While saving money over a longer time period is obviously much easier and less stressful, the reality is that there are times when you need to save money fast!
Whether it’s for a holiday, an important purchase, or even an emergency, a focused time of saving doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, saving money fast can let you hone in on saving and see fast results. This can be super motivating and might even lead to longer term saving goals.
This post is all about short-term- these ideas are to help you to save money fast. These creative ideas for saving money will let you enjoy life to the full while cutting back on spending and meeting your savings goals!
Don’t forget to grab my free 30-Day Savings Printable, designed to help you save $1000 in just 30 days!
1. Use all that the Library Offers
I believe that libraries are underrated! They are a fantastic resource for lots of things and should definitely be part of the picture when you want to save money fast.
New books are nice… but they’re also expensive!! And there’s no guarantee you’ll like the book! The library has thousands of books and you can request or reserve almost any title that they don’t have. I’m an avid reader but I generally read a book only once, so I utilize the library a lot and save so much money compared to buying the books I read.
Not a reader? The library is more than books! You can check out movies here as well, and most libraries even have magazines and newspapers, too.
Libraries usually also provide fantastic workplaces. They’re warm, bright and quiet, with computer stations or desks and access to free WiFi if you bring your own. If you work online or study, using library spaces can be a big money saver.
2. Host a Pot Luck Meal
I first heard of ‘Pot Luck Dinners’ when I was living in New Zealand. It’s easy- simply gather your friends up for a ‘pot luck meal’ and ask them to each bring a plate of food to share with the group. Pot Lucks were a very regular occurrence in my life- my friends, workmates, book club, and church groups all did them regularly.
I actually grew to love them more than a normal ‘dinner party’ as there was always plenty of food with huge variety. I generally loaded my plate with ‘a little bit of everything.’
Hosting a Pot Luck lets you enjoy the company of friends and family without having to pay for the whole meal. It’s a great way to save money fast while making sure your social life is alive and well!
3. Have Date Night at Home
If you’re in a relationship, date nights are a crucial part of staying connected and enjoying each other’s company. I love planned date nights- it’s something to really look forward to.
The problem with date night when you’re trying to save money fast is that it can be expensive! It generally involves a meal, maybe drinks, and often an activity such as the cinema or bowling.
So how do you enjoy a good date night when you’re saving?
Why not have a stay at home date night? Plan your evening and then enjoy it together from the comfort of home. But make sure you are intentional about stay at home date nights. Plan something amazing. Don’t just sit in together doing not much because you can’t afford to go out when you’re trying to save money.
If you need some inspiration, check out my ultimate list of creative at-home date night ideas. You might even find that a stay at home date night is even more intimate, fun and romantic than a traditional date.
4. Grocery Shop Online
Some people love hitting the supermarket- I’m definitely not one of them! However, I really don’t mind online shopping. You can approach your shopping in a much more organized and systematic way, away from the pressure and bustle of an actual shop.
Grocery shopping online is a way more fun and pleasant experience for me- there’s no doubling back on aisles where I missed something, standing in long queues, or lugging heavy bags around. The benefits for saving are huge as well. You are much less likely to impulse buy, and you see the total cost before making the final purchase- this makes it so much easier to stay within budget.
The savings you make will make it well worth your while to pay for a delivery. You can save even more if you are able to select the less popular delivery slots. Taking a delivery later in the evening is usually much cheaper than Saturday afternoon, for example.
Why not give it a try? Plan out your meals and then stay within budget- buy only what you need and save money fast without the necessary impulse buys.
5. Eat Less Meat
Eating less meat is a lesser known tip for saving money. However, cutting out some meat from your diet is a very easy way to save money quickly!
For me, meat was the most expensive part of my weekly shop. When I looked out some amazing vegan and vegetarian recipes, I was surprised by how much I could save by using food like lentils and beans to bulk out my meals.
When I first heard this, I didn’t think I would enjoy this kind of meal, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! They are absolutely delicious and not that difficult. And, even more surprisingly, when I made these sweet potato and black bean burgers, or this vegan chilli con carne from lentils and black beans, my family couldn’t even tell that it didn’t have meat in it!
Get inspired with these easy vegan recipes for a quick and healthy dinner.
6. Have Coffee at Home
But coffee at home is boring!
What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be?!
Buying the occasional coffee out is absolutely fine, but for a lot of people, a daily coffee out isn’t unusual. This adds up really fast. If you are serious about saving money fast, cutting out bought coffees is something to consider.
