20 money saving hacks for the big spender

20 money saving hacks for the big spender

In today’s fast-paced world, managing finances efficiently is crucial for everyone, especially for those who tend to spend generously. This article explores 20 practical money-saving hacks that can help big spenders streamline their expenses and save more. From leveraging technology to embracing eco-friendly solutions, these tips are designed to fit a variety of lifestyles and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify and utilize budgeting apps to keep track of your spending and savings goals.
  • Set up automatic savings plans to effortlessly save a portion of your income.
  • Plan your meals weekly to reduce impulse purchases and minimize food waste.
  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances to lower your utility bills over time.
  • Consider using public transportation more often to cut down on commuting costs.

1. Budgeting Apps

In today’s digital age, budgeting apps are essential tools for managing personal finances effectively. These apps help users track their spending, set financial goals, and optimize savings. Popular options like YNAB (You Need A Budget), Empower Personal Dashboard™, and Goodbudget offer tailored features that cater to different financial needs and preferences.

  • YNAB is best for setting precise financial goals.
  • Empower helps in tracking net worth and budgeting efficiently.
  • Goodbudget is ideal for those who prefer envelope budgeting methods.

Choosing the right app can significantly enhance your financial awareness and control, leading to substantial savings over time.

2. Automatic Savings Plans

Automatic savings plans are a crucial tool for anyone looking to streamline their savings efforts. By setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account, you ensure that a portion of your income is saved before you have a chance to spend it. This ‘set it and forget it’ approach not only simplifies the saving process but also helps in building a substantial savings buffer over time.

Benefits of Automatic Savings Plans

  • Consistency: Regular, automatic deposits help build savings effortlessly.
  • Discipline: Reduces the temptation to spend all your income.
  • Goal Achievement: Easier to reach financial goals with systematic savings.

By integrating automatic savings plans into your financial strategy, you can significantly enhance your ability to save and manage your finances more effectively.

3. Meal Planning

Meal planning is a strategic approach to organize your meals for the week or month ahead. By planning what you eat, you can avoid impulsive purchases and minimize waste, leading to significant savings. Here are some steps to effective meal planning:

  1. Inventory your pantry and fridge to use what you already have.
  2. Plan your meals around sales and seasonal produce for additional savings.
  3. Prepare meals in batches and use leftovers creatively to save both time and money.
  4. Incorporate frozen fruit and veggies into your meals as they are often cheaper and just as nutritious as fresh ones.

Meal planning not only helps in saving money but also ensures that you eat healthy and reduce food waste.

4. Energy Efficient Appliances

Investing in energy-efficient appliances can significantly reduce your monthly utility bills. These appliances are designed to use less energy while maintaining the same level of performance as their less efficient counterparts. Here are some key benefits:

  • Lower energy costs: Energy-efficient appliances consume less power, leading to lower electricity bills.
  • Environmental benefits: Reduced energy consumption means less reliance on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions.
  • Enhanced performance: Many energy-efficient models come with advanced features that enhance their functionality.

By choosing appliances with the Energy Star label, you ensure they meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Remember, the initial cost might be higher, but the long-term savings can be substantial.

5. Public Transportation

Embracing public transportation can significantly reduce your daily commuting costs and decrease your carbon footprint. By opting for buses, trains, or subways, you can save on the expenses associated with owning and maintaining a car, such as fuel, parking fees, and repairs. Additionally, using public transportation offers the opportunity to relax or catch up on work during your commute, making it a productive part of your day.

Public transportation systems often offer various fare options, including discounts for bulk purchases or monthly passes, which can lead to substantial savings over time.

6. Second-Hand Stores

Shopping at second-hand stores can be a treasure trove of savings for the big spender looking to cut costs without sacrificing style or quality. By choosing secondhand items, you not only save money but also contribute to reducing the demand for new products, which in turn helps in minimizing environmental impact.

  • Explore various stores: Different stores specialize in different types of items, from clothes to furniture.
  • Check for quality: Always inspect items for any damage or wear before purchasing.
  • Be patient: The best deals often require regular visits and a keen eye for hidden gems.

Embrace the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction of snagging a great deal at a fraction of the cost.

7. Home Gardening

Home gardening is not only a rewarding hobby but also a fantastic way to save money on grocery bills. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can significantly reduce the cost of your shopping list. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers to see immediate benefits. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Choose a suitable location with adequate sunlight.
  2. Prepare the soil by adding organic matter and ensuring proper drainage.
  3. Select plants that are known for their resilience and high yield.
  4. Regularly water and maintain your garden to ensure healthy growth.

Growing your own nutritious fruits and vegetables can be an empowering way to stretch precious budgets.

By incorporating home gardening into your lifestyle, you not only save money but also gain access to fresher, healthier produce right from your backyard.

