45 Ways to Save Money Every Month
When we really started our war on debt, we looked for as many ways as possible to save money on monthly expenses. In fact, that was one of the first things we did when we looked at our overall budget. We wanted to figure out which bills we could reduce out of our monthly budget and how much we could actually save to put towards debt. This was one of the best things we have ever done.
It was a very eye-opening experience for me especially as I am the natural spender in our relationship. It helped for me to really dig into our finances and figure out what I was spending money on each month. I have to say that it was a bit painful and I am a bit ashamed of how much I spent on “things.” Most of the “things” I probably don’t even own now, but I am glad that I had this awakening and that we have focused on debt pay off.
Since October 2014, when we started our journey towards financial freedom, I have been more focused on what I truly want from my life and not as much on possessions. That has been the biggest factor in keeping me accountable to not overspending.
Here is the list of 45 ways to save money every month
Avoid eating out at restaurants
Calculate how much money you have spent eating out over the last month and try to cut it down even if you cut it down to 1-2 times per month. Those costs add up!
Create an entertainment budget
You should have fun money in the budget but make sure it’s a reasonable amount.
Reduce or get rid of cable
Use alternative such as an Amazon Fire Stick, Hulu with a Roku stick or stream from YouTube. We did this. We have Netflix and an Amazon fire stick and we love both of them. We have been able to save thousands over the past 2 years with cutting out cable.
Consolidate your student loans
Use a company like Credible or Sofi to help you consolidate your student loans and receive a better interest rate. It is free to apply to either of the companies I just listed. Just to give you an idea, I was contacted by SoFi to reduce my student loan bills and they were able to lower my monthly payment by $100.
Use a cheaper cell phone provider
You can do what we do and use a shared plan with several family members which saves us about $50 per month.
In the long run having your meals planned out with significantly save your food budget. I love $5 Meal plan and if you sign up now, you will get the first 2 weeks for free. You can learn how I create my weekly meal plan here.
Buy a used car and work to pay off the car soon as possible
This was one of the first changes we made. We got rid of our car payment as quickly as possible and it was the best decision we ever made. We still drive the 2004 Dodge Durango.
Move closer to work to reduce gas expenses
This is a big decision but it may be worth it if you’re spending a lot of money on gas per month. You can also consider buying a more fuel efficient car.
Avoid buying convenience food
Vegetables that are pre-packaged and already cut up a more expensive than cutting up your own vegetables. Plan time to do meal prep. You can check out the Organize yourself Skinny ebook to help you with meal preparation.
Take your lunch to work
Pack leftovers whenever possible to save money on buying your lunch out.
Use coupon sites like Ibotta for grocery shopping and more.
Ibotta not only has coupons available for food but they also have coupons available for some of your favorite stores. If you click here to sign up, you will get $10 just for signing up. It is free to use and there is no annual fee. Ibotta is one of my favorite ways to save money on expenses like shampoo, toothpaste and all the other little stuff that adds up each month.
Create a capsule wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a way to minimize the clothing that you have in your closet and significantly reduces decision fatigue. You will likely have an easier time finding something that you like to wear. This reduces your need to shop. Boom. You can create your own capsule wardrobe using these guidelines and see how I am going out creating my capsule wardrobe.
Organize your home
If you know where stuff is at, you don’t have to buy it. We are terrible with organization…. well until this year when I went on a rampage to clear the clutter from our house. I bought a planner and I have been writing down my goals for organizing our home this year. I have also been using these printables to help me stay organized.
Use a site like Motif investing for your investment banking
Motif is cheaper to trade your investments than most other companies and they have an app to monitor your investments. You can sign up for free with Motif here.
Use a budget app to track your expenses
Having an app at your fingertips to monitor your spending helps you stay accountable. I like Mvelopes, Personal Capital, Mint and Every Dollar. They all have their pros and cons. Find an app that you like best to manage everything and hold yourself accountable.
Shop through EBates to get cash back
I have made $100 back by using Ebates for things I would normally buy online. It is free to use and you can get your first $10 by signing up through my link. It is seriously one of my favorite ways to save money!
Don’t buy expensive perfume, shampoo or cosmetics
Do you really NEED them? Find cheaper alternatives.
Shop second hand through Thred Up or a local second hand store.
There are plenty of second hand stores with great clothing. Consider buying second hand for the kiddos too.
Make a little extra money to pay off bills
Check out my full list of 100 ways to make more money
Negotiate your bills
Don’t be afraid to negotiate bills like car loans, insurance, credit cards, medical bills. Also, if you have received a medical bill, double check that your insurance covered what they said they would cover. I have had numerous people tell me they have paid their insurance carrier more than once for the same bill unknowingly. Or they receive a second bill for something they already paid.
