  • Take manual saving actions and take any extra change that you have and put it into a deposit account instead of your checking account.
  • Restrict online shopping by not creating accounts at online shopping sites so you are forced to enter your information each time you use it.
  • Order smaller servings at restaurants if you have to eat out. Your social life doesn’t have to suffer but you can still mitigate the costs.

Monthly Money-Saving Tips

Lowering your recurring payments may require more time, but it certainly pays off in the long run.

  • Bundle your cable and internet and lower your monthly bill by as much as $40 per month.
  • Cancel all unnecessary subscriptions that you do not use regularly that only incur added cost.
  • Monitor your electricity bill by making some small changes you may end up sparing up to $500 per month.
  • Lower your car payment by taking advantage of lower interest rates. According to car loan statistics, one can save up to $1,000 by using certain tactics.
  • Lower your student loan payments by utilizing some income-driven payment plans and lowering your student debt that way.

Long-Term Money-Saving Tips

Gathering funds for a longer period of time will allow you to build your emergency fund. It will also enable you to go on that vacation you’ve always wanted.

  • Track spending and get the real picture of where your money goes. Calculate your monthly income and expenses and compare them. You will have a clearer picture of where and how to spend less.
  • Set saving goals and determine the real reason why you are saving money. If you have a clear goal it will drive you towards achieving it. It makes a person more disciplined.

And now let’s get down to business:

Home Saving Tips

Housing expenses represent more than 25% of a US household’s budget. Cutting down those costs could save you a substantial amount of money.

1. Consider appealing your property tax.

From time to time, the government will periodically assess your property. The determined value increases the size of your property tax.

You can actually appeal the assessed value, thus lowering it and striking a lower property tax.

This is a simple way to save money. Unfortunately, sometimes it may not work. But, it is worth trying.

Here’s how you can do it!

According to the National Taxpayers Union, assessors overvalue about 60% of properties. And yet only 2% of homeowners appeal their assessments. Many times, it’s because they don’t even know they can lower taxes this way.

So let’s say you’re paying around 2% tax on a property that’s assessed at $500,000. You appeal the assessment because you think your property’s value is actually $450,000.

If your appeal is successful, it will lower your tax by almost $1000. 

Certainly a good trick to save money!

2. Refinance your mortgage.

Paying off a mortgage loan is one of the biggest expenses in a US household’s budget, based on the latest mortgage statistics.

Refinancing your mortgage means replacing the existing loan with a new one that has lower interest rates and monthly payments.

However, since it can lead to additional expenses, refinancing is not always a good idea. You need to determine if the benefits are enough to cover the extra costs. So refinancing only makes sense if it reduces the interest rate by at least 2%.

For example, you have a 30-year mortgage with an interest rate of 4.5%. You can refinance it with a new 20-year loan with a 3.75% interest. This will decrease your monthly payment by around $130, or $1,560 a year.

3. Reducing expenses on water consumption.

One of the general savings tips is lowering water usage. It is probably the most underestimated ways of saving money. Certainly one that shows results, though.

Here are some ways of doing it:

  • Use a smart showerhead: A smart showerhead can reduce water usage by up to 50%, depending on the model.
  • Install low-flush toilets: A low-flush toilet uses 1.3 gallons of water per flush, opposed to 1.6 gallons of a normal toiler. Every flush decreased 19% of used water.
  • Use a dishwasher: Washing your dishes in the sink for 3 minutes wastes 6 gallons of water. A dishwasher cycle also requires 3 minutes to get the job done, but with a lot less water.

4. Audit your home energy usage.

One of the ways to save money around the house is to revise your home energy usage. Homeowners may not be aware but in some cases, you can have local gas or electricity provided conduct a free audit of your consumption.

When you have that information, you can find ways of mitigating energy usage. It will help you determine how to use it sparingly.

The audit will surely reveal some ways to spare expenses on heating or cooling the house. The return will not be visible immediately, but in three to five years, you will see that your spending will be greatly improved.

5. Cut down on laundry detergent usage.

When thinking about how to save money in different ways, the usage of laundry detergent seldom comes to mind. But in fact, lessening the usage of the deterging can work wonders for your overall budget.

Sounds insane, I know. Just stay with me for a sec.

Most of the detergents sold today are highly concentrated. So if you limit its use to the smallest possible amount, you will still get the results needed by cleaning your laundry. You will additionally prevent buying more of it.

More so, you can start going natural!

Start using everyday items that you have around your home. Vinegar and lemon can work wonders if you know the right way to use them.

