New year, new you? Every January presents us with the excuse to trade old habits for new and better ones — most commonly, when it comes to our finances. While you can certainly make changes no matter the time of year, starting fresh may just offer you the extra push you need. That said, we’ve put together a list of 21 money saving tips for you to try out in 2021. We hope you find at least one that works for you!
Money saving tips to help you meet your financial goals in 2021
1. Try the 52-week savings challenge
The 52-week savings challenge is one of the top money saving tips that starts trending whenever January rolls around. If you haven’t heard of it just yet, it’s actually quite simple! Basically, you choose a starting amount that you’d like to save after one week. For every succeeding week, the amount of money you save will increase by an increment of your choice.
Here’s an example to paint you a clearer picture. If I were to save ₱100 on my first week and set my increment at ₱100 per week, I would set aside ₱200 on the second week and ₱300 on the third. By the end of the year, I will have saved a total of ₱137,800! Not bad, right?
2. Keep track of your monthly expenses
This is actually one of the money saving tips I live by! I have a few friends who make use of expense-tracking apps; but personally, I just have an Excel file and create monthly spreadsheets where I list down my expenses and keep track of my running total. That way, I can monitor my spending habits, as well as take note of recurring expenses like my phone bill, government contributions, and the like.
I highly recommend doing this, as all those random purchases we make really do pile up, no matter how small they may be. You’ll definitely want to try this if you constantly find yourself wondering, where did all my money go?
3. Give yourself a spending limit
A useful rule that a number of our readers live by: Don’t spend more than what you earn every month. That said, it may help to give yourself a spending limit. This will allow you to work with a budget and better evaluate how much you can shop or eat out, if you must!
4. Observe interest rates when it comes to opening a savings account
There are so many banks to choose from nowadays — even ones that let you open a savings account without you having to step out of your home! If you make it a habit to set aside money every month in order to build your savings, choose a bank that offers a generous interest rate! Digital banks like CIMB and ING are actually known to offer rates that range from 2.5% to 4%.
5. Set up an auto-deposit every month
If your monthly salary is deposited into your bank account every month, why not try automatically depositing a specific amount into a savings account? Evaluate your usual expenses and see if you can regularly set aside a fraction of your paycheck. It doesn’t need to be an astronomical amount, either — even a little will go a long way as long as you do it every month.
To reiterate: out of sight, out of mind. So, by automatically setting aside a certain amount, you can act as if it was never even there!
6. Invest your money
To some, the idea of investing is very intimidating. But with some research, or even with the help of a financial advisor, you’ll find that it’s a great way to grow your savings — especially if you’ve set aside a fund that you plan not to touch for a considerable amount of time. Perhaps you can make learning about investments and the stock market one of your goals for 2021!
7. Try to have at least one ‘no-spend’ day every week
When I started keeping track of my expenses, I realised I spend even just a little bit nearly every day. From monthly bills, to home essentials in need of being replenished, to random treats, it seems there’s almost always something I have to (or want to) spend for. This being said, trying to go at least one day without spending every week could make a great difference.
8. Reevaluate your ongoing subscriptions
Take a closer look at your monthly expenses, and you may notice that a lot of it goes to monthly subscriptions for streaming apps (for viewing and listening), cable, online magazines, and even your postpaid phone bill, if any. It’s about time you reevaluated whether you actually make wise use of them and get your money’s worth. Perhaps it’d help to unsubscribe, downgrade, or even share a subscription with a friend!
9. Embrace a minimalist lifestyle
Now, this is one of those money saving tips that are a little harder for a lot of us to apply. But it’s one that’s received rave reviews! A number of people who’ve embraced a minimalist lifestyle swear that the shift was life-changing — and not just financially, either (although of course, this is why this tip is on this list). When you realise that less truly is more, you’ll be able to make a whole lot of room for what’s truly important, both literally and figuratively.
10. Delete your shopping apps
You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. During the dull hours of the day, I find myself mindlessly scrolling through shopping apps and adding the most random items to my cart just for fun. If you’re the same, then deleting your shopping apps may just be the money saving technique for you! Let’s say no to temptation in 2021 — especially when it comes to unnecessary spending.
11. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Skip single-use items! It’s an age old reminder, but it’s time we finally applied it: reduce, reuse, recycle. Think twice before you throw things away, skip the plastic bag when shopping, and invest in reusable essentials. By doing this, you can hit two birds with one stone: you’ll be able to save money and decrease your carbon footprint!
12. Declutter and sell your unused, pre-loved items
Maybe you’re an avid shopper and have lots of unused items lying around. Try putting together a garage sale or selling your things online! You’ll be hitting two birds with one scone: decluttering and earning some extra funds!
You might be surprised at how many people might be interested in your pre-loved items. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
13. Prepare your own food as much as possible
For as long as I can remember, “prepare your own food” has been one of the most frequently recommended money saving tips shared by family, friends, and other smart savers.
As 2020 forced many of us to break away from habits of eating out, driving through, and taking out food, I’m sure that a great many of you have already realised just how much we can save from preparing our own food. It’s been tried and tested: choosing to have home-cooked meals can dramatically increase your monthly savings!
14. Grow your own veggies
Here’s one super simple way to save money: try your hand at growing your own veggies. You don’t need an especially green thumb, either. There are actually a number of commonly used herbs that you can grow indoors. If you regularly prepare your own meals at home, this’ll definitely come in handy — that’s a few less items to buy at the market or the grocery!
15. Stick to a list when grocery shopping
When it comes to grocery shopping, it always helps to come prepared. Otherwise, you are likely to end up purchasing a whole lot of things you don’t need! (And if you’re particularly unlucky, you’ll arrive home and realise that you didn’t even buy the things you actually need.)
Before heading to the grocery or market, do some inventory and make a list of the things you need to replenish. That way, you can stick to your list and even estimate how much you’ll be spending! If you tend to forget things, then it might help to provide an additional amount for miscellaneous items.
16. Consume less electricity
Turn off your lights, electric fans, and other appliances when you aren’t using them. Don’t overcharge your gadgets. You can even consider installing solar panels at home! Trust us — you’ll thank yourself when you see a significant change in your Meralco bill.
17. Say no to impulse buying
Impulse buys can really create a large dent in your savings, especially when you’re attracted to the finer things in life. Love treating yourself on a bad day, or giving yourself a pat on the back on good days by buying yourself something nice? Think again! One truly valuable thing you can reward yourself with? Savings.
If the item you’d like to purchase is something you absolutely can’t live without, save up for it. Don’t let your impulsive and unnecessary purchases be the reason you find yourself lacking funds in the future. Let’s be smart in 2021!
18. Pay all your pending debts
One of the keys to smooth sailing when it comes to building your savings? Clear all your debts! Think about it this way: if you keep putting off paying back the people you owe, all your savings will never truly be yours. We don’t want that problem now, do we?
19. “Don’t save after spending, spend after saving”
When we asked our TripZilla readers to share their top money saving tips for 2021 in a Facebook post, this particular tip stood out. It’s a common practice to make a big purchase then tell yourself, “Okay, now it’s time to save up again.” But how about switching it up instead and saving up specifically for the spending you plan to do? This way, you won’t feel as though you’re at a loss after you’ve made your purchase.
20. Use cashback apps
I always think of cashback as a gift to myself, from myself. After all, it’s basically just getting back a fraction of money that you yourself spent. That being said, I’ll take any chance I can get to receive cashback via apps like ShopBack and PayMaya. Don’t forget — every peso counts, especially in this day and age!
21. Sign up for rewards programs
Do you make it a point to sign up for every rewards program possible? Congratulations, you’re now a certified tita or tito! If you haven’t yet, then this is one of the easiest money saving tips you can try out in 2021. A lot of stores offer rewards memberships for free or minimal registration fees. As for what you get in return — exclusive discounts and points you can eventually convert into cash. These will particularly prove to be useful at stores that you shop at frequently!
22. Look for a side hustle for a little extra income
You don’t need to start a groundbreaking business or anything! Think about what you have to offer, then see if it’s profitable. If you like to create (whether it’s art, clothing, food, or drinks), then maybe you’d like to try your hand at selling the fruits of your labour. Or maybe you have a skill that others would benefit from; you can try freelancing, looking for part-time openings, or actively promoting your services.
Also read: 5 Smarter Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund
With this lengthy list of money saving tips, there’s bound to be something that works in your favour. Wishing you the best of luck and good fortune this year!