Can I ask you something?
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to save $3,000 in the next 90 days?
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think it’s possible. I’m just trying to find out if you feel the same way.
You see, most people talk about how they want to save money and blah blah blah. But when it comes to making the necessary sacrifices to do that, they instantly disappear.
This happens because their reason for wanting to save that money isn’t strong enough.
You can’t blame them though, since it’s a challenge that requires a huge commitment.
Now, the fact that you’re still reading tells me you’re serious about achieving your savings goal. So in this post, you’ll find a list of ways to save money that can help meet your target.
If you follow at least one of these tips, your savings will increase substantially.
Great, then let’s begin.
21 Easy Ways to Save $3,000 in 3 Months
You’ve set a big savings goal for yourself. The best way to attack it is to examine the areas where you can get immediate savings.
1. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
Like most people today, you probably have a couple of things you pay for monthly, which you hardly use.
Examples of these expenses include:
- Music streaming
- Gym membership
- Print media subscriptions
- Digital media subscriptions
- Makeup/Shaving/Beef Jerky and other subscription boxes
Cancelling a few or all of those subscriptions can easily increase your savings by several hundred dollars.
So do a deep dive into your recurring expenses and decide which of those is absolutely necessary for you to stay alive.
If it makes you feel better, know that you’re doing it to raise money for a good cause – your savings.
2. Get rewarded for shopping
If you do most of your shopping online, you should take advantage of cash-back savings.
One way to do this is by using a site like Rakuten, which let’s you earn cash back on purchases from lots of places, including Amazon and Walmart.
It doesn’t cost you anything to join. You just sign up for free, shop as normal through most popular stores, and earn cash back on your purchases.
You’ll get a notification when you receive your earnings and can have it automatically deposited into your bank account.
To start saving with Rakuten, click here.
3. Energy saving tips you can do today
Are your utilities costing you a fortune?
You can use a service like OhmConnect to track your home energy use. And if you save energy, you’ll get paid for it.
Another way to save money is by weatherproofing your home.
You can make sure that windows and doors have proper insulation to prevent high heating bills during the winter.
Similarly, in the summertime when the weather is hot, you can stretch right up and… hang some blackout curtains to keep the place cool. Thus, reducing the need for 24/7 air-conditioning.
So do a your savings and the environment a favor and cut back on your energy use.
7 Tips to Save Money on Groceries & Food
When it comes to saving money most people don’t think about their food and grocery expenses. The following tips can help you lower those expenses.
4. Save on eating out
Dinner with friends, ordering takeout, and buying lunch daily can easily cost you hundreds of dollars each month.
Reducing or eliminating all of those activities can guarantee you immediate savings.
Yes, I know it’s hard to do because you want to chill with your friends. Well, if that’s worth more to you than saving $3,000 in 3 months, then keep doing it.
But if you’re serious about saving, there are few things you can do like: packing lunch, eating homemade dinners, and kicking your junk food habit.
Saving money on food doesn’t have to be dull and boring. You can still have fun too. You’ve just got to be smart about it.
5. Make a grocery budget and shopping list
Have you ever stopped by the grocery store on your way home to pick up a carton of eggs… and end up leaving with ice-cream, snacks, soda, or something else?
This happens to a lot of people, and they don’t even know it. Even I was guilty of it at some point.
You see, those extra items you add to your cart are called impulse buys.
And it’s a result of you not having a plan, along with brilliant in-store marketing.
The best way to avoid overspending on groceries is to first create a grocery budget. You can start by looking at the items you buy frequently to come up with an amount.
Once you have your budget, you need to make a shopping list of all the things you need like milk, eggs, meats, veggies, etc.
Avoid non-essentials like cheesecake, candy, and other delicious temptations. Remember your goal is to save money.
Ideally, you should always make a list before heading to the store. That way, once you’re there, you’ll be much more productive instead of roaming the aisles like a 15th Century explorer in search of El Dorado.
It may not seem like a big deal, but doing this can significantly reduce your grocery bill by 35% or more.
6. Shop generic vs. store brand
This is something that a lot of people wonder about.
Is there that much of a difference between generic versus branded products?
Obviously the biggest concerns are quality and taste. But if you’re shopping at a large chain store, those things shouldn’t matter.
Because no grocery store is going to willfully sell harmful items to its customers.
If you or a loved one ends up growing new limbs after eating Whole Foods bread, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. And no company wants that.
So yes, some products may taste slightly different. But at the end of the day, they should be just as safe to consume as the branded items, which tend to be more expensive.
7. Buy in bulk
When I tell my friends they should buy in bulk, they often think I mean buying everything from stores like Costco and Sam’s Club.
Yes, you can save a ton by shopping at warehouse stores.
But if you don’t want to deal with membership fees or can’t see yourself using it enough, there are other options.
You can buy in bulk at local thrift stores or at your grocery store when they have sales.
