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Are you a busy millennial, trying to figure out how to save more money?
It might feel like when you get paid, money is flying out of your pocket or you might be living paycheck to paycheck.
Don’t worry, we’ve got some great savings ideas in store for you! Keep reading while we share these 18 saving money hacks for millennials.
Saving Money is Not a Rat Race, It’s a Journey
You might be working in a rat race, but saving money is not one, it’s a journey.
You can start slow and steady, building up your savings strategies over time or you can put your foot to the pedal and start full force. Either way is fine but the important thing is to just start saving.
- Greater peace of mind
- Building a nest egg
- Building an emergency savings
- Save toward future large purchases
The list goes on and on. Check out these money saving strategies that you can start putting into practice today.
Building Your Savings
These save money hacks will help you build up your savings account whether it be funding your retirement account, growing your emergency savings account or consistently contributing to your savings account. Dive in!
1. Turn on Auto Deposits
This is easy and a great way to build your savings account on autopilot. Set your direct deposit to automatically deposit a set amount from each paycheck to savings.
This way you never have to touch the money and you can sit back and watch your savings grow.
It’s relatively easy to set up with your employer or bank and you can adjust the amounts, increasing the amount you want to save, over time.
2. Create a Budget
Budgeting is essential for saving money. You want to track your spending, identify your spending categories, figure out what areas to cut back on, spend more in, and save more wisely.
If the idea of a budget makes you shudder, no worries. The easiest way millennials budget today is with the use of apps.
Budget apps are free little gems that make budgeting super easy and it can even be fun.
Check out these budget apps to get you started:
Recommended reading: How to save money fast on a low income budget: 18 easy ways
3. Cut Non-Essentials
If you want to save more quickly, take to your budget and cut out the non-essentials. You won’t be deprived and you will grow your savings that much faster.
Here are some examples of non-essentials you can trim from your budget:
- Multiple streaming services
- Your expensive cell phone service
- Delivery or takeout food
Multiple Streaming Services
Streaming services are a great alternative if you’re cutting the cable but if you have cable plus a streaming service, it can get pretty expensive.
Or, if you have multiple streaming services, your bill can really rack up. Cut back in this area to just one streaming service with no cable.
When I made this change, I saved around $200/month, which I promptly started auto-depositing right into savings!
Do you have a subscription box service, or multiple? Cut back on this extra expense.
Cutting the cable doesn’t mean you have to go without TV. Opt for an affordable streaming service like:
You can cut your TV watching expense by 50% or more!
Cell Phone Service
Ok, this one might be a little tricky. This doesn’t mean turn off your cell phone service but it does mean for you to shop around for a better priced plan. At one point, I was paying $300/month for 2 cell phone lines. It was outrageous.
I switched carriers and ended up bringing it down to around $80/month before taxes.
You can even go with a prepaid provider, which may help you lower the bill even more. A good friend of mine has a prepaid plan for her and her daughter and pays under $50/month total.
Look around, your cell phone plan is definitely a good place where you can save.
This one is tough. At the end of a long day, you don’t feel like cooking and it’s too easy to swing by your favorite takeout place to pick up food. Some simple lifestyle changes can help you cut out takeout and delivery food for good.
Here are some tips:
- Meal prep
- Freezer cook
- Slow cooker meals that are ready when you get home from work
Make this change and see how much money you save in a month? Then, top off your savings!
4. Say No to Pets
Does this sound horrible? I am an animal lover and I have had pets for a good part of my life however, pets are expensive. Take my story, for example:
I have a kitten that grew into a cat. Unfortunately, she started having health problems which required a special food which is more than 12X the monthly cost of regular cat food.
Yikes. In addition to that, the pet insurance and veterinarian bills stacked up to $1,000/year minimum. That’s a cool $1,500 I could be saving every year if I was pet-less.
Not to mention, my sister footed over $3K in medical expenses for her cat before she had to give her up because the costs continued to soar.
If you say no to pets, you can avoid these costs. This doesn’t have to be forever. You can welcome pets back into your life in the future, once you’ve hit your savings goals.
Making Lifestyle Changes
If you’re serious about saving, you might need to make some lifestyle changes.
Some of these in the list down below might feel extreme in nature but keep in mind, they don’t have to be forever changes, only temporary, to help you along in your savings goals. Take a look.
5. Moving Out
A pretty big lifestyle change, moving out has the potential to save you hundreds to thousands on housing costs. Here are some options you can take advantage of to reduce your biggest expense:
- Get roommates
- Move to a cheaper place
- Move in with family or friends
Getting roommates means you’ll be moving in people with you. This is a budget pleaser because it automatically reduces your housing expense (monthly rent or mortgage) with the possibility of reducing other costs like utilities, cable, groceries, and more.
Moving to a cheaper place means you will lower your housing cost through moving. A friend of mine saved around $400 per month by moving to a cheaper apartment and getting a roommate.
