There are many reasons why people try to stop spending money. It could be that you are saving up for a vacation or a house repair. Maybe you are adding to your savings cushion so that you can start your own business someday. Or, maybe you want to reduce your spending so that you can pay off debt. Whatever the reason, it can be frustrating when it seems like there is no other possible way to cut spending.
Today I’m sharing 20 easy ways you can stop spending money. Some of these ideas are tactics I practice myself, others are tactics I have used when trying to cut the budget in order to meet a goal or aspiration, as mentioned above. These ideas will help you think outside the box and find ways to spend less and save more.
While I do not believe money can truly “buy happiness” I do believe that if money can ease burdens and generally make life easier. This ease could be hiring a housekeeper so you no longer have to spend time cleaning your own home, or it could mean being able to shop for clothing or groceries without ever looking at the prices of the items. In my wildest dreams I hire a personal chef and a personal trainer!
One of the reasons I am passionate about living frugally and saving money is because I like to dream big and thin that maybe someday I will have that personal chef. There are also reasons to be financially healthy that are not related to personal gain. When money is abundant it’s easier to give to others and bless them with money. Resting on strong financial footing also allows peace of mind when it comes to retirement planning, end of life care and leaving a legacy.
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When it comes to spending money and saving for the future, I also believe small actions can yield big results. A common example that many use is buying freshly-brewed coffee at a coffee shop. If you spend $4 per day on coffee and were to give up the habit you could save $28 per week, $121 per month or $1,460 per year!
Tips to Stop Spending Money Now
Because I believe in that example I have included a coffee tip in this post. Now let’s look at all 20 ways to stop sending now:
1) Write a Budget: If you aren’t already living on a budget, now is the time. The budget doesn’t need to be complicated. Look at your pay stubs to determine your average monthly income. Then look at past expenses to estimate how much money you should allot for groceries, rent or mortgage, utilities and more. Over time you can track your expenses and tweak the budget. Be sure to include annual spending such as for Christmas gifts.
2) Have a No Spend Month: One of my favorite ways to save money quickly is to have a no spend month. Yes, you will still need to pay your bills and put food on the table. However, during a no spend month you won’t purchase any non-essential items such as new clothing or household items. Try a no spend challenge for one month, or maybe two!
3) Plant a Garden: Not only does gardening allow you to spend time outdoors, stay active and foster a new hobby – when you plan a garden you have the potential to save money on your produce bill by instead growing your own fruits and vegetables. I start my garden each year by making these easy and cheap milk jug greenhouses. In addition to planting vegetables, don’t forget to plant herbs, too.
4) Order Meat Online: There are several meal distribution companies today that will deliver meat directly to your house. This can save you both time and money with avoiding trips to the grocery store. It also can help your family eat healthier which saves money long term with reduced chances of medical bills for preventable ailments. One company that offers meat delivery is Butcher Box.
5) Begin Using Coupons: Shopping with coupons in hand is another great way to reduce spending money. Couponing doesn’t need to be overly complicated when you first start out. Just pay attention to the coupons you receive in the newspaper and clip coupons for any items you purchase. I wrote a post about my couponing experience, if you want to learn more.
6) Shop Secondhand for Clothing: Instead of paying full price for clothing at a department store, shop secondhand for gently used items. I have even found items that are brand new with tags. Clothes Mentor is one of my favorite stores for secondhand clothing shopping. Sign up here for their email list and receive a coupon for $10 off your first purchase!
7) Negotiate Utility Bills: Instead of paying full price for whatever utility supplier your gas or electric company works with – you can negotiate your supplier and pay less for utilities. The utility supplier is the company offering natural gas or electricity and their rates are negotiable. Learn more about this by reading my negotiating utilities post.
8) Skip the Groomer: When we first got our rescue dog Lulu I took it upon myself to learn how to groom her. Where I live a basic dog grooming session costs at least $40. I purchased this pair of Wahl clippers, along with a slicker brush, small comb, shampoo and conditioner. The initial investment was small and over time I saved a lot of money by grooming my own dog.
9) Save Cans and Bottles: Some states will allow you to turn in bottles and cans and receive cash in return. It’s a way to encourage recycling. If you live in Michigan, the amount of money you can earn back is pretty hefty at 10-cents per container! Some states call this a deposit law. Check to see if your state has one.
10) Make Homemade All Purpose Cleaner: Instead of purchasing all purpose cleaner for your bathrooms and kitchen and other surfaces, try concocting your own as a way to spend less money today. Read my homemade cleaner post for the full recipe I use in my home. Not only does this recipe help me save money but it’s also environmentally-friendly.
11) Sign Up for Paribus: Have you ever made a purchase and then, later, realized the item went on sale? If so, you are in luck. I recently learned of a program called Paribus. When you sign up, this company will track your shopping trips and work on your behalf to gain a refund if the item drops in price. The price drop is limited to the time period defined by each store. Learn more about Paribus and sign up here.
12) Start a Garage Sale Pile: One of my favorite ways to make a little money on the side is to have a garage sale in the spring or summer. Winter is a great time to begin decluttering and finding items that can be sold in your garage sale. I like to place the items in boxes in the basement. When it’s time for our sale I already have a pile of good set aside! Read my garage sale hacks post to learn how I make the most money at my sale.
13) Pick Your Own Fruit: Plan to visit pick your own fields and farms this year. Last year we picked our own strawberries and apples. Not only was the produce really good, but it was also very affordable. By spending your time picking the fruit and vegetables you save money on handling.
14) Make Coffee at Home: I know this has been said time and again, but it’s true. If you make coffee at home you can save money. Try avoiding the coffee shop for a just a week, or maybe a month in an effort to save money. You might save a few dollars – or even more! A popular coffee maker to give that coffee shop atmosphere is the Keurig.
15) Shop Online with Rakuten: Whenever I shop online I use Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) to save on every purchase. All you need to do is sign up for an Rakuten account. Then every time you shop online, visit the store via your Rakuten link. A tracking number will be added to your order and Rakuten will give you cash back on your purchase. Read my full Rakuten review for more information.
16) Stop Eating Out: This is another tough one, but I encourage you to give it a try for just a week or maybe even a month. If you are used to eating out frequently, such as take out for dinner, or a full sit down meal at a restaurant you can save a lot of money by not doing this for even a short period of time.
17) Lower Your Thermostat: Every degree that you lower your thermostat in the winter can help you save money on utility bills. The same goes for summer. It might not sound like much but a couple degrees of adjustment to your thermostat and comfort level can make a big difference in your pocketbook.
18) Sell Clothing on Poshmark: In addition to gathering household items for a garage sale, look through your closet and identify gently-used or brand new clothing and accessories that can be sold online for cash. Poshmark is an app (and now website) that allows you to quickly and easily list clothing for sale. Sign up for Poshmark and earn $5 in credit toward your first purchase when you enter invite code HFHAMMERS during sign up.
19) Make Homemade Window Cleaner: Instead of purchasing glass cleaner, gather a few common household ingredients and make your own homemade window cleaner. Not only can you save money by making your own cleaners but they are often a better choice for the environment, too. Read my homemade window cleaner recipe for the exact recipe I use.
20) Take Shorter Showers: Shave a few minutes off your shower time as a means to save money on water bills. Each minute you use water will add to your water bill. Start by timing your shower, then drop the shower time by one minute at a time. Make it a fun challenge to stop spending money!
These are just a few tips you can use to halt spending money and save for the future. You can try some of these tips or all of them. You can also adopt these practices for the short-term or the long-term. Keep in mind that when making any changes with spending money, it’s paramount to remember that big picture goal. It will help you stay the course and achieve your financial dreams.
*This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.