Want to learn how to save $3000 in 3 months? Check out these tips to save money when you are broke!
I published this post when I first started blogging and I must say that this has been one of my most popular posts. I get why. Nearly 80% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and according to a GOBankingRates survey, 39% of Americans do not have savings at all.
If you are one of these people living paycheck-to-paycheck, I bet you are also asking these questions:
How to save money when you are broke?
How to save money on a low income?
Is saving money still possible when you don’t even have enough for the bills?
I hear ya! Indeed, saving money can seem like a pipe dream if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck. Trust me, I know that all too well because I’ve been there.
Years ago, if you had have told me I need to save money, I would probably have laughed in your face because I would never think it’s possible. So, for many years, I didn’t even have any savings at all!
But what I didn’t realize was that I could have been saving money in SO MANY ways and that having a low income was not an excuse to not be able to save.
I’ve discovered many creative ways to save money so I want to share a few money-saving tips that have really worked for me and that can help you save $3000 in just 3 months!
If you want to learn more money hacks, head over to this post where I shared 50 of the best frugal living tips we used to live on one income.
Ready to learn how to save $3000 in 3 months?
Let’s dive in!
1. Get Rid of Financial Leaks
Financial leaks are small expenses that we usually don’t notice but when accumulated over time, they eat up a huge chunk of our budget. I really encourage you to track your expenses to see where your money goes.
You can simply record your expenses in an excel sheet, write them down on a sheet of paper or use money apps to track your expenses and learn where your money goes.
Here are some common areas you might be wasting money on.
In case you’ve never thought about this expense, your daily $4 coffee becomes $28 in a week or $336 in 3 months.
If you can’t give up Starbucks, here’s what you can do to get free Starbucks coffee and save money: answer surveys via Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is a fun rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online such as browsing the internet, watching videos online, or shopping online. But the most popular way to rack up points on Swagbucks is by answering paid surveys.
Swagbucks is free to join. A bonus? They will also give you a $5 bonus for signing up today. I am a Swagbucks user myself and I can guarantee you that it is legitimate and it really pays you for using it.
Important: Make sure to click the confirm button in the confirmation email from Swagbucks to get the bonus!
Related: How to Get Free Starbucks: 6 Starbucks Gift Cards Hacks
Drink more water but do not buy it. Vending machines charge a dollar for a can of soft drink or bottled water.
Instead of buying drinks from a vending machine or gas station, bring a container of drinks with you. This Brita filtering water bottle, which has a filter directly in the bottle, is a great investment you can conveniently carry around and use wherever you go.
If you bring your own water or drink wherever you go, you could easily save $30 a month or $90 in 3 months.
Credit Card Payments
Missing credit card payments come with late payment fees and may also increase your interest rate. Late fees can be as high as $39, depending on your credit card’s late payment policy. And with compounding interest, you could lose even more money.
Save energy because it is expensive. By using less energy you may be able to save at least $40 per month and $200 in 5 months.
There are many ways to lower your energy bill, including using LED lights, unplugging appliances after use, or sun-drying clothes instead of using the dryer. You might also want to consider batch cooking and meal prepping and avoid turning on your stove every day.
According to Statistics Brain, 67% of Americans with a gym membership never use them and that, on average, gym membership owners go to the gym only twice per week. Are you one of these people? Unless you really use your membership, I recommend replacing your membership with free fitness activities.
Monthly spending for gym memberships ranges from $30 – $100+ per month, depending on where you go. Eliminating this expense could help you save easily $100-$300 in 3 months.
Not Planning Your Shopping Well
Plan when to shop and write a list before you hit the stores so you don’t forget any item and go back to the store later. Going to the store multiple times a week not only wastes your time and gas. You would also be prone to making unplanned purchases.
You might be wasting money on your insurance.
According to a recent study, drivers who have stayed with the same insurer for more than 8 years could save 19% by switching. You might also save more if you bundle your home and auto insurance policies with a single company.
Potential savings from financial leaks: $300-$1000 or more in 3 months.
Do you need help with determining where you’re spending unnecessarily? There’s a robot that can help you just that.
Trim, a virtual financial manager, can analyze your spending to find recurring subscriptions and determine where you can save more money. Getting ripped off on cable or Internet? Trim can negotiate your bill down for you!
Even more THIS MAMA BLOGS posts you might like:
How to Live on One Income in 2022
How to Live Frugally in 2022: 50 Best Frugal Living Tips
How to Do a No-Spend Challenge
2. Save Money When Eating Out
Did you know that restaurants charge a 300 percent markup? This means that for a $30 entree in a restaurant, the actual cost of the food you are eating only costs $10 if you make it at home.
