Financial struggles are an inevitable part of life. Finding ways to save money each month can help you get through times when cash is tight.
Thankfully, there are relatively easy ways to lower your monthly expenses that can add hundreds of dollars to your budget.
If you want to decrease your bills with minimal sacrifice, this guide will give you some ideas.
Proven Ways to Save Money Every Month
There are many ways to trim your spending, and most of them don’t take much effort.
From modifying daily habits to reducing monthly bills, simple changes can have a big impact on your budget.
If you’re looking for inspiration, our guide shares 38 money-saving ideas to improve your finances. Pick a few, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the monthly savings will rack up.
1. Cut the Cord
Cutting the cord on cable is one of the best ways to save money every month. The average household spends over $200 per month on cable.
With the availability of cable alternatives, there’s no need to spend that much money. A streaming service can save you at least $100 per month.
Streaming providers also have no contracts, allowing you to leave whenever you want. Here are the top live TV streaming services to cut the cord on cable.
|Service||Cost||Streams||Locals||DVR||On Demand||Free Trial|
If you don’t know where to start, take our free quiz to see which service is best for you.
2. Get Rebates on Your Grocery Shopping
Couponing is usually on any list of money-saving tips. However, if you don’t want to spend time clipping coupons, you can save money at the grocery store by using your phone.
Ibotta is an app that lets you get cash back on purchases. After you shop, scan your receipt so the app can identify any items that have rebates.
You can also pre-select items that have rebates before you shop.
The app gives new users $5 after uploading their first receipt. You can redeem your balance once you reach $20.
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping|
Get $5 when you upload your first receipt!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
3. Review Your Cell Phone Needs
Similar to cable, switching to a no-contract phone plan is a terrific way to save money every month. Analyzing your needs could help you save up to $100 per line per month.
If you’re commonly on Wi-Fi, you can switch to a smaller carrier without sacrificing reliability.
Visible is a perfect solution that offers coverage on Verizon. It has just one plan that costs $40 per line, but it reduces significantly if you add multiple lines.
However, currently, you can try the service for two months for $22 total.
All plans includes unlimited data, talk, and text.
As a Frugal Rules reader, you can receive a $100 gift card to the carrier to help boost your savings further. Read our review here of Visible Wireless to learn more.
Read our guide of other affordable no-contract plans if Visible doesn’t work for you.
4. Automate Saving
A common problem when it comes to saving is that we often forget to do it. One of the best ways to save more money every month is to automate your savings.
This lets you reach your savings goals without thinking about it, and can be a big part of trying to save $500 a month or more.
A money market account with CIT Bank is an excellent solution. It requires a minimal $100 opening balance.
You can automate savings on a weekly or monthly basis. The CIT Bank Money Market Account has the same FDIC protection as a savings account does, is fee-free, and pays 0.55 percent on your cash.
If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, opening an account is your first step toward financial success.
Read our guide here on how to build an emergency fund.
|CIT Bank - start your emergency fund|
$100 minimum deposit requirement
Open a high yield savings account or money market with $100!
5. Find Coupon Codes When Shopping Online
Online shopping is convenient, but it’s easy to waste money if you don’t take the time to compare prices.
While coupon codes help you avoid wasting money, they don’t always work. Capital One Shopping is an excellent resource to avoid that problem.
The free browser extension works on your behalf to find discount codes or savings on items you purchase.
|Capital One Shopping|
Save more when you shop!
Snag better prices automatically on the things you buy with valid discount codes.
6. Start a Side Hustle
If you want to save money fast, your best bet might be a side hustle to earn extra money. There are countless side jobs you can start to make cash on the side.
Delivery driver jobs are among the best because you can often earn $20+ per hour.
DoorDash is our favorite app to deliver for since you can deliver meals from restaurants, food from the grocery store, or dozens of other possibilities.
You can set your own schedule and receive payouts weekly.
Get paid $23 per hour while on a delivery!
Deliver food with just a car or scooter. Get started today!
7. Try the 52-Week Challenge
If saving money every month is challenging for you, it may be best to start small. Doing this can give you the confidence to amplify future savings efforts.
This is where the 52-Week Challenge helps. You start by saving $1 in week one, then $2 in week two, and this continues until you save $52 in week 52.
You will save $1,378 by the end of the year. If you fear you’ll forget to do the weekly transactions, automating your savings is an excellent option.
That way, you will save money without having to do the manual work.
Chime is a perfect option for this since they have no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees.