The purpose was to prepare for an upcoming move to another state the following year. He was planning on relocating and wanted to save as much as possible to make the move effortless money-wise and not bear much burden.
Moving in the family means you’ll abandon your apartment or house completely in lieu of moving with family or friends for the purpose of saving money on your housing expense.
When I was in college, I transferred from a small community college to a big university a few hours away.
I spent the last 6 months before the move, living with my parents, which saved me about $1,000 per month that I could stack up in savings to help me have a cushion when I moved, fund the move, and help the transition go more smoothly.
If you are up for a big change, consider moving out to help you save.
6. Getting Rid of Your Car
Another big change, getting rid of your car, can lower your second biggest monthly expense. Say goodbye to your car expenses like:
- Quarterly maintenance like oil changes
- Fuel costs
- Car payment
If you just can’t live with losing your car, think about downsizing to a cheaper vehicle. My college friend did this in preparation for buying his house a year and a half later.
He went from a luxury sedan to standard vehicle and saved hundreds every month, which he put toward the down payment of his home. If you live in a big city, it might not be as big of a deal as you think to go carless.
You could take public transportation, walk or bicycle, or take Uber rides. Remember, these big changes don’t have to be permanent.
Keep your eye on the prize and remember what you’re working toward, funding your savings!
7. Changing Your Career
Sometimes it’s necessary to make a big career change, for the purpose of living a more fruitful life in terms of increased income and the ability to save.
Research career fields that you have interest in, look at training and education programs to help you meet that goal, make a plan and get started.
Here’s how I changed careers:
I was working in personal finance and banking for about a decade.
It wasn’t an industry I saw myself in long term and I longed to be an entrepreneur so I made a plan to leave my job and set a deadline to hit that goal, which was 2 years. I ended up reaching it within just one year.
In addition to planning for the change, I also took many training courses and went back to college to learn more skills that would be needed for my new career.
Today, almost 6 years later, I’m still working in my new profession, loving every moment of it. Sometimes a career change is what you might need to help you reach your goals.
Did you know that exercise can lead to helping you save money? If you’re healthier, here are some ways that you might be saving:
- Quitting your personal trainer or gym membership
- Leaving the plus-size section of the store (plus-size clothes cost more)
- Cooking at home more instead of eating out
- Sleeping better
Quitting Your Trainer or Gym
Sometimes an investment in a personal trainer of gym membership is necessary to get you back to health.
Once you reach your fitness goals, you might be able to leave those pricey memberships behind because you would have learned the tools to get fit and maintain your weight.
Transitioning to working out on your own means you could enjoy at-home workouts, bicycling, jogging, hiking or turn to other outdoor activities to maintain your level of fitness.
Saying Bye to Plus Size
Plus size clothes cost more so, if you lose enough weight to move out of the plus size section of clothing stores, you’ll save money.
Cooking at Home
Exercising leads to weight loss and if you’re losing weight, you may be cooking at home more instead of eating out.
Cooking at home is a lot cheaper than eating out so exercise can lead to cooking more at home which leads to more savings in your pocket.
When I was overweight, one of the biggest problems I had was maintaining my sleep cycle. Some days I’d wake up very early and be tired all day, other days I’d stay up extremely late and sleep in, then feel terrible all day.
When I lost weight, it was in part to exercising more and exercising made me more tired at the end of the day, which led to me falling asleep the same time everyday and getting more restful sleep.
Because I slept on a routine, I ate less food, spent less time watching TV, walking around the house, or making late night trips to the store, all activities that added to my budget. Better sleep led to better savings.
9. Make Bigger Trips to the Grocery Store
Wait. Make bigger grocery trips? Does that mean you spend more money?
No, it doesn’t. You’ll actually spend less. Here is how it works:
Making bigger trips to the grocery store means you can avoid those pesky in between grocery trips you make throughout the week.
Do you ever go grocery shopping for the week and find yourself returning to the store in a few days for a few extras?
Those extra trips add up.
For our family, we used to go food shopping weekly and would make an extra two to three food trips during the week in addition to that.
Each extra trip would run around $10 to $30 each, so we’d easily add over $100/month to our grocery budget, unnecessarily. You avoid this all together if you just make bigger food trips.
10. Make Less Frequent Trips to the Grocery Store
This goes along with making bigger grocery trips. Making a bigger grocery trip means you don’t have to make those in between trips and it also means you can do your grocery shopping less overall. Bigger trips equal less trips.
I absolutely love this!
When our family decided to go from weekly to twice a month grocery trips, we enjoy a more full pantry and it’s nice that those extra grocery trips are eliminated completely. Give this a try.
Adjusting Your Food Mindset
This next section of savings hacks is dedicated to food. These are ways to help you reduce your food spend, in addition to your regular groceries. Pay attention here, there are some gems that will save you a ton!
11. Quit Daily Coffee Runs
Nothing adds up faster than your daily coffee runs. If you sat down to calculate how much you actually spent on coffee to-go, you might be shocked.
