Here's a very good tip that I didn't learn for about a year after I started sewing.

Change your needle frequently. I was taught that it's best to change your needle every 8 hours or every 3 projects, whichever is less. This may seem wasteful to you at first- because why change your needle if it isn't broken- right? But a fresh, sharp needle is much easier on your machine.

You may not notice how much harder your machine is working with a dull needle, but once you change it, you will instantly notice how much smoother your sewing becomes. If you're still having an issue getting past throwing away a (seemingly) perfectly good needle, remember this: your machine will last much longer the better you take care of it. Changing your needle frequently allows your machine to work optimally all the time rather than over-stressing it!