Today’s blog post is an awesome guest post from Ashley Patrick from Budgets Made Easy. Her article is about some really simple and awesome ways you can save money every month. Hope you enjoy it and be sure to check out her website!
Have you been struggling to get ahead with your budget each month? It can seem like there’s always something popping up and you are unable to save money month after month.
These simple tips can help you save money each month. Some of them are pretty effortless and you won’t even notice doing them. They can add up into big savings by the end of the month though.
25 Quick and Easy Ways to Save Money This Month
1. Using Cash
Using cash can save you on average 15-20% on every purchase. The reason for this is because it is psychologically different to hand over cash compared to swiping a card. You will naturally spend less because you have to think about it more before handing it over.
2. Cutting Out Drinks
This one can save you hundreds of dollars a month. This includes ordering water at restaurants to not going to your favorite coffee shop daily.
Just cut the cost and drink water or find a cheaper option at home.
3. No-Spend Challenge-
Plan a no-spend challenge- this could be a weekend, a week, or a month. You don’t spend any month unless it’s already budgeted. But you also want to buy things you need ahead of time, so you aren’t tempted in the store.
4. Cancel Memberships & Subscriptions-
Cancel any memberships you don’t use including the gym, zoo, paid radio, Audible, magazines, and anything else that is going to waste. They may “only” be $10 a month but it adds up quickly.
5. Meal Plan-
When I first started a zero-based budget, I was shocked to see how much money I was actually spending on food and eating out. It was more than my mortgage payment. It was ridiculous. So, I got to work on cutting back and cut our food budget in half.
I was able to do this by meal planning and changing the way I shop. I now plan meals a week at a time, take cash to the store, and use a calculator to track my spending while shopping. All of these combined keep me on budget and help me stick to my meal plan.
6. Do a zero-based budget
Doing a zero-based budget is very eye-opening. I hear all the time from people that they didn’t realize how much money they actually had. I was the same way. When you are intentional with every dollar you can save more and pay off debt fast. Your money will stop disappearing without you knowing where it went.
- Related Post: Budgeting for Beginners ~ A 7 Step Guide to Success
7. Refinance your loans
You can save a lot of money every month by refinancing your loans. Especially your high interest credit cards, mortgage and student loans. Shop around for the best rates and see how much money you can actually save.
Unplugging appliances when not in use is a good way to save money every single month. Even though they may not be on, they are still using electricity. Unplug things like the TV, chargers, and your computer. You can even buy a surge protector that makes it easier to turn them on and off when you need to use them.
9. Turn down your thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat by just 2 degrees can make a huge impact on your power bill. You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by adjusting your thermostat throughout the day.
10. Shop around for prescriptions
Did you know that the amount you pay for medicine depends on where you pick it up from? Your insurance carrier has contract prices with each company so that same medicine could be a lot cheaper if you shop around. Goodrx.com is a site that shows you the best price for your medicine. You can even save money by using a mail order service as well.
11. Get rid of cable
Cable is becoming a thing of the past and you can easily save $100 a month by cutting the cord. There are other alternatives that you can use for a lower price.
12. Call Service Providers
Call your cable, cell phone, internet and other providers and see if they can give you a better deal. A lot of times if you tell them you want to cancel to go somewhere cheaper, they will give you a discount to stay. I have done this for numerous things including cable and cell phone providers.
You can also have them remove services or channels you don’t use to lower your bill. For example, if you are on an unlimited plan but only use 3 gbs a month, lower your plan and save some money.
13. Use a prepaid cell phone
You can save a lot of money per month by using a prepaid service. Most of them use the major carrier’s towers so the service is the same.
14. Adjust your tax withholdings
You really don’t want a huge refund from your taxes. This means that you are giving the government an interest free loan. It also puts you at risk of not getting your refund in the event of a shutdown or garnishment.
You can go to the IRS website and input your information to see what your withholdings should be. Be sure to check it throughout the year and make adjustments if needed.
15. Use coupon apps
There are lots of apps that will give you coupon codes for stores to use online or in the store.
16. Unsubscribe from emails
If you are easily tempted and are trying to not spend money, remove the temptation. Unsubscribe from emails from anyone trying to sell you something you don’t want right now. You can sign back up later and then get a special offer code usually for signing up again.
17. Packing snacks and lunch
Cutting out the conveniences of fast food can be hard, especially if you are a busy family. Packing snacks and your lunch can save you a lot of money over the month. Plus it’s healthier for you.
18. Fix things yourself
If you or your spouse are handy, you can save a lot of money by fixing things yourself. You can watch YouTube videos on how to fix just about everything.
19. Reusable cups
Using refillable water bottles and cups helps you save money and is better for the environment. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you can buy water in a gallon jug and then refill your cup as you go.
20. Maintain your vehicle
Maintaining your vehicle is a major way to save in long-term repairs. Doing preventative maintenance helps you avoid catastrophic break downs. This will help your vehicle last longer and save you money.
21. Increase deductibles
If you can afford to, increase your deductibles. You don’t want to make it too high if you won’t be able to pay it though. This will help lower your rates every month.
22. Use the library
You can use the library for books, movies, and internet. Some libraries even have audiobooks. They also have movies and TV series to rent for free.
23. Find free entertainment
You can usually find free or cheap entertainment on your local town’s Facebook pages or websites. There also maybe local groups that share free events in your area.
You can even find things to do as a family like go to the park or even have a scavenger hunt in your backyard.
Use Groupon for local deals and coupons. They even have gift card special offers that are typically 50% off. This is a great way to try new places or save on places you frequent.
25. Shop at Dollar Tree
Now like anywhere else, not everything is a good buy at Dollar Tree. However, most things are a great buy. They have everything from craft supplies and food to household items. It’s a great place to get gift bags, gifts, snacks, and school supplies.
This is just a small list of simple things you can do every day to save money each month. They add up to big savings and can help improve your health and the environment.
Saving money really all comes down to priorities. What is a priority for your money right now. If saving is a priority then making a few changes will be easy.
One way to help you stop spending is to ask yourself if spending money on this item going to further my long-term goals? If the answer is no, then don’t buy it.
Ashley Patrick is a Master Financial Coach and blogger at Budgets Made Easy. She helps people budget their money so they can save and pay off debt. She was able to pay off $45,000 in 17 months using some of these simple money saving tips.