Clever Ways To Save Money: The Red Pocket Guide

Everyone could use some extra cash in their bank account. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to improve your living situation, saving spending money for a vacation, or looking to have an emergency fund for surprise life events. We can help you get your spending under control and reach your savings goals with our guide of general money-saving tips, and some creative ways to pad your reserves. 

Basic Ways To Save More Money for Your Financial Goals

You might have heard of some of these money-saving hacks before, but let’s dive into the tried-and-true tips as a refresher or a new introduction. An important thing to keep in mind is that saving money is like dieting; it takes self-control and dedication to reach your goals. 

We love flexibility, so you don’t have to do all these strategies listed here, but just pick ones that are within your reach and you will still see change (and hopefully dollar bills too).

Setting a Monthly Budget

This is the foundation for saving money. 

  • Set your spending limits upfront at the beginning of the month.
  • Put aside a certain amount each month and make that your spending pool for entertainment, eating/drinking out, grocery shopping, etc. Anything that is not an essential purchase should be bought only with this money. 
  • If you run out of it at the beginning of the month, you will quickly learn how to spread it out for the entire length. 
  • Bonus tip: If using a credit or debit card and you do not want to keep track of your purchases, you can withdraw your pool of money from a bank account and use only cash for your non-essential purchases to prevent overspending.

Make a List

Track your purchases and see how much you spend on daily purchases like takeout or coffee. On average, people spend over $1,800 a year on coffee and over $2,000 on dining out — that’s a ton of money, and there’s a simple way to cut it down. These two most common expenses can account for a lot of money you could be saving.

  • See if you can cut some purchases each week or buy less expensive options — making coffee at home instead of buying a latte, for example.
  • Can you cut out extra costs with each purchase? 
  • A personal finance spreadsheet can help you see exactly how much all those purchases add up to. Seeing the amount you spend makes it easier to cut back.

Trim the Fat

Find things you do not need in your life and cut them out. 

  • Go through your accounts and make sure you are not paying for any subscriptions or memberships that you are not using. We all have one or two of them, especially when it comes to streaming services. You can easily unsubscribe and save up some spare change.
  • Take the money that you would be spending on those and set up a monthly transfer from your checking to a savings account in the same amount.
  • Cable TV is racked with hidden fees. Many local shows can be streamed live for free. If your internet is not fast enough for streaming, look into if it is more affordable to increase your internet speed versus how much you spend on cable.
  • Research and see if you can save money on monthly utilities. Chances are you are paying for more internet speed than you need or getting billed for unnecessary fees, like incurring extra costs when paying automatic bills with a credit card instead of a debit card.
  • We’re all about affordable phone plans and flexible options, so don’t forget to check that phone bill and see if you can find an option to better fit your needs.

Shop Smart

Seek out savings wherever you can.

  • Check grocery store apps for deals and coupons.
  • Do the same if you plan to eat out. See if the restaurant has an app that you can use for free items.
  • Find coupon codes when shopping online to help you save. Web extensions can do this automatically.
  • Avoid extra fees. Use ATMs that will not charge you a transaction fee, for example.
  • Wait for holidays for major purchases. Businesses offer their best deals at this time. 
  • Follow blogs for extra savings methods or to track deals. Red Pocket’s blog will help you keep track of the deals that are right for you.
  • Don’t buy the latest book or movie when you could wait to rent it from a local library. Many libraries offer free passes to local cultural locations and events as well.
  • Hang onto your receipts or track them digitally if the option is available. If something does not work out, don’t just live with it; return it if you are still able to.

The Change Jar

This method is a classic for a reason. It works and will add up quickly if you make a lot of cash purchases.

  • Fill a container with the extra money you have lying around. 
  • Loose change adds up quicker than you would expect, but also make a point to put small cash bills in there to see faster gains. 
  • Label your jar with a goal if you are saving up for something special.

Saving With a Bank or Credit Card

Next up, let’s look at ways you can save money utilizing traditional savings plans through a bank. We will also talk about how to best manage a credit card. There are many resources for finding the right type of savings account, so we won’t go into every detail, but there are some necessities to go over to get you on the way to saving.

Savings Accounts

If you want to maximize your money, find a savings account with a high-interest rate. 

  • The annual percentage yield, or APY, is the most important number. 
  • Make sure to check for account fees, and that you can meet any minimum requirements to avoid them.
  • Try to keep the majority of your money in this account so you can make the most of the interest rate. Plan out how much you will need in a checking account to pay all monthly expenses.

