How to Save Money: 4 Things You Can Do in 38 Minutes

A woman looks at her savings of coins in a jar.
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The internet is full of ways to save money. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming. Don’t get lost in the weeds, though. Here are four simple things you can do right now that will make an impact, whether you’re looking to cut spending or build your savings.

The best part? You can do all of these in just 38 minutes.

1. Trim Your Monthly Budget (30 Minutes)

An integral part of managing your money is creating a budget. Ew, gross. We know. But it’s important to take a good look at what you’re spending and where you can cut back.

If you’re not sure where to even start, we favor the 50/20/30 budgeting method for its simplicity. Here’s how it works:

  • 50% of your income goes toward essentials.
  • 20% goes toward financial goals.
  • 30% goes toward personal spending.

Take 30 minutes to put together a budget with this method. The important part is sticking with it. But we like this method for its flexibility. You can still live your life — while cutting back on unnecessary expenses. Experiment to find what works best for you.

2. Use This App to Get Free Prepaid Visa and MasterCards (3 Minutes)

We all have to buy groceries. Why not get something out of it?

A free app called Fetch Rewards will turn your grocery receipts into gift cards. It partners with tons of brands to give you points for every grocery receipt you share. Then you can exchange them for prepaid cards for Visa and MasterCard.

All you have to do is send Fetch a photo of your receipt, and it does everything for you. No scanning barcodes or searching for offers — and you can use it with any grocery receipt.

When you download the app, use the code PENNY to automatically earn a free bonus when you share your first receipt — you’ll be well on your way to your first gift card.

This is a great way to save some money on your next grocery run.

3. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month (2 Minutes)

A great way to save money? Find someone else to pay your credit card bill this month. We found a company that will do just that. No, like… the whole bill.

Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but a company called Fiona could help you pay them off tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster — and spend way less on interest. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

4. Invest 15 Cents Into the Stock Market (3 Minutes)

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: 15 cents? How’s that going to help me build my savings?

Well, that leftover change from your morning coffee and evening grocery hauls could turn into more than $1,000.

That’s what happened when Penny Hoarder reader Jeremy Kolodziej opened an investment account with Acorns. The app’s round-up feature bumps each of your purchases up to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into the stock market, which helped him mindlessly save $1,076 in about 20 months. 

“It’s a virtual coin jar,” he says. “You don’t even think about it.” He used the spare change to pay for two vacations.

Plus, Acorns invested the money for him, allowing him to grow his savings — without studying stock prices or managing trades.

The app is $1 a month for balances under $1 million, and you’ll get a $5 bonus when you sign up.