If you’re a coffee addict and want something more exciting than a regular coffee, you will absolutely love these creative coffee recipes that can be easily enjoyed at home. There are 10 recipes to choose from so you can have fun experimenting while you save money!
7. Style your Water
Purchasing water bottles regularly can become a habit that you don’t even think about. It’s easy, convenient, and lots of people do it. If this is a habit for you, you can save money fast by simply switching to tap water.
Choosing your water bottle to style your water is a lot of fun! Choose from different materials (mine is stainless steel), sizes (I got one that slots perfectly into my bag), and colors (green for me!)
Choose a water bottle that you love, and enjoy the habit of always having water to hand. You’ll be surprised at the amount of places you can get your water re-filled. You’ll find yourself drinking more water which is great for your health, and you’ll be doing the environment a favor, too!
8. Have Fun with Second Hand
I have to hold my hands up and confess that I am a massive second hand geek! Almost all of my clothes and most of my furniture was bought second hand. I absolutely love spending my Saturday morning wandering around second hand stores looking for bargains (especially books and clothes), and I’ve found that I get almost anything I need from eBay or Facebook ads. It’s one of the best ways I know to save money fast, as even big purchases (bikes, sporting stuff, appliances, furniture etc) can be second hand.
If you want to take this a step further, why not host a clothes swap event with your friends? Ask everybody to bring a bag of unwanted clothes that are still in good condition, put on snacks and drinks, have a place to try things on, and then spend a few hours swapping.
My friends and I have done loads of these and they are honestly so much fun! Large scale ones are good for more clothing options, but smaller ones work well too as you can help each other find the perfect outfit. It’s so satisfying seeing something that’s been hanging around unwanted in the back of the wardrobe suit somebody else perfectly. This is such a great way to have fun while also saving money.
9. Prepare Your Own Food
Preparing your own meals is on almost every list for saving money. That’s because it works! The average person spends almost half of their paycheck on eating out, whether it’s going out for dinner or just grabbing a takeout lunch.
But, if you’re like me, it can feel like a massive chore to always prepare your own food. It’s much, much less fun than someone else making something for you! Mine never seems to turn out so well.
So how can you make this fun?
My best advice is to plan ahead! When I rummage around the fridge the night before to make myself a lunch for the next day, I’ll inevitably produce something very uninspiring that doesn’t get me excited for lunchtime!
When you plan ahead, you can include loads of tasty elements that will take your lunch to the next level. I love this list of 51 Easy, Not-Sad Desk Lunches.
And for the weekends? Why not make it more fun by preparing your own picnic? This is fun even if you eat it in your own backyard, and the money saved on a meal out will be well worth it.
10. Workout From the Comfort of Home
I’ll be honest, working out from home was something I hadn’t really considered until the Coronavirus Pandemic. I had gone through cycles of paid gym memberships in the past. They all inevitably fizzled out, leaving me paying the fee for months and months without ever actually attending.
Does this sound at all familiar?
My time in lockdown forced me to explore new ways of staying fit. I discovered great online videos that I absolutely love. It was way more fun than I thought it would be.
While there are still benefits to attending a gym, if you want a fast way to save money, then working out at home is something you should definitely consider.
This also means you can choose a style, instructor, intensity and length of workout that is perfect for you!
My personal favorites are:
At the start, I told myself I’d get around to doing them when I had time in my day. You won’t be surprised to hear that I somehow just wouldn’t get around to them. However, I found that when I made them part of my daily routine, I was able to keep following them consistently.
11. Track Your Savings
For me, tracking my progress towards any goal is fun and very motivating. I love how visual goal trackers are. It’s satisfying to tick off each box and see the progress that you’re making.
You can very easily track your progress towards your savings goal. Why not grab my free Printable Savings Tracker to track your way to 1K?
And that’s it!
I honestly believe that you can save money really quickly without having to enjoy life less. These 11 tips are only a few creative ideas for how to save money fast while still having fun.
MAKE EXTRA MONEY
Remember that saving money is only one part of the picture. When you need extra cash, why not look into simple ways to make money? There are so many options to make money online.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Make Money from Writing Online (5 easy ways)
- 7 Key Secrets: How to Write an eBook and Make Money
- 4 Fun Ways to Make Money Online With Amazon and Create Passive Income
- 11 Ways To Make Money Online
- 22 Legit Work From Home Jobs for a Life You Love
I’d love to hear from you- what are your best money saving methods? And how do you live life to the full while doing it?
Thanks for reading!