8. DIY Projects

Engaging in DIY projects can be a rewarding way to save money while enhancing your living space or personal items. By taking on tasks yourself, you avoid the costs associated with hiring professionals. Here are some areas where DIY can be particularly cost-effective:

  • Home repairs: Simple fixes like patching drywall, painting, or fixing a leaky faucet can be learned online and do not require expensive tools.
  • Furniture making: Building your own furniture from scratch or refurbishing old pieces can be significantly cheaper than buying new, high-end items.
  • Decorations and art: Creating your own decorations or artwork for your home can add a personal touch without the hefty price tag of store-bought items.

Embrace the challenge of DIY projects as a way to not only save money but also to develop new skills and express your creativity.

9. Library Memberships

Embracing the benefits of library memberships can be a game-changer for big spenders looking to cut costs. Your library card can save you money while offering a plethora of resources beyond just books. Members can access magazines, e-books, audiobooks, and even streaming content, all for free. Additionally, many libraries provide free entry to local museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions. This not only enriches your lifestyle but also keeps your entertainment costs low.

Libraries often host free workshops, classes, and events that cater to all ages and interests, from technology tutorials to literary discussions.

By utilizing these services, you can significantly reduce your spending on entertainment, education, and professional development.

10. Bulk Buying

Bulk buying is a strategic approach to shopping that can lead to significant cost savings and efficiency. When you purchase items in larger quantities, you typically secure a lower price per unit. This method not only reduces the cost per item but also minimizes the frequency of shopping trips, saving both time and transportation costs.

Benefits of Bulk Buying

  • Economical: The more you buy, the more you save. Bulk purchasing often comes with discounts that are not available for smaller quantities.
  • Efficient: Reduces the number of trips to the store, which can also save on gas and time.
  • Environmental Impact: Buying in bulk can reduce the amount of packaging waste, contributing to a smaller environmental footprint.

Embracing bulk buying can be a game-changer for big spenders looking to tighten their budget without sacrificing their lifestyle.

11. Off-Brand Products

Choosing off-brand products can lead to significant savings without compromising on quality. Often, these products are manufactured in the same facilities as their branded counterparts but are sold at a lower price due to the lack of marketing expenses. Here are some areas where you can easily switch to off-brand items:

  • Groceries
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Household items
  • Personal care products

By opting for off-brand products, consumers can save up to 30% on their shopping bills.

This approach not only helps in cutting costs but also supports local businesses and reduces advertising-induced consumption.

12. Water Filters

Investing in a water filter can be a game-changer for both your health and your wallet. By opting for a water filtration system, you not only ensure cleaner, safer drinking water but also significantly reduce the need for expensive bottled water. This simple switch can lead to substantial savings over time.

  • Avoiding Bottled Water Expenses: By using a water filter, you can cut down on the purchase of bottled water, which is often marked up significantly compared to tap water.
  • Protecting Appliances and Extending Lifespan: Hard water can cause limescale build-up which damages appliances. A water filter can help in softening the water, thereby protecting your appliances and extending their lifespan.
  • Energy Efficiency and Lower Utility Bills: Softened water requires less soap and reduces the energy needed for heating, leading to lower utility bills.
  • Reducing Maintenance Costs: Filters can help prevent the buildup of minerals and contaminants, which can reduce maintenance costs for your plumbing systems.

Embracing a water filter system not only contributes to environmental conservation by reducing plastic waste but also offers a practical approach to cutting down everyday expenses.

13. Programmable Thermostats

Installing a programmable thermostat can lead to significant energy savings and enhance your home’s efficiency. These devices allow you to set temperatures for different times of the day automatically, which means you can lower the heat or AC when you’re not home or during the night. This not only helps in reducing your energy bills but also aids in maintaining an optimal home environment.

  • Set specific temperatures for when you are home, asleep, or away.
  • Adjust settings remotely using a smartphone app.
  • Receive reports on your energy usage to make further adjustments.

Programmable thermostats seamlessly integrate with your home system, providing optimal performance and energy savings.

By assessing your lifestyle and needs, you can choose a thermostat that best fits your schedule, further optimizing energy use and cost savings.

14. Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a powerful tool for managing healthcare costs while providing significant tax benefits. Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, and the funds can grow tax-free. You can use the money for qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability.

  • Pre-tax contributions: Reduce your taxable income by making pre-tax contributions to your HSA.
  • Tax-free growth: Any interest or gains from investments in your HSA grow tax-free.
  • Tax-free withdrawals: Money withdrawn for qualified medical expenses is not taxed.

Investing through an HSA can help you save for medical expenses later down the road while enjoying significant tax advantages. If you need to pay a medical bill, you can sell investments, making HSAs a flexible option for future needs.

15. Cash-Back Credit Cards

Cash-back credit cards offer a simple way to earn rewards on your everyday spending. By using these cards for your regular purchases, you can receive a percentage of the amount spent back, typically ranging from 2% to 6%. This can add up to significant savings over time.