With that said, if you regularly spend $3000 a year ( that’s how much the average American spends in restaurants per year), you could save up to $2000 if you cook and eat the same food at home!
When we eat out, here are a few strategies we use to lower our bill:
1. Don’t order drinks.
A glass of iced tea or soft drink costs around $3 and that’s a savings of $12 for a family of 4 if you don’t order drinks. It might not seem much but it can easily add up if you dine out weekly. I do this not just for savings but also for health reasons.
Potential monthly savings: at least $30 per month/ $90 in 3 months
2. Eat out for brunch or lunch.
Dinner is generally more expensive than brunch or lunch. So, schedule eating out for brunch or lunch to save a few bucks.
3. Buy discount gift cards.
Using discount gift cards when eating out is one great way to save money! For example, if you frequent Applebees, buy a discount Applebee’s restaurant card online through sites like Swagbucks to save 20% or more!
4. Use Groupon
On nights you eat out, grab a coupon or deal from Groupon to save up to 50% off your meal!
Potential Savings in 3 Months: If you spend $3000 per year in restaurants, you could easily save $500 in 3 months by cooking and eating the same food at home!
A fun way to save money is by tracking it! Use this cute saving challenge printable to stay motivated while saving money!!
3. Meal Planning
Food is one of the top 3 expenses of U.S. households, accounting for 12.5% or just over $7000 in the average budget, of annual expenditures.
Fortunately, food is an expense you can easily cut back on if you meal plan. I was really surprised at the savings I’ve made since I started planning out our meals!
Here are a few reasons why you should consider meal planning:
- It can help you avoid buying extra ingredients you won’t eat and reduce food waste.
- It can help you create meals according to your budget.
- It can help you become more intentional about the food you eat. This means if you plan more healthy meals, you’ll eat healthy food.
Learn more about how I meal plan on a budget by reading this post: Simple Meal Planning Tips to Save Money.
Need someone create a meal plan for you?
If you don’t have time to create meal plans to follow every week, let Erin from the $5 Meal Plan help you!
For only $5 a month, Erin will email your weekly meal plan + shopping list, where every meal only costs $2 per person or $5 per family. You’ll also never worry about buying extra ingredients you won’t eat, hence reducing your food waste.
For a limited time, Erin offers a FREE 14-day trial through this link. If you’ll like the service, you can continue using the service for only $5 per month. Otherwise, cancel it before the trial period ends and you’ll still get free meal plans for two weeks.
Potential savings in 3 months if you meal plan: $300 easy in 3 months.
4. Do It Yourself
Before you even hire help to fix something, YouTube it first or do a quick research online.
I even learned how to cut my own hair by just watching tutorials on YouTube and believe me it’s not really that difficult. It’s like anything in life–if you want to get better at it, practice more.
I am not saying you should give up all your little luxuries in life but if you have a tight budget and want to save some money, you can DIY certain things (and I don’t just mean cutting your own hair), achieve the same results and pocket the money instead.
Here are some other things you can DIY to save more money:
- Home maintenance
- Home cleaners such as detergent
- Home organizers or decorations
- Clothes (altering old clothes)
- Kitchen items
Savings goal from DIY projects: $50 per month/ $150 for 3 months.
5.Find FREE Money
This free money comes in the form of gift cards, bonuses, cash back, or cold cash. And I know that I keep mentioning cash back apps or websites on this blog but it’s because I use them and they pay me for doing things I normally do, such as shopping online or buying groceries.
If you want to get free money, too, I recommend using the following:
Get paid for buying things you are going to buy anyway. Shop online using Rakuten to earn cash back and earn an extra $25 per every friend you refer to use it.
A bonus? Rakuten will give you $10 free for trying it. You’ll get this bonus after making your first $25 worth of purchases at any of Rakuten’s partner stores. Plus, you can earn up to 40% cash back on eligible purchases, too!
Read: Rakuten Review
Swagbucks is a search engine, cash back site and survey site in one. You can earn points (which you can redeem as cash) by using the app to shop online, answer surveys or watch videos. Receive a $10 bonus by signing up below.
For more information about Swagbucks, read my Swagbucks review here.
Ibotta is, hands-down, my favorite free money source! Ibotta is a grocery rebate app that pays you for buying groceries at their partner stores.
Since joining Ibotta, I’ve received over $1000 in cash back and bonuses on things I regularly buy at the grocery stores such as toilet paper, toothpaste, bread, milk, yogurt, OTC medicines or even vegetables.
It’s FREE to join; you don’t have to connect a credit card to start using it, and it pays you for buying grocery items you need to buy anyway. You’ll alsoreceive a $10 welcome bonus for just trying it!
Read: Ibotta Review.
