How To Save Money Every Month – Can You Really Do It?
We all want to have more money in our lives to make them easier and afford big life goals like buying a home. If we look for ways to save money each month, we can also lower our living expenses to have extra money to use in our budget elsewhere.
Finding out how to save money every month isn’t difficult. We just have to put effort towards identifying those monthly expenses that can be reduced or cut completely to make it happen.
Want some ideas on where to get started on your saving money goals? We’ve compiled a list of 30 ways to save money that you can try.
Lowering Monthly Expenses
Check out Cell Phone Deals
If you haven’t checked your cell service plan in a while, it’s very possible that you are paying more for it. Switching to a different cell phone provider is one way to start saving on your cell phone bill.
The big cell phone providers (Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) have smaller carriers that use the same towers. The difference is that the cost of a plan is generally less expensive. Compare prices to see if you could save money by switching to these alternatives.
You could also stick with the same company and check out their latest plans to see if they have a less expensive plan that still has everything that you want.
You might even contact them and to let them know that you’re considering switching and see if they have a retention offer to keep you as a customer.
Skip the Gym with Home Workouts
A monthly gym membership can cost a good deal of money that adds up over the course of a year. Making a trip to the gym a few times a month isn’t an effective way of using that service.
Instead, start working out at home. You don’t need a ton of equipment to get your intended results. That treadmill that’s been collecting dust can finally be put to work.
Another option instead of a gym membership is to try free workout apps or even an app that pays you to exercise. These are especially helpful if you’re the type of person that needs a little guidance during your workouts.
Nike Training Club and Ladder are among the free workout apps that are out there. Whereas apps like Sweatcoin and HealthyWage pay you to work out – meaning you can earn while you sweat! You can also find at-home cardio routines, yoga classes, and more on YouTube or your streaming service.
If you’re missing the social aspect of the gym, then try inviting a few friends to work out with you or go walking/jogging outside.
Look for Cheaper Internet Services
Internet is one of those monthly bills that many of us feel is almost a necessity these days. Your internet service is also an item in your budget that you could save money on.
There are basically two options when it comes to paying less for your internet service. The first is to find a different internet service provider that offers lower rates. Search for what internet service providers are available in your area and find out what deals they are offering.
The second method is to contact your current provider and find out if you can get cheaper internet services by negotiating. Your current company might be willing to switch you to a lower plan.
Reconsider Your Cable Subscription
Your cable service provider is probably charging you close to $200. That’s a huge monthly expense! You could slash that cost and find significant savings on cable by switching to a streaming service instead.
Consider the tv channels and shows that you watch on a regular basis. You might be able to get away with just getting rabbit ears (digital antenna) if all you want is the big networks or some background noise when you’re lounging around the house.
Streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and others might be enough to work for you. Or you can switch to one of the live TV streaming services. Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV are among the different TV streaming services that are available at a fraction of the cost of cable.
Review your Subscription Services
All those subscription-based services that we devote money each month to cost us more than we realize. It is likely that there are few that we use so infrequently that it’s not worth keeping around.
So take a moment to review your services like that Spotify Premium account that you’ve barely listened to for weeks. Get rid of things that you don’t use and put that money back in your pocket.
How to Save Money on Major Expenses
Focus on Eliminating Debt
You could save money each month by paying off student loans, credit card debt, and other loans. These debts are basically costing you more money because of interest payments, so you could save hundreds if not more by paying them off.
Plus when you pay off student loan debt, you no longer have to set aside that money in your monthly budget toward that obligation. That’s extra money that you can put in your bank account and put towards reaching other financial goals.
If you have several different obligations like student loans and credit card debt, it’s ideal to set up a plan on how to become debt-free. Personal loans and credit cards tend to have higher interest rates than what you find with student loans.
It can seem overwhelming at first, but as you pay down these loans, you will feel more motivated.
Avalanche Debt Method
One way you can go about determining what to pay off first is to start with your high-interest debt. The loans or credit cards with the highest interest rates are costing you the most money. So focusing on these high-interest debts will save you the most money.
This approach is the concept behind the avalanche debt method. To use this strategy, list all your debt from the one with the highest interest rate to the lowest. You make the minimum payments on all these items with the exception of the one with the highest rate.
All your extra money goes towards paying this debt off faster. Once you’ve finished paying it off, you move on to the next highest, and so on.
