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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

              More by this author

              Anna Johansson

              Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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              Last Updated on March 4, 2019

              How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

              How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

              Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

              I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

              Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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              Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

              Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

              Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

              I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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              I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

              If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

              Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

              The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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              Using Credit Cards with Rewards

              Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

              You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

              I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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              So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

              What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

              Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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