6. Change to using paper towels.

One of the good ways to save money is to ditch using paper towels. 

Paper towels and napkins are meant for one use only. You wipe the surface and you immediately ditch the towel by dispensing it into the trash bin. 

After a while, you need to go back to the supermarket to get some more.

If you start using clothes and napkins you will have a reusable, endless supply. It saves money and time as well.

7. Fix things around the house yourself.

If you are wondering how to save more money, start fixing things around the house yourself. You don’t always have to call a specialist to fix every little problem. Calling a handyman should only be done in dire situations where real expertise is needed.

If a problem is small and you are quite capable of fixing it yourself you should roll up your sleeves and deal with it.

Also, you might look at how up fixing certain things first on the internet. It just might be easier than you think it is. You also might learn a new skill that way!  

Food Savings Tips

Annual food costs go as high as $7,923 per household in the US. You and your family cannot survive without food. 

But what you can do is to cut down on money spent on groceries.

Let’s see our second checklist:

Second 'Ways to save money" checklist

It doesn’t have to be hard, just follow some simple yet effective tips.

8. Making a grocery list saves you money.

It may sound simple, but it is highly effective. Grocery shopping statistics say that if you have a grocery list with you it will prompt you to spend less.

The only thing that you have to do is stick to the list. That way, it is much less likely to scan the shelves and buy the stuff you don’t really need. One of the best ways to save money on groceries!

Sean Potter, aka My Money Wizard, says that he and his girlfriend were able to cut down the grocery bill to $150 a month!

That’s $1,800 a year or $6,123 less than a household’s food budget.

9. Do you shopping at discount stores!

Pretty obvious, but unfortunately a lot of people don’t shop in discount stores. The belief is that these stores offer low-quality goods and services

But that doesn’t necessarily have to be true.

Discount stores do have their ways of keeping prices low by not selling low-quality products.

This is certainly one of the best tips for saving money on groceries, IF you don’t fall into the discount store’s trap of overspending!

It is a well-known psychological trick. Low prices can make consumers buy much more than what they initially had planned.

Don’t give in to discount shopping urges!

10. Pay by cash instead of a credit card.

Using credit cards is the way of the future. We can’t forget and say how easier it is to carry a card instead of wads of cash.

But a 2014 Dun & Bradstreet research says that people who use credit cards spend up to 18% more money than people how to pay by cash.

So reverting to cash would be one of the ways on how to save money when on a tight budget.

Don’t worry, most grocery stores still accept cash. Not carrying a credit card decreases the chance of you becoming a card fraud victim, which is an added benefit.

11. Buy large portions of food instead of small packages.

Buying large portions of any food as opposed to small packages is one of the simple yet effective money-saving tips.

You get more for every dollar you spend. You can always freeze the food you don’t plan on cooking immediately.

12. Consider drinking tap water instead of bottled water.

Drinking water is a lot healthier than drinking soda. Not to mention a lot cheaper!

But even if you’re not a big fan of soft drinks, simply replacing bottled water for tap water can be a huge money saver.

A gallon of bottled water can cost over $8.

Drinking tap water should be among your main tips for saving money wherever it is possible. Unfortunately, this would not be possible health-wise in countries where it is not recommended. 

But anywhere else is okay.

Some people are used to carrying a bottle with them. Most of them buy these bottles when they’re on their way. But getting a refillable bottle instead of buying a new one seems much more cost effective.

Consider these options next time you are reaching for half-liter bottled water.

13. Brew your own coffee.

Getting coffee to go to your favorite coffee shop on your way to work is certainly fun. But that also means that you are spending around $4 a day on your favorite barista brand. That amounts to $28 a week or $120 a month.

So one of the tips for saving money on food is brewing your own coffee. 

You can get a cup of coffee at home before you go to work or when you get back. You don’t have to spend so much when you can invite a friend over and have some coffee at home.

You can save up to $100 a month if you consider this life hack for saving money.

14. Double down on your recipe.

If you are asking yourself about how to cut down on groceries, a great piece of advice would be to double on your recipe.

Next time when you are preparing your family’s favorite make a bit more. Simple double down on the recipe and save the leftovers for the next meal or tomorrow. Making more will cut down on you having to buy more groceries and also on the electricity bill. Since you will be spending less time and effort in making lunch every day.

15. Make Your Own Lunch.

Brown bagging your lunch is one of the ways to save money on food

People who work in an office sometimes have to order lunch or buy it at work costs. This could amount to you spending up to $5 a day.

