How to Save Money Fast

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 30, 2023

Your car’s on the fritz and when it comes out of the shop in a week, a big bill will follow. Or, maybe you’re moving in a month and will need to save every penny you have for closing costs. No matter what happens, there are things you can do to save money fast, whether you need extra cash in a week or a year.

Main Takeaways: How To Save Money Fast

  • Establish your timeline: How long do you have to save based on your upcoming expenses?
  • Map out your spending: Depending on how much time you have, track your expenses on a budget app to see where your paycheck is going.
  • Cut costs based on purchases: Based on your timeline and where you spend, you can follow our tips for what to cut down on for savings in a week, month, 6 months and a year.

Understand Your Timeline

Establishing a timeline for saving is important. Are you saving for a bill due in two months? Or a vacation you’d like to take a year from now?

Maybe you want to buy a new car in six months. No matter your timeline, there are lots of tips and resources you can rely on. First things first: set specific savings goals.

Determine Your Savings Goals

The key to getting started is determining your immediate and long-term financial priorities. The most effective way to do this is simple. Write down your goals, then start saving.

If You’re Trying to Save by Next Week

Need cash fast? If so, you need to get real with your spending and cut extras out in order to achieve short-term goals. Here are our top tips for saving money in a week.

Track Your Budget

One way you can achieve instant savings is by downloading a budget app. Budget apps help you track your expenses so you can see where your paycheck goes. For example, your paycheck can show you how much you spend on groceries and rent each month.

Once you download a budget app, enter your salary and recurring expenses. You’ll easily be able to see where overspending occurs and how you can save. Downloading a budget app only takes a few minutes.

Money saved: $50 or more

Eliminate the Extras

If you usually eat out for lunch several times a week, pack your lunch instead. Get in the habit of bringing in your own snacks from home.

Opt for a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water from the vending machine and skip the line at Starbucks and brew your own lattes at home.

Money saved: $35 or more

Buy Cheaper Staples

If you need basic staples like paper towels, cups and plates, shopping at a dollar store will save money. Paper towels at a regular store can set you back $3 or more versus $1 at the local dollar store.

If you need eggs, bread and milk, you could pay $10 or more at a traditional grocery store, but those same items at a discount supermarket chain may cost only $4.

Money saved: $10 or more

If You’re Trying to Save By Next Month

Decided to pitch more money toward your mortgage or throw an expensive party at the end of the month? Let’s take a look at some ways to save in 30 days.

Turn Down Your Water Heater and Thermostat

For every 10 degrees you lower your water heater’s temperature, you can save 3% to 5% on your heating utility bills.

It only takes a few seconds to do this, and while you’re at it, you can turn down your thermostat, too.

According to, you can save as much as 10% a year on your heating bill if you turn your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day. If you’re not at home, why pay to heat your house?

Money saved: $10 or more

Cancel Something

Never go to the gym but pay for an expensive gym membership anyway? Have Pandora or other subscription services but never use them? The best way to save money is to live within your means.

If you cancel something you’ll never miss, you’re money ahead. Make a list of all the subscriptions and memberships you own and nix those you never use.

Money saved: $20 or more

Cut Cable and Subscription Costs

Cutting cable and subscription costs can help save money in several ways:

  • Eliminating cable or satellite TV subscriptions can save a significant amount of money each month. Cable bills can be expensive, especially when bundled with internet and phone services. By cutting the cord, individuals can reduce their monthly expenses and allocate that money towards other financial goals or needs.
  • Streaming services often offer lower-cost alternatives to cable or satellite TV. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video offer a wide range of TV shows, movies and original content at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable packages. By subscribing to these streaming services instead, individuals can enjoy entertainment while saving money.
  • Many cable and satellite providers require customers to sign long-term contracts, often with hefty cancellation fees. By cutting cable, individuals can avoid these contract obligations and the associated fees. This gives them more flexibility to switch providers or explore other options without financial penalties.
  • Cable and satellite TV subscriptions often come with additional fees for premium channels, DVR services and equipment rentals. By cutting these subscriptions, individuals can eliminate these extra costs and save money in the long run.
  • Cutting cable and subscription costs can also lead to reduced impulse spending. Cable TV often bombards viewers with commercials and shopping channels, tempting them to make unnecessary purchases. By limiting exposure to these advertisements, individuals can avoid impulse buying and save money.
  • In addition to cable TV, cutting other subscription costs like magazine subscriptions, gym memberships or music streaming services can also contribute to saving money. Evaluating and canceling unnecessary subscriptions can help you prioritize your spending and allocate funds towards more important financial goals.