8. Negotiate Lower Bills
Unused subscriptions can be a drag on your monthly budget. If you have services you don’t use, negotiating lower rates or eliminating them altogether is a great way to lower your monthly bills.
*Related: Are you struggling to pay your monthly bills? Read our guide here on the top actions you need to take to get on top of your expenses.
Unfortunately, it takes time to negotiate or cancel services. That leaves money on the table that should be in your savings account.
Taking the time to call providers may score you a one-time discount or monthly savings.
If you hate the idea of negotiating, Truebill is a free service that will do it for you. Truebill keeps 40 percent of whatever savings they win for you.
Read our review of the bill negotiation service to learn more.
9. Lower Debt Payments
Credit card debt and other high-interest debt keep you from reaching financial freedom. The interest alone can eat up a lot of your budget.
Refinancing or consolidating debt can help you lower your interest payments and even pay it off quicker. This can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your debt.
Check your rate at SoFi to see how much you can save. You can get a loan as small as $5,000 with rates as low as 5.99 percent.
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Cost: 5.99% to 18.83% APR
Zero fees. Secure a low rate on loans and kill debt.
10. Get Cash Back Rewards on Your Purchases
Oxygen is a helpful resource to use to assist you in saving money. The financial platform helps you save money with cash back rewards on qualifying purchases.
It offers four different loyalty levels to better serve your financial needs. The levels are named after the elements, including Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.
Oxygen is a mobile app available on both iOS and Android. It charges no monthly fees to help you save even more.
When you sign up, you’ll also receive early direct deposit, money transfers, and other benefits.
11. Refinance Student Loan Payments
Similar to high-interest debt, student loan debt can restrict financial mobility. When you refinance student loans to an income-driven repayment plan, you could save hundreds of dollars each month.
Before you pursue this option, make sure you won’t sacrifice any protections offered in your original loan. If not, do some research to see what kind of rate you can receive.
Check your rate at SoFi to see how much you could save each month.
Read our review of SoFi here to learn more.
12. Find Cheaper Auto Insurance
Comparing rates from multiple insurers is one of the best things you can do to reduce expenses. Reports indicate that 40 percent of drivers have not compared rates in at least three years.
If that’s you, you could be leaving hundreds of dollars a year on the table. The best way to find cheaper auto insurance is to compare rates.
The Zebra is a helpful resource that lets you simultaneously compare up to several dozen insurers. The site claims you can save up to $440 by using their tool to compare rates.
You can use the savings you claw back on auto insurance to apply towards other needs in your budget.
13. Consider Term Life Insurance
Life insurance is essential to protect your loved ones. However, many people often fall for whole life insurance.
Whole life insurance is considerably more expensive than term life. The latter is adequate for most people.
Savings depend on your situation, but term life is often five to 15 times cheaper than whole life insurance. You can even compare rates online instead of dealing with a salesperson.
Sproutt is a terrific resource. It lets you compare insurers to find the best fit for your needs and get an affordable policy.
14. Meal Plan
Food waste takes a big bite out of a budget. The average family wastes nearly $2,000 in food annually. That’s money going directly in the trash.
Meal planning helps you avoid this waste and save up to $150 each month since you buy only what you need. If you’re new to meal planning, $5 Meal Plan is a good resource to use.
This app helps you with meal ideas and maps out exactly what you need to buy.
The service provides a 14-day free trial. If you don’t find it helpful, just cancel it without incurring any cost.
15. Skip the Gym Membership
Gym memberships are great to help you stay in shape, but they can be expensive. The average person with a gym membership wastes $40 per month because they don’t use it.
Instead of a pricey gym membership, use free workout apps to save money by exercising at home.
If you want to lose weight, you can even make money shedding weight with a service like HealthyWage.
Read our review of the weight loss app here to learn more.
|HealthyWage - Win up to $10,000!|
Bet on yourself. Choose how much weight you want to lose and how much money you want to wager.
16. Save Your Spare Change
Most lists of tricks to save money tell you to save your spare change. While this is an effortless way to save money, why not grow that change instead?
You can do that with Acorns. This micro-investing app rounds up all your purchases and invests the money in a low-cost portfolio of your choosing once you reach a $5 balance.
Think of it as using your spare change to grow your net worth.
|Acorns - Invest Your Spare Change|
Get a $5 Bonus
Acorns rounds up your purchases and invests your spare change!
