23 Easy Ideas for Millennials to Save Money

It’s fairly easy to earn money. It’s the saving part that becomes tricky. Our expenses, coupled with the pressure of maintaining a lifestyle, take a toll on our investment plans. By the end of the month, there are more bills than money in our accounts. Millennials are under a lot of pressure – to have a big house by 30, brand new gadgets, fancy cars, overseas vacation and what not. This looks daunting. But with little tweaks here and there, it’s attainable. Here are 23 easy ideas for millennials to save money and fulfil all their dreams by mid-30s.

Make a monthly budget

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

It pays to plan ahead. Literally. Set a monthly budget and stick to it. Use your smartphone to keep a tab on your spendings. Download MoneyView app and keep track of your spendings to stay within the assigned limit. Factor in all the costs – rent, utilities, groceries, internet, phone bill, transport, student loan while setting your monthly budget. Link your credit cards and banks accounts to get a clear picture of your finances. Aim to be within your spending limit.

Don’t max out credit card limit

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Credit cards are good. They help us make a good credit history, which, in turn, helps to get loans. Don’t ruin the underlying purpose of credit cards. Never max out your credit cards. Spend within means. Follow the principle – if you can’t afford something in a month’s salary, postpone the purchase. Remember an exceptional credit rating would help get easy approvals while applying for a car or home loan.

Pay your credit card bills on time

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

An extension of the earlier point but equally important. Pay credit card bills on time. I suggest authorize auto deduction from your bank account to ward off penalties. Such defaults reflect poorly on your credit card history. Save both time, money, and credit score by paying on time. Another way is to set a reminder on phone. Money View App has auto reminders that are very helpful in this regard.

Hire/rent furniture

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

I follow a simple rule – till we own a place, never spend too much on furniture. I move a lot. And I don’t invest in furniture. I buy furniture to fulfill basic requirements and lifestyle. If you don’t have the time to spend on a balcony, don’t buy patio furniture just to fill the empty space. A better alternative is to rent furniture. It’s an inexpensive alternative. A furnished apartment is another option which professional living in metros can exercise.

Go for PG or small rented apartment

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

In the initial stage of adult life, aim to save more. The major expense is always on rent. So try to save it. Share an apartment with working professionals. Stay in a PG. But in case you want to live alone, rent a small apartment that you can manage and afford. A studio apartment is perfect for a single working professional. Saving on rent is one of the easiest ways millennials can save money.

Invest a portion of your savings every month

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Save first, spend later – this is a perfect mantra to meet all your financial goals. Begin with 10%. It may sound aggressive but it is attainable. If we inculcate the habit of saving first early in life, it paves the path for financial security. Set aside a sum every month towards a mutual fund investment or recurring deposit. Even long term investments like PPFs are good.

Reduce eating out to once a week/fortnight

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Eating out can drain our pockets so quickly that we won’t even realize what went wrong. Don’t believe me? Calculate the amount of money you spent on takeouts, dine-in, and home delivery last month. It must be in thousands. The figure would shock you. Take an action before you empty your hard earned money to bag extra calories. Eat out once a week or once a fortnight. Make it a memorable experience. Enjoy the cuisine and ambiance without the guilt of emptying your bank balance. If you plan a weekly menu and shop for groceries over the weekend, it will be a breeze to plan your meals through the week.

Automate savings

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

You can never save from the leftover money at the end of the month. Point being, there is no money left by the time we cross 20th day on the calendar. The best way to save is to automate savings. Let the savings go first from our salary. Then manage the expenses in the money left in our account. Be responsible while setting automatic deduction from your salary account. While 25% is too steep, setting the target somewhere between 10-15% is appropriate for every age group. Set the deduction for the day you receive your paycheck.

Set up an emergency fund

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Emergency funds are the saving grace. It is the backup plan we all must have. Always have a contingency fund. Set aside a small sum every month or you can use the leftover money, if any, at the end of the month to create an emergency fund. This way we don’t have to take a loan or prematurely withdraw investment when there is an emergency. You can bank on your emergency fund.

Avoid temptations, save instead

Food is a stress buster. We are tempted to eat out when we feel low. There are many temptations. Most of them are within our reach. And every one of them cost money. If you are a victim of temptations – espresso, grilled sandwich, going to movies every weekend, shopping for clothes put a tab on it. Resist your temptations. Take the same amount of money you intend to spend and keep it aside. I did so. This practice taught me self-control and developed the habit of saving. Another effective method is to set a target to control temptations. Set a target to save for an expensive bag or shoes in the next 6 months.

