35 Simple Ways To Save Money Every Month

You can save money every month in many ways. Here are 35 ways to save money each month and save thousands of dollars each year.

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

Cut Cable


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.

We use our Amazon Fire TV Stick and Netflix to get the shows we want. There are many other options from Hulu to getting a digital antenna, that it just makes no sense to have a cable bill.

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.

We switched to a cheap cell phone plan and now save over $100 per month. You can get a plan with Republic Wireless for as low as $10 per month or Straight Talk for $35 just to name a few.

Total savings = $100+ per month

Stop Smoking


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

Negotiate Everything


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

You can save money every month in many ways. Here are 35 ways to save money each month and save thousands of dollars each 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.
  • 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.

Open a free Personal Capital account today!


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?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • Jaime says:

    In our case we cut back on eating out and learned how to cook healthy, delicious food at home. We also learned to replicate our favorites from restaurants. Now we save eating out for the weekends.

    Last year we also sold a paid off second car to CarMax and got an even $3,000 for it. Yea!

    Another thing I did was learn to not waste extra money: gifted money, raises, bonuses, etc. Now whenever I get extra money, I learn to diversify it so it doesn’t all go to spending. =)

    • John Schmoll says:

      Cutting down on eating out is a big one! It can be really easy to justify eating out when you’re busy but we try and prepare meals before hand to try and mitigate against it.

  • I have a post like this and it does amazing! I think readers will love it. Sometimes you just need a new idea to spark some creativity.

  • We use lots of these tips and the money savings really do add up. We’re on a huge kick this year to cut eating out drastically. We didn’t do it that much anyway, but we’re cutting even more because the money savings are so huge.

  • wow, I can’t believe smoking spending was still that high either! My big weakness is eating out, but now that I can afford it and still save money, I’m feeling better about it 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      I know – talk about literally seeing your money go up in smoke. Yea, I hear ya – it does get a little easier to justify it. We just budget for it so we know we’re staying within what we want to spend.

  • Michelle says:

    Great post! There are so many great ways to save money.

  • Great tips John! I think people forget you can still negotiate a lot of things like your bills. I even did it with rent once.

  • I’m a DIY when it comes to haircuts…haven’t stepped foot inside a hair salon in years. All I need is a good pair of trimmers and a wife to check for places I might miss. She doesn’t mind helping…her reward is getting all the hair cut money for herself instead of sharing it with me. 🙂

  • I’m trying the 52-week challenge. I don’t think we can manage it throughout the year — we’ve got a couple other draws. But I want to see how far we can make it without feeling the pinch.

    Cable’s already cut, no gym membership, no cell phone. So I guess we’re doing okay on some of these goals.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s awesome you’re doing the 52 week challenge. Even if you don’t make it the whole year I think it’s a great challenge to try.

      Yep, sounds like y’all are doing good.

  • Kim says:

    There are so many ways to save that even if you can’t or don’t want to do all of them, you can always find a few things to make your bottom line better.

  • Great list, John! I love these long lists of how to save money because even if you do just a handful you can increase your monthly cash flow.

  • Anita says:

    I write a book of household accounts (Libre Office Calc) and added up the expenses for sweets/chips/… for the last october, november, december. O.k. there was halloween, but: It was 300 Euros.
    Now I’m on a diet.
    It was shocking to see how much money I spend for food that isn’t necessary and only harms my body.
    I didn’t add up the alcohol, wasn’t that much, but I cancelled this, too.

  • Cheryl says:

    Good stuff!
    We ditched cable 3 1/2 years ago, Internet only and installed an antenna on roof. 24 local channels in high quality picture FREE!
    No bottled water, have a couple insulated Klean kanteens that I take coffee to work versus stop at donut shop and also fill with water faucet. Double savings.
    Bought an exercise video and use kettlebell weights versus gym membership, also free walks.
    Home haircuts, my husband cuts mine every other month and the two children monthly. Between haircuts, tip and transportation costs, it saves me over $1000 a year. My husband feels that a Woman’s hair is much easier to cut, but watched a few videos before doing the boys, there haircuts are more difficult to do as there is not as much to work with. Less forgiving if you make a mistake. Get my hair colored at home with henna, saves me over another $1000 over what they would charge at salon and he gives a great haircut, better than the salon and he does a very nice job with my color. Regular salons screwed up my hair, I wouldn’t think of letting a trainee touch mine, they always cut it too short.
    I do my own mani & pedicures as well.
    Did a garden last year, kale was the best producer, healthy greens for ten months, tomatoes, herbs and garlic were tasty fresh from garden as well.
    Get boys clothes at goodwill store, they out grow pants and coats so fast, can get some that are like new for only a couple dollars each. We do donate outgrown clothes to help keep the cycle going.
    Use credit card with cash back, and then pay it off in full each month. Did children’s birthday parties at home. Made pizza, and cakes, grilled hot dogs for picnic. No bouncy house or catered affair, just a few friends, great time @ a low cost.
    He changes oil, fluids and spark plugs in cars. Sharpens mower blades, scissors and knives at home. Tools work best when they are maintained. Most home repairs of plumbing, electric, carpentry, flooring are DIY, saves even more.

  • Jordan says:

    I’m am not a fan of negotiating. I know it works, and is a good idea to save money, but I just hate confrontation, and hate to beg people down. I wish I didn’t feel that way because I know I could save some money doing it.

    • Cheryl says:

      You need to not think of it as begging, you are offering to give them your business, if they will give you a fair deal, you are not begging. You are giving them a second chance to not be fired. That is what my husband did, never raised his voice, just told them the current rate was too high and we were firing them as they were charging too much and we could get the same service at a much lower rate, and we were offering them the opportunity to keep our business, that’s all.

    • Rich says:

      You’re not begging, you’re NEGOTATING! I do this all of the time. Business want dollars and YOU are the consumer. They need you more then you need them. They want money and so do you. You decide.

  • Tricia says:

    Have done most of these things and they really do make a difference. The top 3 for me:

    Cable. I purchased a Roku stick, basic monthly Hulu ($9) and basic Netflix ($9) and an HD antennae that gets all local channels crystal clear for free. After the one time purchase of the stick and antennae ($85+-), my TV bill is $60 mthly and that includes the high speed internet needed to stream from Hulu and Netflix. Basic cable in my area was $150 monthly. Savings of $90 for me.

    Cell Plans. I ended my contract and bought a basic flip phone for calling and texting. $30 mthly. With a home computer and iPad, don’t need a smartphone on top of that. Not one of those people who has to be plugged in to technology 24/7. My cell phone plan was $150 per month. Saving of $120 for me.

    Credit Cards. This one takes discipline. I have 3 cash back cards and use them to pay all my monthly bills (mortgage, utilities, car insurance, food, etc.) I pay them off each month completely according to my cash only budget mindset. The award points / money / giftcards are a really nice perk that I use for Christmas each year, and had $900 last year accumulated.

    I think that mindset is the most important factor of living within one’s means. Stay away from advertising and the must haves that get so many people in financially devastating places. Live small. Live free from burdens and worries. Most importantly, learn to control your money. Don’t let money control you.

  • cathy says:

    Instead of turning on our big screen t.v. we watch Netflix on our (given to us) smartphones. We stopped using the back porch light, and leaving the kitchen light on by using solar lights. We hang out our clothes on a line. Unplug everything, and sometimes leave it unplugged even when we are home. All those little things add up.

  • I am doing many of your suggestions. Another one is that people can make extra money by getting an extra paycheck 4 times a year if they get paid weekly and 2 times a year if they get paid biweekly. They can use that money for a special sinking fund or savings account.

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