Your Guide for How to Save Money Fast

Five Minute FinancesFive Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save money fast – in just five minutes or less. These tips are helpful because we are all looking to save money, but not many of us have a lot of time to figure it out. By taking a small amount of time to read these posts, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars!

21 Ways to Save Money Fast

1. Clean Your Car’s Air Filter

Your car’s air filter is the efficiency engine of your vehicle. Cleaning your filter is a quick and simple process that will improve your gas mileage and car battery life, ultimately saving you money!

2. Call Your Credit Card Company

You may be paying unnecessary fees and high interests rates on your credit cards. Taking a few minutes out of your day to speak with your credit card company and adjusting your payments can steeply lower your finances.

3. Make A Grocery List

Cut out unnecessary spending and impulse buys at the grocery store by making a list of items you need, keeping you on task and mindful of your purchases.

4. Get A New High-Yield Savings Account

The average savings account interest rates in the U.S. are low, so capitalize on earning as much as you can by choosing the right bank with the the best savings account for you.

5. Get Started On Your 401(k)

Your retirement account is a great way to set aside tax advantaged money that will grow over time. Setting up a 401(k) is simple and you’ll thank yourself in the long run!

6. Drink Lots Of Water

Not only in unbottled water free, it can keep you fuller for longer causing you to snack less, feel better, and save money in the process!

7. Air Up Your Tires

Driving on low tires can destroy your fuel efficiency, contribute to increased wear on your tires, and other mechanical issues, ultimately costing you more at the pump and in maintenance.

8. Replace All Of Your Light Bulbs

Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescents will not only save you considerable amounts of money on each electric bill, but CFLs last up to 5 times longer than traditional light bulbs, meaning you’ll rarely have to replace them!

9. Make A Sandwich (Or Something Else)

Packing leftovers instead of going out is a quick and easy way of saving money and eating a homemade (and perhaps even healthier!) meal.

10. Buy Some Clothespins And A Rope

If you have the space for it, hangdrying your clothes is a great way of saving money on energy costs (and helping the environment too!).

11. Open All Your Vents In The Winter

Surprisingly, keeping vents closed on rooms you’re not occupying actually costs you more money during cold weather months! Keep all your vents open to ensure that you only use the heat your home needs.

12. Contact Customer Service

If you are unhappy with a purchased product, take a minute and call customer service. If you’re open to trying that product or a similar one again, chances are they’ll send you coupons or vouchers that can you save you serious cash (just don’t overdo it!).

13. Sign Up For A Free Customer Rewards Program

Sign up for free customer loyalty programs that are offered to you if you believe you may return to the establishment. You can score free items, discounts, and save money with no cost to you!

14. Set A Tangible Savings Goal – And A Reminder Of That Goal

Develop a realistic goal of something to save for and remind yourself of that goal when making other purchases, therefore saving money by motivating yourself.

15. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hand thoroughly prevents the spread of germs and as a result, cuts down the myriad financial costs associated with getting sick.

16. Cancel The Channels You Don’t Watch

You may be paying extra for television channels you never use! Consider what you actually watch and call your cable network provider to determine the cheapest plan that includes those channels.

17. Check Your Cell Phone Minutes

Call your cell phone carrier and adjust your plan to adapt to what you need and use your cell phone for.

18. Freeze Your Credit Cards – Literally

Keeping your cards in a location that you can’t access (like a giant ice cube!) will prevent you from spending, allow you to focus on repayment, and will still enable you to use them in case of an emergency.

19. Adjust Your Auto Insurance

If you’re the driver of an older vehicle, you may consider saving money by cancelling everything but liability insurance on the car.

20. Drive A Different Route

If your commute offers too many spending temptations, consider driving a slightly longer different route that will allow you to avoid these places- out of sight, out of mind!

21. Look At Your Community Calendar

A community is not only a valuable resource, it also offers events and entermainment that are inexpensive and fun for the whole family. Look at a community calendar, be social, and save!

Trent Hamm

Founder of The Simple Dollar

Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 after developing innovative financial strategies to get out of debt. Since then, he’s written three books (published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press), contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.