How to save money: 36 tips you could try to build your savings

The contents provided on this page are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. Consider your personal circumstances and objectives before making any financial decisions.

Saving money is crucial for financial well-being, but developing effective habits and strategies can be challenging.

Whether you're saving for a rainy day, a big-ticket purchase, or your long-term goals, these 36 tips can give you some ideas for how to save money and cultivate a savings mindset to make the most of your hard-earned dollars.

And remember, when you need a little extra help, Beforepay's budgeting tools and access to cash might help give a little boost!

1. Track your expenses

Gain insight into your spending patterns by tracking your expenses for at least a month. You could use tools like Beforepay's spending insights feature to automatically categorise your transactions and identify areas for potential savings.

2. Evaluate subscriptions and memberships to save money

Review your recurring subscriptions and memberships, such as streaming services, gym memberships, and magazine subscriptions. Beforepay's budgeting tool could help you identify and reduce unnecessary subscriptions, saving you money in the long-run! 

3. Look for ways to reduce your utility costs

You could try to implement energy-saving measures like adjusting your thermostat, unplugging electronics when not in use, and switching to energy-efficient appliances to try and save a little extra money. You could also consider exploring options to switch to more affordable utility providers or negotiate better rates with your current provider to save money. Try Beforepay's Compare and Save to see how you might be able to save with other providers.  

4. Cook at home

Cooking at home could save you a significant amount of money compared to dining out or ordering takeaway. Plan your meals in advance, batch cook, and pack your lunches for work to help you save some money. Check out budget-friendly recipe blogs like for inspiration! 

5. Renegotiate insurance premiums 

Shop around and compare rates for your car, home, and health insurance policies. If you can, you could consider increasing your excesses or bundling policies to potentially lower your premiums and save money. Websites like iSelect and Canstar could help you compare options and find ways to save money on insurance.

6. Implement a shopping waiting period for yourself to avoid impulse buys

Before making non-essential purchases, try having a waiting period of 24 or 48 hours. This cooling-off period can help you evaluate whether the purchase aligns with your financial goals and priorities, avoiding impulse buys and saving money.

7. Adopt a cash-only system for non-essential spending 

For discretionary spending, try allocating a fixed amount of cash each week or month. This can help you be more mindful of your spending and less likely to overspend, saving you money. 

8. Automate your savings to make it easier to save money

Set up automatic transfers from your transaction account to a dedicated savings account, ensuring that a portion of your income is automatically saved before you have a chance to spend it. Many banks offer this feature to help you save money effortlessly. 

9. Explore side hustles to make and save extra money

If you're up for it, you could leverage your skills and talents by taking on freelance work, starting a small business, or offering services like tutoring, pet sitting, or ridesharing. Platforms like Airtasker and Upwork might be helpful for finding gig opportunities to earn extra money and boost your savings. 

10. Sell unused items

Declutter your home and sell unwanted items through online marketplaces like Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or consignment shops to earn extra cash and save money by not buying new items. 

11. Rent out a spare room or space to earn extra income

If you have a spare room or parking space, consider renting it out to generate additional income. Websites like Airbnb and Parkhound could help you get started and earn extra money to boost your savings.

12. Negotiate bills and fees

Don't be afraid to negotiate your bills and fees with service providers. Some companies may be willing to offer discounts or better rates to retain customers. Check out this guide from CHOICE for tips on negotiating effectively to save money. 

13. Use cash-back apps and rewards programs

Take advantage of cash-back apps as well as rewards programs when shopping to earn money back on your purchases, boosting your savings.

14. Buy in bulk to save money

For non-perishable items you use regularly, consider buying some household items in bulk from warehouse clubs like Costco or online retailers like Catch to save money in the long run. 

15. Embrace meal planning

Plan your meals in advance and make a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases and reduce food waste. Apps like Mealime and Paprika might help you with meal planning and shopping lists, saving you money on groceries. 

16. Seek out discounts and vouchers

Before making a purchase, search for discounts, vouchers, or promo codes that can help you save money. You could check websites like OzBargain for finding deals. 

17. Consider refinancing loans

If you have outstanding loans, you might want to explore the possibility of refinancing to secure a lower interest rate and potentially save money over the life of the loan. RateCity and Canstar are a couple of websites that might help you compare loan options and find ways to save money on interest. 