Money saved: $100 or more

If You’re Trying to Save In 6 Months

If your property taxes are due in six months or your oldest child is starting college, it’s not too early to start saving for those bills.

Open a Second Bank Account

Many banks offer financial incentives up to $500 just for opening an account and making a deposit. It’s worth finding out how to set up direct deposit.

Often, these bank incentives require a one-time direct deposit of $500 or more, and once you do that, they’ll deposit $300 to $500 in your account within a few months.

That’s extra money in your pocket, and it can be a smart idea to open a bank account solely for saving money, especially if you take money out of your other savings account when you need it.

One account Benzinga recommends is a savings account with Credit Karma. It offers one of the highest APYs in the market and has no account minimums and no fees.

Money saved: Up to $500

Pay Your Bills Online

Ever been late on your credit card bill and paid a late fee as a result? Pay your bills online to avoid this situation.

Many credit card companies charge $35 or more if you’re even one day late on your payment. Consider signing up for automatic bill pay through your bank or download a bill paying app like Mint to help you track and pay your bills so you’re never late.

Some apps will send you a notification a day or two before your bill is due so you won’t forget.

Money saved: $35 or more

Take on a Side Hustle

For a major boost to your wallet, why not take on a second gig? There are many online jobs on sites like or Upwork that can help you secure another source of income.

Also, consider your talents. Start a resume-writing service if you write well. If your cupcakes get rave reviews, start a small side business. You can score some serious cash that can come in handy in six months.

Money saved: Unlimited

Check Out Your Insurance Plan

If you have a health maintenance organization (HMO) health plan, there’s a good chance that it offers financial incentives or rewards just for completing an annual physical or maintaining a healthy BMI.

Log in to your plan’s website and search for rewards. Some will reimburse you for exercise equipment or a gym membership. Read your plan’s explanation of benefits to learn more.

Money saved: $100 or more

If You’re Trying to Save in a Year

Got a whole year to save up for something big, like a family vacation? Here are several goal-achieving options.

Buy Food on Sale and Use Coupons

Take advantage of your grocery store’s specials and repeatedly buy items such as meat and bread and freeze them for later.

Cook meals in batches and freeze them instead of ordering late-night pizza or eating out. Finally, dust off your crock pot and make something delicious, like chili, which you can store in your deep freeze in anticipation of cooler months ahead.

Money saved: $100 or more

Open a High-Yield Savings Account

If you don’t have a high-yield savings account now, open one. Find an online account that earns the highest interest rate possible.

You don’t have to stick with your current bank if you can find an online bank that can offer more of a return. Or consider CDs or the best ways to invest, depending on your risk tolerance.

Money earned: $200 or more

Follow the 24-Hour Rule

Impulse buying can wreak havoc on your savings goals, so before you buy an item you think you can’t live without, wait 24 hours first.

Chances are, you can live without it. Other ways to avoid impulse buying include:

  • Make a list and stick to it
  • Use cash more and leave your credit cards at home
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry, emotional or bored

If you’re prone to buying stuff online, stay offline during sales or right after you get paid.

Money saved: $100 or more

Small Changes Add Up

Whether you need money now or a year from now, these tips don’t require a lot of effort. By making a few small changes, you can save money for the things you need.

You’ll be ready whether you have an immediate emergency or need money in a year.

Trying to learn more about saving? Check out Benzinga's guides to the best savings accounts, best checking accounts, best budget spreadsheets and best budget apps.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why should you save money?


Saving money is important for financial security and a safety net or emergency fund in case of emergencies. It also helps achieve long-term financial goals and reduces financial stress. Saving money provides control over your financial future and opportunities for growth and investment.


What is a money market account?


A money market account is a savings account that offers a higher interest rate and easy access to funds. It has a minimum deposit requirement and limitations on withdrawals. It is considered a low-risk investment.


What age should I begin to save for retirement?


Starting to save for retirement at a young age is ideal because it allows for more time to take advantage of compound interest. However, it is also never too late to start saving, and consistent contributions to your retirement plan can make a difference. Prioritizing retirement savings is important throughout your working years.