But if you start making lunch at home and bringing it to work each day, you may save up more than $500 year. The food that you prepare home will cost you about $2.50, half as you would spend by buying it at work.

Additionally, you can also considered eating out less than you usually would. Prepare a nice meal at home with your significant other. Enjoy a candlelit dinner at home instead of one in a fancy restaurant.

16. Always shop at a brick and mortar store.

If you want to know how to save money effectively, start shopping at a brick and mortar store only!

Studies have shown that shoppers who do their grocery shopping online spend $186 on average a week. On the other hand, people who come to the store are a bit tighter with their spending – they incur a bill of $103 a week on average.

If you really have to shop for groceries online, make a list and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to buy things that are on sale if you don’t need them. Just buy the most necessary items on your list.

It's easy to save money poster.Transportation Savings Tips

In 2018, households spent $9,761 on average on transportation. 

That’s more than the money spent on education and healthcare!

Long-term saving starts with baby steps.

Let’s see:

17. Make use of public transport!

Public transport can save you a lot of money. Whenever you get on a bus or ride the subway, you don’t have to spend money on gas, parking, or paying for a taxi.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, you can save up to $847 a month that way.

Wait, what?

That’s more than $10,000 a year! This has to be one of the best saving money tips that you can get.

You can save up to $2000 a year just by skipping parking costs! Not to mention all the money you can put into your egg nest savings by not buying gas.

The average price of gas is $2.55 a gallon as of December 2019. However, premium-grade gas costs more than $3 a gallon in many states across the US.

18. Increase your car insurance deductible.

The deductible is set in your car insurance policy. It is the amount of money you are ready to pay if a car accident happens.

The general rule is the higher the deductible, the lower the premiums. By increasing your deductible, you’ve found one of the creative ways to save money.

Bear in mind that this is a double-edged sword. 

In the event of an accident, you would have bigger costs. You have to juggle between the benefits of lower premiums and the risk of paying more in case of a car crash.

19. Start a carpool.

Sharing a ride is sensible, not to mention fun!

Some people don’t feel comfortable when carpooling with strangers. But you can do it with a friend, a colleague or a neighbor.

A 13.7-mile taxi trip will cost you around $51, according to Rideshare. By carpooling, you would only have to pay $7.3.

Entertainment Savings Tips

According to government data, households pay $3,226 a year for leisure activities like going to the movies, visiting events, etc. But you don’t need to pay that much to have fun.

Has this figure gotten your attention?

Entertainment does not have to be that expensive if you are able to mitigate the costs.

Let me elaborate on how to save money each month:

20. Disconnect your Cable TV.

Do you really need cable TV? Do you really need and watch all those channels?

About 44% of Americans pay a monthly cable TV fee of between $100 and $200. Another 6% spend over $200 a month.

Most people buy a cable TV plan and stick to it, even if they never use its full potential. 

Why do you need a plan with 300 channels if you’re only watching 20?

One of the best ways to save money at home is switching to a cheaper plan. Or better yet, cutting it off completely.

You probably have internet anyway.

21. Choose only one streaming service and stick to it.

In order to be able to watch all of your favorite shows, you have to have multiple streaming services.

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, etc. It all sounds great and neat. 

But do you really have the time to watch all of them? You still need to work, sleep and do other daily activities.

So one of the ways to save money on a tight budget is to decide on one only!

One streaming service is more than enough. Better yet, use the internet. YouTube, for instance, provides a lot of free content to help you entertain yourself. You may not be able to catch up on all of the most recent shows, but you will still have some money left in your pocket.

22. Avoid buying physical copies of books, movies and games!

A stylish bookshelf in your home can really look good. But buying paper books does not help your overall budget. The same goes for DVDs and video games.

Refraining yourself from buying physical copies is one of the easy ways to save money. Instead, go for digital copies, renting, or swapping.

Ebooks are usually (though not always) cheaper than paper books. You can even sign up for a membership at the local library and rent books from there. Or you can choose one of the many book lending services like Scribd (Netflix for books).

Here are some more tips!

Video streaming services are immensely popular, so if you still haven’t signed up for one go ahead and do it. It’s cheaper than buying DVDs and great way on how to save money fast.

Apply the same logic to gaming. You can find tons of video games in popular streaming services like Steam. Why pay for physical copies?

23. Plan creative dates.

You can alleviate the cost of a date by being creative. No need for expensive restaurants!