Debt Snowball Method
Many of us need a little extra motivation to reach financial goals like eliminating debt. The debt snowball method can provide this mood boost because you start seeing results faster.
You list out your debt using this method, except that the order goes from the smallest amount to the highest. The minimum payments are made on everything except the obligation that is the smallest.
Once you’ve paid off this debt, you’ll move on to the next lowest amount.
Look at Ways to Save on Housing and Auto
Whether you rent or own, monthly payments for the place you live are a big expense. Cars are typically the second biggest asset we own. Save money every month by considering some of the ideas below.
Living in the fanciest part of the city comes at a price. You could increase your spending money by moving to a less expensive area.
Downsize your Living Space
Are you renting a two-bedroom apartment so that you have extra space to use for guests or as an occasional office? Opt for a one-bedroom and Marie Kondo your things to make it work if necessary.
If you own a house that you’re not using a significant amount of the space, consider if selling your home and moving to a smaller house is a possible option.
Get a Roommate
Splitting the cost of rent or mortgage and expenses like the electric bill can bring solid monthly savings. If you’re looking for a new apartment, find a roommate to live with. This could be a great solution if you want to stay in the fanciest part of town or stay in an apartment community with many amenities.
Rent out a Room on weekends
Rent out part of your space if you live in a city that’s in an area that is popular with tourists. Airbnb is one of the websites where you can list your space that people can find. Having a few people rent the space a few times can add up to money each month that goes towards lowering those housing costs.
Look into Mortgage Refinancing
If you’ve purchased your home several years, there’s a chance that interest rates are lower now. Look into mortgage refinancing and find out how much money you could save each month.
You’ll want to shop around to look for the best deals as there are some fees associated with mortgage refinancing that could end up being significant. Make sure to do the calculations to find out what your break-even point would be before you really start saving money.
Another thing to keep in mind is that refinancing only makes sense if you plan to stay in your home for at least a few more years. Only consider it if you don’t have plans to sell your home soon or move to a different city.
Shop for Cheaper Home and Car Insurance
If you own a home, then you have to have homeowners insurance, but that doesn’t mean you have an arm and a leg for it. It is the same story for your auto insurance.
Look at different insurance companies and compare their prices to save. Remember, you can leave your insurance provider at any time so there’s no reason to wait until your policy expires to switch.
If you’ve had the same home or auto insurance for a few years, it’s always a good idea to do this shopping on this frequency.
Buy a Used Car
When you buy a new car, you’re paying a premium for that opportunity. Not only do you literally lose thousands of dollars in value by driving it off the car lot, but you’re often paying more for all those extra features.
If you’re tacking on a car payment to afford that new car, then you’ve added to your monthly expenses too. A used car will offer big savings and you can still get all the features you want for the price.
Choose an Economy Car
Skipping those high car payments is important, but you could also put some thought into the type of car you buy. You could save money every year by choosing to drive a fuel-efficient car that’s reliable.
That doesn’t mean you should necessarily switch to a hybrid or electric model. Try to buy a car that gets over 30 miles per gallon and the fuel savings will add up.
Put thought into your Appliances
Appliances can have a huge effect on your energy bills and can be expensive to repair. Here are some ways to save money while getting the most out of them.
Carefully pick your Appliances
Appliances are a major purchase so you should spend the time to make sure you’re buying something that will last a long time. Look at the estimates on the energy costs as you compare different options.
Be sure to purchase one that has a good track report. Consumer Reports has good information and reviews about appliances. Before buying your appliance, look at several different retailers to find the best price.
Keep your Appliances Running Smoothly
To get the best out of your energy usage, your appliances need to be kept well maintained. You’ll also be saving money by avoiding expensive repair bills.
Check your owner’s manual to make sure you’re following any regular maintenance on your appliances. For bigger items like an A/C unit, make sure you’re doing a tune-up at least once a year to keep it in tip-top shape.
Save Money Every Day
Plan your Grocery Shopping Trips
Heading to the grocery store without a list is an easy way to end up overspending. Not only that, but you’ll end up with things that you didn’t need and end up throwing out more food.
The average American household will throw out $1600 in produce each year. That’s a lot of food!
Choose Less Expensive Grocery Stores
Save money fast by changing the grocery stores you frequent. Don’t just frequent the grocery store that is near your home.
Choose grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Aldi that offer lower prices on many of the popular food staples. You won’t be trading that money savings for lower quality either so you can feel confident in this switch.
