Saving money with a system: How to become a real saver

Even as penny-pinching kids, we knew: saving is important! Thus, the odd coin from auntie, granny, and the like found its way into our piggy banks. As adults, saving isn’t quite as simple anymore. Inflation, rising rents, and hefty bills can quickly devour monthly incomes. But how do you manage to save effectively? Which saving tips are the most efficient? In this article, you'll find our top tips for saving money.


A smiling woman wearing glasses looks at her tablet and celebrates a financial success, symbolizing how best to save.

Like clockwork, on the 25th of each month, our beloved salary lands in our bank account. Will it finally be enough for that Maldives vacation? The dreaming normally doesn’t last long. Unwelcome guests such as bills, insurance premiums or mortgage loans demand their tribute. And just like that, the Maldives suddenly move back to where they probably belong - far away in the distance. Find out here how you can realize your small and somewhat larger dreams by saving. Because with a little system, the right tips, and small changes in everyday life, saving money becomes easy. We'll show you how it’s done!

Saving money through budget overview and automation

Getting an Overview

A coffee-to-go here, a (few) Negroni(s) at the bar there, and a spontaneous trip to the zoo with the family - and just like that, expenses add up. The problem: We often don’t realize how much we spend on what. This is where our first tip comes into play. You need a clear overview of your income and expenses! Only then can you identify areas where you have potential to save money. Start by tracking your expenses over several months. The Liiva financial assistant can help you with this. It consolidates your income and expenses and provides you with a comprehensive financial overview in one place.

Now, it's important to be honest with yourself. Which expenses are necessary and bring you real added value? Is the daily lunch trip to the Vietnamese place something you enjoy and gives you more time in the evening with your family? Or are you just following your work colleagues around out of habit? Are you convinced of your health insurance's performance? Or do you simply lack the desire to research cheaper providers or models? If you answer these questions honestly, you can easily identify saving potentials and actively tackle them. More on this in the section “Saving money in daily life”.

Save first, then enjoy

With this saving tip, the motto is: Save first and spend only what's left. Not the other way around. Viewing saving as an investment in yourself helps. You save now to afford something at a later date. Whether it's for retirement, your dream trip during tough times. Unsure how much you should save monthly? The 50-30-20 rule offers a good guideline. More on this here.

Automate saving money

Despite what its name might suggest, homo sapiens is fundamentally a lazy creature. So, make it as easy as possible for yourself and automate your saving process! Set up standing orders on the day of your monthly salary payment. For example, you can transfer a fixed savings amount directly to a savings account and deposit a fixed monthly amount into your 3a pillar. Extra saving tip: You can deduct your contributions to the 3a pillar from your taxes. This way, you save money twice. Also, setting up recurring payments for mortgage loans or rent and health insurance premiums directly upon salary receipt helps you fulfill your (saving) duties right at the start of the month - without having to actively deal with it every month.

Saving money in daily life

So, we know that we often unnecessarily spend money in daily life without realizing it. Great, because acknowledgment is the first step to improvement. Let's now become aware of which saving levers we can operate in our daily spending.

Avoiding spontaneous purchases

In the era of screen dictatorship, we are constantly bombarded with information and advertising. Every day, social media show us what we don't yet own but supposedly need for complete happiness. The result: spontaneous impulse purchases. Exclaimer: Complete happiness often remains elusive, and the account isn't happy either. To avoid this, set a limit: don't make spontaneous impulse purchases exceeding 50 CHF right away. Instead, wait a week before making the purchase. If you still desire the item after seven days and have thoughtfully considered its value, then you can confidently proceed.

Saving money on mobility

Mobility is often a significant cost factor in daily life. But here, too, you can consciously reduce some costs:

  1. Simple but effective: Use a bike for short distances and public transport for longer ones. Leave the car at home if possible. This saves money and CO2. Muscles and good karma are the icing on the cake.

  2. Sharing is caring: If you only need a car occasionally, you can use car-sharing apps. Alternatively, team up with a friend and share the use and costs of a car. This can lead to significant savings and also benefits the environment.

  3. The early bird catches the worm – or in this case, the super saver ticket! Already planning your next adventure? Perfect! Then keep an eye out for public transport discounts early on. Many SBB routes offer saver tickets with discounts of up to 70% available on the SBB website or directly in the app, 6 months to just before the trip. But hurry: The contingent of saver tickets is limited and it's first come, first served.

  4. A whiff of a Swiss Generalabonnement: For those who want to use public transport within entire Switzerland for a day and save a lot of money, there’s the “Municipal Saver Day Pass”. Many municipalities offer these, often at a lower price than regular day passes, and they can be purchased 6 months in advance. However, a small downside: The participating municipalities reserve the right to limit the sale of saver tickets to their own residents - though not all take advantage of this. Inform yourself here about availability, participating municipalities, and other regulations of the Municipal Saver Day Pass.

Cancel unused and overpriced contracts

Who hasn't experienced this? In January, we stride into the gym with our chests puffed out and an overdose of "New Year's resolutions". The subscription is quickly signed, and we cheerfully say goodbye until next November. The same goes for streaming services: The new season of the favorite series is available only with a specific provider. Without much thought, the subscription is signed, and the series is binged in one weekend. Meanwhile, the subscription quietly nibbles away at your account for months. Saving money looks different.

Let's put an end to this! Set a reminder before each contract automatically renews. Then critically question whether you really use and need the subscription. Also, compare offers from different providers and switch if necessary. This is especially worthwhile for health insurances as well as internet and phone providers. By doing so, you can save a lot of money.

Saving money in the household

In recent years, electricity prices have skyrocketed. A trend that is clearly reflected in our utility bill. Food prices are also steadily rising, shaking our household budget. The good news: Small behavioral adjustments can save you a considerable sum of money. How you can effectively reduce your household expenses is revealed in our article “Saving Money at Home: Your Guide to a Budget-Friendly Household”.

Saving money through smart investing

Let's move on to the last tip: Invest smartly and thereby increase your money. Especially in times of low bank interest rates and high inflation, this method is significantly more lucrative than simply saving in a savings account. Because investments in, for example, real estate, index funds, or stocks, ensure your savings don't just sit idly in your bank account but grow over time. However, these investments always come with higher risks. It's essential to familiarize yourself with the topic and consider how much risk you're willing to take. Generally, the longer the investment horizon, the better. So start as early as possible and don't be discouraged if you can only afford a small investment amount at the beginning. Swiss bloggers like PoorSwiss offer practical tips for getting started with investing. So, hit the books & blogs and get started!


There are many more valuable tips for saving money. Since brevity is the soul of wit, here are our best money-saving tips at a glance:

  1. Get an overview of your income and expenses and critically question your expenditures.

  2. Save first and spend only what remains after saving.

  3. Automate your monthly saving process.

  4. Be aware of what you spend money on in daily life and take action - many expenses can already be reduced with little effort.

  5. Educate yourself about smart investment strategies and let your savings work for you.

And now: Have fun saving money!