28 of the Best Frugal Living Tips to Save $500/month
So you're here because you're looking for some awesome frugal living tips.
I mean who isn't trying to cut expenses are live more frugally?
I have done plenty of research and have found some of the best frugal living tips to get free money that take zero effort. That is what makes them so popular!
Let's dive into my list of the 28 best frugal living tips in 2020.
Table of Contents
1. Turn Your Debit Card into a Cash-Rewards Card! ($1 Sign Up Bonus)
You know how a credit card works, you receive 2% cashback on every purchase. But if you're a die-hard debit card user, cashback bonuses weren't available to you—until now.
Try the Dosh App! Connect your debit or credit card to the app, use your card like normal, and the Dosh app will collect money automatically—just like a credit card!
After a while, open the app to see how much cash you have accumulated. It's a great feeling when you find enough cash for a free Iced Caramel Cloud Macchiato in your account for literally doing nothing.
And even better, when you download Dosh with my link you’ll receive a $1 bonus just for linking your debit or credit card to the app!
2. Save Money Automatically for Shopping Online ($10 Sign Up Bonus)
Rakuten (formerly eBates) gives you cash-back for shopping at your favorite stores.
Here’s an example of how it works: Rakuten will tell you that you will earn 2% cashback if you buy something at Kohl's. After you make your purchase, Kohl's pays Rakuten for referring you to their store. Rakuten then shares some of that money (2% cashback) with you.
You can get free cashback with Rakuten for doing online shopping that you were going to do anyway.
Rakuten has more than 400+ online partners for you to shop at and earn free money.
And even better, you will earn a $10 welcome bonus after making $25 of qualifying purchases.
To date, Rakuten's members have earned over $1 billion in Cash Back!
3. Lower Your Bills with Trim
The Wall Street Journal studied the broadband bills of thousands of homes and found that low-income areas get slower broadband speeds while being charged similar prices to people from wealthy and urban areas.
Did you know that many of your bills including internet, cell phone, cable, and even medical bills can be negotiated?
Trim Negotiates Your Bills for You
Try out the free Trim app. Connect one or more of your service providers to your Trim account, and Trim works with their customer service representatives to lower your bill by up to 30 percent by finding better plans and promotions.
If Trim is unable to lower your bills, you don’t pay a cent for their negotiation services. But if Trim is able to lower your bills (which is more likely), they keep roughly 30 percent of your savings annually and you keep the rest!
So far, Trim has saved users more than $40 million by automatically taking care of their day-to-day finances. So why not get Trim and see what happens? You have nothing to lose and smaller bills to gain!
4. Create a Budget
A budget is a great way to track your spending and achieve your financial goals. You cannot effectively manage your money unless you know a) how much money you have coming in, and b) what your savings goal is. A popular budget is Dave Ramsey's budgeting method here.
5. Buy Used Cars
Buying a used car will save you a lot of money and prevent you from taking a major loss in resell value that comes with buying a new car. New cars typically lose 20% of their value in the first twelve months and will lose another 10% annually for the next four years.
You would be surprised by how much you can save by purchasing a used car, especially one that is 4+ years old.
6. Refinance Your Mortgage
For those of you who don't know what refinancing your mortgage is: Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rates, take cash out of your home for large purchases, or change mortgage companies.
Refinancing your mortgage will typically allow you to pay a lowered interest rate, potentially saving you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.
7. Cancel Spotify Premium
This might be a tough one for some; however, all is not lost with the free version of Spotify. You can still listen to your playlists and skip songs while on the go. The downside is that your playlist is automatically set to shuffle, and you only get five skips an hour.
8. Buy—Don't Lease Your Car
Taking out a lease on a car provides you with a current model car at a low monthly payment. However, you'll find that leasing is more expensive than buying over the period of the lease.
Remember that regular payments will eventually end when purchasing a car; however, you will need to make regular payments on a leased car until you turn it in.
9. Create a Savings Goal
It's much easier to save money when you know what you're working towards. Next time you consider buying something you don't need—imagine how that extra $10, $20, or $50 could help you later on.
10. Save Loose Change
Many people will spend loose change as if it is already gone, simply because it is annoying to store. But did you know you can buy a coin tin from a $0.99 store that can hold over 200 dollars?
You will fill this tin faster than you think, and soon enough, a quick trip to the bank will pay for the next tank of gas and then some!
I recently put the coins I found in my glove-box into a coin machine at my local bank and went home $130 richer.
11. Close the Blinds on Hot Days
This one is best suited to the summer months. Closing your blinds, the night before a hot day will stop your house from turning into an oven. This tip could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill over the summer.
