Easy Ways to Save Money Fast

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The average person saves over $700 in just 12 minutes!



Download the recipe from this episode

This is my favorite white bean chicken chili recipe. It's easy to make in the crockpot, budget-friendly and absolutely delicious. I think you'll love it!

Show Notes

Want to save money fast?

You can! And not in the “call within the next 20 minutes and save an extra 50%!” infomercial kind of way. I’m talking about coming up with cash to cover emergencies, get out of debt quicker, and make your dreams a reality. That kind of savings—and, yeah, fast.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to save money in big and small ways without leaving your home. Sound too good to be true? Stick around to see for yourself.


Why You Might Want to Save Money Fast

To win with money, you need cash in the bank.

Here’s why: We’ve talked about how debt traps us and keeps us from moving forward financially. You can get rid of debt, but the only way to avoid it forever is to have a cash-based safety net ready when you need it.

In fact, if you think about it, savings and debt are total opposites.

  • With debt you pay interest, but by saving you earn
  • With debt you owe, but by saving you own.
  • Debt involves taking on risk while saving lowers your risk.
  • Debt steals your future while saving secures

Your first goal should be to save $1,000 for a starter emergency fund. Then, after you pay off all debts except your house, save three-to-six months of expenses for a fully funded emergency fund.

Imagine how you’ll feel with no debt payments and enough savings to cover big emergencies like job loss, a hospital bill or an expensive home repair. Talk about breathing a sigh of relief!

As women, one of our biggest fears is not having a safety net. If you’re living with little savings, you know what I’m talking about. It’s kind of hard to breathe if you think too much about it. Setting aside a big pile of cash puts you in an incredible place both financially and emotionally.

Another important safety net that’s a must is term life insurance.

Term life insurance protects your family and your savings in the future. And if you already have term life insurance, reevaluating how much you need could save you some money right now. I recommend getting a 15- to 20-year term policy at 10 to 12 times your annual income.

Winston and I personally love Zander Insurance. Check them out today for a quote or to get a better rate!

The First and Best Way to Save Money Fast

Want to know the secret to saving money fast—even on a low income? A budget.

Yup, it’s that simple. You guys know I’m going to talk about a budget. That’s because it works!

When you create a zero-based budget, you take control of your money and put things in the proper order. You’ll give, save and then spend. That means you’ll prioritize saving for a car over weekly trips to Target—as wonderful as those trips may be.


Budgeting basics

If this is your first time creating a zero-based budget, follow our quick and simple guide:

  1. Determine your income for the month ahead.
  2. Give every dollar a name. Work until income minus expenses equals zero.
  3. Keep track of your spending and make adjustments as needed.

What’s the easiest way to create and stick to a budget? Download EveryDollar! It’s my favorite budgeting app and the easiest one for a zero-based budget.

We've discovered through our Financial Peace University groups that people who use a zero-based budget pay off 53% more debt and save 5% more money in just three months than those who don’t!

Yup, I do love a good budget. But I didn’t always . . .

What My First Budget Looked Like

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but Winston and I didn’t do our first budget together until we’d been married for five months.

I remember thinking, We should budget. Because Dave Ramsey is my dad, being on the same page with your spouse about money was grilled into my brain from day one! Even our premarital counselor suggested we create a mock budget together. And I thought, Did my dad pay you to say that?

Still, we made it almost half a year before we sat down with a yellow pad at our used kitchen table and made a budget. It was a total disaster. I’m pretty sure I budgeted $50 for food for the entire month! That might cover our pizza quota, but that’s about it! Our numbers that first month were way off.

But by month two, things started to make more sense. And three months in, our budget began to work! By month four, it was like clockwork! And we’ve never looked back.

I can truly say budgeting is how we’ve reached our financial goals. And I want to encourage you to stick with it for just 90 days. You can do 90 days, right? Maybe you tried budgeting for a month or two before, and it didn’t seem right for you. But I’ll bet you didn’t stick it out quite long enough.

Download EveryDollar, create and stick to a zero-based budget for three months, and just see what happens! I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised and a few hundred dollars richer—or more!

Money-Saving Tip: Make Dinner at Home

We all know we can save big by making dinner at home instead of going out to eat. But that’s easier said than done when it’s 5:00 p.m. and there’s not a meal plan in sight. That’s why I’m sharing a few of my favorite easy, delicious meals you can make at home.

Thanks to our friends at Home Chef for sponsoring this segment!


White Bean Chicken Chili

First up is one of my favorites. Whenever I serve this to friends, I always get text messages the next day asking for the recipe, so I’m giving you the lowdown. And, you guys, it’s crazy easy!

  • 2–3 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cans Ro-Tel
  • 3 cans great northern white beans
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cumin to taste
  • Corn chips
  • Sour cream
  • Hot sauce

Add the first six ingredients to a slow cooker (don’t forget the liner for easy cleanup!). Cook on low for six to eight hours. Shred chicken. Serve topped with Fritos, sour cream and hot sauce. Rave reviews every time!


What would a The Rachel Cruze Show recipe segment be without a little pizza? The things I love go like this: God, Winston, my girls, pizza.

This one is flavorful with lots of toppings and pretty colors. Ask your husband to lend his muscles rolling out the dough and get your kids to help with the toppings. You commit to the eating. It’s fun for the whole family!

