1Pay yourself first – the most important tip on my list of money saving tips simply because it’s the only way to actually build savings. Pay yourself first because as you know, waiting to save what’s left just doesn’t work. Why? Because there’s never anything left to put into savings.
Set aside a portion of your pay for savings and talk to your employer about depositing that amount directly into a separate savings account. Life has a way of gobbling up money you intended to save but never got around to.
2Resolve to start saving today – Commit yourself to start saving money today. No matter how small the amount, the important thing is to save something.
3Live on cash – Set up a cash budget. Use cash to cover your variable expenses such as food, transportation, entertainment, clothes/gifts etc. A very effective way to get spending under control.
Living on cash is tops on my personal list of money saving tips because it has helped our family get out of debt and build toward true financial fitness.
4Quit smoking – First and foremost, quitting this nasty habit is just plain healthier for you and to a lesser extent those around you. Second, thinking about the money you’ve spent and how much you’ll save could make it a little easier to quit. F
5Emergency fund – There are things you can plan ahead for and there are things you never saw coming, for the latter it’s good to have an emergency fund in place. You’ll be really glad you did should something unexpected happen.
6Online banking – There is absolutely no good reason for paying bank fees. If you’re still paying your bank for the privilege of banking with them your just throwing away money. Open a no-fee bank account online with ING Direct or PC Financial for example.
7Take advantage of low introductory rates – If you’re carrying alot of high interest debt it makes sense to transfer these balances to low introductory rate credit cards. This will save you loads of money in interest. However, Be careful to read the fine print on these offers. They are usually short lived, after 3-12 months the standard rate kicks in. So if you do transfer balances make sure you can pay it off before the introductory rate expires.
8Negotiate better rates – Banks are desperate for your business, especially if you have good credit and long history with them. You hold the cards, so don’t be afraid to ask for better rates. Tell them what other institutions are prepared to offer as leverage.
9RRSP or 401k contribution matching – If your fortunate enough to have company matching contributions in your RRSP or 401k plan and your not participating – give your head a shake. Your not only missing out on free money your boss is willing to give to you, you’re also missing out on an important tax deduction as well as a terrific opportunity to build your retirement nest egg.
10buy a term life policy instead of whole life – Buy a term life policy, you get the coverage you need but the premiums are much less than whole life policies which is both an investment and an insurance policy. Unfortunately, the investment portion of the whole life policy is a very poor one.
11Claim benefits you are entitled to – Be sure to check government websites to see whether or not you are entitled to any benefits. You could qualify for benefits like a child tax credit or a pension credit for example.
12Increase deductible on home insurance – You can instantly reduce your premiums just by increasing your deductible. No, you won’t be saving an earthshaking amount of money but you will atleast get instant gratification from lowering your monthly expenses a little bit.
14Do it yourself – Hiring a professional for repairs or renos can be expensive but the wise thing to do if you’re not handy. However, you might be able to tackle smaller, simpler projects on your own and save yourself some money. Take-in a free DIY seminar at your local hardware store or buy a book to teach yourself what you need to know.
15Home hair cuts – This is great way to save money on expensive salon hair cuts if you or anyone else at home is an aspiring hair stylists.
16Do your own taxes – If you have an easy, straight-forward tax situation you could file your own taxes and save on the cost of hiring someone else to do it for you.
17Cancel newspaper subscription – Unless you read the paper every single day or you’re stock piling unread newspapers you can safely cancel your newspaper subscription. You’ll save yourself a few bucks if you just buy the paper when you want to read it.
18Switch to bi-weekly mortgage payments – Shave years off your mortgage just by increasing the frequency of your mortgage payments from monthly to bi-weekly. This will save you thousands of dollars in interest.
19Pay extra on the mortgage – As with #19 on my money saving tips list, shave years off your mortgage and save thousands in interest. With your mortgage paid off you can kick your wealth building into high gear.
20Collect\recycle bottles and cans – This is an easy $20 – $40 a month for our family. No need to go around collecting bottles and cans, just save your beer & pop bottles or cans, load up in your car and drop them off at the recycle depot for quick cash.
21Save loose change – Another easy $15 – $40 a month for us. You’d be surprised how quickly your lose change can add up. Wait til you have about $40 or $50 and put it into your savings account or just do something fun with it like we do.
22Bundle up services – If you provider has bundle deals you can pay significantly less per month by combining services like telephone, long distance, high speed internet and cable or satellite on one bill than you would paying for each service separately.