How to Maximize Your Cash-Back

  1. Choose a card that aligns with your spending habits to maximize rewards.
  2. Pay off your balance each month to avoid interest charges that can negate your cash-back benefits.
  3. Consider cards with bonus categories if your spending is concentrated in specific areas.

Remember, while it’s tempting to spend more to earn more cash-back, it’s crucial to manage your spending wisely to truly benefit from these cards.

16. Investment Apps

Investment apps have revolutionized the way individuals manage their investments, offering tools and resources that were once only available to professional traders. These apps provide a platform for both novice and experienced investors to optimize their portfolios and achieve better financial outcomes. Popular apps like Betterment and TDAmeritrade’s thinkorswim offer tailored investment strategies and real-time market data, making them indispensable tools for anyone looking to grow their wealth through investments.

  • Ease of use: User-friendly interfaces make it simple to track investments.
  • Diverse options: From stocks and bonds to cryptocurrency, there’s a wide range of investment choices.
  • Educational resources: Many apps include tutorials and tips to help users understand the market dynamics.

Embracing technology in your investment strategy can significantly enhance your financial planning and execution.

17. Couponing

Couponing is a powerful tool for saving money on everyday purchases. By collecting and using coupons, you can significantly reduce your grocery bills and other expenses. Start by organizing your coupons in a way that makes them easy to access and use. Consider using a binder or digital app to keep track of them.

Regularly check newspapers, online platforms, and store bulletins to gather a variety of coupons.

Here are some effective strategies for couponing:

  • Build a rapport with your neighbors to score extra free coupons.
  • Plan your shopping trips around the coupons you have, aiming to maximize savings.
  • Combine coupons with store sales for even greater discounts.

18. Carpooling

Carpooling is not just a way to get to work; it’s a strategic approach to reduce your daily expenses and environmental impact. By sharing rides with others, you can significantly cut down on the costs associated with commuting, such as fuel, parking fees, and vehicle maintenance. This method not only helps in saving money on gas but also extends the life of your vehicle by reducing wear and tear.

  • Benefits for employees: Cost savings, reduced stress, and increased social interaction.
  • Benefits for employers: Lower parking space requirements and potential for tax incentives.

Carpooling also contributes to a reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution, making it a beneficial practice for the community and the planet.

19. Streaming Services

In the era of digital entertainment, streaming services have become a staple in most households. However, the costs can add up if not managed properly. To save money, consider these strategies:

  1. Decide what to do about cable – Evaluate if you still need cable or if streaming services alone can meet your entertainment needs.
  2. List which services you’re paying for – Keep track of all your subscriptions and assess which ones you actually use.
  3. Hop among services – Subscribe only when your favorite shows are on and cancel afterwards.
  4. Choose a cheaper tier – Opt for basic plans with ads if you don’t mind the interruptions.
  5. Stream shows and movies free – Explore free streaming platforms or use library access.

By strategically managing your subscriptions and choosing options that fit your viewing habits, you can significantly reduce your monthly expenses on digital entertainment.

20. Solar Panels

Investing in solar panels is not only an environmentally friendly decision but also a financially savvy one. Solar panels significantly reduce your electricity bills by harnessing the power of the sun to generate energy. Over time, the savings can be substantial, especially when considering the rising costs of traditional energy sources. Additionally, homeowners can benefit from various government incentives and tax rebates which make the initial investment more affordable.

  • Initial Cost: High but offset by long-term savings and incentives
  • Maintenance: Low, occasional cleaning and checks
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years, with efficiency slightly decreasing over time

Solar panels are a long-term investment that pays off both financially and environmentally.


Incorporating these 20 money-saving hacks into your spending habits can significantly reduce your expenses and enhance your financial well-being. From mindful budgeting to leveraging discounts and rewards, each strategy is designed to help big spenders achieve more with their money. Remember, the key to successful financial management is consistency and commitment. Start implementing these tips today and watch your savings grow, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can budgeting apps help me save money?

Budgeting apps can help you track your spending, set financial goals, and identify areas where you can cut costs.

What are the benefits of automatic savings plans?

Automatic savings plans make it easy to save money by automatically transferring a set amount from your checking account to your savings account, helping you build your savings effortlessly.

Is meal planning effective for saving money?

Yes, meal planning can significantly reduce your grocery bills by minimizing impulse buys and reducing food waste.

How do energy-efficient appliances save money?

Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity and water, which can lower your utility bills and help you save money over time.

Why should I consider using public transportation?

Public transportation can be more cost-effective than owning and maintaining a car, especially in urban areas with high parking and fuel costs.

What are the financial benefits of home gardening?

Home gardening can reduce your grocery expenses by providing a steady supply of fresh produce at a lower cost than store-bought alternatives.

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