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You Won’t Believe How Easy it is to Save $100-Plus Each Month

You Won’t Believe How Easy it is to Save $100-Plus Each Month

Think it’s impossible save money at the end of each month? Think again. With a little creativity and discipline, anyone can reduce their current expenses and put away money, one dollar at a time. Let’s take a look at some simple strategies that you can use to start saving $100-plus per month, starting right now!

1. Eat at Home

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    (Photo by baron valium)

    Eating out at restaurants may be the single biggest drain on your bank account each month. If you eat out five times per week during your lunch break, you’re spending a minimum of $30 per week (and that’s if it’s fast food). Couple that with a nice lunch or dinner on the weekend (at least $15) and you’re spending $45 per week on eating out. That comes to $180 per month, or $2,160 per year.

    By packing your own lunch during the week and being smarter about where you eat on the weekends, you can reasonably save $15-$20 per week (and $60-$80 per month). You’ve almost reached your goal of saving $100 per month by simply being smarter about where you eat each day.

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    2. Stick to Your Coffee Pot

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      (Photo by Porsche Brosseau)

      For many of us, drinking coffee is what gets us through the morning and helps us overcome that afternoon drowsiness. However, it often comes at a cost. If you’re like the millions of Americans who make a daily purchase from Starbucks, you’re spending more than $2 per cup each day.

      Considering that it costs less than a dollar per cup to brew your own coffee from home, you can save anywhere from $25-$75 per month by switching from Starbucks to your coffee pot.

      3. Dial Back Your Water Heater

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        (Photo by M S)

        According to Modern Group, a home improvement company that specializes in solar power, heating water accounts for 40 percent of your total household energy use. With that being said, switching to a solar hot water system can help households save up to $58 on their monthly electricity bills – or $700 per year. Not bad!

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        4. Carpool to Work

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          (Photo by Mike Linksvayer)

          While you may love the peace and solitude of your morning commute to work, there really aren’t many other positives of driving to work alone. If you live near a coworker, you should seriously consider carpooling to work. By trading weeks to drive with someone else, you can cut your monthly fuel expenditures in half. If you can find a third or fourth person, the savings can be even greater.

          5. Become a Smart Shopper

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            (Photo by jridgewayphotography)

            While we mentioned that eating at home is much cheaper than eating out, you have to become a smart shopper to fully realize these savings. This means clipping coupons, knowing where to shop, buying in bulk, and switching over from name brands to store brands. If you do these things, a single person can reasonably cut their grocery bill down to just $20 per week. Pretty incredible!

            6. Leave Your Gym

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              (Photo by ramsey beyer)

              Getting regular exercise is important, but who said you have to spend $50 per month on a gym membership? And if you’re simply using the gym to run on the treadmill, you’re throwing money down the drain.

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              By leaving the gym and running or walking outside with friends, you can save up to $600 per year. Plus, it feels better to exercise outside than it does to be cramped in a dingy gym with dozens of other sweaty people potentially damaging their shins and knees through using unforgiving machines.

              Ready, Set, Save

              As you can see, it doesn’t take a total lifestyle overhaul to start saving money. If you were to follow all of the advice outlined in this article, you’d be able to put away thousands of dollars in a savings account by the end of 2016.

              What are you waiting for?

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              Featured photo credit: Ken Teegardin via flic.kr

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              Anna Johansson

              Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant.

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              Last Updated on August 20, 2018

              30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

              30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

              Spending time with friends is, in and of itself, a great way to pass the time without spending a lot of money. But if you and your friends are used to going out to clubs, pubs or eateries together as your way of hanging out, then you can change it up a bit and save some money too.

              No matter where you live, there are plenty of places to go and do fun things that don’t cost a lot.

              If you are having trouble convincing your friends to do things on the cheap, then be upfront with them. Tell them straight out that you can’t spend that kind of money right now — and don’t let them pay for you either. But here are some great alternatives you can offer.

              30 Fun Things To Do With Friends Without Spending Much

              1. A potluck dinner party. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. If you are not comfortable with cooking, maybe try and learn how to cook a new dish together with your friends.