18. Downsize or declutter 

Consider downsizing your living space or decluttering your possessions to reduce expenses and potentially earn money from selling unwanted items, boosting your savings. 

19. Invest in energy-efficient upgrades to save money

While it may require an upfront investment, upgrading to energy-efficient items such as appliances, windows, and insulation can lead to long-term savings on utility bills. Check for government rebates and incentives, like the Victorian Energy Upgrades program for example, for tips on how to save money on the upgrades. 

20. Seek professional guidance for how to save money effectively

Consider consulting with a qualified financial adviser or planner who can provide personalised advice tailored to your unique circumstances, goals, and risk tolerance. Organisations like the National Debt Helpline might be able to help you find a certified professional to guide you with navigating your finances. 

21. Develop a savings mindset to stay motivated

Try changing your mindset to prioritise saving over spending. Celebrate small wins and remind yourself of your long-term financial goals to stay motivated and committed to saving money.

22. Involve family or friends to save money together

Committing to saving goals and getting family or friends involved could help give you an added boost of motivation for saving. Encourage open communication about financial goals and celebrate milestones together to make saving money a team effort. 

23. Stay informed and educated to save money effectively

Stay up-to-date with financial literacy resources, attend workshops or seminars, and continuously educate yourself on effective money management strategies. Check webistes like MoneySmart for free resources and tools to help you learn how to save money effectively.

24. Reduce transportation costs if you can 

Explore alternatives to driving, such as public transport, carpooling, cycling, or walking, to save money on petrol and maintenance costs. 

25. Use library resources

If you need books or resources, try checking with your local library to save money otherwise spent on entertainment and educational materials. 

26. Repair instead of replacing to save money

When possible, repair items instead of replacing them. This can save you money and reduce waste, contributing to your savings goals.

27. Try growing your own food! 

Start a vegetable garden or grow herbs to save money on produce. Even a small balcony or windowsill garden can yield fresh ingredients, reducing your grocery costs and helping you save money.

28. Freeze leftovers

Instead of letting food go to waste, freeze leftovers for future meals. This can help you save money and reduce food waste, stretching your grocery budget further.

29. Negotiate your rent or mortgage

If you're renting or have a mortgage, consider negotiating with your landlord or lender for a lower rate or better terms, potentially saving you money on housing costs.   

30. Shop second-hand or pre-loved clothing

Instead of buying new clothes frequently, explore options like op shops, consignment shops, or clothing swaps to save money on fashion and apparel costs.

31. Limit alcohol and tobacco purchases

Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco purchases could help you save a significant amount of money over time, freeing up funds for other savings goals. 

32. Use reusable products to save money

Invest in reusable products like water bottles, keep cups, and shopping bags to save money and reduce waste, contributing to your overall savings goals.

33. Comparison shop for big purchases

Before making a major purchase, such as a car or appliance, make sure to do your research and compare prices and features from multiple retailers to ensure you're getting the best deal and saving money on big-ticket items. 

34. Avoid unnecessary fees

Be mindful of fees for things like ATM withdrawals, late payments, or overdrafts, and take steps to avoid them, preventing unnecessary expenses and saving money. Check out our article on bank fees for some info and tips.  

35. Embrace DIY projects

Instead of hiring professionals for tasks like home repairs, landscaping, or crafts, consider tackling DIY projects to save money on labor costs.  

36. Invest in quality items

While it may cost more upfront, investing in high-quality, durable items might help you save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent replacements. 

Remember, saving money is a journey, and it's important to approach it with patience, discipline, and a long-term mindset. By implementing these tips on how to save money, leveraging the budgeting and insights features in the Beforepay app, or seeking professional guidance when needed, you could take control of your finances and build a solid foundation for a secure financial future.

Beforepay Group Ltd ABN: 63 633 925 505 (Beforepay) allows eligible customers to access their pay and/or access their tax refund, and also provides budgeting tools. The views provided in this article include factual information and the personal opinions of relevant Beforepay staff. This article contains selected summary information only and is provided for general information purposes only. Beforepay and its related bodies corporate make no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of the contents of this blog post and do not accept any liability for any loss whatsoever arising from the use of this information. Please read our Terms of Service carefully before deciding whether to use any of our services.