7 Ways to Save More Money This Week

April 11, 2023

Let’s get super practical today If you’re looking to increase your cash on hand immediately, this article is for you. We’re talking 7 quick little ways to make more money this week. Some of them will pay dividends even beyond just this week. But if you tackle one of these tasks each per day over the next week, you’ll save a decent chunk of change!

You can use this cash to jump start your e-fund or it can be a nice beginning for that vacation fund you’ve been trying to amass. Or it can even be the beginning of a nest egg for a major purchase like a home in the future! Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you gotta start somewhere. And getting the ball rolling by taking a money-saving action each day for a full week can be empowering!

1. Shop your insurance coverage

We’ve talked about this many times, but now is an excellent time to be shopping for a new policy. Insurance companies have been doing well during the pandemic due to fewer claims, much of that due to the fact that we’re all driving less. So call a local independent agent – TrustedChoice.com is a great site for finding one – who can shop with a bunch of companies at once for you, or check out the PolicyGenius tool which does something similar. Either way, you could start saving real money immediately.

To be honest, you should really be shopping your insurance policies every year or two. Sadly, most people stay loyal to their current insurer – not because they love them or the service they provide, but mostly out of apathy. Don’t fall into that rut! It’s not nearly as terrible of a task as you might think to switch insurance companies. And the savings could be substantial. We’re talking hundreds of dollars back in your pocket. That’s worth an hour or so of your time!

Pro tip: Make sure that you know your current coverage, deductibles, & limits so you can easily compare apples. We’ve written a whole post on getting cheaper insurance.

2. Cut a recurring expense.

One of the easiest ways to save money quickly is by reviewing previous month’s expenses. If you use a service like YNAB or Mint it’s easy to see all of your spending in one place. Once you’ve seen where your money is going, look to services you can downgrade or cut completely. It’s time to streamline!

Here are some common culprits where folks might be spending too much money every month:

  1. Cell phone bill: Slashing a big recurring monthly bill like your cell phone can save you money now and well into the future. Some of the best inexpensive plans are offered by Mint Mobile, Visible, and Boost Mobile. Important note: Low-cost doesn’t mean inferior service. These companies piggyback off the towers from major cell phone companies like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. If you haven’t changed cell phone providers or plans in the past few years, you’re probably paying too much – by a lot.
  2. Streaming services: – Most of our listeners cut the cord long ago and moved to streaming. That’s great! But as streaming services have proliferated, it’s became hard to choose which ones to keep and which to ditch. If you’ve accumulated too many monthly streaming payments, ditch the one or two that you watch the least. You can always sign back up again later! 
  3. Gym memberships: My wife loves the YMCA. But she hasn’t set foot through the doors of our local Y in six months now! I know that’s the case for a lot of others as the pandemic has likely changed how and where you opt to get your physical activity in. I’m sure she’ll be back in the Y someday, but for now we’ve decided to cut that recurring expense out of our lives. You should think about whether or not that’s a smart move for you too! Just like those streaming subs, you can always sign up again later.

Using the Rule of 173, each dollar that you save monthly = $173 over 10 years. No matter how small, it’s always worth cutting out reoccurring expenses.

Rule of 173

3. Take a spending holiday

Yes, even a short 7-day spending holiday can save you meaningful bucks. And it can help break some unhealthy habits that you might have fallen into. Obviously you need to make sure you have enough nutritious food in your house, but other than that, no spending! And depending on your current stock, you might be able to avoid the grocery store as well.

We’re talking about everything from online purchases of ‘stuff’ to eating out, to the money that you’d spend on projects or entertaining your kids too. Don’t spend a dime for a week and you’ll see instant savings. If there is something you need, look to your local Buy Nothing Group that empowers folks to go cold turkey on the new purchase front and still get items they need by living in a generous community.

4. Refinance or consolidate your loans

You can’t get your home refinanced in a week. And given what’s happened with interest rates recently, you’re unlikely to come out ahead by refinancing your home anyway. But there are many other types of loans you might be able to consolidate or refinance in order to save money on interest.

We’re not fans of debt in general, especially high interest consumer loans like credit card debt and car loans. These days, too many folks think of these debts as “normal“, so they continue to pay monthly minimums and never really look into smarter and cheaper ways to get out of debt.

A 0% APR balance transfer credit card can be a great tool. If you’re in credit card debt and have the ability to aggressively pay it off over the next 12 to 18 months, transferring the balance to 0% APR balance card could be a great move. With more money being applied to principal and zero dollars to interest, you can pay down your debt faster and more cheaply.

