As we navigate unprecedented economic waters, I know there are some of you who are looking for ways to put cash back in your pocket and save money fast whether you’ve lost a job, your business is declining or you’re simply having to transition from one way of earning money to another.
I’ve been through many financial ups and downs over the years, and I just wanted to share some surprising and likely little-known ways I’ve been able to save money at different points in my life.
And I wanted to save you having to read through the same-old tips about how to save money: cut cable, use coupons, change cell phone providers… you get the idea.
Instead here are some ways you may not have thought of (dare I use the trite phrase “thinking outside the box”?) that can really help.
Please note this post contains some affiliate links for which I may earn a commission or referral bonus if you click through and sign up.
7 Creative & Easy Ways to Save Money Fast
1. Take a Second Look at Your Health Insurance
I’ve been self-employed for a long time, so health insurance has never been an easy thing for my family. I stayed with the same carrier for years without really looking into if there was a better, cheaper option.
One day, when needing to save money, I decided it was time to really delve into this. I didn’t know who to call, so I headed to Angie’s List, pulled their top recommended health insurance agent and gave him a ring.
He gave us a very surprising new option that saved A TON out of pocket, but still covered us catastrophically for a significantly lower price. It’s something I would NEVER have known on my own, especially with the options for health insurance changing constantly as the political winds blow and varying by state.
I’m going to give you his name, because he’s great: Bruno Nascimento. You can find him at HealthBrokersOnline.com. You don’t pay him anything, as I believe he earns a commission from the insurance companies. I don’t earn any affiliate income from Bruno. I just think he’s a great option!!
2. Take a Second Look at Your Auto Insurance
Another insurance to consider is your auto insurance. If you’ve been using the same one for years, it never hurts to compare rates and tell your current company that you’re going to switch if they don’t honor the better rate you found elsewhere.
A lot of us use the same companies for years, and you often get the best price when you start with a new company, because they want your business.
Use the below link to check auto insurance rates and see if you can find a better deal. This is an affiliate link, but it offers you an easy way to compare multiple rates all at once.
3. Auto-withdraw Small Amounts Each Day With Digit
One of the BEST financial services I’ve found in the last 20 years is Digit. My family tends to spend the money we have in our account no matter what we do (and I’ve tried many different systems).
Digit is the first program I’ve found that solves this problem for us!
Digit takes out small amounts of money (you can set the limit) from your account each day (we’re talking a dollar or two, but you can make it more), so that you never even notice.
It “holds” it in your Digit account, which you can move back over to your checking or savings account at any time if you need. You can even set it to automatically move money over if your account drops below $100.
This is a GREAT way to start building an emergency fund or to pay off debt. You can connect a credit card that you want to pay down to Digit, and it will collect funds from your account and pay the credit card for you every month. Again, you barely even notice, yet you’re working down debt!
Or you could move over a certain amount each day to build up what you need to pay for your mortgage, for example. Then when it’s time to pay the mortgage, you have the money! Just move it over from Digit.
I also use this for my business as a sort of “savings” account to pull out money that I want to set aside for future spending or to pay expenses, so I don’t accidentally end up spending it when it sits in my main checking account. It helps to keep expenses separated.
Digit has a free 30-day trial and then is $5/month.
4. Use a Free Service to Negotiate Your Subscription Service Fees
Lots of “save money” posts recommend cutting subscriptions, but instead of doing that, why not trying negotiating the price down first?
I know I personally hate calling and being stuck on the line with AT&T or Comcast for seemingly hours to try to negotiate the charges, but a service called Trim will take care of this for you and then only charge you 33% of any amount they are able to save. There are no fees unless they save you money.
They recently saved me $90 over three months on my AT&T phone and Internet bill, and I didn’t have to spend a second on it!
The free version of Trim lets you add as many bills as you’d like from services like: Sprint, DirectTV, Dish, Comcast, AT&T, etc.
They also have a premium membership that will also negotiate medical bills, send payments to credit cards, monitor subscriptions and cancel them if you don’t want them, etc.
5. Get Free Money to Spend at Amazon by Scanning Your Grocery Receipts
I used to use a variety of apps to save on groceries like Ibotta, but I found they were taking me too much time and netting me very little savings. Instead, I’ve switched to Fetch Rewards, because it doesn’t matter what I buy, it takes me 2 seconds and I can earn money toward things like Amazon gift cards.
Fetch Rewards is a free app you load onto your phone. Then you simply snap a photo of your grocery receipt inside the app and earn “points.” When you hit 3,000 points, you can trade that for a $3 Amazon gift card, as well as gift cards at other stores like CVS, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Lowe’s, Walmart and many others.
I usually net between 100-500 points per receipt I scan and get a $5 Amazon gift card every other month or so.
When you use my link HERE, you also get a free 2,000 points to start when you scan your first receipt!
6. Help Getting Out of Debt
Of course, one of the biggest things you can do to save money is to get yourself out of debt, so you’re not paying “interest” on balances.
By cutting the interest rate you’re paying, not only do you pay down the balance faster, you save yourself TONS of money with lower monthly payments.
I’ve been in debt before, and the best thing I ever did to get out of debt was enroll in Greenpath Financial Wellness. This is NOT an affiliate link. I truly think they are an AMAZING service for those in debt.
If you’re in debt, I’m sure you feel like you don’t know which “debt consolidation services” are a scam and which are not (if there even ARE any that aren’t a scam).
I’m here to put your mind at rest that Greenpath is NOT a scam. First, they are a nonprofit. Second, I’ve used them personally, and they are AWESOME.
What happens is:
1. You get on the phone with a debt specialist.
2. First, they give you advice about how to stay afloat and then you tell them what debts you have and need to pay down.
3. They contact the credit card companies for you and negotiate a low interest rate (like 1-3% down from 15-20+%!) and terms to pay off the balance. Right here, this save you a TON in interest each month.
4. Usually, the credit card companies will close your cards as part of the deal, which is not good for your credit, but I promise your credit will rebound once you get these debts paid. Mine did 100%!
5. They take out a payment from your bank twice a month to cover the credit card payments and THEY pay the credit cards, so you don’t have to.
6. You pay Greenpath a service fee, usually in the neighborhood of $30-$70/month depending on your total debt, but this is WAY less than the cost of paying high interest.
Plus, the biggest benefit for me was knowing that THEY were paying the credit cards, instead of me juggling a bunch of payments, and THEY negotiated the lower rate and terms (instead of me, who has no idea how to do this).
This alone is a HUGE stress relief for someone who finds themselves deep in debt. No more avoiding the mail and freaking out at every bill you receive that you can’t pay.
It took us a couple years, but we paid down ALL of our debt, and started a fresh and rebuilt our credit score from there.
You can do it!
7. Refinance Your Mortgage
You may also want to take a look at your mortgage. Perhaps, when you first got your mortgage, you had to pay mortgage insurance, but you really don’t need to any more.
Also, interest rates are really low right now, so you might be able to refinance and save each month by reducing your interest rate.
Or maybe your home owner’s insurance has increased. A mortgage agent can help you take a look at all of these things and see if it makes sense to refinance.
What creative ways have you used to save money fast?