              2. Host a spa day. Give each other manicures. Try out new hairstyles. Make some facial masks or exfoliates using natural, at-home ingredients. Then drink mimosas.

              3. Movie marathon. Log into Netflix and watch every episode of “Stranger Things” Or do an ’80s movie marathon, watching “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club” and all of our old favorites. Don’t have a Netflix membership? Get the free trial just for the marathon!

              4. Pinterest party! You know all of those cool Pinterest crafts you say you’re going to do? Do them. At home one night with friends. Then make up some of those bacon-wrapped whatevers you’ve been dying to try!

              5. Go to the park. Pack a picnic. Hang out. Watch people. Play on the swings.

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                6. Have an organization party. Set up a day of each weekend where you go to each of your friends’ houses and help them clean out a closet, a room, a garage, whatever. Serve drinks and food and trade stuff among yourselves.

                7. Hold a yard sale. After all of that cleaning, why not hang out together and make some extra cash too?

                8. Concerts in the park. All summer long, many parks host free concerts. Go with your friends. Hang out, bring a picnic dinner. This is a very relaxing way to chill out on a hot summer night after work.

                9. Volunteer together. Offer to do the yard work for the local senior center or hang out with the kids at the YMCA. After a few hours of volunteering together, you will have new respect for each other and something new to chat about.

                10. Play board games. Drag out the Scrabble or the Yahtzee. You can hang out and play all sorts of games with large groups or small ones. Hold a tournament and compete against each other. Here’re some board games ideas.

                11. Video game tournament. Not into board games? OK. Well, how about a video game tournament? Whether it’s the latest dancing game or “Call of Duty,” play against each other and award prizes (or food) to the winners.

                12. Grab a ball and a bat and go play baseball at the local park. Grab a basketball or a tennis racket. Most parks have courts and fields you can use for free as long as there isn’t an organized event going on.

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                13. Go to the school play. This might cost a little for admission, but it’s a great way to support your community and have a fun time.

                14. Iron Chef night. Bring your friends over and have an Iron Chef night where you cook dinner out of only the items in your pantry. No buying anything!

                15. Go dumpster diving. Yup. I said it. Check out the dumpsters in your area and see what you can find. You might even find dinner! Here are some tips for respectful diving.

                  16. Go to yard sales. Take all that money you made at your yard sale and cruise around your town together looking for cool stuff. Maybe you could even fix something up and resell it.

                  17. Go fishing.

                  18. Go camping.

                  19. Find some cool trails around your town and go hiking. Here’re some of the best hiking trails you should try.

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                  20. Get out the bikes and bike everywhere for a weekend.

                    21. Dig out the old croquet set — or borrow your Mom’s — and play croquet. Do it! Totally fun.

                    22. Swap movies and music. Have everyone bring over a box of old movies and CDs they don’t want anymore — or don’t watch anymore. Then swap with abandon.

                    23. Go on a walking tour of your town. Most towns or cities have a historic district. Find out if there is a walking tour available. If not, make one up!

                    24. Scavenger hunt. Put your friends to the test — yes, this is for grown-ups — to find different things in your city…like a certain bike rack, a vintage sign, that sort of thing. The winner gets a dinner cooked by the losers.

                    25. Find out when the free days are at your local museum or zoo. Most have them and they can be great fun to visit with friends.

                    26. Hold a quilting bee. No, you don’t have to be fancy — or old — for this. Grab some old T-shirts that you love, old jeans, whatever. Cut them into squares and sew them together. Who knows? Maybe it will become a regular thing?

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                    27. Go to Open Mic night. Your town is likely harboring some great talent at an open mic night that has no cover and cheap drinks!

                    28. Go to a religious service. Even if you’re not religious, going to a service in an unfamiliar religion can be enlightening and a great way to meet new people.

                    29. Find a swimming hole. Head to the old town swimming hole — or find a new one. What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends.

                      30. Start a book club, card club (canasta anyone?), sewing club or scrapbooking club. Something you and your friends like. My parents used to belong to a cooking club where once a month all of their friends gathered at one house and the host family cooked a meal from a different country. I learned a lot about food that year.

                      You don’t really need to spend much to have lots of fun with your friends! Pick a few of these ideas and start trying them out this weekend with your friends!

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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