Start Meal Planning
Meal planning offers many different benefits aside from reducing your food expenses. Preparing your meals in advance can save you time during the busy work week of clamoring to put together dinner for the family (or even worse, ordering expensive and unhealthy take-out).
You can create meals that are healthier than eating out and may see the result in your waistline. There are a ton of meal prepping blogs and resources that share recipes that are packed with healthy vitamins from vegetables that will keep you fueled all day.
Bag your Lunches
Whether you’re prepping your meals in advance or making sandwiches in the morning, avoid eating out during lunch. You could save anywhere from $10 or more per meal for convenience.
Instead, bring your lunch with you when you head to the office. You can still go out with your co-workers on Fridays if you miss the social aspect and still save.
Curb your Snacks
Buying snacks from the gas station or vending machines means you’re paying inflated prices. Not to mention, the options are probably not very healthy. Pick out a few snacks when making your trip to the grocery store that you can keep at your desk when you have the urge for something to nibble on.
Check your Coffee habits
The average person who drinks coffee will drink just over 3 cups of it per day. Skip the morning trip to the local java spot and make your own coffee. A cup of brew can easily be a few dollars which quickly adds up when it’s a daily habit.
Change your Light Blubs
A simple way to save money to use energy-efficient light bulbs. Halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps, and other energy-efficient light bulbs can last 3 to 25 times longer than regular light bulbs.
Skip the Movie Theater
Going to the movie theater, especially a trip for the whole family is expensive. Between the movie tickets and food, you’re well over a hundred dollars for a few hours of entertainment.
Reduce these entertainment costs by opting to watch movies through Redbox or pay for a streaming movie rental with Amazon. You’ll still have a great time with your family and can even order a pizza while saving money.
Find ways to Save when Shopping Online
It is easier than ever to shop in the comfort of your home. Adding an item to your cart and going through checkout (especially when you have your credit card information saved) is just too easy.
Try leaving that item in your shopping cart. When shopping online, merchants will often send you a discount via email to entice you to finish your purchase.
Or sign up for Rakuten, which is a free Chrome extension that finds you coupons and pays you cashback when you shop at hundreds of online retailers.
Pay Cash Instead
The psychological effect of using cash to pay for things will actually make you less inclined to spend as much or even make the purchase. Start using cash for your day-to-day expenses instead of swiping that credit card.
If you’re looking for a solid budgeting system too, the cash envelope method uses this framework to help people budget their money better.
Better Personal Finance
You don’t need a financial advisor to build some better money habits that will save you money and grow your wealth. Check out some things that you can start doing to improve your financial life.
Use Automatic Payments for Your Bills
If you miss a payment on your credit card or other bills, it can have some really negative effects. Credit card companies can charge you a hefty late fee plus report the late payment to the credit bureau.
This will lower your credit scores and make it harder for you to get loans for things like a mortgage. A few missed payments have a big effect on your credit scores, so it is just best to avoid getting into the situation.
You can put almost every monthly bill on automatic payments by setting them up. It will keep you fee-free and it’s one less thing to worry about.
Put a portion of your income in a Savings Account
Another area that you can automate is your savings habit. Set up instant transfers with your bank account to automatically move money every time you get paid into a separate savings account.
You’ll never have a chance to miss the money even though you can see the transfer on your bank statements. Socking away money in a savings account, or something similar, can you reach other financial goals like building an emergency fund or saving for a summer vacation.
Start Your Emergency Fund
When an unexpected event happens, you need access to money fast. Whether you lost your job, have a medical emergency, or your car breaks down, there are things that have to take care of.
Unless you want to pay a bunch of bank fees by over-drafting your account, you need to have a better solution. Your credit card issuer would probably be happy to see you put those expenses on your card where they accumulate with interest.
Building an emergency fund can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you can cover your monthly expenses while taking care of an emergency situation.
Don’t put off this important financial goal and get started on this today even if you can only put away a few dollars at a time. An emergency fund will end up saving you a lot of money when something unexpected happens.
Finally, Find ways to Earn Money
Other than switching to a higher-paying job or asking for a raise, you’re somewhat limited on your options to make more money.
That’s why it is pretty common these days for people to have a second job or side hustle. Having another way to earn money can make it easier to pay down debt, start an emergency fund, etc.
It can also be a way to fulfill some of your passions. For example, if you are an artist at heart, you sell your pieces of websites like Etsy for some extra cash that you’re getting enjoyment out of too.