17. Refinance Your Mortgage
Refinancing your mortgage can potentially save you several hundred dollars a month. Mortgage rates are at historic lows.
You could be in for big savings if it has been several years since you looked at rates.
LendingTree is a helpful website that lets you compare up to five lenders. If you have a local mortgage broker, contact them to see how much you could save.
18. Open Multiple Bank Accounts
Have you ever wanted to sign up with more than one bank to take advantage of different savings products? If the idea of managing statements and accounts from multiple financial institutions stopped you, take a look at SaveBetter.com.
SaveBetter can help you find the high-yield savings products you want while managing your financial transactions from a single account. You’ll find high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CD’s.
You don’t have to lose sleep worrying about your money either. All of the financial institutions in the SaveBetter platform are FDIC insured.
19. Track Your Spending
One of the best ways to save money each month is by tracking your spending. This allows you to identify where each dollar goes so that you can find ways to reduce your spending.
While you can track your spending manually, automation simplifies the process.
Tiller is a service that does this for you. It connects to your bank account and puts all of your transactions in a Google Sheet for you to analyze.
The service is free for 30 days, then costs $6 per month.
20. Monitor Your Electric Bill
Do you want to save on utilities but believe it is impossible? Managing your energy consumption is one of the top things you can do every month to save money.
Your provider may offer an energy audit to help you identify savings opportunities. Or, you can sign up for a level pay plan to ensure you won’t have surprise swings in your bills.
Another way to save money on your energy bills is to buy a programmable thermostat. Reports indicate you can save up to 30 percent on energy bills this way.
21. Cut Your Own Hair
Getting a haircut is expensive, especially if you require styling. Make it a habit to cut your own hair to save hundreds each year.
I’ve cut my own hair for nearly two decades as a means to save money, and it’s simple to do.
An affordable kit from Wahl is a perfect tool to cut your hair. Combining that with a pair of good scissors can save you a lot of money.
22. Cut Down on Youth Sports
Organized sports are a big cost for many families. Exercise and learning teamwork are important, but they can be done for less.
A report from USA Today indicates 60 percent of families spend $100 – $499 per child on youth sports. Another 20 percent spend $1,000 per month.
If you’re struggling to save money each month, this is an easy area to reduce spending.
23. Join a Warehouse Club
A warehouse club may seem contradictory to people who want to start saving money. However, Costco and Sam’s Club often offer significant savings for members.
Savings on groceries aside, both retailers offer discounts on anything from travel to home services to prescriptions and more.
Read our guide on Costco and Sam’s Club to learn which is best for you.
24. Buy Used
Waste doesn’t just impact food costs. It also impacts how much we spend on items such as clothing.
If you have a growing family, consignment stores offer savings of at least 50 percent on what an item would cost new.
You can even sell clothes you no longer need to defray costs.
25. Reduce Eating Out
Going out to eat is a fun activity, but it’s also costly. The average family spends $225 per month dining out, but it’s easy to spend more.
When it comes to how to save money, cutting down on eating out is an easy option to try.
Reducing the number of times you dine out by just one meal could save $50 a month for other needs in your budget.
26. Lower Your Car Payment
Similar to other debts, a car loan can be a big chunk of your budget. The average car payment is over $500 per month.
If you have several years left on your payment, consider shopping around for better rates available through refinancing.
27. Shop for Cheaper Internet Services
Having internet access at home is a necessity. However, it’s also costly. Rates can vary widely depending on where you live.
Call your current provider to negotiate a lower price. If that doesn’t work, switch to a competitor that has a lower rate.
Read our guide on internet alternatives if you’re trying to get internet without cable.
28. Stop Smoking
Reports indicate the average smoker spends nearly $2,300 – $4,700 per year on cigarettes. The cost depends on where you live and is based on smoking one pack a day.
If you are a smoker, that’s roughly $190 to $390 per month you could save if you stopped smoking.
The recurring savings is just one part of the equation. You will also save significant money on medical bills by improving your health.
29. Switch to a No-Fee Bank
Banks love to charge fees, even to their most loyal customers. USA Today reports the average person spends $10-15 a month on bank fees. This can be higher if you pay ATM fees.
While this may not seem like a lot of money, reducing how much you pay in bank fees is important.
An online bank like CIT Bank is a good alternatives to slash this expense. It’s understandable if you don’t want to switch banks, but why sacrifice money when you don’t need to?
CIT Bank offers a breadth of options to grow your wealth.
|CIT Bank - start your emergency fund|
$100 minimum deposit requirement
Open a high yield savings account or money market with $100!