  • Fresh pizza dough from the grocery store bakery
  • Olive or grapeseed oil
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Salami
  • Bacon
  • Green peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Onion
  • Red pepper flakes

Cook four pieces of bacon in the microwave until crispy. Brush oil onto rolled-out dough. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of feta. Add the remaining toppings except for the red pepper flakes. Bake as directed on dough package and then top with red pepper flakes when you take it out of the oven. DELISH!


Crispy Orange Chicken From Home Chef

This last recipe I make is another current favorite and comes from my friends at Home Chef. I love it because you can use their meals—like this one—to save money on date nights. It’s all the deliciousness of a restaurant meal without the price tag. Send the kids to grandma’s house or put them in bed early and enjoy a date night at home with your spouse.

I love the variety. Home Chef offers 18 fresh choices each week! And Winston’s favorite part is the super-fast cleanup. I gotta say, I’m a fan of that too.

Visit Home Chef today to get $30 off your first order!

How Can I Save Money Every Day? 11 Ideas to Get You Started

Beyond budgeting and cooking at home, there’s really no limit on the ways you can save. But sometimes it helps to get the ball rolling with a few ideas. Which one will you try first?

  1. Make your own snack bags. Instead of buying individual snack portions, buy a big box at Costco and divide the snacks up yourself.
  2. Have everyone bring a dish. Ditch dinner out as a group. Host everyone at your house and ask each person to bring something as a part of the meal.
  3. Learn to turn a wrench. Find a few simple things around the house that you can do yourself, like changing your air filter or fixing the toilet—no professional repair required.
  4. Learn to sew. I’m not talking about stitching a smock dress—although I love a good smock dress! But learning to mend and hem means you don’t have to buy new clothes.
  5. Get organized. Look through your home for stuff you can sell, donate or trash. You’ll feel refreshed and less inclined to buy more. You might even try The Minimalist Challenge!
  6. Always negotiate. Winston is famous around our house for this. He calls the cable company every quarter to ask for a better deal—and you should too!
  7. Hang dry your clothes. Call me crazy—I know it’s more work—but hanging your clothes to dry instead of sticking them in the dryer means they’ll last you longer. And you’ll save on the electric bill.
  8. Share baby gear. When it comes to the big stuff, there’s no reason you and your friends need all-new baby goods all the time. My sister and I trade swings, pack n plays and bouncers back and forth as each of us has another kid.
  9. Don’t pay full price for kids’ clothes. Babies and toddlers grow so fast that buying new just doesn’t feel worth it. Swap clothes with a friend, check your local thrift store, or shop consignment sales—which is my spiritual gift!
  10. Learn to say no to fundraising. Don’t give in to every cute face that appears on your doorstep. Twenty dollars here and there really adds up—especially when you spend it on stuff you won’t use.
  11. Check your home and auto insurance rates. When it comes to insurance, most people just set it and forget it. But people who use our Endorsed Local Providers program save an average of $731 per year just by looking for a better deal!

Money-Saving Tip: Turn Cardboard Boxes into Easy Halloween Costumes

You guys! Saving money can be so fun and so darn cute too! In today’s episode, I’m joined by Sarah Shelton, the Home Editor of Woman’s Day Magazine. She walks us through five Halloween costumes you can make for—or even with—your kid using cardboard boxes.

You guys are going to love these!

Together we make:

  1. A Lego costume
  2. A taco costume
  3. A candy dot costume
  4. A cotton candy costume
  5. A butterfly costume

And we’ll make them all out of cardboard boxes! I know you guys have a few of those lying around. Each costume cost less than $20 to make and requires simple materials from the craft store.

You can find detailed instructions for each of the costumes here. And be sure to check the October issue of Woman’s Day magazine on newsstands for money-saving ideas.

If These People Can Save Money, So Can You!

Time for the best part of the show—when we get to celebrate you guys, how you’re saving money and what you’re saving up for! #SheWorksHardSavingMoney My absolute favorite from today’s episode:

"Today is a day for celebration! What better way to celebrate your birthday than by crushing a goal together?! When Justin and I got married, together we had $15,000 in credit card 💳 debt, $44,000 in auto 🚗 🚙 loan debt, $11,000 in loans 💰, and $5,000 in medical expenses.

That’s SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN DEBT, Y’ALL. 💸💸Plus our mortgage on top of that. 🏡We didn’t want to raise children in that lifestyle and decided we had to make a change—for ourselves and for our family. 👨‍👩‍👧

I am SO proud and excited and emotional about the fact that TODAY WE ARE DEBT-FREE!! 🎉🎉After only a year and a half! AND we have 3 months’ worth of bills saved up for emergencies. That’s #BabySteps 1–3 knocked out!" —Kayla

Kayla, you killed it, girl. Way to take control of your money and create a life you love!

Photos provided by Danielle Occhiogrosso Daly

Sponsors pay the producer of this show, The Lampo Group, LLC, advertising fees for mentioning their services or products during programing. Advertising fees are not based upon or otherwise tied to any product sale or business transacted between any consumer or sponsor. The following sponsors have paid for the programing you are viewing:

  • Zander Insurance
  • Home Chef