Page Title

10 Tips to Save Money at Home

A bar graph displayed on a device on a table

Do you find yourself short on money before your next paycheck arrives?

Finding yourself living paycheck to paycheck can feel overwhelming. If you find yourself in this situation or maybe you simply are looking for a way to save a few extra bucks, little changes can make a big difference in the long term. Here are 10 easy tips to save money at home:

  1. Turn off appliances and lights. Turn off your lights and appliances when you are not using them. Open your windows and use natural light during the daytime. Most electronics have an optional setting that will turn them off after a certain amount of time of not being in use.
  2. Purchase energy-efficient light bulbs. Using energy-efficient light bulbs can cut the cost of your energy bill through time.
  3. Use a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat gives you the ability to adjust your heating and cooling to a pre-set schedule. You can set your home to automatically save energy while you’re at work or sleeping, therefore automatically saving you money.
  4. Make coffee at home. Buying a coffee every morning can really add up, especially if you choose to order specialty drinks frequently. Save money by making your coffee at home or take advantage of the complimentary coffee at work if that’s an option.
  5. Cut back on take-out food. Ordering take-out, even once a week, can become expensive. Instead, buy what you need at the grocery store and cook at home. Try bringing a homemade lunch to work at least a couple of times a week if not every day.
  6. Plan your meals. Creating a meal plan at the beginning of each week will help you be less tempted to order take-out unnecessarily.
  7. Consider removing or downgrading services. Consider downgrading your phone or cable plan to include only channels you use often. You also can consider removing your cable plan entirely and switching to a much cheaper subscription plan.
  8. Cancel subscriptions and memberships. Pay attention to the services you subscribe to and consider removing the ones that are similar or that you do not use regularly. Cancel any memberships, such as the gym, that you may not be using often.
  9. Track your spending. The first step to tracking your spending is to create a budget. Next, keep your spending within the budget you created and adjust your plan as necessary.
  10. Follow the 30-day rule. When you want to make an impulse buy, put that money in savings for 30 days instead. During those 30 days, think about the purchase. If you still want it after day 30, buy it. If you no longer want the item, keep the money in savings.

Candace Kornelsen, Graduate Assistant
North Dakota State University

Carrie Johnson, Ph.D., AFC®
NDSU Extension Specialist and Associate Professor  /  Human Development and Family Science