You can also find similar deals by shopping at Walmart and Target.
8. Get a refund for past purchases
Suppose you bought an item for $3 yesterday but today the price dropped to $1.99 because of a sale…
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get back the difference?
Well, if you use a service like Capital One Shopping, you can do just that.
It basically scans your past purchases, monitors prices, and negotiates cash back on your behalf. So you never have to worry about overpaying for stuff.
It’s an excellent service that can help you save money, and it’s also free.
9. Shop with coupons
You don’t have to be into extreme couponing to be a savvy shopper.
There are free apps like ibotta that can help you find discounts before you go shopping.
It’s a lot easier than having to sift through a savings packet, clip a bunch of coupons, and be that person in the checkout line at the grocery store.
Again, nothing wrong with couponing… but you can save money and time just by using ibotta.
10. Avoid wasting food
Have you ever opened up your well-stocked fridge or kitchen cupboards looking for something to eat, and couldn’t find anything?
We’re all guilty of doing this at some point.
Even though there’s a ton of food staring you in the face, you ignore it and decide to go out and buy something.
The next thing you know, all those items you overlooked eventually expire and you’ll be tossing them out in a few weeks.
This is one of the main sources of food waste in your home that can easily cost you an extra $2,000 a year. It’s like opening a door and throwing two-grand into the street.
But you can avoid this. All you have to do is get in the habit of eating what you already have.
There’s no point in wasting money just because you’re lazy or not in the mood. If you reduce your food waste, you’ll increase your savings.
Stick a Pin in It
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6 Ideas to Save Money on Cable, Internet, and Mobile
You probably spend way more money than you need to stay plugged into the info matrix. Here’s how you can fix that without visiting the Oracle:
11. Cancel your home phone
I can’t think of a reason why you’d need to have a landline for your house these days.
We used to have one for emergency purposes and our home security system.
But after our house became depressed from the lack of calls it received and we got a security system that let’s us monitor our home from our mobile devices, we ditched the landline.
Sure, our mobile tech could fail during the next Purge or Zombie Apocalypse and we’d probably die…
But we’d rather face those problems as a family when they arise, instead of paying a company for a useless service.
If you’re adamant about giving your home a phone line, you should look into a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service like Vonage.
It’s cheaper and let’s you call a bunch of random countries for free!
12. Cut your cell phone bill by 40%
Even though we don’t have a landline, that doesn’t mean we splurge on mobile services.
At one point in time, my wife and I were with Verizon – ugh!
The actual service was great. We could talk, send text, browse the web, yada yada.
But the bill? Oh man, I don’t even want to talk about how much money that company sucked out of our bank accounts.
Long story short, we switched to T-Mobile when they had an awesome special for more than half the price of Verizon.
Now I get a whole bunch of the same stuff, international calls, plus roaming in Canada and Mexico without high bills or a monthly contract.
I highly recommend you assess your cellular plan and make a change, even if you have to pay a penalty to do so. It’s going to save you more in the future.
In addition to T-Mobile, there are are other providers like:
- Republic Wireless
- Boost Mobile
So you’ve got some options if you’re planning to shop around.
13. Avoid new phones and unnecessary “fees”
There’s a good chance you’re financing your phone and paying some sort of monthly insurance on it.
Like, do you really need to spend $17 a month to insure your cell phone?
That’s $400+ you’re throwing away over 24 months!
You can find great cases to protect your phone for much less.
BTW, even if you do break your phone you still have to pay a $99 deductible for those amazing cell companies to ship you a brand new second-hand phone.
Is that worth it, or is saving money more important to you?
If I was you, I’d cancel the insurance.
As for the phone, you might want to sell it, pay off what you owe, and try to find a cheaper phone to buy without a payment plan.
14. Buy your own internet equipment
When you pay to have Internet at home, you also have to pay for the equipment – a router or modem.
Those suckers can set you back $6 to $10 a month. That’s a saving opportunity waiting to happen.
All you have to do is buy your own modem or one similar to the one you have. You can find these in electronic stores or on Amazon.
Once you’ve got your modem, return the one from your service provider and save yourself from another unnecessary monthly expense.
Check out this article to learn how to buy a modem for your internet service.
15. Negotiate your cable bill
The average person hates negotiating, but it’s an easy skill to learn. And you can use it to save money on pretty much anything.
For instance, here’s a script you can use to lower your cable bill:
YOU: I need to lower my bill. What can you do for me?
At this point you’ll get a useless response. That’s fine. These folks are just basic customer support staff. They have zero power to do anything except give you annoying responses from a script.
Your goal is to get put through to the retention department. That’s where the fun starts. To do that, just tell these plebs that you want to cancel your account. They’ll transfer you.
When you get through to the retention department, say the same thing again:
YOU: I need to lower my bill. What can you do to make that happen?