Create a ‘Happy Me’ fund

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

It’s a unique idea to multiply your savings. Create a ‘Happy Me’ fund. Every time you achieve a target, reach a milestone or win a laurel, put some money in this fund. Use this money as a downpayment to buy something valuable or as an investment at the end of the year. Such innovative methods act as better motivators to save money. I have a friend who has named her savings account as ‘vacation account’ where she happily deposits all her money.

The money diversion tactic to pump-up savings

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

In case you are on the last installment of loan payment, don’t keep that amount in your saving account. Simply divert the money from loan payment to an investment account. You are already accustomed to survive in the money you get. Use this installment money to open up a fixed deposit or recurring deposit or SIP. This way you will pump-up your saving without bearing the brunt of it.

Don’t succumb to peer pressure

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Peer pressure can send your financial goals south. Don’t do things just because your friends and colleagues are doing so. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is one of the other reason millennials spend outrightly. Talk to yourself. Do you really need the new iPhone or you’re buying it because it’s in rage? We can control many extravagant expenditures if we choose to live according to our standards, not of others.

Use public transport

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

In the last 10 years, our government has changed the face of public transport. We have metro rails and air-conditioned buses in all the metropolitans. Use them. They are safe, comfortable and cost less than a cab ride. It reduces the monthly transportation cost and our carbon footprints. Another option, which is equally economical, is cab share. Try Uber Share. Divide the fare with fellow passengers who are heading to or near your destination.

Spend the spare change first

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

It’s great to use credit cards and online payment methods while we can. It gives control over finances as we can track them online and on our apps. But don’t undermine the value of currency notes and change. Empty your pockets or purse to collect change. Don’t throw them in a box or drawer. Use it to buy low-value items like bread, a glass of juice or pay for the auto fare.

Enjoy free activities

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Entertainment comes at a price. Movies tickets are costly. And so is attending a live concert. But don’t limit your entertainment to high-end activities. Experiment. Go to free shows and exhibitions in your town. Check updates on Facebook or city’s website. Make use of public parks, beaches, and libraries. Another option is to entertain friends at home.

Change shopping habits

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

We have to refine and upgrade our spending habits with time. Learn new ways to save money and incorporate them into your lifestyle. Buy bulk if you live in a group or in a family. Make use of online sales. Save by shopping at the farmers market than at a supermarket. Don’t buy stuff you can afford on EMIs. Bring these changes and they would automatically result in more savings.

Change one extravagant habit every year

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

We all have one or the other bad habit. Some are impulsive shoppers. Some spend way too much on coffee. Whatever is your guilty pleasure, try to change it. Pick one habit and take concrete steps to change it this calendar year. The best way to fix this problem is to find a replacement. For extravagance on food, make fitness your goal and use it as a distraction. For shopping, fix a goal to buy an expensive product and save for it. Do what helps you to curb your guilty pleasure.

Ditch the lending-borrowing habit

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

Our journey of financial freedom is preceded by dependence on family and friends. We borrow and lend without any fear of consequence. If this habit seeps into our adult life, it is detrimental to our financial stability. Ditch this habit the moment you get a job. Buy what you can afford. Don’t buy unnecessary stuff on EMIs. Take a pledge to never borrow from family and friends. Do the same while lending money. Don’t give money to your friends without asking when and how they would return. Learn financial independence and earn respect.

Learn to negotiate and bargain

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

One part of financial prudence is to ask for a discount. For that, learn to negotiate. Negotiate with your service providers – internet, cable, and phone. At the end of your contract, before you renew, ask for special offers. Bargain at every store. Talk to the store manager and ask for a discount. There is always room for a little discount as far as my experience goes. Most of us shy away from asking. These little savings can pay for a lunch date or movie tickets.

Shop for credit cards

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

You heard me right. In a growing economy like India, there are superb offers on credit cards. Some banks give bonus points on opening a new credit. Others have great cashback offers. There are zero foreign transaction fees on some credit cards. Do your research and pick the card that gives better deals according to your lifestyle.

Buy second-hand to save money

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

There are occasions when a second-hand item is a better option than to spend money on a brand new product. Buy second-hand items if you live in a rented home. Take a used car if you are a new driver. For any item that is to be used for a limited time, it’s better to look online for a great second-hand option. There is no point full price when you can get the same quality in half.

Use apps

Easy Ideas Millennials Save Money

There are better deals on apps. Use apps to shop online. Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra give cashback offers when you shop via apps. Book cabs using apps. Even manage your money on apps. Do price check and compare on apps to get better deals. Check RetailMeNot, ShopClues, Paytm and KOOVS.

Club these ideas to save money. As millennials, you can brainstorm and come up with more ideas to save. But don’t forget to share those in comments below.

Saru Singhal

A Company Secretary by profession, Saru found her true calling in writing. She blogs at sarusinghal.com which she religiously updates every Monday for the last six years.

Check your Loan Eligibility in 2 minsApply Online