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We get it:
Sometimes it can be a bit of a struggle to save money.
It can feel like an overwhelming, unattainable goal but it doesn’t have to be. We put together a roundup of 20 save money ideas for millennials to help you save money starting today!
The Benefit of Saving
We touched on some benefits above.
Feeling financially secure, enjoying peace of mind, knowing that you will be fine if an unexpected financial obstacle comes your way like a car repair or emergency travel.
Whether you are looking to build your nest egg starting now, create an emergency fund, or save for a big purchase like vacation or buying a house, saving money is a good idea. Here’s how you can start saving, beginning today.
Money Saving Ideas for Millennials
1. Create a Budget
The first thing you should do is create a budget for yourself. Examine your expenses and your income, then, allocate how much you’ll spend in each budget category like food, entertainment, gas, utilities, etc. A super easy way to do this is with the app, Mint.
Mint is a free personal finance app that helps you by giving you an eye-opening look at your spending habits. You can link your cards, bank accounts and more, all to Mint. It will automatically put your outgoing cash in categories, showing you how much you actually spend every month on food, gas, etc.
You can use this to create goals for yourself to try to stay under your budget category limits for the month.
Mint is a free, fun way to help you get your spending back on track. Get the inside scoop and take a look at our complete review of Mint.
2. Cut Back on Expenses
Cutting back on your expenses is crucial to helping you save. This means making a list of all your expenses for the month, then eliminating as many as you can. Here are some examples of expenses you can cut back on:
- Subscription boxes
- Streaming subscriptions
- Restaurant meals
- Shopping trips
- Messenger services like Postmates
These are just a handful of examples. This part might take some getting used to but you’ll be happy when you look at your savings a month from now and see how it’s grown.
3. Examine your Personal Life
Looking at your personal life is next. As a millennial, you might have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Enjoying pricey coffees with friends, drinks after work, and weekend shopping trips are now a thing of the past.
You don’t have to banish these things you love forever but, for the time being, it will be helpful to cut these things out to help you toward your savings goal.
To get you started, make a list of all the “extra” or “fun” activities you do throughout the month. Think hard on this because there are probably hidden expenses you don’t realize, like grabbing breakfast on the way to work or even taking the toll road in your city.
It will help to look at everything on paper.
Then, make a real effort to cut these things out. In a month, come back and check in to see how successful you were. Make changes as needed and keep at it! Then, rinse and repeat. It’s super important to continue to check in on yourself to help you stay on track.
4. Pay Yourself First
Pay yourself first means before you pay anything, pay yourself. You can do this easily if you have direct deposit with your employer.
You can allocate a specific amount of money to deposit into your savings account. This is different than going online or using an app to transfer money from checking to savings.
This automated transfer will be done by your employer or your bank when you get paid. So, you never see that money in your checking account. It will automatically go into savings.
This hands off approach is a great way to help you build your savings quickly and effortlessly.
5. Reduce your Housing Expenses
Your housing cost is arguably the most expensive cost you incur in the month. Whether you pay rent or a mortgage, look at ways you can reduce those costs:
- Move into a cheaper place
- Get roommates
- Move in with your parents
This will be a major life change but think of it as a temporary change. You don’t have to live this way forever. Think about how much faster you can build your savings if your monthly housing cost was half of what is currently is, for example. Give this one a try.
6. Reduce your Car/Travel Expenses
Your car and/or travel expenses (commute to work) is probably your second most expensive cost, behind your housing expense.
If you have a car, look at ways to lower your car costs.
If you have a car payment, consider refinancing to lower the monthly payment. Call your auto insurance carrier and ask for a lower rate. If you are doing a long commute, think about carpooling or taking public transit, which can be a lot cheaper than filling your gas tank.
7. Cook at Home
When it comes to your food costs, cooking at home is the cheapest option, hands down. Cooking at home can be fun. It’s more nutritious than eating out in a lot of cases and it’s cheap. You can even get super organized with it and food prep for the entire week.
Foray into batch cooking and freezer meals to save you even more money and save you time!
Make the transition from eating out to eating at home and your wallet will thank you.
8. Sell Your Extras
Go around your house and if you haven’t used an item for a month, sell it! Here are some examples:
- Small appliances
- Seasonal items
- Home décor or linens
Where to sell?
9. Take on a Second Job
There is no faster way to save money than to make more money.
Accomplish this by getting a second job. This can be a side gig on the weekends or a part-time, after-work kind of job.
10. Ask for Overtime
Start with your employer. Ask for overtime. This is certainly easier than getting a second job, though, overtime can be limited so you may have more income opportunity with a second job. Both have pros and cons to them. Based on the overtime availability, you may consider doing both!
11. Complete Surveys in Your Spare Time
Surveys are an excellent way to earn extra money. I’ve been taking surveys in my spare time here and there, for years. It’s always a nice surprise to get an extra $100 in my bank account or to receive a $50 check here and there in the mail.