They’ll deflect or try to script you too. But you won’t say a word. What you’ll do is just stay quiet and let the silence get awkwardly loud. Then you’ll hear:
THEM: Hello, are you still on the line?
YOU: Yes I’m here. I’m just waiting for you to tell me how you’re going to help me lower my bill so I won’t have to cancel my service.
THEM: Ok, hold on just a second.
*Classical music plays*
Eventually, they’ll com back with a “special offer” just for you.
It could take a few tries to get what you want so you’ve gotta be persistent.
Remember, it’s in their best interest to keep you as a customer and they know that.
If you really must have cable, then you should make an effort to do this to save money. You’ll be surprised at how effective it can be.
16. Cut the cord on your cable tv completely
If negotiation doesn’t sound like fun, and you still want to save, then join the millions of people who’ve cut cable completely.
With so many streaming services available, you can easily cut your home entertainment bill from $200 to as low as $9 a month.
Here are some alternatives to consider:
- Amazon Prime Video
- Sling TV
- YouTube TV
Our monthly bill is just $60. We only have Prime Video ($9/month) and Internet ($50).
I also picked up a cheap HD antenna so I could watch a few local channels.
However, that was just a one time investment. There were no other costs.
In total, we save more than $1,000 a year on cable. Wouldn’t you like to do the same?
5 Bonus Money Saving Tips Worth Trying
If you want to save money, you’ve got to manage your finances better than anyone else. These bonus tips will help you get started.
17. Automate your savings
Since your goal is to save $3,000 in a short amount of time, Qapital might be the best money savings app for you.
That’s because it’s best suited for goal-setting savings. It allows you to set up certain criteria to trigger savings.
The service basically rounds up your spare change to the nearest dollar and then adds it to your savings.
Of course, you can do this without an app by setting everything up through online banking. If your bank offers that service, you should definitely take advantage of it.
Otherwise, you can learn more about Qapital here.
18. Get your tax refund sooner
We all pay taxes. But sometimes we pay more than is necessary and the government sends you a refund at the end of the year.
That’s great and all, but there’s no reason to let them collect interest on your money for a whole year before giving you a tax refund.
You can get your money back sooner by making adjustments to your withholding amounts.
You’ll be surprised at how much you can get back. It can be a few hundred dollars that you can put towards your savings goal.
And most of all, the government doesn’t get to make more money off you than is necessary.
19. Avoid unnecessary bank fees (or banks)
Most of the big banks charge you a fee for all kinds of crap.
Savings account below $XX, fee…
Minimum monthly checking account balance under $XX, fee…
Data breach resulting in your info being leaked, fee…
Bank exec steals your money, gets fired and collects a huge severance… FEE!
If your bank does any of those things to you, it may be time to park your money somewhere else.
Some people opt for online banks like CIT Bank because of their low fees and great interest rates on savings accounts.
If that’s not your cup of tea, you can just switch to credit union. You’ll get low fees, better service, awesome rates, and a ton of other sweet benefits.
It’s time to see if your bank is charging you money for crap and make a change.
20. Refinance your loans and debt
If you’ve got student loans like most people, they’re probably costing you a fortune.
You can call up your lenders and have your payments lowered, deferred, or even discuss a smaller pay-off amount.
The same thing can be done if you have a home or auto loan. In most cases, lenders will work with you to find a better rate.
As for credit card debt, you may be able to consolidate those too and significantly reduce your monthly payments.
The extra money you’ll save by refinancing your loans can be put towards your savings to help you reach your goals faster.
21. Sell your gift cards for cash
Do you have a bunch of gift cards that you’re not using?
If so, you can easily turn them into cash by selling them either to other people or using an online service.
Selling it to someone might get you the full value of the card. So you can sell a $50 gift card for that same amount.
If you use an online service, they’ll take a small percentage of the card and give you the rest.
The second option doesn’t seem ideal because you’re losing money. But it’s faster than waiting around for someone to pay you full price for your gift card.
You can sell your gift cards using one of these online services:
- Card Cash
- Card Kangaroo
- Card Pool
- Clip Card
Otherwise, if you’re fine with dealing with hagglers on Craigslist or in person, then do that.
Start Saving Money Now!
You’ve just discovered a list of ways to save money fast. And now it’s time to put it to use.
If you don’t actually use what you’ve learned, then you’ll achieve nothing.
Remember, you’re the one who said that you’re ready to do what’s necessary to save $3,000 in 3 months. All I did was show you how to do it. It’s up to you to make it work.
There’re many people who’d be thrilled to find a practical list of savings ideas like this post. They may not want to save as much as you but they’d damn sure be happy to save some money.
Come to think of it, helping those folks to save feels like the right thing to do. Wouldn’t you agree?
Cool, then let’s help those folks by sharing this post. All you have to do is click the buttons below to get started.
So go ahead and do that now.