Even if you are in a great position financially, it never hurts to save more of your hard-earned money. As the saying goes, “money saved is money earned”.
With that, here are some ways to save money fast. Most of the items on this list will take you less than 15 minutes, so if you want to save and save now, read on ninjas!
1. Open a new bank account to earn more interest and take advantage of perks
If you’re comfortable with your current checking and savings account, leave it open as your main account. I have everything connected to mine and know that it would be a pain to redo all again.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from looking at other banks and what they offer, especially if your current one doesn’t earn a lot of interest. The average savings account interest rate is 0.06% APY right now, whereas some banks listed here like Cit Bank is offering 40x that rate!
A number of them also will give you a pretty big bonus for opening an account and offer perks you may not know existed.
- Best bank for mega new account bonus: Chase ($600 sign-up bonus)
- Best online bank for high savings interest rates: CIT Bank (2.30% APY)
- Best online bank for high checking interest rates: Sofi Money (1.80% APY)
- Best bank for ATM fee worldwide reimbursement: Fidelity Investments
- Best bank for low fees: Ally Bank (no minimum balance or monthly fees)
2. Cut the cord and go streaming
It’s 2019, and if you haven’t done it by now, you should really think about getting rid of your cable TV and signing up for streaming services instead. The most popular, Netflix, has a giant library of TV shows and movies to watch. They also have invested billions of dollars into their own in-house content after the successes of their original series Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards.
For folks who enjoy live television programs, have no fear – there’s streaming companies like Hulu that will replace what cable offered. One of their plans include Live TV from major cable channels.
Best Streaming Services
- Best streaming service overall: Netflix ($12.99/month)
- Best streaming service with Live TV: Hulu ($5.99/month basic or $44.99/month with Live TV)
- Best streaming service for extras: Prime TV (free with Amazon Prime subscription)
Before: monthly Cable TV + Internet = $120.97
After: monthly Netflix + Hulu with Live TV + Internet = $97.97
Estimated Yearly Savings = $276
If you still can’t let go of cable TV (breaking up is hard, I know), there’s still a way to save money and keep your cable service…
3. Call your cable service provider and get a lower rate
Do you remember that sweet deal your cable company gave you when you first signed up? The new customer rate was something like $69.99 a month for 2 years!
Twenty-four months later, they bump up the monthly subscription to a billion dollars. The cable company knows you’re addicted. You can’t get clean. How will you watch the next episode of The Walking Dead? Ugh.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your monthly bill. You see, cable companies don’t want you to leave, but when they think you will, they’ll offer you a discount to stay.
How to do this? I usually call them after the end of my contract and mention that although I like their service, it’s too expensive for me to keep and I would like to cancel it. They’ll forward your call to a retention specialist (fancy word for customer service representatives that try to keep a customer) who will offer you a lower rate to stay.
Before: monthly Cable TV + Internet cost = $120.97
After: monthly Cable TV + Internet cost = $89.99
Estimated Yearly Savings = $371.76
Want to reduce your cable bill even more? See our post on how to reduce your cable bill to the original price.
4. Switch cell phone carriers
Switching cell phone companies used to be much harder to justify. You would lose that phone number you’ve had for years and other carriers’ coverage might be too spotty.
Thanks to the FCC’s Wireless Local Number Portability rule in 2004, it’s now possible to keep your number when you switch phone carriers.
As for coverage concerns, this was a bigger issue several years ago when Verizon had better call quality than AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Except for some rural areas, all four major carriers have equally great coverage maps and signal strength.
5. Get new car insurance quotes
People hate dealing with anything insurance-related. We mumble under our breath when our new car insurance bill comes in the mail with higher rates, but we pay it anyways. The thought of calling a new insurance agent for a quote (who wants to go over every single question in detail) is NOT anyone’s idea of a fun weekend.
Companies know we hate dealing with them on the phone, so most have sites now that let you quickly enter your information and receive a quote in 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes could save you $100 or more.
That’s an hourly rate of $1,200! Unless you’re the CEO of Google, there’s no reason not to. In fact, stop reading the rest of this post and get a quote now:
Best Auto Insurance Carriers
- Best auto insurance overall (#1 in J.D. Power): Allstate or Esurance
- Best auto insurance for customer satisfaction: Liberty Mutual
- Best auto insurance for bundle discounts: The Hartford AARP
Before: annual auto premium = $1,502
After: annual auto premium = $1,277
Estimated Yearly Savings = $225
6. Get new home insurance quotes
This is a similar idea as getting a new auto insurance quote, but again, people tend to forget to price shop around:
Best Home Insurance Carriers
- Best home insurance overall (#1 in J.D. Power): Amica Mutual
- Best home insurance for customer satisfaction: Liberty Mutual
- Best home insurance for bundle discounts: Allstate
Before: annual home insurance premium = $1,502
After: annual home insurance premium = $1,277
Estimated Yearly Savings = $225
7. Lower your credit card’s interest rate
In a perfect world, you should always pay your credit cards in full each month and never carry a balance. Why? Because the average interest rate on credit cards is 19.24%, one of the highest of any financial products around.
