Saving money seems harder and harder these days. But with excessive inflation and skyrocketing costs of living, it’s more vital than ever.
The untenable situation got me thinking: how are regular folks saving money in the current climate? Thankfully, an Ask Reddit thread provided all the answers I needed.
Here are ten easy ways to save money, provided by Reddit users. Take their advice to trim the fat out of your budget.
1. Drink Water
Water is far cheaper than any alternative. If you live in the US, you can get tap water for free at any restaurant with your meal, which is far better for your wallet and your waistline.
Even drinking water at home is cheaper than buying sugary drinks at the grocery store. Switch juices, soda, and alcohol with water to save money and improve your health.
2. Pay Yourself First
One Redditor trotted out an old classic to save money: put money in savings before you pay your bills.
Most people pay all their expenses, then save whatever is left over. Instead, flip the switch and treat your savings account as an essential bill that needs to be paid before anything else. Reframing how you save can help you build your funds.
3. Cook Your Own Food
The cheapest way to eat is at home. Even with rising inflation in grocery stores, preparing meals at home is more cost effective than going out.
Of course, it all depends on what you buy, as numerous commenters pointed out. Eating beef wellington or caviar every day will cost you whether you make it at home or go to a restaurant.
4. Make Coffee at Home
It wouldn’t be a list about saving money if it didn’t include making coffee at home. Five-dollar daily coffees will surely bust anyone’s budget, but that’s common knowledge by now.
The Redditor offered a shortlist which included making your own meals, forgoing alcohol, and developing home-based hobbies as well, so the few hundred upvotes they received weren’t just about the coffee.
5. Record Your Spending
Many of us don’t actually know where our money goes. A pack of gum here and a bag of chips there adds up far more than we realize.
One Redditor explained that knowing where your money goes is half the battle and advised that we can find cheaper alternatives once we realize what we spend our money on.
6. Automate Your Savings
It’s so much easier to avoid spending money when it’s not in your checking account. One Redditor said setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck directly to your savings is a surefire way to save more money.
Most businesses offer direct deposits to their employees, so check to see if yours will split your paycheck between a checking and savings account. Start with as much as you are comfortable with, and try to raise it yearly.
7. Wait a Day
Impulse buys are the bane of our existence. The urge to grab something when you see it in the store can be irresistible!
However, one Redditor advises patience. Odds are, the item will still be available tomorrow. Most of the time, you’ll forget all about it, which can save you tons of money over time.
8. Learn How to Cook
You can’t make food at home if you don’t know how to cook, but some folks use their lack of culinary expertise as an excuse to splurge on eating out.
Reddit doesn’t want to hear your excuses. The commenter pointed out that cooking is just a matter of following instructions, and anyone can learn by watching a handful of YouTube videos.
9. Cancel Your Streaming Subscriptions
Do you have Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, paramount, and every other streaming service in existence? Though the initial commenter singled out Disney, the thread mentioned canceling other platforms as well.
There’s no point in subscribing to several streaming services when you can only watch one show at a time. Cancel all but one, and rotate through them as you finish shows.
10, Avoid Online Shopping
Mindlessly scrolling through online shopping platforms like Amazon and Etsy is a recipe for disaster. One Redditor mentioned that you could save a lot of money if you simply give up scrolling.
Others chimed in that you should let your purchase sit in the cart for a day or two to make sure you really want it and read the online reviews before following through with a purchase. These simple steps can save you from making a purchase you will regret.
More Ways to Save Money
While this Reddit thread offered tons of excellent advice for everyday people, it’s by no means all-inclusive. There are tons of ways to save, both in general and on niche items.
Check out this list of 50 ways to save money that won’t leave you feeling deprived for more ideas!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.