I’ve read loads of How to Save Money Fast articles, even in research for this article.
The one thing that always frustrated me was reading the extensive lists and thinking:
“You try doing that while being a full-time carer.”
So many had some good nuggets to offer, but sifting through what would work for a family like mine got old fast.
So I want to share my list of things that I think families like ours should be able to apply.
Get Your Mind Right First
Set yourself a small goal, be specific because if you aim at nothing you will most definitely hit it.
Start small so you can build yourself up, treat it like a muscle, the more you work at it the better you will get at how to save money fast.
With a quick google, you can easily find a colouring graphic, to plot your progress visually.
If you’re a visual learner, grab on of those print it out, put it on the fridge.
Another key to hitting this goal is believing it is possible.
If you don’t you may as well give up now.
Some Inspiration to Change Some Money Habits
If you need help believing that someone in as bad a place as you can dig themselves out, there are many places to look.
My two favourite books on the subject are:
True Wealth Formula – by Hans Johnson – a man who was very disadvantaged as a child growing up in Hawaii.
Hans learned to start selling things to make money when he was eight years old to help pay for expenses like food.
30 plus years later he has put together this book based on principles he applies to his life and teaches his children.
He has created a multi-million dollar legacy that he will pass down to them. Part of that legacy is creating a way to teach the principles he has learned to anyone.
He says if it’s not simple enough for a child to understand, it’s too complicated.
Another great resource for Australians is The Barefoot Investor – by Scott Pape. Scott tells his story of losing everything in a bush fire, and the lessons he learnt in rebuilding.
What was important and how he improved his family’s situation moving forward.
What both of these men have in common is that they share many many examples and stories of the very difficult financial situations that have been turned around by the average Joe.
In surprisingly less time than they first thought.
So for some specific proven guidelines check them out.
More specifically read the stories and testimonials if you need some inspiration, some proof that anyone can improve their financial situation.
Practical ways how to save money fast:
So today I’ll focus merely on a list for inspiration for things to consider in the quest to figure out how to save money fast.
Work With What You Have
- Don’t spend heaps entertaining you children
- Check out free events in town
- Volunteer your time (meet new people, build relationships, make a difference.)
- Use the library – read more books, listen to audiobooks, even borrow DVDs
- Eat breakfast before you head out for the day
- Pack your lunch
- Make your snacks and ‘junk’ food instead of takeaway
- Make double or quadruple batches of meals – come up with creative uses of leftovers
- Reduce your meat meals to 3-4 times a week
- Have friends over instead of going out
- Make gifts & give gifts of labour (e.i babysitting swaps.)
- Cut your hair, or just get a trim
- Make your cleaning supplies – google some tips on using regular household goods.
- Exercise more – a walk/run/ride won’t cost a cent and saves paying to do an activity.
- Mend Clothes
- Clean out your cars air filter
- Inflate your car tyres
- Don’t speed.
- Change your route home if you’ve developed a habit of stopping to buy something each day.
- Do maintenance on your appliances
- Don’t go to shopping centres with a good reason
- Reduce vacation expenses
- Quit smoking
- Create visual reminders of the debt you’re paying down (or savings goal you’re working towards.)
- Ask for suggestions from friends and family – keep notes of the ideas you come up with
- Stick to a shopping list
- Plan meals around sales
- Empty your pantry, fridge and freezer before shopping again
- Buy generic brands
- Avoid stress spending
- Removed your saved credit card details from devices and favourite online stores
- Build a capsule wardrobe
- Buy games second hand & master them before buying another
- Holiday shopping after the holidays
- When you have to replace an appliance do your research
- Use payments on paid off debts towards the next debt you want to get rid of
- Apply a 30-day rule when wanting to buy something outside essentials, if you still want it after 30 days and you can afford it go for it.
- Apply a 10-second rule when thinking about drive-through or takeaway – is there something easy you can do at home? Or another way to save?
Find Deals To Reduce Your Bills
- Cut cable TV
- Get bills and statements online (save the fees)
- Consider cutting up credit cards (highly recommend by both Hans Johnson & Scott Pape.)
- Turn of the lights
- Install energy-efficient bulbs
- Start a garden
- Put your appliances on surge protectors
- Air seal your house
- Take public transport
- Stick to fuel-efficient cars
- Cut club memberships & other subscriptions
- Always ask for the fees to be waived
- Look for a cheaper place to live, perhaps a smaller house
- Check your phone bill for charges you don’t use
De-cluttering improves mental health and we can all the support!
Go through your home and yard, room by room and think about what could make some quick cash.
The Barefoot Investor tells stories of many people building up their emergency cash supplies fast just by selling stuff they have lying around.
Don’t forget to consider selling any collectables you might have. Maybe they will be worth even more to someone else?
All How-To Save Money Fast Ideas Come Down To You
What you want to achieve, how fast you want to do it & whether you believe you can.
I was able to apply only a few of these and change up completely how we felt about our family budget.
These kinds of things can work for you too! Or perhaps you have already applied some of these concepts and if so I would love to hear all about it.
Let me celebrate with you and share the wins!