Eliminate this all together and opt for coffee made at home that you can enjoy in a portable coffee mug. Even if you invested in a great coffee maker, you’d still fare far better budget-wise than continuing your coffee runs.
12. Pack Your Lunch
This goes along with cutting out takeout food. Pack your lunch at home and bring it to school or work. Make it a fun process and get a lunch bento box, a cooler, and other supplies.
The investment will pay for itself in about week of eliminating lunch on the go.
13. Pack Your Kids’ Lunch
Practice the same for your kids.
My son’s lunch used to run around $30 to $40 per month for the school cafeteria. It’s a fraction of that cost to prepare lunches at home that he can take with him to school.
14. Meal Prep
Prepping your meals saves time and will make it super easy to eat at home. Try meal prep containers and prep your food for the entire week, all meals, including snacks.
My good friend does this on Sundays and saves so much time during the week, not to mention saving effort after getting home after a long day of work, not feeling like cooking. She just grabs a prepped meal and eats.
15. Go Healthy
Yes, eating healthy can save money.
Not only can it lead to a healthier lifestyle with some of the perks mentioned above, like losing weight, leaving the plus size aisle of the store, and being able to abandon your trainer, but you can actually save on buying healthy groceries.
Check out these healthy resources:
- Healthy Food On A Budget: 13 Ways to Coupon For Healthy Food
- Makeena App Review: Save Money on Healthy Foods
- 5 Healthy & Delicious Recipes Under $2 Per Serving
16. Enjoy Cheap or Free Food
There may not always be the opportunity to save on food but if you get the chance to grab a deal on free or discounted food, take advantage. Here are some ways ideas to get you started:
A new phenomenon popping up are these apps that connect restaurants with hungry citizens.
Restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries that are throwing out food can now give away or sell (at a steep discount) their goods to people.
This eliminates food waste and feeds hungry people.
Goodr seeks to eliminate food waste and feed the hungry. Their mission is to feed more and waste less.
This is their process: They collect donations and recover food, deliver it to nonprofits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the bottom line. Read more about Goodr here.
The Too Good To Go app is fighting hunger by partnering with restaurants that are throwing away their unsold food. Reduce food waste and feed people. Win-win!
Saving Money by Making Money
It’s true isn’t it? You can save more and a faster pace if you’re earning more. This section is dedicated to making more money.
There are many ways you increase your income, from getting a second job, asking for overtime, doing gig work, or starting a business. Take a look.
17. Start with Your Employer
Arguably the easiest and fastest way to start jumpstarting your pay. Start with your current job. Look for ways to earn more with overtime or ask for a raise. Check out these 10 things you need to do to get a raise.
18. Get on board the Gig Work Train
Get into gig work. In today’s workforce, gig work is abundant and flourishing like never before. Here are some gig jobs you can easily start this week:
- Delivery jobs
- Virtual assistance
With delivery jobs, you get to work from the comfort of your car, delivering goods, food, or people. You can earn up to $25/hour or more with delivery.
Most of these jobs offer a flexible schedule and let you work from your cell phone. If you have a car and meet other requirements, dependent on the company, this might be a good fit for you.
- Uber driving (read these things you should know before becoming a partner)
- Lyft driving (everything you should know about driving for Lyft)
- Instacart delivery
- Amazon Flex delivery (read the full driver review)
- Postmates delivery (the driver review, pay structure, requirements, and more)
- UberEATS delivery (here’s the driver review)
Delivery jobs are booming and many people even do more than one, to maximize their pay. Check out one of these opportunities to see what you think.
Freelancing is a great gig job that just about anybody can do. If you have skills, you can freelance.
Freelancing is a great because the pay is usually pretty competitive and you’ll get to enjoy other perks like a flexible schedule and total control over how much work you take.
You could choose to take 2 clients to start and then as the holiday season approaches, increase that to 5 clients for some extra money for the holiday season.
Before I became an entrepreneur, I did freelancing copywriting off and on and used the extra money to boost up my bank account.
It was great because I got to choose the topics I wanted to write about and the workload was pretty unlimited so if I had a light weekend, I’d take on a little more work to make extra money.
Here are some industries you can break into:
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Web design
- Social media management
- Logo creation
A virtual assistant is a personal assistant for the virtual world. You will work with clients online doing tasks like scheduling meetings, answering emails, posting to social media and more.
If you love working to help a boss or manager, you will enjoy working as a virtual assistant.
This job can get very specialized too.
There are social media virtual assistants, web development virtual assistants and more. You can earn up $15 to $100 per hour.
The pay rate is determined by the client, you, or a combination of the two. Find jobs here the same way you could find a freelance job, as shared above.
Virtual assisting is perfect for introverts and extraverts and is a great way to make extra money to put toward savings.
Did you enjoy these 18 saving money hacks for millennials? I hope this gave you some inspiration to start your savings journey.
What steps have you taken so far, to start saving? Share with us, down below in comments.