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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

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              Last Updated on June 26, 2020

              25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

              25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

              “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

              If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

              You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

              Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

              As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

              And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

              But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

              • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                • food
                • rent/mortgage
                • cell phone
                • insurance
                • socializing/entertainment
                • transportation
                • hygiene products
                • household bills
              • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                • travel
                • clothing
                • medication (*depends)
                • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                • gifts

              Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

              Save Money on Food

              1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

              Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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              Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

              2. Buy the store-brand version

              Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

              3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

              Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

              4. Have group dinners

              If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

              Save Money in Transport

              5. Get a bicycle

              Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

              6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

              Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

              7. Find the cheapest gas

              Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

              Save Money in General Shopping

              8. Shop online

              Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

              9. Sell your old stuff

              Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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              Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

              10. Bulk buying stores

              For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

              Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

              11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

              You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

              12. Generic brand medication

              More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

              13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

              It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

              Cut Down on Household Expenses

              14. Printing

              Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

              e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

              Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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              15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

              A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

              16. Shop around for insurance

              Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

              Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

              17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

              If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

              18. Don’t get a TV

              Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

              19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

              My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

              Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

              20. Have house parties

              Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

              For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

              21. Open festivals, meetups and events

              It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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              22. Volunteer

              If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

              23. Housesit

              There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

              Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

              24. DIY beauty

              French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

              25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

              If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

              Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

              Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

              • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
              • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
              • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
              • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
              • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
              • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
              • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

              Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

              What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

              Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

              More Tips for Personal Finance Management

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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