35 Simple Ways To Save Money Every Month
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We love to start off the New Year right – whether it be finding ways to save money every month or paying off debt, or losing weight, most of us have a goal we want to reach. How is that goal going for you? We’re six weeks into the year and it’s possible you’ve lost some motivation.
Personally speaking, I want to continue my weight loss journey but it can get a little monotonous at times, so I’m looking for new ways to accomplish my goal.
I find the same to be true with money. We either need some motivation or are overlooking some opportunities to regularly save money. Regardless of the situation, this post is for you.
I believe when you save money every month you put yourself in a better position. It allows you to pay off debt quicker, start saving for retirement and more. If you combine it with making extra money you instantly multiply your progress and achievement. That being said, below are 35 ways to save money each month.
Not each option will apply to everyone – and it doesn’t have to. However, I believe it’s completely possible to take a small handful of the options and save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars this year alone.
Try the 52-Week Challenge
One of the best ways to save money every month is through the 52-week challenge. If you’ve not heard of the 52-week challenge, it’s simple. You start out week 1 by saving $1. Week 2 you save $2, week 3 you save $3 and so on.
The plan is to add one extra dollar per week until you put away $52 the final week of the year. This alone will allow you to save $1,378 for the year. We’re already six weeks into the year, so by my math, you could still save $1,081 this year. Make it easy on yourself and automate the transfer so you don’t even feel it. We do that with our Discover Bank account and don’t have to worry about forgetting it.
Total savings = ~ $1,100
This is an easy one. I wrote last week about how we canceled DirecTV and are now saving over $80 per month. The average cable bill is now $100 per month. There is no reason to spend this much to get television content as there are so many cheaper options available.
Total savings = $80+ per month
Ax the Gym Membership
Should you keep your gym membership if you want to lose weight this year? In a word – NO! According to Statistic Brain, $40 per month is wasted on the cost of the average gym membership.
You can lose weight without paying to join a high-priced gym. I lost 100 pounds on Nutrisystem and didn’t step foot in a gym. I walked and used free videos on YouTube. I’m proof it can be done without paying a lot of money to exercise.
Get Rid of Your Cell Phone Contract
Like cutting the cord, this is another easy way to save money every month. The average cell phone bill for Verizon and AT&T is almost $150. There is no need to spend that much.
Total savings = $100+ per month
I almost can’t believe this number, but the average person spends $34 per month on cigarettes and other tobacco products. I’ve never been a smoker, but I just don’t see the appeal.
Not only will cutting smoking help you save money each month, but it will also help you save significant money in the long-term on medical bills by improving your health. That’s a win-win.
Total savings = $34 per month
Eliminate Food Waste
I hate food waste as it’s like throwing money in the trash, but we’re all guilty of it. The average person is responsible for $520 in food waste each year. When you have a family, that number just increases.
The easiest way we’ve found to combat this is to have a meal plan. It’s not a stringent plan, but we’ve been able to learn how much we really need to bring into the house and thus save money.
If a meal plan sounds overwhelming or not exciting, check out $5 Meal Plan. You get a free 14-day trial and they help start you out on forming meal plans that will save time and money.
Total savings = $500+ per year per person
Make Your Own Bottled Water
According to The Water Project, the average person spends $100 per year on bottled water. Now I know in some towns the tap water isn’t really that good, so this may not apply to everyone, but there’s no need to spend that on bottled water.
If you like to drink purified water, you can buy a water filter to get the same basic thing. You can even buy a Nalgene water bottle to take with you when you travel as you’ll recoup the savings relatively quickly.
Total savings = $100 per year
I know many don’t feel comfortable negotiating. When you don’t, you overlook ways to save money. This can range from car insurance to Internet service to utilities. We regularly call providers to see what discounts might be available and easily save $250-$500 per year as a result.
Don’t know where to start? Just call each provider and eliminate any duplicate charges.
Total savings = $250-$500 per year
Use Your Credit Card
Yes, a credit card can help you save money every month…if you use it right. If you’re in debt or struggle with spending, you should not get a credit card.
