Doesn’t it feel like there’s some kind of secret on ways to save money fast? It’s not a topic that’s talked about often but we’re all trying to increase our bank account balance without feeling like we’re depriving our self.
There may not be a secret but there is a strategy. It’s completely possible to save money fast, especially when you’re in a pinch.
It wasn’t long ago my husband and I were drowning in debt and barely making ends meet. We were having sleepless nights stressing and brainstorming ways we could save some extra money. It’s amazing how creative you get when you really need it.
We came up with some great ideas and started implementing them immediately. On top of tackling our debt, we stuck to our “plan” and quickly started saving money.
It (surprisingly) didn’t feel that hard once wrote down our goals and researched some clever saving techniques. We couldn’t believe it!
Now, 5 years later it’s hard to believe we were ever in that situation. I remember it so vividly but it seems like a lifetime ago because we’ve never gone back to that place.
This can be YOU too!
1. ⇒ STRATEGICALLY SAVE YOUR CHANGE
You need a piggy bank with a metal lid. The only way to open it is with a can opener! It gives you zero temptation to break into when you think you need that extra couple of dollars. You don’t! You’re not adding to it to dip into it.
We put one of these in our home at the beginning of every year and keep it by our front door. When we get home, if we have any spare change we quickly drop it in and forget about it.
It’s amazing how a little over time really adds up. We open ours in December and are always shocked there’s at least $600! Whether Christmas finances feel tight or there’s been a luxury item you’ve been eyeing, this is the easiest money you’ll save all year.
Last year we bought a brand new luxury camera from Best Buy without batting an eye or putting a single penny on any card.
This year, I’m also adding any money I receive from selling our used items on Facebook Marketplace or Bidding Wars. It will be exciting to see how much more we have by the end of 2019!
2. ⇒ GET CASH BACK ONLINE SHOPPING WITH EBATES
If you haven’t heard of this company, you are wasting your money!
EBates is a program that gives you up to 20% cashback when you make your regular purchases online. Amazon, Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Best Buy, Old Navy – Ebates has over 2000 stores they work with.
It’s easy: Open the app, choose what store you’re buying from (it will show how much cash back you’ll be receiving) and then shop as you usually would.
When you make your purchase, Ebates will track it for you and deposit the cash into your Ebates account within a few days.
I just received 8% back by ordering the makeup I ran out of from Sephora. I did it in my pajama’s from the comfort of my own home. The percentages change and sometimes stores will increase their discount as a promotion. I make sure to check back often.
3. ⇒ BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK
I won’t lie, bringing lunch with us to work is probably what felt the most painful.
Go add up how much money you spent last month eating out. I guarantee the total is going to surprise and motivate you to start meal prepping. Don’t get me wrong, you can still eat out. Instead, plan it when you’re out socializing with friends or having a date night.
4. ⇒ SAVE ON TRAVEL
I love saving on travel with Airbnb. Their accommodations give you the luxury of a hotel but with additional bedrooms, a living room and full kitchen. The bonus is it’s way more affordable.
We never have to compromise our trip or keep quiet because our toddler is in bed by 7pm. We also love using them for weekend getaways with our friends. It’s more fun to stay together but still have the comfort of your own privacy. We’ve used Airbnb to stay in Europe, the USA and Canada.
This is the 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom Airbnb we just stayed at in Tofino, BC for $299 CAD/night (plus additional cleaning fee). It slept 8 of us! That’s approximately $40 per night/person. Yes please!
5. ⇒ SWITCH UP YOUR MORNING COFFEE
This sounds absolutely ridiculous but hear me out.
If you’re hitting up a drive thru every morning it’s time to stop. That $3 drink costs you over $1,000 per year. Invest in a quality travel mug (I can’t live without my Thermos) and start making it at home.
Take it one step further. Switch from Keurig to French Press. You may have seen in our 9 Essential Kitchen Tools That Make Meal Prep Easy (it’s #9) how switching from the Keurig to a French Press saved us over $450 in 2017. Better coffee and up to $1500 in savings is a no-brainer!
6. ⇒ SECRET COSTCO DEALS
Maybe these aren’t a total secret but I’m surprised no one in my friend group knew about them. Now I try to share it with anyone who asks us about finances.
• Next time you’re heading to the movies, stop at Costco before. Did you know that you can buy 2 adult movie tickets with 2 drinks and popcorn for $30 in their gift card section? That covers your tickets alone and the price of movie theater snacks are outrageous. You don’t have to deny yourself, just be smart about it.