12. Only Buy Clothes on Sale
Clothes are always going on sale and it's your job to find them at the right time. Typically, many clothes shops (and shops in general) will have sales at the end of the financial year as well as boxing day, depending on your location.
You will find that clothes typically sit on the shelves for 6-8 weeks before being marked down. Keep this in mind when planning your next purchase.
13. Stop Eating Out
Eating out is convenient but it will cost you a lot of money when done regularly. Assuming you spend $9-10 for lunch on weekdays, this adds up to $50 a week, or $2,600 a year!
14. Brew Your Own Coffee
You'd be surprised how much money you can save when brewing your own coffee at home.
A Venti Caffe Latte from Starbucks will set you back $4.15. This means you will spend $1,514 on coffee a year if you buy your daily coffee from Starbucks. This is assuming you drink one cup a day. I don't want to think about how much money hardcore drinkers spend every year.
Coffee brewed with ground coffee beans can cost as little as $0.10 a serving, depending on the brand and quality.
15. Downgrade Your Mobile Phone Plan
Mobile phone providers are always updating their plans to provide you with more data for less. It's a good idea to call up your ISP once a year and see if there is an updated plan that is more cost-effective.
I was ignorant in the past and stayed on the same monthly plan for 3 years. I soon found out that instead of getting 1GB a month for $50, I could be getting 10GB a month for $40!
16. Operate on a Cash Basis
This tip was recommended by Dr. Russell Barkley as a means of reducing excessive spending by leaving your debit card at home.
He mentioned that you should take out cash from your checking account only when you absolutely need it. And to “carry as little cash as possible so you're not tempted to spend it impulsively on stuff on you don't need.”
This tip has saved me plenty of times and I highly recommend operating on a cash basis.
17. Save a Part of Your Income
Take the thought out of saving—set aside a portion of your paycheck towards your savings goal. Saving as little as 10% of your pre-tax income regularly will make a big difference in your life over the long term.
18. Refinance Your Student Loans.
I'd recommend Credible if you are looking to refinance your student loans. They will never charge you a fee for using their service—and you will get excellent customer service with their “Expert Client success” team. Credible could save you thousands of dollars on your student loans.
19. Quit Smoking
While we know smoking can burn your lungs, it can also burn a hole in your wallet as well. With cigarette prices increasing, now is a great time to quick smoking. A pack a day smoker who lives in New York can expect to save $5-15 a day $1.825-5,475 a year by ditching the habit.
20. Sell Your Old Books
Paperback and hardcover books have a surprisingly high resale value—typically fetching 50-75% of the purchase price. The resale value depends on the condition of your books and of the course the title/author.
21. Don't Pay for The Brand
Buying the generic product over the brand name product you are used to buying is never easy; however, this tip can you save you a lot of money quickly if you apply it to all of your grocery spendings.
It really depends on how determined you are to save money.
22. Clean or Replace Your Car's Air Filter
Cleaning or replacing your car's air filter is a great way to increase your car's mileage and save on gas.
The benefits of a clean air filter are almost instant and can increase your mileage by up to 10%!
23. Buy in Bulk
This one is simple. You can typically get a cheaper price on items found in a supermarket. If there are any items you're buying regularly this may be applicable to you.
You might have to spend more to buy the item initially—but you will soon notice that you are spending less on a weekly or monthly basis.
24. Increase Your Income
Increasing your income will allow you to save more money (obviously). This may a difficult goal to achieve—but increasing your income will allow you to increase your savings contributions.
This is assuming you aren't going to increase your spending a result.
25. Inflate Your Tyres
According to the US Department of Energy—your mileage will drop by 0.4% for every one PSI your tires are under the recommended level.
It's important to check your tire pressure at least every few weeks to ensure you're getting the most miles/dollar out of your vehicle.
You can typically find a sticker providing the recommended tire pressure on the inside of the driver's side door in your car.
Carpooling is a great way to save money fast—while also be good for the environment. This tip is especially useful for those of you that live far from work—and have a friend or co-worker that is happy to share a ride!
27. Pay Off Your Credit Cards Each Month
It's important that you pay off your credit cards in full each month. The credit card miles and cash-back benefits are easily canceled out by the negatives. Including the build-up of debt—and subsequent high-interest payments that follow.
28. Install Storm Windows
Storm windows are great insulators and can reduce heat loss through windows by up to 50%—reducing your power bill instantly!
It's likely that you will be able to implement more than one of these tips to save more money and move towards a stress-free life!
Now that you know how to save money fast, visit my How to Invest 1000 Dollars post to learn how to make your money work for you.
What is one thing from this list that you will implement today?