Paribus offers price adjustment, protection, and monitoring for customers. The app automatically gets shoppers the adjustment amount they are owed should an item they purchased drop in price at a later time.
Potential savings from using cashback sites: $150 or more in 3 months depending on what you buy.
6. Make More Money
The ultimate solution to saving more money is, obviously, to increase your income.
Fortunately, there are so many ways you can make extra money today. For example, you can offer freelance services at Fiverr, become a petsitter at Rover, babysit at Sittercity.
Another quick way to make extra income is by delivering groceries for customers at Instacart or delivering food or packages for DoorDash. This side hustle idea pays $25 per hour.
If you need more ideas, I recommend checking out these posts to make extra money from home:
25 Stay-at-Home Mom Jobs that Pay Well
17 Amazing Online Side Jobs that Pay Really Well
15 Part Time Night Jobs from Home for Extra Income
How to Make $3000 Fast: 12 Ways To Generate Cash in 2022
7. Slash Your Cable and/or Internet
We cut the cord over 7 years ago and since then, we’ve been saving $800 per year!
There are a few cheaper alternatives to cable. There’s Hulu which costs only around $6 per month.
Then, there’s also Amazon Prime which not only gives you access to thousands of movies and TV series for only $99 a year; you also get free cloud storage with your account.
If you don’t want to cut your cable but still want to save money, use Trim. Trim will negotiate your Comcast bill and even your Internet and phone bill to help you save money. You can easily save 30% of your bill using Trim!
You can also save more money by getting FREE Internet. There are many zero-cost ways to get Internet and save $70 per month or $210 in 3 months.
8. Sell What You Don’t Need
We all have too much stuff in our lives and we all have extra stuff lying around that we no longer use. Chances are, some people would be happy to pay for those things you don’t use anymore.
How about selling those things you have not touched in ages? Maybe you have a lot of shoes or clothes you no longer use and want to get rid of. You could make money selling them at sites like eBay or Craigslist.
Decluttr is also a great place for selling electronics such as iPhones, CDs, DVDs, and tablets.
Another popular site where you can sell your old electronics is Gazelle. Trade in your old LG Phone for cash at Gazelle and get an extra $5 Bonus on your first trade-in!
You can also sell used items such as books, DVDs, cell phones, Kindle devices, and more through the Amazon Trade-In program. However, Amazon pays only in Amazon gift card credit which is still fine if you shop at Amazon anyway and keep your cash in your pocket.
Amazon also gives you a free pre-paid USPS or UPS shipping label so all you need to do is send off the items you want to sell.
Related post: How to Make an Extra $100 a Week Effortlessly
9. Open a New Bank Account
Opening a new savings or checking account is also another hack to get free cash and save more money.
Many banks are more than happy to give you a sign-up bonus when you open an online savings account or checking account with them. Here are a few examples you would enjoy by opening the following accounts.
HSBC Advance Checking Account – $350
Discover Online Savings – $150 or $200
Chase Bank Total Checking – $200
HSBC Premier Checking – $750
Bank of America – $100
Citibank – $200 – $600 depending on the type of account
Chase Savings – $150
There you have it–8 easy ways to save money in 3 months!
Do you have other ways to save money fast? What’s your favorite money-saving tip?
For more money-saving tips and frugal living inspiration, check out all the other frugal living blogs on this list by Feedspot where This Mama Blogs also got featured!
Amazing tips! This will really help me out!
Thank you for great post! Although we have to treat ourselves sometimes, on the other hand, we need to cut down the waste of money. It’s really difficult to save money perfectly. But your list reminded me of what we can cut off to save money. Good work! In my case, I walk instead of the transportation and cook extra food at an once and preserve in the fridge or freezer to save money.
Hi Fumiko , thanks for stopping by. Walking is a great exercise too! I will be doing the same…cooking a big meal to eat for 3 days. It can save us lots of time!
Jessica Araus Rodriguez
These are really useful tips! I loved them all, especially the last one, make money from home. I am definitely giving your free guide a try! Thank you so much for sharing.
Nice article, very informative! I never knew that there is a free money.
By the way, money can buy happiness & Money does grow on tree. I have written a separate article on it.
Thank you for stopping by! True, money can buy happiness, not always though. I corrected that part. 😀 I’ll check your post 🙂
Hi, Janey! Wow. This post is really inspiring on two levels. First, I’m inspired to work on cutting down on my monthly, yearly, costs. Second, I’m encouraged to hear that you manage to keep working from home, even with a 6-month-old baby! I often get the impression from moms that doing anything in addition to caring for kiddos is impossible. And maybe it is for some, depending on so many factors. But I hope I’ll be able to continue doing some writing/blogging, at least, post-children! Thanks again, and keep up the good work!
