35 Creative Ways To Save Money

Money Saving Concept.
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Given the state of today’s economy, devising creative 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. 

35 Creative Ways To Save Money

Growing your wealth often involves more than just earning — it’s about finding creative ways to save money. While traditional methods like budgeting and investing play a crucial role, there are numerous daily habits and unique strategies you can adopt to boost your savings. These clever tricks, woven into your routine, can help you accumulate funds without feeling the pinch.

Smart Financial Habits

Embrace these financial strategies to bolster your savings. From the playful 100 envelope challenge to the practical dual account strategy, these habits are designed to transform your approach to money management, credit health and long-term financial planning.

1. The 100 Envelope Challenge

Turn saving into a game with the 100 envelope challenge. Label 100 envelopes from 1 to 100. Each day fill an envelope with the corresponding dollar amount. Completing this challenge means saving $5,050.

2. Dual Account Strategy

A clever way to save money is to keep your expenses and savings in separate accounts. Use one for daily needs and bills, and the other as an emergency or future fund.

3. Subscription Audit

Review and cancel subscriptions you don’t use. You might be surprised at how much you can save by cutting out these often-forgotten expenses.

Make Your Money Work for You

4. The $5 Savings Plan

Save every $5 bill you receive. It’s a simple yet effective way to accumulate a significant amount over time.

5. Boost Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score can lead to lower interest rates and better financial deals.

6. Financial Education

Invest time in financial education. Understanding money management can lead to smarter spending and saving decisions.

7. Automated Savings

Set up automatic transfers to your savings account. Even small, regular deposits can add up over time.

Shopping and Consumption

Refine your shopping habits and consumption patterns to make the most of your budget. From embracing thrifting and choosing generic brands to smart meal planning and DIY gift-making, these strategies are aimed at reducing your spending without compromising on quality or satisfaction.

8. Avoid Online Shopping Triggers

Unfollow brands and unsubscribe from marketing emails to resist the temptation of online shopping deals.

9. Embrace Thrifting

Explore thrift stores for clothing and household items. It’s eco-friendly and can lead to significant savings.

10. Choose Generic Brands

Opt for generic brands over name brands when shopping. The quality is often comparable, but the price is much lower.

11. Participate in Buy Nothing Groups

Join local Buy Nothing groups to give away items you don’t need and find free items you do.

12. Meal Planning

Plan your meals weekly to avoid impulse buys and food waste. This strategy can significantly reduce your grocery bills.

13. DIY Gifts

Create homemade gifts instead of buying them. They are often more meaningful and cost-effective.

Make Your Money Work for You

14. Second-hand Electronics

Buy refurbished or second-hand electronics. They often work just as well as new ones but come with a much lower price tag.

15. Seasonal Shopping

Buy off-season items when they are on clearance. For example, purchase winter clothes at the end of the season for next year.

16. Use Cash-Back Apps

Leverage cash-back apps when shopping. They offer rebates or rewards on your purchases, effectively saving you money on items you would buy anyway.

Household Efficiency

Unlock the potential of efficient living with clever ways to save money around the house. Embrace practices that trim down your expenses, such as accumulating spare change, investing in energy-efficient appliances and crafting homemade cleaning supplies. These smart strategies not only help in cutting costs but also promote a more sustainable and economical household lifestyle.

17. Coin Jar Savings

Collect all your change in a jar. Once it’s full, deposit it into your savings account or use it for a small treat.

18. Energy Efficiency

Invest in energy-efficient appliances and bulbs. They cost more upfront but save money in the long run.

19. Gardening

Grow your own vegetables and herbs. It’s a rewarding hobby that can cut down on your grocery expenses.

20. Water Savings

Install water-saving devices in your home. Reducing your water usage lowers your bills and conserves a vital resource.

21. Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Create your own cleaning supplies using common household items like vinegar and baking soda, which can be more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

22. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat to manage your heating and cooling efficiently, reducing energy bills.

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Social and Community Engagement

Engage with your community and social circles in financially savvy ways. From volunteering at events to organizing potluck gatherings, these tips help you maintain an active social life while being mindful of your budget.

23. Library Over Bookstores

Utilize your local library instead of buying books. Many libraries also offer free access to e-books and audiobooks.

24. Volunteer for Events

Volunteer at events or festivals. Often, you can enjoy the event for free in exchange for a few hours of help.

25. Group Entertainment Discounts

Plan outings with friends and family using group discounts. Bulk tickets for movies, parks or events can be much cheaper.

26. Free Community Events

Participate in free community events for entertainment instead of spending money on paid activities.

27. Potluck Gatherings

Organize potluck dinners with friends and family instead of dining out. Everyone brings a dish, saving money and enjoying a variety of foods.

Transportation and Travel

Optimize your transportation and travel expenses with creative solutions. Whether it’s using public transport, carpooling, biking to work or packing lunches instead of dining out, these clever ways to save money focus on reducing your daily commuting costs and making travel more economical.

28. Carpool or Bike to Work

Consider carpooling or biking to work. It’s environmentally friendly and can significantly cut down transportation costs.

29. Use Public Transport

Whenever possible, use public transportation instead of driving. It saves on gas, parking and wear and tear on your vehicle.

Make Your Money Work for You

30. Pack Lunches

Instead of eating out, pack your lunch. Home-cooked meals are generally healthier and cheaper than restaurant food.

Personal Care and Maintenance

Focus on personal care and home maintenance without breaking the bank. These habits are geared towards maintaining a high quality of life while keeping expenses in check.

31. Home Workouts

Skip the gym membership and exercise at home or outdoors. There are numerous free workout apps and online resources available.

32. Group Memberships

Share memberships — like Costco or Amazon Prime — with family or friends to split the cost.

33. Negotiate Bills

Regularly review and negotiate your utility bills, insurance premiums and other recurring expenses.

34. Repair Instead of Replace

Learn basic repair skills to fix clothes, electronics or household items, thus extending their life and saving money.

35. Borrow, Don’t Buy

For items you use infrequently, like tools or party supplies, borrow from friends or neighbors instead of buying them.

Final Thoughts

Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore. With these clever ways to save money, you can make the process fun and effective. The key is to find what works for you and stick with it. Your future self will thank you for the effort.


  • What is a clever way to save money?
    • A clever way to save money is the envelope budgeting system. With this system you allocate your monthly expenses into different envelopes -- like groceries, entertainment, utilities. Only use the cash in these envelopes for respective expenses. This physical separation of funds helps in controlling overspending and encourages discipline in financial management.
  • How can I save $1,000 in 30 days?
    • To save $1,000 in 30 days, you could implement a strict budgeting plan. You can do the following:
      • Cut out non-essential expenses -- like dining out, subscriptions, luxury items.
      • Use coupons and discounts for groceries.
      • Reduce utility costs by conserving energy.
      • Also, consider doing a temporary side job or selling unused items for extra income.
  • What is the smartest way to save?
    • The smartest way to save is to adopt a diversified approach:
      • Build an emergency fund for unforeseen expenses
      • Invest in long-term, low-risk options like retirement accounts for future security
      • Use high-interest savings accounts for short-term goals
    • This strategy ensures both immediate and future financial stability while allowing your savings to grow.
Make Your Money Work for You

Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.


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