For car loans, student loans and consumer loans, check out local credit unions or small banks. Many have debt refinancing tools that can consolidate multiple types of loans and reduce monthly payments and overall interest. 

It never hurts to get quotes and see what’s out there on the debt refinance/conslidation front. You could save money every month and potentially get your debt paid off more quickly too. At the same time, there are a lot of scam companies in the ‘debt consolidation’ space. And if you’re in copious amounts of debt, it’s likely best to see a non-profit debt counselor at a place like Money Management International.

Reminder: Student loan payments are still on pause. Federal student loan forgiveness is in limbo too. And refinancing out of a federal student loan into a private one will cause you to lose important federal benefits. Be careful and seek out expert advice before going that route!

5. Ask for a discount

Most people don’t ask for discounts because they fear being rejected. (and I totally get that – It’s scary putting yourself out there). But, if you never ask, the answer you’ll get is always ‘no’. This means you are rejecting yourself before giving anyone else the chance to hear your question.

Asking for discounts is an empowering habit that usually takes 10 seconds or less when shopping, and can save you hundreds throughout the year. I promise it gets easier and easier with each interaction. We’ve written a full blog post on how to ask for a discount, with real life examples and strategies to try. Check it out and save yourself some money this week.

Pro tip: Call your bank and ask for a fee to be refunded. Success rates are fairly high because they are bending over backwards to keep customers right now.

Asking for a discount

6. Use a shopping coupon

Coupons and promo codes exist everywhere, but so many of them people don’t know about! Sometimes all it takes is a quick google search to find a few dollars off or a flat percentage discount on an item you were already planning to purchase.

Here are a few ways to make coupons easier to find (and use):

  1. Install Honey: This is an app and browser extension that automatically hunts for coupons when you shop online. It works with thousands of retailers and websites (including Amazon) and can save you money regularly – with no added work on your part! Here are others sites that have instant online coupons and discounts!
  2. Download your grocery store app: Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, Kroger and many other grocery chains have mobile apps that give you access to additional digital coupons. These can save you a few bucks every time you shop for groceries.
  3. Ask your network for saving tips: Sometimes throwing a quick message up on social media telling your friends that you are planning to buy something will result in one of them giving you some advice, a tip, a coupon that can save you money, or even the item itself. Tap your community before clicking to make that purchase!
  4. Buy a discounted gift card: Americans are sitting on billions of dollars in unused gift cards. And lots of folks are trying to get rid of their gift cards to places they don’t shop. So they sell them online to places like CardCash. Their trash can be your treasure because you can purchase them at a discounted rate!

All in all, coupons might only save you a few bucks here and there. But it’s a savings nonetheless, and puts you one step close to more mindful spending.

7. Get a new credit card

Using the right credit card (for thing you are planning to buy anyway) can give you cash back or immediately discounted prices. Not to mention there are great sign up bonuses and perks for opening new credit cards.

To take advantage of credit card savings and cashback, the trick is to never buy things you wouldn’t usually buy, and to ALWAYS pay your credit card off in full every month. If you can stick to those 2 rules, those new pieces of plastic can produce significant savings.

We’ve written a handful of posts around credit card strategies. Here are a few you might be interested in…

The Bottom Line:

There’s no need to wait for big life events to save money – there are plenty of little opportunities each week to save. You can tackle all of these money saving things at once (I’m looking at you over-achievers out there 😉), or you can take things slowly and master one savings technique at a time.

Whether you’re finally getting that emergency fund started or just need some extra cash on hand for an upcoming splurge, it’s nice to have a few money saving tips up your sleeve you can pull out at anytime to bring some much-needed cash back into your life. Hopefully some of these will stop you from dipping into your savings account to buy stuff!

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Beer Notes from this episode:

During this episode we enjoyed a Dad Jokes by Morgan Territory, thanks Brent for donating this one to the pod! And as we’ve ramped up the podcast with an additional Friday episode every week, we could really use your help to spread the word- let friends and family know about How to Money! Hit the share button, subscribe if you’re not already a regular, and give us a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us to spread the word to get more people doing smart things with their money in these difficult times!

Best friends out!

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One comment on “7 Ways to Save More Money This Week

  1. Gustavo Sep 30, 2020

    Hi Matt and Joel,
    Wanted to also throw in another quick way to make some easy cash albeit it may not be suitable for everyone and that is donating plasma. Without getting into too much detail because of they’re monthly bonus structures you can make an easily $400 a month tax free with a very little time commitment on your part. Donations usually take and hour and also serves as a double bonus because the plasma you donate goes into helping an individual in need.