10 Unusual But Effective Money Saving Tips

Gabe Bult
by Gabe Bult

These unusual money-saving tips helped me keep a 50% plus savings rate over the past five years. I stopped buying a bunch over the past few years as I've been trying to save more money and live as a financial minimalist.

These are some of my top weird money-saving hacks.

Browsing appliances

1. Trick yourself

Sometimes you have to trick yourself. Research shows that you get your dopamine high when anticipating a reward. So a cool trick I use to not buy stuff online is when I see something I want to get, I will put it in the cart, and then I'll close my browser.

Or ,if it's on Amazon, I will put it in the shopping cart, click Save for Later, and close it.

You get almost the same feeling as buying, but you don't spend any money and don't have junk you don't need.

Opening package

2. Your time is money

Your time is money. Just take a second and look around. All of that clutter you see used to be money, and all that money used to be time. Understanding this idea put an end to a lot of my impulse buying.

When you look at everything that you own and spend money on, you're spending this finite amount of time that you have on this planet for a shirt, a fancier car, or a Starbucks.

You got to ask that question, is that worth your life?


3. Move over the last digit

Move over the last digit of your bank account. First off, you want to set up a high-interest savings account. If you don't know what that is, it's a savings account that will offer a couple of percent on your money.

So you open that high-interest savings account, and every day you look in your bank account, and whatever the last digit of the bank account is, you send that amount of money over to the high-interest savings account.

If you do this every single day, after a long enough period of time, it will start to add up substantially, and it'll be in a separate account.


4. Recurring expenses

Cut recurring expenses. We all have a bunch of recurring expenses that make zero difference in our life, whether we spend more or less money on them.

Whether you spend more on your electric bill or not will not make you any happier. So look at ways to lower it.

When you're getting a new refrigerator, maybe get one that will use less electricity. You can also shop around at your car insurance, try to get that lower, look at your monthly subscriptions, and see if there are any of those that you don't need.

Mint Mobile

5. Mint Mobile

A partner of mine, Mint Mobile, which I've been using for a while, is a premium wireless service starting at just $15 a month. Wicked cheap, and it was as good as I had before. Mobile phone service is an easy way to cut a recurring expense.

6. Be a weirdo

You have this goal to save money, start paying off debt, bettering your life. Then your friend invites you to go out for drinks or dinner or on vacation, whatever it is.

You feel this urge to keep up with your friend group, spend money on different things, and go out even when you don't want to do those things; you just feel this need to fit in.

It's really good to embrace being a little bit weird, being a little bit different. Maybe it's getting into minimalism, having a lot less stuff. Maybe it's downsizing your house. Maybe it's having one car instead of two. Maybe it's even just wearing clothes from the thrift store, and you're fine with that. Embrace your weirdness.

Task list

7. Two-tiered money goals

It will be tough to get there if you don't know where you're going. This is why I like having two-tiered financial goals. So for me, my big financial goal originally was to leave my job at a very high level.

I broke that down into some smaller goals, which were buying my first rental, and eventually buying my second and third one, and I broke those down even further into 90-day goals, which is what I use this for and how I set every goal I have now.

So think about your big goal. Break it down into a 90-day goal to know the next step you can actively shoot for. Then keep track every day of how you can get closer to that goal so that you know you're making some progress. Whatever it is, you need to break it down.


8. Do the math

You buy a coffee machine for $200, and making a coffee at home costs $0.55. But buying a cup of coffee might cost $5 when calculating gas and everything else. So how long would it take to pay for a $200 coffee machine? If my math is correct, paying for the coffee machine would only take about 40 days.

You should do this math with a bunch of different things. It is way cheaper to buy the best steak and lobster to cook at home than it is to go out and have an average meal.

Sometimes, whether buying a new appliance or even like we talked about with coffee, it's cheaper to spend money and buy something that will save you money over time.

9. Waste

Have a cheap wedding and wedding ring. The average cost of a wedding in my state is $30,000. That's more than the down payment for this half-a-million-dollar property we're in right now because of how we bought it.

You're taking one day of your life, and instead of setting yourself up with a rental that you could leverage and, in a couple of years, be out of your job, traveling the world, having an incredible life, spending time with your children, not working at a job you don't hate, you're taking all that money and just burning it right on one day doesn't make a lot of sense.

Spending ten grand on a wedding ring doesn't make much sense. Even if you can technically afford those, having a cheaper ring won't add anything or take anything away from your life.

10. Once a week rule

Make it a rule that you only go to the grocery store one day a week. Make it a game that encourages you to plan your meals because otherwise, you won't have enough food. It'll make you shop your pantry and use stuff you already have lying around the house.

Unusual money saving tips

I hope my unusual money-saving tips help you in bettering your financial life. Do you have any tips to add? Share in the comments below.

Join the conversation
  • Carole Carole on Jun 15, 2024
    Thanks! One tip to help with the weekly shop is to keep a running list so you don't unexpectedly run out of things. As soon as you are about halfway through an item you use regularly, put it on the list.
  • Christy Christy on Jun 17, 2024
    I love that tip you have about putting something in the cart and leaving it there, do it all the time..lol. I like collecting Amazon gift cards and not spending them unless I really want or need something, it's just the fact that it is there gives me a little high!