Hi Anna! It’s really difficult to juggle many things at a time with a small baby but I need to try because little progress in life makes us feel better. As a stay-at-home mom, i need to remind myself that there’s more to life aside from taking care of our children and husband. I’m following you on bloglovin so I can easily see when you have new posts up.
Yes, that makes sense! BTW, I didn’t mean to call you “Janey” – but must have got that mixed up. I’m not big on pretending to be besties with strangers – don’t worry. 😉 So, JANE, thanks for the comment back and thanks SO much for following me on BlogLovin. I will gladly follow you back…
P.S. I just followed you on Bloglovin, but it doesn’t look like you are following me yet? I am new to Bloglovin, so maybe I’m missing something. Anyway, FYI! 🙂
Hi Anna, you can call me Janey too! No worries! I just followed you on bloglovin. Sorry, I got super busy with my baby just awhile ago and forgot to hit follow. Bloglovin is cool , it makes following blogs super easy.
Ah, thanks, Janey! And no worries – glad you are taking care of the little on over following my blog! 🙂 Alas, my Bloglovin profile still shows that I have “0 followers,” so I’m not sure what wrong. Anyway, I’ll survive 😉
Hey, Jane! Yep, figured out what was wrong. I haven’t properly “claimed” my blog on Bloglovin, but I do see now that you are following me. So I’ll clear that up soon, but in the meantime, thanks again! 🙂
This is such a comprehensive list! Little savings here and there really add up.
Wonderful post! I loved your money saving tips!
amazing tips for saving money! I will sure try some of them.
I’m so bad with all of these things! I think my husband and I are wasting at least $100 a month by having two different plans. You’ve inspired me to consolidate!
These are really useful tips..organizing the money is not a matter of joke. The most tough work in life. Thanks for sharing.
Absolute fun post !!! Unique point of view
Amazing tips you got there, in short all of us need to save ofcourse 🙂 thanks for sharing.
Wonderful tips. And you’re right, it is hard to save money, when you aren’t really bringing any in. But your tips are definitely helpful!
these are amazing tips – good luck getting to your goal – i have a funny feeling i would not even be able to come close!
These are really great tips! I think we could all do with saving more and putting extra money away so I will defiantly be using these tips!
I know so many people who need to read the article and I will share it with them. Many people doesn’t realize the importance of a rainy day storm or never believe they can have one. You made it clear and possible.
The topic itself is so convincing to read. I can relate very much on what you said need to save money, though no extra money, before I believe I can only save if I have extra but as I grow it changed.
Up Run for Life
I need to take a good look at a few of the ways that you are putting extra money into your pocket. I try to stock up the freezer full of chicken when our grocery store runs b1g1. It comes out cheaper than paying for it when we need it.
This was a good read! I agree that investing in preventative care is a great way to save thousands, even if it costs little (comparatively) upfront!
Great tips, but foremost you have to adopt a frugal mindset. Look at your resources and manage them wisely versus spending them foolishly. Buying store brands versus the heavily advertised national brands that are usually 30% or more higher priced is just common sense. I don’t need to impress anyone with fancier packaging in the recycling can. We are very much of the mindset that if you can DIY rather than outsource it, then do it. Most people spend the money rather than think it through. And as you mentioned with practice you get better. My mother thought it was crazy when my husband gave me a haircut on our 3rd date. It wasn’t that he did a bad job, quite the opposite. She noticed I had my hair trimmed and complimented how nicely it was shaped. When I told her I saved $55 plus tip by having him cut it for me, as I had been putting it off as I couldn’t afford it it in my budget, she thought it was wrong. But I was happy using that money instead for gas for my car and groceries. He has been cutting my hair for me ever since, he took over giving my children their haircuts and not only has my mom gotten over it, she has since taken a seat and has him cut her hair for her as well. So not only do I save hundreds a year, it saves my mom who is on a limited income now, a lot of money each year. And while she hates to admit it, my hubby does a better job on her hair than the salon did. We have a garden and I can and freeze fruits and vegetables. Not only do we save money, but jars of pickles and jams are always welcomed birthday and Christmas gifts.
I have a side gig of cleaning houses for a couple of people that I have been doing for years. It is dirty work at times, but it extra income.
Hey Carolyn, thanks for stopping by. Your frugal story is inspiring! It’s true, cutting your own hair is not really difficult but people are just so used to going to a salon for a haircut. I 100% agree with you that adopting a frugal mindset is so important. if you don’t shift to this mindset, it’s easy to give in to temptations and put saving money aside! Thanks for sharing with us your inspiring frugal living tips!
Excellent tips that I never really thought about it. Thanks!