Money

6 ways to save more money without trying too hard

If you want to save more money, there are endless tips and tricks to help you out. But it's going to mean making some sacrifices.

Luckily, there are also several small tweaks you can make that will allow you to sock away more each month without giving up your morning latte. Below, CNBC has rounded up six easy ways to save more money without overhauling your lifestyle.

Automate your savings

As self-made millionaire David Bach advocates, pay yourself first. That means setting up your savings like a bill that needs to be paid, so a certain amount is automatically transferred from your checking account to those accounts each month.

"You'll never forget a payment again — and you'll never be tempted to skimp on savings because you won't even see the money going directly from your paycheck to your savings accounts," Bach writes in "The Automatic Millionaire."

Increase your contributions

Once you've set up your finances to automatically put money away, take things one step further by incrementally increasing your savings every year. Even a one percent bump to your 401(k) plan can make a major difference over time, thanks to the power of compound interest.

You can check online to see if you can set up "auto-increase" for your employer-sponsored 401(k), which allows you to choose the percentage you want to increase your contributions by and how often. This way, you'll never forget to up your contributions, or talk yourself out of setting aside a larger chunk.

Choose between dinner and drinks

Low-key plans, such as dinner with a friend or happy hour with coworkers, can easily spiral into expensive nights. Usually setting out to do one leads to doing both. Instead of drinking on an empty stomach, why not order food too? If you're already grabbing tacos, what's the harm in having a margarita or two with dinner as well?

Instead, commit to choosing one or the other. If you go out to dinner, skip the wine. If you're headed to the bar after work, plan to eat at home afterward. You don't have to cut back on being social, just on how much you're spending while you're with friends.

Cancel unused subscriptions

"Millions of people sign up for 30-day free trials of things, intending to cancel within 30 days — and then they forget," writes Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue in his 2016 book, "Pogue's Basics: Money." "Or they sign up for certain services but have long since stopped using them."

Take stock of what you're paying out for each month for subscriptions to magazines, software and online services. Next, ask yourself which you can eliminate and cancel them on the spot to save a couple hundred dollars a year.

You won't even miss the magazines you never read or the online accounts you never use.

Build streams of passive income

Generating passive income takes some effort up front, but once you get into a groove, it's easy money. You can do anything from renting out your spare bedroom on Airbnb to pet-sitting to placing ads on your personal blog.

Once you've set up a low-maintenance revenue stream, divert all of your extra earnings into savings. Generating two incomes and living off one is a favorite money saving strategy of comedian Jay Leno.

Switch to generics

Giving up your morning latte or cutting your grocery budget in half takes effort. But small changes to your daily expenses can be easy and still make an impact. Try going generic for everyday products like groceries, toiletries or pet supplies. Because store brands cost around 30 percent less than national brands, you're automatically cutting your bill without giving up your favorite products.

Of course, you don't have to buy generic for everything. Choose the few items that are really important to you — whether you refuse to eat imitation Oreos or are a loyal user of Pantene — and only buy brand-name for your non-negotiables. For everything else, you likely won't even notice a difference.

And for more ideas, try 5 things to do in your 20s to get out of debt by 30.

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