And according to the Survey of Consumer Finances by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the average household credit card debt is $9,333. If you were to pay the minimum each month, it would cost you a total of $18,985 by the time you finish paying off your balance! That’s double what you originally owed!
It seems counterintuitive, but the best way to get a handle on this is to sign-up for a credit card that offers a promotional 0% APR balance transfer.
Transferring your debt to a 0% card will help you focus on paying down the principal balance and not have to worry about interest. Look for ones that offer the longest 0% period – often 12 months or more.
Best 0% APR Credit Cards
- Best 0% APR credit card with the longest 0% balance transfer period: Citi Simplicity (21 months)
- Best 0% APR credit card with 0% purchase and balance transfers: American Express EveryDay (15 months for purchases and balance transfers)
Before: 21 months of interest charges = $1,733
After: 21 months of annual interest charges = $0
Estimated Yearly Savings = $1,733
8. Stop buying things, start selling
Netflix’s new viral series, Tidying Up, starring Marie Kondo, sums it up best – if things in your life don’t “spark joy”, get rid of it.
We’re a culture that constantly loves to buy new stuff, but most of those things end up sitting in the closet or shelf somewhere a few months later. Your house will feel smaller and smaller as the clutter creeps around you.
It’s not easy. I’ve had trouble with this. I’ll tell myself something like:
“…maybe I’ll wear that next month” or “I will need it eventually“
The reality is, I didn’t. And you probably won’t. Something you haven’t touched in over a year will most likely sit there another year. And another. And another.
Sell it. Not only will you’ll feel better and your house will look roomier, but you’ll make extra money! Look at all the things you haven’t used for a year, and seriously consider letting it go.
Best Places to Sell Online
- Best place to sell clothes: eBay
- Best place to sell electronics: OfferUp or Letgo
- Best place to sell books: Amazon
- Best place to sell furniture: Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
- Best place to sell designer items: Tradesy
Before: a house full of junk
After: spark joy
Estimated Yearly Savings = varies, but priceless
9. Stop buying retail
Ok, ok, ok… if I couldn’t convince you to stop buying things, please at least stop buying at retail prices. Baby money ninjas are crying all over the world every time someone pays full price. Stop the torture! End the madness!
I’ve written how you should always try to buy online. If you want to see and touch the products, by all means, go visit the store – but come home after to buy it online instead.
I mean, why would you spend $200 on a pair of sneakers at Finish Line when you can get the exact pair online for $150? There’s too many discounts you can combine online that you can’t at their physical store.
So if retail therapy is a real thing for you, at least now you can do it cheaper than before.
- How to combine multiple discounts and coupons
- What are Cash Back web sites and how do they give you money for shopping online
- Buying gift cards at a discount to save more on shopping
Before: full price
After: 5%-50% off
Estimated Yearly Savings = varies
10. Cancel unused gym club memberships
First, let me start out by saying that I’m a big advocate for being healthy: eating right, giving your body exercise, and getting enough sleep means less medicine and hospital bills in the future. You’ll enjoy a better quality of life and save money on long-term health costs.
That being said, if you bought that gym membership as a New Year’s resolution, but haven’t used it since January 2, it’s time to think about canceling. With the average monthly fee around $58 per month, that’s a sizable chunk of change.
What if you’re going, but it’s only like once a week? I would look into day passes that some places offer or find a cheaper gym so you won’t feel too bad.
The Bottom Line
The human mind is a tricky thing. We’re programmed to think that making money and saving money are unrelated to one another. We’re much more enthusiastic about having a side hustle to earn money for example, than trying to reduce expenses that we’re already paying for. But how many side hustles can you spend 15 minutes on and make $100 or more?
That’s what The Money Ninja is all about. We’re looking at it from all angles. How to make more money, save it better, and spend it wisely. They’re all one in the same.
No matter where you are in life financially, you need to know that it’s always possible to save more money and be in a better place. When you don’t have enough money, it causes stress, puts you into depression, and affects your personal relationships. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but being financially stable will make things in life a whole lot easier.
What other things have you done to save money and how much have you saved because of it?