Want to know how to save money quickly and easily? Keep reading for six easy ideas on how to save an extra $5 a week.
Saving $5 a week may not seem like a lot of money but $5 can add up quickly.
Did you know that if you invested that $5, in twenty years you could amass over $69,000?! Craziness, I know, but it’s true. There really is power in saving even small amounts of money over time.
If you are looking to figure out how to save money quickly and easily in order to add money back into your budget, try a few of the following six ideas to see how much you could save in a week!
How to Save Money Quickly and Easily
1. Do a Money Review
Have you done an Annual Money Review yet? If not, let’s do it now.
Yes, it will take a little bit of your time but it’s one of the best ways to identify where your budget leaks are and figure out how you could potentially shave off more than $5 a week from your spending!
2. Brown Bag Lunch
You have probably read about how bringing your lunch to work every day versus purchasing lunch can save you money, and it is true. Most purchased lunches cost an average of $6 per meal. Making lunches at home cost an average of $2 per meal.
Bringing your lunch can save you an average of $30 a week.
3. Eating Vegetarian
Consuming meat every day can really add up, especially at the grocery store register.
And yes, I know that if you’re married to a carnivore like my husband this will be a tough a sell, but it’s not impossible.
You could make it a challenge (my husband loves a good challenge!), like “how much money can we save by not eating meat for one whole day” and even “how much money can we save if we don’t buy XYZ”. Get creative and have fun with it!
If you plan to eat at least one meal a week that does not contain meat you could easily save $5 to $20 on your grocery bill each week.
For more ideas on lowering your grocery budget, head here.
4. Put One Item Back
While you are out shopping, before you proceed to check out, put one item back.
Doing this will help you learn what you truly need versus what is a want. I feel like this is one of the benefits of doing curbside grocery pickups like Walmart Grocery. There is less impulse buying when you aren’t going up and down the grocery aisles.
You can shave an average of $5 off each shopping trip you make by putting one item back.
5. Cash Back
When you are grocery shopping, select ‘yes’ for cash back. Take out $5 and when you get home, store the $5 in a safe place.
If you grocery shop every week and take $5 out every time, you will save $260 a year.
*If your store will only allow a minimum of $10 in cash back, take the $10, put it in a safe place, and skip taking the cash back out the next week.
6. Take it Outside
Spending more time outdoors can actually save you money. You can shave off more than $5 a week in your utility bills by spending more time outside than inside.
For our family, over the summer we not only go camping with kids a ton, but we also have picnic lunches in our yard.
Of course, this is weather permitting but if you make it a habit to spend the majority of your nice weather outside, you can save a substantial amount of money and energy in a year.
Of course, you need to make sure that you are not leaving the lights on in every room and the A/C running at full blast to save this money.
Okay, so those are just a few of the ideas that you can use to potentially save your family upwards of $5 (or more) a week but, what will you do with the money saved?
This is actually where most folks fail when it comes to managing their money well: they forget to actually do something with the money they’ve saved!
So, decide right now what you’ll do with the extra money saved because yes, $5 a week does add up!
Think about this way, if you auto-drafted that $5 every week into a “Christmas Spending” account, you could potentially save your family over $200 in cash to pay for Christmas this year! No reaching for the credit cards and no overspending. You’d know what your Christmas budget is and you’d have the cash to pay for it!
But that’s just one example of what you could do with that extra money saved. The key is deciding right now where the greatest need for this savings is.
Go through your finances and determine where you need to apply this money.
- Do you need to pay off debt? (Our family of five has been living debt-free for the last 2 years and we’d never go back to living chained to debt!)
- Do you need to start or beef up your emergency fund?
- What about starting or beefing up your retirement savings?
- Save to purchase or replace a car in the next couple of years?
- Do you need to save for that family summer or winter vacation?
- What about saving for a down payment on house?
There is literally no right or wrong answer here. You have to make your money work for your real life, but in order to do that you need to understand where the greatest need for your money currently is and you need to make that your current goal and where the money you save is applied to.
Check out this other post on easy ways to save money if you need a few more ideas too!
Jessi Fearon is a financial coach that loves encourages others to manage their money well by sharing her family’s real life on a budget on her blog, jessifearon.com. Jessi and her family paid off over $55,000 of debt in just 2 years and are nearly debt-free (just over $17k left on the mortgage)!