We all want to have more money in our pocket at the end of the month. There are two ways that you can achieve this. Either you can make more money, or you can save more money. Now we can’t just magically make our bosses give us a raise, and we can’t just walk into any business we see and find a higher paying job, so it makes sense to work on the part that we can control. We may not have control over our income, but we do have control over how much money we save each month. So I’ve compiled a list of the 25 best ways to save more money each month, and I hope that you find at least a couple on this list that you can implement into your own life.
Turn Off Your Lights
Until I got married and started getting yelled at for it, I was really bad at this one too. One way to increase your savings is to turn off the electronics and lights when you aren’t using them. We like to keep the tv on for background noise, but does it really need to be on while we scroll on Facebook? During the day, turn off your lights and open your windows. Not only will this cut down your electric bill each month, but it’s also kind of soothing!
Stop Eating Out So Much
Eating out is expensive, and it has become more popular with Doordash, UberEats, and all of the other delivery apps. Yes it is easier, yes it is quicker, but go to the grocery store and learn to cook your own meals, and you could save upwards of a couple hundred dollars over the course of a month. $8 for a burrito isn’t a lot, unless you eat one every day on your lunch break.
Cancel Your Unused Subscriptions
Chances are if you opened up the list of subscriptions on your phone, you would find plenty of them that you don’t use anymore. These subscriptions may only be $5 a month, but get rid of 5 of them and you will save an extra $300 a year!
Stop Buying Name Brand Groceries
I hate to break it to you, but the Walmart brand water tastes just as good as Aquafina. Many of the name brand products that you purchase are exactly that, a name brand. For most products there is not a sizable difference in quality between the item that is a dollar, and that same name brand item that is four dollars. You can save a LOT of money switching to generic on your next grocery trip.
Buy Used Products
If I drive a car off the lot, and then turn right back around and sell it back, it is considered used. Does this mean that the car is any worse than 5 minutes before? Many household products that we buy, can be picked up used for half the price, without sacrificing quality. Facebook market place or Craigslist are great places to look for used items. We got all of our TVs at a pawn shop and they all work just as good as the ones my friends bought at stores for twice as much.
Start Using Cash
Yes credit and debit cards are convenient, but studies have shown that when you use a card, you spend differently than when you use cash. You don’t have that feeling of the money leaving your pocket, and therefore you tend to spend more when you use cards than when you use good old cash.
Start a Piggy Bank
I know this sounds like something you might tell a small child, but I love the idea of keeping your change. When you use cash you tend to get lots of coins back. Start a jar back home for all of your loose change and throw it in there every time you get home. Don’t touch it! This is now your backup savings account or your fun fund. Once you have enough coins saved up, find a coin star or go to your bank and cash it in. You will be surprised at how quickly change can build up!
Make Your Own Coffee
This one kind of ties into eating out, but I felt it needed it’s own spot. Make coffee at home, and buy your favorite creamer. This will save you big bucks compared to shopping at Starbucks. Not to mention, you won’t have to wait in line and you can actually spell your name correctly!
Pay Off Your Credit Cards
This is easier said than done, but it is still important. Many of us have credit card debt, meaning that we have to make monthly payments. If you pay only the minimum payment on your credit card, you will pay a lot of money in interest by the time it is paid off. This also means one more expense coming out of your pocket each month. The faster you pay off your credit cards, the less your expenses will be each month, and the less you will pay over the lifetime of your credit card.
Write a Shopping List
Stores are designed to get you to make impulse purchases. Ever wondered why the candy bars are right at the checkout line? You are more likely to just throw them in with the rest of the things you bought. Make a shopping list, know what you need to buy, and do your best to stick to it. This will keep you from buying unnecessary items, and will help you cut down your grocery expenses for the month.
The 24 Hour Rule
The best way to keep yourself from making impulse purchases is something commonly referred to as “The 24 Hour Rule”. When you want to buy something, wait 24 hours and see if you still want it. Chances are you will either forget about it, or you won’t feel like you really need it anymore.
Use Your Banks ATM
Now I know that it is not always possible, but do your best to only use ATM machines that are associated with your bank, or ones that are fee-free. Why would you want to pay to have access to your own money? $3.50 is a lot to pay for the convenience of having a $20 bill in your pocket.
