21 Days to $500

With the right insider info, you can save money without having to give up the stuff you love. Check out our top tips below!

Week 1: Around the house

  1. Cut the cord. Services like Sling TV have fewer channels than premium cable packages, but can also be about half as expensive. Savings per month: $60
  2. Save by swapping a dinner out with a home-cooked meal. (You can probably save on calories, too.) Savings per month: $180
  3. Home improvements can slash monthly utility bills. Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient CFL bulbs. Savings per month: $2
  4. Use Honey, a free browser extension, to save on household supplies, such as liquid soap. Save even more by buying in bulk. Savings per month: $3


Doesn’t saving feel good? You’re just getting started. Check out these money-saving basics.

Week 2: On the Go


5. If you take public transit to work, buy a monthly pass instead of single-ride tickets. Savings per month: $35

6. Public transit isn’t an option? Carpool or take a Lyft Line to reduce ridesharing costs. Savings per month: $25.50

7. Need coffee to wake up? Brew at home to save big without sacrificing your caffeine fix. Savings per month: $76

8. Save on takeout meals: Stores like Costco or websites like Gift Card Granny sell gift cards for less than face value. Savings per month: $20

A budget isn’t magic (but it’s good for you). Read more about the popular 50/30/20 budget.

Week 3: Out on the Town

9. Going out to eat? Check for a discount. Review sites like Yelp and OpenTable often offer discounts for specific days and even offer loyalty rewards programs for booking in advance. Savings per month: $20

10. Get your dose of culture on free museum admission days. Savings per month: $15

11. Set a budget for your big night out and bring that amount in cash — and leave your credit and debit cards at home. Savings per month: $12.15

12. Instead of both dinner and drinks with friends, suggest limiting your meeting to a couple of drinks only. Savings per month: $26


Whether you’re saving for a vacation or rainy-day fund, save smarter with a high-yield savings account.

Week 4: Getting Fit


13. Score free fitness classes by offering to work the front desk at your local gym. Savings per month: $45

14. Fitness apps are available 24/7 and tend to be cheap or free, two things you can’t say about Sven the Personal Trainer. Savings per month: $260

15. Say no to soda. Swapping water for sugary, carbonated drinks is great for your waistline and wallet. Savings per month: $21

16. Save money and get motivated by joining a free neighborhood workout group. Savings per month: $80

Saving for the future is essential. Ensure you’re on the right track with our retirement calculator.

Week 5: Treat Yourself


17. Make over your wardrobe on thredUP, an online secondhand clothing store. Savings per month: $94

18. Heading out of town? Book a room on HomeAway, which can be cheaper than staying at a hotel. Savings per month: $62

19. Be spontaneous — wait until game day to buy tickets. Procrastination could reward you with a steep discount on seats. Savings per month: $23

20. Check for credit card deals. Visa Signature, for example, offers discounts at wineries for groups, so take a trip with a friend. Savings per month: $18.50

21. Try a DIY spa day by giving yourself a manicure and pedicure at home instead of visiting a salon. Savings per month: $43.75

Time to make your money work harder. Here’s how to invest the funds you’ve saved.