23Lose the cell phone – Want to cut out unnecessary expenses from your life? The cell phone is a no brainer. Fifteen years ago nobody had a cell phone and we all managed just fine.
24Make your own household cleaner – You can find lots of recipes for homemade household cleaners online you can make for free.
25Ban paper towels from your home – Switch to cloth towels and save yourself the $8 you would usually spend on paper towels.
26Invest in a freezer – How many times have you passed up on incredible bargains on pricy food items like meat just because you didn’t have enough room in your refrigerator freezer? Invest in a freezer and start stocking up on those hard to pass up food bargains.
27Recycle food containers – Instead of buying Tupperware or other plastic containers try using food containers like peanut butter jars, margarine tubs and ice cream containers.
28Drink more water – Drink more water, not bottled, just plain (filtered) tap water. It’s a whole lot cheaper and in most cases, healthier than what most people keep in their fridges.
29Cut back on phone service – You probably have a one or two or more features on your phone service that you never use. Find out what they are and cut them out of your phone bill. For example, your much better off buying a cheap answering machine for about $20 than you are paying $5 a month to the phone company for the same service.
30Pack a lunch – If you spend $10 on lunch and you do that 5 days a week that’s $200 that you could be putting into savings or toward paying down some of your debt.
31Skip the coffee shop – Buy a thermos or travel mug and brew your own coffee. Potential savings per month, around $25.
32Carpool to work – Driving your own car to work costs you one tank of gas per week on average but if you car pool with one or more co-workers you pay less than half that.
33Take public transit – If car pooling is not an option, consider using public transit to get to and from work. A monthly transit pass is likely to cost you slightly more than what it costs you to drive your car to work for a 1 week.
34Bike to work – Save money and get in shape at the same time.
35Avoid vending machines – A dollar or two here and there in the run of a month can add up to quite a bit of change. Bring your own snacks to work.
36Know where to buy gas – It pays to know where to find the cheapest gas in town. Use GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest place to buy gas in your town. See more fuel economy money saving tips in gas mileage tips.
37Drive sensibly – How you drive your car affects how much gas it burns. If you drive sensibly, obey the speed limit with no abrupt starts and stops you will burn less fuel. Drive aggressively and you’ll burn more fuel.
38Keep tires properly inflated – Just keeping your tires inflated at the right pressure is an easy way to make your car a little more fuel efficient.
39Lessen the load – Weighing your car down needlessly will make it less fuel efficient so unload any excess weight if at all possible.
40Don’t idle too long – Save fuel, turn your car off instead of idling your car.
41Limit A/C usage – Try using air conditioner as little as possible it makes your that much harder on gas.
42Buy used a car – It makes no sense to buy a car brand new, you lose about 70% of the cars value in the first 2-3 years. On the flip side, buying a car that is 2-3 years old means you are getting the car at a much better price and you will not lose much money in depreciation. Read more about buying a used car vs new car.
43Group errands together – If you have a number of errands or stops to make, plan it out so that you get them all done in one trip.
44Increase deductible on car insurance – Instantly reduce your premiums just by increasing your deductible. You won’t be saving buckets of money but worth mentioning nonetheless.
45Get your home energy audited – Get an assessment of your home’s energy efficiency. Find out how your home consumes energy and which areas of your home you should focus on improving for better efficiency.
46Turn down thermostats – Want to knock 10% of your heating bill? Just turn your thermostats down by 1 degree. For more on this as well as home heating related money saving tips see saving money on heating.
47Unplug electronics – Another easy way to save money on your electricity bill is to unplug electronics when they are not in use. Many electronics continue to use power in when they appear to be off but are actually in standby mode. For more details on this and more energy related money saving tips see saving money on electricity.
48Switch to CFB’s – Compact fluorescent bulbs last approximately 8 times longer than standard light bulbs.
49Wash clothes in cold water – Washing your clothes in cold water is really easy way to conserve energy and you won’t notice any difference.
50Quick showers, no baths – Short, quick showers are far more cost effective than baths. Baths use more hot water which means more energy is used to heat the water.
51Insulate hot water heater – If your hot water heater is in an unfinished area of your home such as your basement, putting an insulator jacket on it means it will preserve its heat better and require less energy to heat your water.
52Insulate basement/attic – Uninsulated attics and basements are a major source of heat loss and will cause your heating bill to soar. The money you spend on insulating your attic and basement will pay easily for itself during the winter months.
53Maintain furnace or heating system – Just like your car, when it is well maintained your heating system runs more efficiently.