Pay Your Bills on Time
This should be common sense, but it is important to pay your bills on time. Not only does this help you keep up a good credit score, but it helps you to avoid late fees. Set your bills on auto-pay if you can, or make sure that you have a calendar or reminders of when your bills are due. Paying late fees is a waste of your hard earned money.
Check Out Your Local Library
One of the greatest things about the library is that it is usually free. At most libraries, you can sign up for a library card, and then rent books, movies, and tv shows for free. My wife and I will go to the library and pick out 3 or 4 movies for the week and then watch them at home and it costs us nothing, assuming we bring them back on time.
Take Care of Your Car
This goes for everything you own, but specifically your car. Make sure that you keep up on the routine maintenance, and do your best to keep your car in good condition. Making sure that your car is well cared for, things like checking your tire pressure, changing the oil, and rotating your tires, can help you save money on costly repairs.
Take Care of Your Body
Just like your car, keeping up with your bodily maintenance is important to saving money. Brushing your teeth cuts down on dental bills, being safe cuts down on medical bills, and eating healthier can cut down on weight and health related hospital visits. Medical bills can be expensive so it is a good idea to avoid them if at all possible.
Hangout at Your House
Between movies, drinks, and dinner, going out with friends can quickly add up. Inviting friends over to your house for a movie night, or to play board games, can help you save money. Grab a case of beer and avoid the premium that you pay for drinking at the bar.
Stop Shopping at the Mall
Everybody loves going to the mall, except your wallet. The whole point of a mall is to get you to spend money. People like the feel of going to the mall, but once we get there it is almost impossible not to leave with something. If you are not going specifically to buy something, then you should avoid the mall. 99% of the time you will end up buying something that you didn’t need and you will spend money you probably shouldn’t have spent.
Evaluate Your Living Situation
Rent or mortgage payments are usually the largest expense that a person has each month. We all want to have a big house, but how much space do you really need? The first house that me and my wife rented when we got married was a 3-bedroom, 2-bath which cost $925 a month, not including utilities. Was it a decent house? Yes. Did we need a 3rd bedroom? Absolutely not. That room stayed empty the whole year we rented it besides being the place we threw our random stuff. Try to find places that have lower rents and you can save hundreds of dollars while still enjoying the place you live.
Cancel Your Cable
Cable is expensive, and with the rise of streaming platforms, it is starting to become obsolete. Get a decent WiFi plan for your house, pick up Hulu, Netflix, Disney +, or any of the other streaming sites and you can save extra money each month.
Save a Portion of Each Paycheck
Taking a set percentage or amount out of your paycheck each week is a great way to build up your savings. This could be a set amount like $50 a paycheck, or it could be a percentage such as 10% of your paycheck. Forcing yourself to save helps you to build the habit and protects you should you lose your job or have an emergency expense.
Become More Organized
Being organized in general is important. Have a calendar that has payment dates written on it to avoid late fees. Don’t lose things and have to pay to replace them. A clean and organized house will also help you feel less stressed when you’re at home.
Sometimes when we are shopping, we see something that we want and we just have to have it. The issue with this is that many places have to same exact products at different prices. Shop around to see if another store has the item cheaper, or if you are online, maybe another website has free shipping. Make sure to keep an eye out for special deals!
Find Free Local Events
Not everything you want to do is going to be free, however most cities and towns have free events that go on every so often. It could be a movie in the park, or a block party. Whatever it is, you can have a great time, and still save money.
Take Your Credit Card Off of Websites
It is convenient for us to keep our credit card information on Amazon for when we want to purchase something, but if you take your credit card off of the website you can cut down on impulse purchases. This is because you will have to go and find your card, and then enter all of the information in manually each time, causing you to stop and think about if you really need what you are about to purchase.
Set a Savings Goal
It is important for you to set a savings goal. We as human beings like to feel like we have accomplished something. It makes us feel good about ourselves. When we set savings goals, it helps to motivate us to save more money, and gives us an achievement to celebrate. Your goal could be $500 or even $10,000. Either way you should set a savings goal and get to work!
Thanks for Reading!
I hope that you have found at least a couple ways to save money from this post that you can implement. Leave a comment and tell me which ones you are going to try, or which ones you have already tried and how that went for you. Feel free to follow this blog for more money management tips. Thanks for reading!