Certificates of Deposit

Also known as CDs, these accounts can be a powerful tool if you already have decent savings built up. 

  • Place a set amount of money into an account for a predetermined amount of time.
  • Earn more interest based on how long you keep it in there.
  • You will be unable to access any money in this account.
  • You will earn a better interest rate than you would on most standard savings accounts, and even more the longer you keep the CD.
  • These savings accounts are particularly helpful if you have trouble controlling yourself from dipping into your savings.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are essential for building good credit if you want to buy a house or car, or take out a loan. However, they are dangerous if not used carefully.

  • Pay it off! If you have significant credit card debt, put as much as you can spare towards it as soon as possible.
  • The more debt you have, the more it will just build and build from the interest. Anything you save should go towards this immediately. 
  • Look into a balance transfer. You might be able to move your balance to a card with a lower interest rate, decreasing the amount you accrue each month. Many cards have introductory periods with no interest on balance transfers, but be sure to pay off the entire amount before it ends or you will have to pay interest on the full balance.
  • If you do not have any or much debt on a credit card, pay your full balance on each statement to avoid accruing more interest.
  • Treat any loans you have, including student loans, the same way. Work to pay off that balance to avoid interest.
  • Find a credit card with a good cash-back bonus, ideally earned on as many purchases as possible.
  • When redeeming the cash-back bonus, check to see what gift cards are available. Many credit cards will let you use your bonus to buy a gift card instead, usually giving you more than you would get as a statement credit or deposit to your account. If you can get a gift card to someplace you already shop, then you are getting extra cash.

Creative Savings Methods

We have looked at shoring up your savings with the basics of altering your spending habits and budgeting. There are some unique methods you can also try to grow your savings account more quickly. 

Save With Every Purchase

Keep track of your spending and pay yourself whenever you buy something.

  • For every purchase you make, move a dollar into a savings account. 
  • Not only does this help you control your spending by seeing how many purchases you make each week, it ensures that each purchase goes towards saving for your future.
  • Either take a dollar in cash and set it in a savings jar or manually move a dollar from a checking account into a savings account.
  • There are apps that can help you invest your money, like Acorns, which will automatically round up card purchases. If you want to earn more from your savings, this is a good option to explore.


Not just being crafty. Do more yourself and save.

  • Cook your own meals and create a meal plan so you know what you are eating. Buying food from a grocery store will always be cheaper, especially if you are planning your meals around whatever deals you find. 
  • Holidays? Get creative and make something by hand. The average amount an American spends on gift shopping during winter holidays is almost $1,000. Cut that amount down and put it into your savings.
  • Make your own household cleaners. Vinegar can clean a lot more than you might expect.

Bargain Hunting

You don’t have to spend all day shopping around for the best deals with these ways to help you save.

  • There are apps that can help you track the best prices online or in-store. 
  • You can also use apps to find the best price on gas; 20 cents doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re filling an 11-gallon tank that’s over $2 you could save. 
  • If driving around town on errands, plan your route so you can go everywhere you need in the shortest route possible without lots of backtracking. This saves time and gas money. 
  • When shopping online, avoid impulse buys by searching for exactly what you need instead of browsing, and avoid looking at suggested add-ons. 
  • Thrift stores can help you get much-needed items at cheaper prices. Clothes are an obvious one, but also consider appliances or furniture. 
  • If you research brands that are high quality and go into a thrift store with that knowledge, you can find very durable merchandise that might last you longer than a brand-new purchase even if it is pre-owned. 
  • Finding the perfect treasure at a thrift store is its own reward, and more satisfying than getting the same boxed item anyone can have.


Don’t stop here, because this is a fraction of the things you could do to be saving money. Use this guide as a jumping-off point to figure out more ways to save yourself money. Once you have savings built up, you can begin to invest it back, which means you are earning without even having to do anything.

Managing money is not an easy thing, but nothing you really want ever comes easy. We’re here to help make it as simple as possible while remembering that it is a journey to get where you want to be. Keep using our Red Pocket guide on savings and you will reach your money goals.


How to Choose a Savings Account | The Ascent

Here's How Much Americans Are Spending on Coffee | Yahoo

Americans Spend an Average of $2,375 Per Year on Dining and Takeout. 6 Tips to Spend Less | Fool

Average Cost of American Holiday Spending | Investopedia

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