54Dry clothes on clothes line or rack – Anytime your not running your clothes dryer your saving energy. Use a clothesline to try your clothes, you’ll save money and your clothes will have that outdoor fresh smell.
55Let the sun in – Open your blinds and curtains to let the sun heat areas of your home with large windows.
56Buy energy efficient appliances – It’s worth investing in energy efficient appliances, the amount you’ll save on your power bill outweighs the short term expense of purchasing them.
57Run appliances only after 9pm – Some hydro or electric companies have lower rates after 9pm. Running your dishwasher, doing laundry after 9pm to get the lower rate would save you a lot on your next hydro bill.
58Use paper plates – Whether you have a dishwasher or not this is a great way to reduce energy consumption because you don’t have to wash all those plates anymore.
59Fewer restaurant meals – When you think of saving money, cutting out restaurants is one of the first things that come to mind but you don’t have to cut restaurants out altogether just cut back a little, maybe one or two restaurant meals less a month.
60Cancel unused gym/club memberships – If you haven’t used it by now, cancel it. You haven’t fully committed yourself to getting your money’s worth so you might as well stop the bleeding and start thinking about getting in shape next year.
61Join Netflix – Renting movies from Blockbuster costs about $6 per movie per night. By joining Netflix you can save yourself a bundle. Memberships start at about $11.50 per month and you get to keep the movies as long as you want.
62Get a library card – The library is a great money saving resource, especially when it comes to books and dvds. Instead of buying books you can check them out of the library for free. Same goes for movies and documentaries although some libraries might charge you a minimal fee.
63Cancel cable or satellite – Another frequent cutback casualty is cable or satellite. Just a few years ago this meant no TV but now you can still watch most of your favorite tv shows online. Two of the most popular online TV sites are Joost & Hulu.
64Family night in/game night – Having a couple family nights-in or game nights are a great way to reconnect with your family and save money too.
65Got money to burn? Play the lottery – The only sure thing about the lottery is that you will not win the jackpot. You might break even if you’re lucky but the majority of the time you end up losing money. Not playing is doing yourself a big favor, saving you money and grief.
66Be patient, it’ll go on sale – Don’t be in such a rush to buy, before long it will go on sale. In the meantime try to save up enough money to pay for it in cash.
67Need vs Want – This is one of my personal top 10 money saving tips. Before you buy, ask yourself, do I really need it or do I just want it? Give yourself 24 hours to think it over, I guarantee you will be glad you waited because most of the time you’ll find you really didn’t need it afterall.
68Save & pay cash – Anytime you make a purchase it’s always better to save your money and pay for it in cash. When you buy something on credit you almost always ending paying much more than the actual purchase price.
69Shopping list – A sure-fire way to prevent overspending is to bring a shopping list when you shop for groceries or anything else. For more money saving tips for groceries see saving money on groceries.
70Check online classifieds – The first place to check before shopping around for something is an online classifieds site like Kijiji or Craigslist. They’re a great source for bargains on pretty much anything.
71Shop at thrift stores – Shopping for clothes at a thrift store may not be for everyone but it can save you from spending big bucks on brand name clothes items.
72Check out yard sales and garage sales – It pays to go hunting for yard sales or garage sales. You can get really good stuff dirt cheap.
73Clip coupons – Who could ever take this list of money saving tips seriously without a tip for clipping coupons. Always a great way to save if that’s your thing.
74Shop for groceries on a full stomach – One of the key money saving tips to remember when shopping for groceries is “Never shop on an empty stomach“. If you shop for food on an empty stomach you will buy more impulsively and will end up spending much more money than you intended.
75Keep a running total – Want to stay on or under budget while shopping? Keep a running total, this works particularly well for grocery shopping.
76Plan and pre-cook meals – Planning and pre-cooking meals is time and money saver. It also helps cut back on take out dinners for those nights you’re just too tired to cook.
77Buy generic or no-name brand goods – While there are certain brands we simply can’t do without for everything else go generic or n-name and save about 20% on your next grocery bill.
78Don’t buy pre-packaged – Pre-packaged foods cost more money and are less healthy.
79Shop just before store closing hours – Waiting to do your shopping about an hour before closing time is great way to get more bang for your buck. Lots of last minute deals that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
80Don’t buy something you don’t need just because it’s on sale – You’re not saving money – you simply spent money on something you didn’t really need in the first place. I dedicate this final tip on my money saving tips list to my wife. Love you, Honey!