30. Earn Free Amazon Gift Cards
It’s easy to overspend on Amazon because convenience is their entire business model. You need to be careful not to have this spending impact your budget.
Gift cards are an awesome way to offset your spending. You can earn these with Pinecone Research. This paid survey site lets you earn money by taking surveys and testing products.
You won’t amass wealth this way, but it’s an easy strategy to spend less on items you do purchase.
Earn $3 per survey!
Get paid for your opinion. Earn points to redeem for cash or merchandise.
31. Take Your Lunch to Work
Do you want to save more money each month? Taking your lunch to work is an effortless way to do that.
Instead of spending $20 or more a week on takeout, bring leftovers or a sandwich and pocket the savings.
32. Start a Garden
If you love vegetables and want to save money at the grocery store, starting a DIY garden is a great option.
Begin with several small garden beds in your backyard. You’ll start saving in no time.
33. Make Your Own Bottled Water
According to The Water Project, the average person spends $100 per year on bottled water. Although it may feel like a necessary expense, there are ways to save and still have purified water.
Buying a water filter can eliminate the need to purchase bottled water. You can even buy a Nalgene water bottle to take with you when you travel since you’ll recoup the savings quickly.
34. Save Your Raise
Have you been fortunate enough to receive a raise at work recently? Instead of looking for ways to spend the money, save it.
If you must spend it, use it towards things like eliminating debt so you can reduce how much you pay in interest.
35. Save on Gas
Spending on gas is a necessity for most people. You can often find cheap gas by searching for lower prices on your phone.
Use an app like GasBuddy or FullTank to find the best prices in your area. This can help you save up to five percent on your gas costs.
36. Find Lower Prescription Prices
Medicine can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to save on prescription medication.
GoodRx is a free app that lets you find lower drug prices. According to their site, the app is accepted at over 70,000 pharmacies nationwide and can often save you significant money on your medication needs.
37. Use the Library
One of the best ways to save money is by using the library. Depending on where you live, your library will carry movies, music, and books.
If there’s a book or movie you want, check with your local library first before spending $20+ on it.
38. Organize Your Bills
Life is busy, and it’s easy to forget a bill. This likely results in fees you must pay.
If you have multiple bills you pay each month, create a system to manage them.
This can be as simple as using Google calendar to set reminders to pay bills. Plus, it can have the added benefit of analyzing your spending habits to identify other opportunities to save.
How Can I Save Money Every Month?
It can be overwhelming to save when you don’t know where to start. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might feel as if you have to cut back on everything.
This can lead to frustration and setbacks. To avoid this, you want to identify one or two monthly bills you can reduce to see if you can live with the changes.
Start with this list to find money-saving opportunities. Rinse and repeat until you find several areas to save.
This will build the confidence necessary to help you reach your financial goals.
What is the 30-Day Rule?
The 30-Day Rule is a simple way to manage your spending. If you’re shopping and find something you want, wait 30 days to purchase it.
If you forget about the item during that time, it’s likely you can live without it. However, if you still want the item at the end and can afford it, you go ahead and purchase it.
This is a fantastic tool to use if you’re struggling to spend less than you earn and want to avoid using your credit cards for the purchase.
Even if you’re financially stable, it’s a good tool to use to avoid mindless spending.
How Much Should I Save Each Month?
Personal finance is personal for a reason, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to a specific amount you should save each month.
However, the 50/30/20 budget is a wise approach to guide your savings efforts. Here is how it works:
- Spend 50 percent of your budget on necessities like housing and food
- Spend 30 percent of your budget on discretionary spending
- Allocate the remaining 20 percent to savings
Let’s take the example of earning $3,000 per month after taxes. Following the 50/30/20 model, you would allocate $1,500 towards needs, $900 towards discretionary items, and the remaining $600 towards savings.
Your situation may differ. You may need to save more, or you may not be able to save 20 percent of your income. Regardless, starting is the key to achieving your goals.
If you think it’s difficult to create a budget, consult our guide to learn how to start.
There are many ways to increase monthly savings. All you have to do is give some of these ideas a try.
While they won’t all apply to you, you can combine multiple options and save several hundred dollars each month.
Don’t let the fear of missing out on things hold you back from saving money. Most of the items on our list let you reduce expenses without making substantial sacrifices.
What are some of your favorite ways to save money?
*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links provided.
*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
*Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.