Surveys are so easy. They are free and you are getting paid for your opinion. So you’re making a difference and getting paid for doing it! Check out these 25+ survey sites to earn an extra $600/month.
12. Start a Blog
Blogging is a lucrative way to make extra money. It’s very easy and affordable to set up a blog and you can start earning in month 1! This blogger just paid off her mortgage in 1.5 years with her blog! Here are 30 tips to make money blogging.
13. Start a Hobby Business
There are many hobbies that can be monetized. How neat would it be to get paid to do a hobby that you love.
Some examples of lucrative hobbies:
- Graphic design
These hobbies all have one thing in common: the products made can be sold.
Knits in the form of scarves, blankets, and gloves can be sold.
Baking can result in baked goods like cookies or pies that can be sold in handmade marketplaces online like Etsy.
Drawings and paintings can also be sold on Etsy and other marketplaces.
14. Rent out your Car
Did you know you can make money renting out your car?
There’s a company called Turo that pays you to rent out your car. This is a great way to monetize your car sitting in your parking garage while you’re at work all day. Or, make money on the weekends when you hunker down with your partner at their place, or traveling, or visiting family or friends.
It’s called car sharing and you can make money every month doing it!
A 2018 Chevy Malibu owner in Austin, TX could earn an extra $241/month!
Check out Turo’s Car Calculator to check how much your vehicle can fetch and get started.
15. Rent out your Place
Whether you own or rent your place, you can take advantage of subletting it to visitors while you’re traveling, away, or even while you stay there.
Many owners will stay in one part of the home, giving free rein to visitors in the other home spaces (bedrooms, kitchen, living room, bathrooms, etc.) so you can still make money without leaving.
Get started on AirBNB and learn how to be a great host.
16. Rent out your Gear
You can make extra money renting out your gear. The website KitSplit will let you earn by renting out your filmmaking gear and ShareGrid will help you earn with renting out your photography equipment.
If you have film and photography equipment, take a look at these two sites above to start earning on your equipment!
Freelancing can double your income! It’s a lucrative opportunity for you to cash in on your skills. Think about the tasks you do for your current employer.
Could you freelance doing those same tasks?
Or, do you have other skills that lend well to the freelance community.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Graphic design-creating logos, social media graphics, book covers, etc.
- Copywriting-writing articles and blog posts, magazine features, etc.
- Video editing-editing YouTube videos or other video
- Web developer and web design-being a developer for brands who need a professional website
- Transcriptionist-clients that need audio transcribed like podcast owners, YouTube creators, etc.
18. Put your Service Skills into Practice
Do you have service-related skills that you could put into practice for extra money?
When I was in college, a friend of mine decided to take some flooring classes so he could learn how to lay hardwood floors, install vinyl flooring, etc.
Today, he has a valuable skill that allows him to save thousands by installing his own flooring in his home, as well as get paid to do flooring for others, on the weekends on any time.
Here are some skills you might have:
- A/C repair
- Window cleaning
- House cleaning
- Furniture assembly
- Picture hanging
- Appliance repair
Do you have skills like these?
19. Reduce your Food Costs
Lowering your food costs is possible. Aside from making the switch from eating out to cooking at home, there are other easy changes you can make to save you money on food.
- Use savings apps
- Join your grocery store’s rewards program
- Shop fewer times during the month
Using apps is a free way to save money on the food you buy from grocery stores.
You can scout out sales, scan your receipt for cash back and more. Ibotta is a great app for doing this. Join Ibotta for free, then starting using the app to save money on your grocery purchases.
Grocery Store Rewards Program
Rewards programs offered by retailers and stores are free money! Get notified of sales, get coupons, discounts, special rewards on your birthday and more. They are free to join and come with many perks. Ask your local store about their rewards program and join!
Shopping less often for your groceries can save you more. I was wasting so much money before making the switch from from weekly grocery trips to monthly trips.
On a weekly trip, I’d make a small list and head to the grocery store.
I ran out of food before it was time for the next trip so I’d make a small trip to the grocery store again, or worse, to the corner store, convenience store or pharmacy, where prices tend to be much higher than grocers.
So, I was making more trips, using more fuel, spending more money, and wasting more of my time.
When I switched to monthly trips, I spent way less than my weekly trips, even with no extra side trips in between! The monthly grocery visit allowed me to prepare well and shop in abundance so I wouldn’t run out of food before the next trip, and I saved money and time.
Try making this change to see how much you can save!
20. Live a Minimalist Lifestyle
Lastly, living in a minimalist lifestyle is an awesome save money idea for millennials. Minimalist living doesn’t have to mean living without. You are just living more simply.
You’ll have less clutter, less materialist things and naturally, save money in the process. To get you started, look at these 10 easy steps to shop like a minimalist.
You see, it’s not so hard to save money as a millennial. Take these strategies into consideration and try a handful of them (or all) and see how much you can start saving every month.
Do you have some money saving ideas you’d like to share? Comment below so we can hear your thoughts.