• In need of a massage? You can buy $100 worth of gift cards to Spa Utopia for $80. Buy the card (or this makes the best gift ever) and pay for your massage with it. As long as you see a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) you can claim it to your extended benefits. If you have 100% coverage you just made $20 to have a massage. You’re welcome!
***Be sure to call your insurance provider beforehand. I’ve personally worked in insurance and can tell you there is a maximum dollar amount of how much your extended benefits will cover per year (usually around $500-$1000). Most plans renew every calendar year (meaning every January 1st your limit resets no matter if you used your full total or not. You can not carry your balance over if you didn’t use the whole total).***
• The trick is walking into Costco without overspending. It’s easy to enter and want everything! To avoid this start following Coco West on Facebook. Every Monday she updates her page with pictures of Costco’s weekly unadvertised sales. Her link is www.facebook.com/costcowestcoupons.
I highly recommend following her so you can plan your shop before you go. Having a plan and sticking to it works!
7. ⇒ WHEN TO FILL YOUR GAS TANK
Vancity published an article (click here to check it out) that the time and day you fill your gas tank makes a difference!
According to their data analysis, filling your vehicle is cheaper from Monday-Wednesday and rises Thursday-Sunday.
Avoiding rush hours (8-10am and 4-6pm) will get you the lowest possible price.
I personally think it’s worth it to buy all your gas at Costco pumps. With their Executive Membership you get 2% cash back on anything you spend.
If you own a car then you know gas is a necessity. They’re always between $0.02-0.10 less than competing stations and even though it seems like a small amount to be getting back, it ends up paying for our yearly Costco membership by itself.
8. ⇒ SAVE MONEY ON DIAPERS WITH AMAZON
Did you know if you buy diapers through Amazon you can get a huge discount?
I recently found out that if you sign up for a diaper subscription you save 20%!
I was spending $45/box at Costco and I now pay $29.82. They’re delivered to my house for free.
The catch is simple: you need to be an Amazon Prime user and set up how often you want your delivery (I do every month). You have the option to change your delivery schedule and there is no penalty to cancel at any time. Don’t forget to go through Ebates so you get cash back too!
9. ⇒ CHANGE YOUR BRANDS
“No name” brands have come a long way in the last few years. Kirkland (Costco), President’s Choice (Super Store) and Dollarama (Dollar Store) have some pretty incredible savings.
Dare I say it? I prefer some of their products over the brand name.
Easiest Switches to Make:
• What woman isn’t in love with Bath and Body Works? Their sales are amazing and their products smell heavenly. However, no matter how great the sale they add up quickly! I was easily spending $40-80/month on soap and candles. It’s time to call it. Soap has one job: to clean your hands. Head to Dollarama and buy their pumps for $3 each for all of your bathrooms and kitchen. The bulk tub of Soft Soap (I love the watermelon scent) is also a steal at $3 and lasts us between 4-6 months! In the grand scheme of life, it’s literally JUST soap. Save where you can!
• Stop paying outrageous prices for greeting cards. Think about it: Birthdays, Valentine’s, Anniversary’s, Retirement, Congratulations, Baby Shower’s, Weddings! The Dollar Store may not be as fancy but they’re $1 and have a huge selection. Personally, I only keep cards where someone took the time to hand write a sentimental paragraph on the inside. That’s not many! If your friends and family are judging you based on what card you gave them it may be time to trade them in (just kidding, kind of). It really is the thought that counts.
• Have you tried Kirkland brand baby wipes? Trust me, I have tried them all and not only are these the best price, they are the best quality. The quality and price dominates every other baby brand.
• President’s Choice has really impressed me. Their whole wheat pasta, organic cheese, organic raisins and canned tomatoes (for pasta sauces) are better then any of their competition and HALF the price. I am so in love I will go out of my way to buy these items.
10. ⇒ MAKE MONEY ON THE SIDE
Have you thought about making some extra money? Why not start a blog? I know it seems like everybody and their dog is starting a blog these days but statistics show blogs are still heavily on the rise. Hello, you’re reading one right now!
Blogging has allowed me to quit my 9-5 dental job and provide an income for my family. I now do something I love so it never feels like work.
It’s done more than just help financially, emotionally I feel a real sense of purpose. I have total control of my life, time and commitments. I can work from home while dealing with an autoimmune disease, travel without restriction and never miss anything with my kids.
What’s holding you back? Take our FREE 5-Day Blogging Crash Course where we teach you step-by-step how to create your own blog, publish your first post, what free essential plug-ins make blogging easier (and what a plug-in is), how to make your WordPress “drag + drop” friendly and most importantly: how to make money blogging!
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What are your best money saving secrets? This is a topic I could talk about all day and I’d love to hear from you.
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