However, if neither is an issue for you, then you can save money with a credit card by taking advantage of sign-on bonuses or cash back – you can find many of those cards here. We personally financed over $15,000 in travel last year this way.
Total savings = $500 – $1,000 per year.
Cut Eating Out in Half
We enjoy eating out, but we rarely do it as it’s expensive. The average family spends $225 per month eating out. Cutting this is one of the simplest ways to save money each month.
That doesn’t mean you have to stay home to eat rice and beans but try by cutting it in half. You still get to eat out, but you save money.
Total savings = $110 per month
Cut Down on Youth Sports
We haven’t put our children in organized sports as we don’t want to overschedule them. The other reason is they’re expensive. The average family spends almost $675 per year on youth sports, with 20 percent spending over $1,000 per child.
There are many ways to save on extracurricular activities for kids, including sports. As with the eating out above, you can even cut the sports in half and still save good money.
Cut Your Own Hair
I’ve cut my own hair for close to 20 years. My wife has gone to the local beauty school for close to 10 years as a means to save money on haircuts.
I know it may seem impossible to cut your own hair. It really isn’t that difficult. You can buy a haircut kit from Wahl, and you’ll be good to go.
Total savings = $250+ per year
Bonus Ways to Save Money Every Month
There are countless ways to save money every month, so no list is going to be exhaustive. That being said, here’s a number of other ways to save money each month. If you have more ideas, I’ll happily add them to the list. 🙂
- Save your raise.
- Save your spare change in a change jar – include $1 bills as well. You can do the same thing digitally with Digit – they move over spare cash you’re not using in your bank account into a savings account you can use for other savings or spending needs – all for free.
- Take your lunch to work.
- Avoid out of network ATM fees. The average out of network ATM charges $4.50 per transaction. It doesn’t make sense to pay money to access your money. If your bank charges you to withdraw cash from an ATM, check out Simple – they have absolutely free access to over 50,000 ATMs nationwide.
- Start a garden and can/freeze the produce.
- Buy generic when possible.
- Take Uber as opposed to a taxi. In most instances one or both can be the cheaper option.
- Ditch the whole life or permanent life insurance. You can save significant money by switching to term life coverage. If you don’t know where to start, try PolicyGenius to find the best options available.
- Don’t play the lottery. The average person spends $25 per month on the lottery.
- Refinance your house to get a lower interest rate.
- Consolidate your debt through Lending Club or LightStream, to reduce the monthly interest you’re paying.
- Bring snacks to work so you’re not tempted to go to the vending machine.
- Buy secondhand clothes at the Goodwill or another thrift store.
- Save money when you buy with coupons or cash back sites like Swagbucks or Ebates.
- Get a cheaper car and lower your car payment.
- Buy used when you can.
- Increase your auto insurance deductible.
- Don’t buy extended warranties.
- Use your unused gift cards. $750 million in gift cards went unused in 2014. You can use them to buy something you need, sell them or use them to buy a gift for someone. If you like to use gift cards, you can buy used gift cards at Giftcard Granny at a discount.
- Make gifts, don’t buy them, for family members.
- Buy a programmable thermostat to save on energy bills. We work from home so don’t have much need for this. 🙂
- Negotiate doctor’s bills. We ask every time we go to the doctor or dentist. We commonly get a reduced rate by offering to pay up front.
- The last, a classic, go to the library. The library offers many ways to save money every month from books and movies to a lot more.
There are many ways to save money every month; you just have to put some into action. Like I said in the beginning, you won’t be able to do all of them, but even a few of them can usually help you save some pretty significant money.
Additional resource: If you’re looking for a simple way to stay on top of all your finances then check out my favorite tool – Personal Capital. Completely free, it allows you to track your spending, monitor your bank and investment accounts and watch your net worth grow plus many other tools. It’s my go-to tool to help us stay on top of our finances each month to avoid wasteful spending.
What are some of your favorite ways to save money every month? What other ways would you add to the list? Do you like to negotiate pricing?