Practical Ways to Save $10 a Day

Saving ten dollars a day may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but it is taking a small step toward savings that will reward you in the end.

Delay Impulse Shopping

Two jars filled with coins, the larger jar marked SAVE and the smaller marked SPEND

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Are you itching to make the purchase now? Go home and think about it. Give yourself 24 hours to decide if you need the item. Waiting for 72 hours is even better. You'll save yourself hundreds of dollars this way. The impulse to buy is just that—an impulse in most cases.

Look for Lower Cost Substitutes

Woman substitutes buying a book by checking it out at a library with the librarian

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If you're an avid book reader, try a trip to the library or check out the free books on Amazon Prime or other membership sites instead of purchasing. If you're a golfer, substitute one tee time a week for a trip to the community driving range.

The important thing is not to give up the things you like. Instead, make small, occasional substitutions that will save a little bit here and there. The little things add up over time.

Skip the Shopping Spree

Men walking by stores instead of shopping in them.

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Whether it be Target, Amazon, or the sporting goods store, next time you're tempted to go shopping, drive on by instead. If you still want activity, go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, or read a book. If it's online shopping is your preference, you can replace that with the habit of watching a favorite music video instead of shopping.

Build a new habit to replace the old one. It's more satisfying to watch your savings account balance increase than to experience momentary pleasure from buying stuff.

Downsize Where You Can

Man dressed in a suit downsizing by stepping out of a very small Volkswagen instead of a luxury one

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In his book "A New Earth," author Eckhart Tolle talks about our tendency to identify ourselves, and our self-worth, by our things. Well, you are not your things.

The sense of self-respect you get when you make smart financial decisions is worth far more than the ego-centric feeling of driving the fancy car and wearing the latest styles. Evaluate the lifestyle changes you can make. It might be your house, your car, your clothes—whatever it is, downsize where you can. Being financially secure is sexy at any age.

Drive Less Often

Woman surfing on her cell phone as she rides the subway to work

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Carpool or use public transportation once a week, or more if you can. If you're still working, ask if you can have one telecommuting day a week. Instead of lots of trips, consolidate your errand running and plan it for times when there is not a lot of traffic. Even better, consolidate and carpool all at once by running errands with a friend!

Scour Monthly Home Expenses

Man checking his electric bill against the meter's reading to see if he has reduced his monthly home expenses

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Cord-cutting is finally at a place that can make sense for most families. With a little bit of research, it can cut your bill in half.

In addition, turn up or turn off the air conditioning or turn down your heater during the day. Yeah, it's not quite so comfortable when you first get home, but the savings will add up.

Eat Out Less

A packed lunch brought to work sitting on a desk.

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Slash your food bill by not eating out so often. Instead, take your lunch once in a while. Before you head out for dinner, try to glance through the pantry first, and see what creative meal you can come up with at home.

If you have to eat out frequently, skip the sodas and iced teas. Drinking water is not only better for you but, for those that eat lunch out every day, this simple substitution will save well over $30 a month.

Find and Use Discount Programs

Shopping cart on keyboard, symbollizing the user's online purchases bought with a discount code

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With a little effort, you can pay 20% to 50% less for most of the things you buy. Like most things in life, time is money. If you're willing to put in the time, you can find discount codes and sales that save you money. It may take a little extra work, and quite a bit of patience, but remember, you're getting paid for your time to avoid shopping retail with significant savings.

Warning: many people get lured into spending more because "it's on sale." This tactic is not to be used to buy things you don't need. It's a strategy where you plan out what you buy already, and find ways to get it for less.

Cancel Gym Memberships

Woman at home exercising to a workout video on TV instead of paying for a gym membership

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Health and fitness should be a priority, but you don't need a gym membership to work out. You can walk, run, do yoga at home, buy a fitness video, do pushups, sit-ups, use exercise bands, and a pair of dumbbells. Free possibilities are endless. If you're the self-motivated type, there are all kinds of inexpensive activities that don't require a monthly fee.

Transform Your Hobby Into a Business

Man painting in art studio before he sells his art online
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Most people do something outside of their regular job as a change of pace. What if that hobby became a small business? If you enjoy carpentry, maybe look for people that need some home improvement. Perhaps decorating is your bag, perhaps you could take on a few clients or friends as an interior designer, and reimagine a space for them. 

Think about what you love to do and ask yourself if you could make a little extra money doing it.

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