10 Clever Ways To Save Money

Money Saving Concept.
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Given the state of today’s economy, devising clever ways to save money is more than just a fun hobby, but rather an important part of securing your financial future. Like a squirrel with acorns, it is time to start saving for the winters of your life. 

See: 3 Ways Smart People Save Money When Filing Their Taxes

10 Clever Ways To Save Money

There are many ways you can grow your wealth and follow a financial blueprint. Seeking the counsel of a financial planner can greatly improve your forward momentum. However, there may be a few tricks you can do during your daily routine to help you save money.

  1. Try the 100 envelope challenge.
  2. Have separate spending and savings accounts.
  3. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
  4. Do the $5 challenge.
  5. Remove shopping temptations.
  6. Get thrifty.
  7. Switch to generic brands.
  8. Join a local Buy Nothing group.
  9. Collect your change.
  10. Raise your credit score.

1. Try the 100 Envelope Challenge

Who says saving money can’t be fun and games? Sometimes when you try a money-saving challenge instead of a daily routine, you are more likely to reach your goals. For example, the 100 envelope challenge is a great way to save $5,000 in 100 days. Here’s how you can try it:

  1. Get 100 empty envelopes.
  2. Number each envelope from 1 to 100.
  3. Store your envelopes in a container.
  4. Shuffle the envelopes in random order.
  5. Pick an envelope at random each day.
  6. Insert the day’s dollar amount in the envelope, which should match the number on the envelope.
  7. Put the filled envelope aside.
  8. Track your savings progress.
  9. When you finish the challenge, you will have saved $5,000 in 100 days.
Make Your Money Work for You

2. Have Separate Spending and Savings Accounts 

Another way to make saving money easier is to keep money designated for bills and budgeted expenses separate from a savings account. This is more specific than just having checking and savings accounts; it specifically only allows you to allocate funds for designated uses.

Your spending account would be for necessities such as bills, food and home expenses. All other money would be saved in something like an emergency fund or future fund that you wouldn’t touch until you use it for its designated purpose.

3. Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions 

It is easy to not realize how many subscriptions you are automatically paying for each month. One trick is to go through your App Store or Google Play subscriptions on your phone and see what is on autopay. Remove these permissions for subscriptions you don’t use or didn’t realize you were still paying for. This could save you more money than you think and help you better budget for your monthly bills. 

4. Do the $5 Challenge

Though cash isn’t as common a commodity these days, that may help you save it more. The $5 challenge is when you save any $5 bill you receive. For example, if you work in an industry where you receive cash tips, anytime you receive a $5 bill, you cannot spend it. Keep it in a special container in your home and don’t use it for any expenditures. Something specific like this can help trick your brain into not realizing how much money you will be saving. 

Make Your Money Work for You

5. Remove Shopping Temptations

A good way to remove the temptation presented by online advertisements is to unfollow brands you often shop for and unsubscribe to their email notifications. 

If you don’t know something is on sale, you won’t be tempted to buy it. Buying something on sale is still spending money.

6. Get Thrifty

Going thrift shopping is not only a great way to reduce clothing costs, but it also gives you an opportunity to donate clothing you don’t wear anymore instead of disposing of it.

Alternatively, you can shop at consignment stores, where you can not only save money on clothes, but you can also sell clothes you no longer wear to make some money as well. Just breaking even is still a good day of shopping.

7. Switch to Generic Brands

 One nice thing about capitalism is that there is never a shortage of brand options. Switching to generic brands when shopping could save you hundreds of dollars per year. For example, if you buy a name-brand box of cereal every week when grocery shopping, you are probably spending around $5. A typical generic brand will be around $2.50. This may not seem like a big difference, but it is a savings of $10 a month, which is $120 a year. 

Make Your Money Work for You

8. Join a Local Buy Nothing Group 

Many communities have Buy Nothing groups that are designed for you to gift something you no longer use or need to the group, and it is then picked up and reused by someone else who does. You can also find things that you may need that someone else in this group is offering, and it would be at no cost. This is a wonderful way to repurpose items as well as save money.

You can also download the BuyNothing app via the App Store or Google Play.

9. Collect Your Change 

The change in your pocket on its own is worth so little that it can seem silly to bother keeping track of it. However, if you empty all of your change into one container or piggy bank at the end of your day every day, you may get to the point where your change doesn’t jiggle; it folds. 

A great way to save money is to just put it away and forget about it. By doing this, you could have a fund just for fun.

10. Raise Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a crucial part of your finances. By paying bills on time and creating a solid credit history, you will be more likely to not only save on credit bills in general but also have access to lower interest rates.

Final Take

There are many ways you can challenge yourself to save money, or start managing how you save your money. The important thing is to find something that works for you and your budget. What you save now will only help you later.


  • What is the smartest way to save money?
    • There are many smart ways to save money, but here are five clever ways to save:
    • — Switch to generic brands.
    • — Join a local Buy Nothing group.
    • — Collect your change.
    • — Raise your credit score.
    • — Have separate spending and savings accounts.
  • What are some fun ways to save money?
    • Some fun ways to save money are to try money-saving challenges such as the 100 envelope challenge or the 52-week challenge.

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Make Your Money Work for You

About the Author

Caitlyn Moorhead has written content for a variety of businesses and publications. After graduating from Central Michigan University cum laude, she moved to New York City where she wrote columns, articles and plays for several years before relocating to Austin, Texas in the fall of 2020.
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