Putting more effort and asking a girl out on something special instead of generic has a two-fold effect. 

It is not only one of the ways to save money. It also shows the girl that you are going out that you care which will make her feel more special.

The idea is to enjoy the companionship more than the cost!

So you can go on a picnic with only a basket filled with goodies and a blanket. Take her out for a movie and order Chinese takeout later. Or simply go for a walk and go see some amusing places on your way.

24. Enjoy the great outdoors more often.

People seem to forget that we can go outside. There are tons of interesting things to visit – bars, shops, or just exploring the city.

If you are asking yourself “How can I save money with a low income?” – that’s one of the answers!

Simply go out and be creative. 

You don’t need money to have fun outside. Sometimes a simple hike can do the trick.

Health Savings Tips

The healthcare industry is one of the more expensive ones in the world. Healthcare spending statistics show just how much money is spend on medicine and healthcare insurance around the world.

Even though it is not wise to be stingy when it comes to your health, there are still ways to avoid additional costs. 

25. Don’t skim on preventive healthcare.

Don’t skip your regular medical checkups. Prevention is better than cure and in this case a lot cheaper. It is one of the prime smart ways to save money.

For instance, if you go for regular checkups at a dentist you will minimize the risk of having a much larger problem in the long run. Fillings, root canals, dental crowns, they all cost a staggering amount of money. Particularly if you don’t have a dental insurance plan in order.

26. Compare prices of prescription drugs.

Be smart when buying prescription drugs! Use the tactic of comparison shopping instead of going for convenience.

Most people go to the nearest pharmacy to their homes. Some of them even enter the first one they see. But if you stop and look around you might find a pharmacy that sells the drug you need for a cheaper price.  

Tips on how to save money say that not all pharmacies sell the same medicine at an exact price. Some do sell it cheaper and there you will find your opportunity.

27. Choose store brand medicine instead of the nationally advertised ones!

Be smart when obtaining your medicine. Don’t always go for the nationally advertised medicine. The ones that you see on all the ads on TV and in the markets are going to be at least 20% to 40% more expensive.

Consult with your pharmacist first. Get some store brand over-the-counter medicine. They have the same formula and thus the same effects.

Save Money for College

Saving money during your studies might sound impossible. Students all over the world face an uphill battle during their college days.

However, it is not impossible to do. 

28. Apply for scholarships and grants.

There are various scholarships and grants offered while you are in college. The only thing that you have to do is assert yourself a bit!

This is one of the easiest money-saving tips for college students.

It does not hurt to apply and in the end, you just might get rewarded for your effort. Find out about the application method. Also, be sure to improve your grades as it might affect the final outcome of you getting a grant.

29. Minimize textbook expenses!

A textbook for a certain course can cost a lot of money. Some specific math and science textbooks go up as high as $200 apiece. 

That is not an affordable price for a student.

But where else are you going to study from? You need those textbooks to finish the course!

In this case, there are two answers on how to save money as a student

Buy used textbooks or rent them!

You don’t really need a completely new textbook. Used ones are also okay and a lot cheaper to have. They get the job done as long as you can complete the semester.

Also, renting a book is an option. This is specifically offered for those students who are on a budget and need to save up on textbooks. Rent the one you need for a semester and return it once you are done.

30. Take advantage of meal plans.

College students have the opportunity of using meal plans. It can either be one of the easy ways to save money or a big waste of time, depending on how you use it.

Simply, get everything that you pay for, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way you won’t starve and are not spending additional money. You might also think of dining in dining halls where the price of food is cheaper.

Also, you might not want a snack now but you can save a food item for later. Take an apple or a banana and consume it later in the day when you feel peckish. 

31. Work during college.

If you are asking yourself about how to save money as a teenager or as a college student, having a part-time job will do the trick.

Having a way to earn money during your college days is not only valuable for your budget, but it also teaches you some very important life skills. 

But the prime thing is still being able to earn for yourself and not depend on others. You might even be able to save some on the side if you are really organized.

32. Open a children’s savings account.

If you want to know how to save money for kids, you should open a children’s savings account. The account should be accessible both to children and parents. Parents can start saving first and the child can continue later on. By the time college comes round, you will hopefully have enough to get you started.

This action also helps your kids developing a habit of primarily saving rather than spending. 

Best Ways to Save Money

One needs to be smart when handling his or her budget. In case of an emergency, you should try and use some general measures.

If all else fails, try some of these…

33. Quit smoking.

For those who are avid smokers this is easier said than done.

