Changes You Can Make TODAY to Save Money | Budgeting | Home 101 | Money Saving Tips | Smart Money

This is a guest post from Kalyn of KalynBrooke.coms

Most of us brush off saving money because we find it too overwhelming. The truth is, it can be…especially if you’re tackling a big expense or trying to change everything right away.

But the key to saving money is not necessarily by taking on a huge project—it’s by focusing on a much smaller, more achievable one. It’s finding those extra savings that don’t really feel like huge sacrifices in the moment, but end up creating lifelong habits later on.

So instead of telling you to grow your own vegetables, stop Starbucks cold turkey, or extreme coupon until your closets are full, I want to suggest ten simple changes take literally 5-10 minutes each, and still have an instant impact on your bottom line. They probably won’t save you hundreds of dollars tomorrow, but over time, I promise they will make a big difference!

Loose change is one of the easiest ways to save money

1. Start Saving Loose Change

If you primarily use cash, one easy switch is to pay exclusively with bills, then set aside your change in a digital coin bank. I bet you already have a few coins lurking in your laundry room and behind the couch to get started! At the end of each month, or when the container is full, roll them in coin wraps and drop them off at your local bank.

I recommend storing these coins in a savings account so you’re less likely to touch it. Establish a financial goal—like paying off debt, saving for retirement, or funding a home remodel—then let it grow!

2. Adjust Your Thermostat

Whether you use heat, air conditioning, or both, adjusting your thermostat every time you leave the house or head to bed makes a pretty big difference in your overall bill. The Energy Information Administration found that 42% of home energy costs go to heating and cooling, so it’s essential to get this part under control!

You can adjust the temperature manually, or buy a programmable thermostat to do all the adjusting for you. During winter, lowering your temp will save more. During the summer, {especially with air conditioning}, higher is better.

Conserving water is a simple way to save a little extra cash

3. Take a Shorter Shower

I’ll be honest—I love a nice long relaxing shower, but when you really stop to think about it, it’s crazy how much water we waste {and pay for} all because we want to enjoy that spa-like experience!

Time the length of your normal shower, then try to shorten the length by a few minutes every day. Save even more by turning the water off to suds up with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If you always shave in the shower, fill the sink with warm water and shave there instead.

4. Swap Out One Cleaning Product

The absolute biggest way you can save on cleaning supplies is to make your own from scratch. White vinegar, borax, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, dish soap, and water literally cost just pennies a piece, and can do wonders when mixed in the appropriate measurements!

I don’t recommend you switch out everything right away—remember, we don’t want to get overwhelmed—so focus on the one bottle that’s closest to being thrown out. Ruth has a ton of great DIY cleaning recipes to help you get started.

Save your scrap paper and use it for notes like grocery lists, reminders, or simple notes

5. Repurpose Your Scrap Paper

Limiting paper use is not just good for your wallet, it’s essential for the environment too. Just think about how many pieces of paper you use, print, or handle in a given day. Paper is literally everywhere, including our landfills!

Besides being more conscious about what you print, it’s time to repurpose the paper you currently use. I have a stash of scrap printer paper available to print coupons, my weekly meal plan, and anything else that doesn’t require a professional printing. I also write lists on the back of junk envelopes, or cut scrap full-size papers into four quarters to use as notes.


Tackle these habits one at a time to be on your way to being budget savvy. Simply opt-in below to have the Budget Savvy Cheat Sheet sent straight to your inbox!


6. Cancel Memberships You’re Not Using

How often do you use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Sling TV? What about the gym membership you bought in January, or the magazine subscription you never have time to read? Comb through your credit card and/or bank statement and highlight everything that comes out automatically, then reassess to see if you really need them.

Chances are, you probably don’t…or at least not that many!

Sign up for birthday freebies for savings on things like dinners or shopping coupons

7. Sign Up for Birthday Freebies

Many restaurants offer free food on your birthday if you sign up for their email list. The best part is, the coupons they send are valid for your entire birthday month—that means you could eat for free all month long, and at a variety of restaurants!

You want to sign up for these at least thirty days before your birthday to be eligible, then print and keep on hand to enjoy free stuff throughout your birthday month. You can find an extensive list of birthday freebies HERE.

8. Eat the Leftovers Already in Your Fridge

Instead of grabbing takeout, dig through your fridge or freezer and eat a plate of leftovers…pending they’re still good, that is! One of my tricks is to freeze individual leftovers rather than sticking them in the fridge. This is particularly helpful if we have something like extra biscuits or soup, because we can just freeze the rest for another busy night.

Another thing I like to do is warm up leftovers on the stove or in a convection oven. It seems to revive refrigerated food a lot better than the microwave!

Not using it? Unplug in! Don't leave unused appliances plugged in, sucking energy

9. Unplug Your Unused Appliances

Take a minute to look around your house…is your toaster oven plugged in? What about lamps? Maybe a phone charger…or two? It takes just a few minutes to plug and unplug these items, and though one appliance might not make that big of a difference, a handful of them most definitely do!

Make it a habit to unplug your kitchen appliances when not in use, and put away your chargers when you don’t need them. If you have a bunch of cords in the same general area, grab a surge protector that you can easily switch on and off.

10. Swap Your Light Bulbs

Another simple change is to switch out all incandescent bulbs after they burn out with CFL bulbs. These bulbs work at partial capacity, which means they use 75% less energy, and last ten times longer than normal bulbs. Even though CFL’s are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, their long life span makes the switch more than worth it.

Dimmable CFL’s can save even more, but make sure the package says dimmable before trying it. Many CFL’s are surprisingly not!

Once you see the amazing transformation these simple changes have on your budget, you might just find you can’t stop. That’s a good thing! It means you’re ready for more.

These tips are just a small sampling of what you’ll find in my book, 31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses. If you want to go even deeper and radically improve your finances, this book is your go-to resource!

31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses by Kailyn Brooke

31 Days to Radically Reduce Your Expenses walks you through every part of your budget, and gives you the tools and resources to change your expenses for the better…even if you already think they’re as low as they can go. Consider this your personal roadmap to find more money at the end of every month, make lasting change, and start saving for what truly matters!

Saving money isn’t about just making changes today, or even this month…it’s about making changes for life. I hope you’ve been inspired to turn one of these simple changes into a lifelong habit!


Kalyn Brooke is a life management expert for busy women who crave a simpler and more organized life. Through her recognizable, down-to-earth approach, she provides a daily dose of inspiration and guidance, whether you’re looking for smart money tips, time saving routines, or anything in-between. When she’s not experimenting with ways to do even the most mundane tasks more efficiently, you can find her crafting detailed to-do lists in her bullet journal, or indulging in—yet another—personal development book. Meet Kalyn and learn how stay on top of it all at

Changes You Can Make TODAY to Save Money | Budgeting | Home 101 | Money Saving Tips | Smart Money

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