50+ ways to save $20 a week when you’ve got nothing left to save
Do you struggle to find ways to save money? Do you pay all your spare money on debts and nothing in your savings? Is your budget so tight that there is never anything left over at the end of the week to put away for that future something special?
Over the years we have always concentrated on paying off debt if we had any at the time (which is most of the time). Not that that is a bad thing. However, it is also nice to put a little something away to build up an emergency fund, or save for a holiday.
Pay off debt or save
In my experience, by following the method below, I have been able to save $3,500 in 3.5 years. If I had opted to add this $20 to the credit card debt, I probably would have just kept re-spending it! By using the method below, I hardly noticed this $20 going out and it didn’t make any difference to how much I paid (and kept re-spending) on my credit card!
50+ ways to save
Below are 50+ ways to save $20 a week! Even if you are on a tight as budget – it takes just two or three items on the list below to find ways to save just $20 a week. If you can incorporate a few of these tips into your daily or weekly lifestyle, then you will be well on your way to saving $1,040 a year.
In just 12 months’ time you will have $1,040 sitting pretty in a secluded bank account hidden away somewhere. You’ll find that it’s actually easier than you thought if it is set up right in the beginning.
This is where my two top tips listed below come in. These tips are very important for you to succeed in saving $1040 in just 12 months.
Tip Number One
Saving $20 should be the first thing you list on your budget of expenses. Set-up an automatic payment to come out of your account the same day that your regular pay goes in.
Tip Number Two
Open up a separate bank account, even at a separate bank if you have to! When you set this account up you want the type of account that does not give you an ATM card for it, and don’t get online access to it either if you really can’t trust yourself. Out of sight out of mind!Saving Money Tip: Hide your savings account at a different bank and limit your access Click To Tweet
50+ ways to save
If you’re frugal like me you’ll probably find that you are already doing a lot of these, but there is bound to be something new for you to try!
- Always buy in bulk – Meat and grocery items. Bulk is always cheaper
- Buy at reduced to clear stores, thrift stores, op shops
- Stop buying coffee and hot drinks while out. I’m sure you can wait until you get home for that hot drink? Or if you can’t, limit yourself to just one as a treat per week.
- Shop online – merchandise and grocery shopping. Stops impulse buying and saves on gas to get there.
- Don’t take the kids shopping!
- Shop at the local fruit and vege markets – they are often much cheaper and better for you than the supermarkets
- Switch to budget brands in your grocery shopping – often you won’t even notice the difference
- Forage and Barter with locals where possible. For example your son (or you) could offer a dog walking service in return for a tray of eggs
- Walk to the grocery shop – you won’t buy as much if you have to carry it home and it saves on the gas as wellIncorporate two cheap/budget meals into your meal planning each week
- Incorporate two cheap/budget meals into your meal planning each week
- Use a push mower instead of a motorised mower or worse, if you were paying someone.
- Gas stations are for gas. Avoid buying snacks and drinks at gas stations and corner dairies as they are always so overpriced. Pop into the supermarket instead, even if it is just for a snack and a drink – so much cheaper.
- Stop buying takeaways – it now costs our family $35 for a feed of fish n chips (that’s burger n chips) for a family of five. Instead of having takeaways every Friday night, make it once a month or as a treat for someone’s birthday.
- Walk/bus/bike/train/car pool to work – whatever is the cheaper option
- Grow your own food – not only can you make it organic but it is super fresh when it goes to the table
- Use higher usage power items at night when your power is usually cheaper
- Have 2 minute showers (or 3 minute if you have long hair!)
- Boil the kettle once in the morning and fill a thermos for you to use during the day. Boiling a kettle draws a lot of power, as does a toaster
- Turn lights off in the house that you aren’t using
- Write a shopping list and stick to it – don’t buy anything that’s not on the list
- Only buy fruit and veg that is in season (if it’s not in your garden)
- Don’t buy any new clothes for a whole year – I’m sure you have enough to last you for the next 12 months
- Got a baby in the house? Try changing to cloth nappies
- Cut your own kids hair
In the kitchen
- Try milk powder instead of fresh milk
- Save leftover food and eat for lunch or dinner the following day, or freeze them
- Write a weekly menu plan – and include more rice and pasta meals and at least one or two super cheap meals like soup and toast, or toasted sandwiches, spaghetti & cheese on buns, macaroni & bread.
- Clean out the pantry of all food that is not being used and near expiring. You might be surprised at just how much is in there.
- Add more clothes and blankets instead of using electric heating
- Bulk cook and freeze meals – It’s been proven by many that if you do all your cooking for one week on a Sunday (or whatever day suits you) then not only does it make your life super simple but it also saves a ton of money.
- Get into the de-clutter and minimalist mindset – this will stop you buying unnecessary items for your house & garden
- Don’t get junk mail if you find reading it tempting
- Collect driftwood throughout the year when walking the dog at the beach – saves on wood in winter
- Turn the heat pump down a couple of degrees
- Turn off as many power switches as you can at night before you go to bed
- This one is for the girls – change from tampons to a menstrual cup
- Give up smoking – if you haven’t already!
- Make your own gifts for presents. Homemade always means so much more.
- Stop drinking alcohol – huge saving for some!
- Stop buying weekly magazines (even if it is only for one year!)
- Go for a walk with a friend instead of meeting at a café
- Join Coupon/Cheaper Living Facebook groups for lots more ideas
- Stop buying lunch at work – make and take your own food from home
- Shower at the gym – but seriously if you can afford a gym membership you’re probably not even reading this article
- Car pool with co-workers/friends where possible
- Set a budget and stick to it. Your $20 Savings AP is the first thing to come out.
- Use a savings account that you don’t have access to online or via an ATM
- Re-finance to reduce fees – that’s what I did! Read about it here and here.
- Don’t let the financially irresponsible partner have access to the family or bills accounts – especially your new savings account! Actually don’t even tell them about it!
- Transfer/save any loose change – some banks have an automatic setting for this, or you could use a jar in your kitchen cupboard
- Consider changing utility service provider – check for cheaper deals on other service providers. Check out my post on Ways to save money on a tight budget – How I shaved 15% off my weekly budget
I hope that you have found some new ways to save that you can incorporate into your lifestyle to save that $20 per week. Now go set-up that separate bank account and automatic payment and get saving! Happy saving!!
Related reading: Energy saving tips – How I cut my HUGE power bill in half!
Now it’s your turn
Have you got any ideas on ways to save $20 a week? Share them in the Comments Box below and help our fellow budgeters.