But if we throw in some actual numbers, it will sound more convincing

The average price of a pack of cigarettes is $5.51. Let’s say you smoke one pack a day. That’s $165 a month or $2011 a year.

But the price range can vary between six and eight dollars. Some brands cost as much as $12.85.

Not only do you save more money, but you also live a healthier life.

34. Stay at home.

Do you want to know how to budget and save money by doing absolutely nothing?

Don’t go out as often.

Of course, you need to have fun. But you don’t need to be in a bar every night to have fun with your friends.

Bars, restaurants, cafes, clubs, etc are very good at selling overpriced… pretty much everything.

One of the tips for saving money fast is to plan fewer nights out and replace them with stay-at-home dinners with friends. Or simply have a good old fashioned night by yourself and your hobbies.

35. Visit free events.

If you really want to go out on a budget, you should research free events.

There are various types of happenings that you can go to without having to pay for a ticket. 

You can actually research these types of events on Facebook. Search based on a date, location, and even type of event. You can find plenty of meetups, seminars, sports classes, and other events that are free of charge and are one of the best ways on how to save money.

It’s a nice little hack you can use when you want to go out without spending a dime.

36. Unsubscribe from emails.

We sometimes think too lightly about commercial advertisements.

Emails marketers are very cunning and are really good at what they do. We are constantly bombarded with messages about sales and coupons. At one point we are going to be tempted to try it. Sometimes it even happens subconsciously.

So if you want to know how to save money every day, simply unsubscribe from emails. You will get fewer messages and will spend less time thinking about shopping.

37. Don’t buy – borrow.

Don’t run to the store every time you need something. Sometimes it is wise to look for help to your closest ones and borrow certain items.

If you need to complete a certain job and you require an item for one-time use, it is wise to ask your next-door neighbor for it or a friend. It is probably one of the easiest ways to save money.

38. Stop impulse buying.

A certain urge that greatly damages our budget is buying things on impulse. 

However, the hype lasts for a short amount of time. You will most likely be fed up with your purchase in a couple of weeks.

The cure? 

The 30-day rule!

What is the 30-day rule?

So, for example, you see a thing that you like and get that familiar feeling that you need to buy it. However, instead of getting it right away you stop and put the amount of money it would cost in a savings account for 30 days. After the 30 days are up, if you still want to, you can go ahead and buy that item. If not, you keep the money in your bank account.

Even if you decide to buy the item, it is no longer an impulse buy but a planned one.

This is one of the most useful tips for saving money.

39. Pay off any high-interest debt that you have first.

A lot of people face a battle when determining whether to start saving money or paying off their debt. 

It is hard if you have to pay 15% and trying to spare some change.

So when trying to pick between debts and savings you should focus on eliminating any high-interest rates first. Paying off your credit card debt should be your priority. At the same time, can keep putting money aside until you get rid of your debt.

As far as low-interest debt goes, you can get rid of it slowly so you can get started on putting some money away. You should also think of determining deposit insurance with your bank.

40. Pay your bills on time.

Paying your bills on time is a great way to balance your credit score! Not to mention that it also helps you alleviate your debt and prevents you from stacking it up more.

One of the ways to save money is to deal with your bills on time. You are not going to incur any added fees and, in some cases, you will gain a discount.

It all really pays off in the end.

41. Free up some extra cash from your paycheck.

Finding some money that you can spare in your paycheck can be hard. 

Start digging deep into your paycheck and find a bit that you can live on the side.

If you are wondering how to save money from salary, simply deduct the necessary living and entertainment costs first. Calculate the income minus consumption. Anything that is left you should put away and save up.

42. Buy second-hand clothes.

We don’t actually realize the amount of money we spend on clothes! Do you really need brand new clothes? Have you tried calculating how much you actually spend on clothes that you only end up not wearing?

One of the easiest ways to save up is by buying second-hand clothes.

So when you ask yourself how to save money, take a look at your wardrobe. 

You don’t really need more, do you?

If you notice that there is an excess you could sell the ones that you don’t wear yourself.

You can either earn some added cash by selling off some of them or exchange them for different ones.

Wrap Up

How to save money? A question that has many answers and we think we covered most of them.

Overspending is a real thing and a deadly enemy!

You could start thinking about your household as a company. To keep the company alive, you have to use budget restraints. Every single saving opportunity can help you improve your financial situation.

Even if it’s about a dollar or two it adds up.

Especially if it’s a recurring expense.

So spend smart and earn wisely!

See you around on SpendMeNot.com!

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