Find free or cheap ways to have fun
Check out my list of summer date ideas and fall date ideas
Reduce alcohol consumption
I know… BUMMER!
Don’t pay for a gym membership
There are plenty of ways to exercise for cheap. You don’t have to go to the gym to be healthy
Use Digit to save money
It is free to sign up for Digit and they take money out automatically. Don’t worry, it isn’t a lot and you have control over it, but it is a great way to save a little extra money each month. You can read my Digit review here. I love Digit for saving money for big purchases like a new couch or a vacation.
If you use a credit card, pay it off each month
Don’t pay interest on credit cards. Just make a deal with yourself that you will never do this. K?
Turn your heat down a little in the winter
Wear extra clothing instead to keep warm.
Turn your air conditioner up in the summer or avoid using it whenever possible
Wear less clothing.
Color your hair yourself or don’t color it at all.
In my case this isn’t an option, so I found a reasonable hair stylist and get my hair done 4 times per year. Shop around a bit and ask your friends who they go to and get prices!
Wait before making a big purchase
Don’t jump the gun and just buy something especially if it is a BIG purchase. Wait at least 24 hours to buy it to make sure it is really worth it.
Borrow instead of buy
If you need something that you may only use once, borrow it instead of buying it. You will save money and you won’t have the clutter lying around
Set a goal
If you are in the frame of mind that you want to pay a bunch of stuff off this year and you need to save money in order to do this, set a reasonable goal and stick to it. Research shows that when we write down our goals, we are more likely to stick to them.
Hold budget meetings
Have someone you can stay accountable to. Greg and I hold meetings to go over our finances generally every 2 weeks and it keeps us both accountable to our spending and to our BIG debt payoff goals.
Drink just water
I know I mentioned about the alcohol above, but now it’s time to mention other beverages like soda, juice, gatorade, etc. You don’t need them and you will save money if you don’t buy them. It may be tough at first, but it can be done.
Eat a vegetarian diet
This would also be a huge change, but it would save you money as meat is expensive. You could also just add a few meatless meals in per week.
Take in a renter
This could significantly reduce your monthly bills with someone to share your costs each month
Refinance your mortgage or rent a cheaper place
We decided to refinance our mortgage a couple years ago because the interest rate was lower and we changed our loan from a 30 year to a 15 year loan to avoid paying all the extra interest. If the interest rate is better than what you have, consider refinancing and consider a shorter term loan
Move into a small home
Small homes are all the rage right now. If you are the type of person that doesn’t mind small spaces, look into a smaller, cheaper house or RV. You could save a lot of money and it may just be the adventure you are looking for.
Consider a budget plan for electric or gas
We are on the budget plan for our gas bill and honestly, we are saving money on it. We started it last year because some of our gas bills the prior year were over $200 and we didn’t really have that in our budget. It has been worth it for us. Go over the last year’s bills for your electric and gas and see if it would be worth it for you.
Take surveys to pay down your debt
There are several great survey sites that are easy to use where you can make a little extra money to pay down debt. Think about how much money you will have when you pay off those bills. The survey sites I like are Harris Poll, National Consumer Panel, Swagbucks, Digital Voice, and Survey Junkie. They are all free to sign up and use.
Find other ways to hustle and make money to pay off debt
My favorite ways are real estate investing (check out our strategy here), blogging (check out my latest income report), Uber, starting your own business like a landscaping company, mowing lawns, becoming a referee. These are just a few ideas.
Call your insurance company for medical bills
I have heard so many stories of people getting charged twice from their insurance companies. Know what your benefits are and don’t be afraid to call them when you get a big bill. They may not be charging you the correct amount or they may be charging you again.
If you live far away from work and you live close to a co-worker, can you carpool? It will save you money on gas and the wear and tear on your car.
Work from home
There are actually some decent work from home opportunities out there. There are actually sites where you can find work from home jobs. If you work from home, you can potentially save on daycare costs, wear and tear on the car, the cost of work clothes and lots more.
Compare daycare costs VS. in home child care costs
Daycare and preschool is expensive. Make sure you look at options that are close to home and close to work. You have to be comfortable with where you send your babies. I totally get that, but make sure you are pricing out all options.
Can you barter a service you are good at for something that you need? Babysitting for baking services perhaps? What are you good at that someone else needs? Think about it and talk to a group of friends about it. I would gladly exchange cleaning for cooking services. I love to cook…. Cleaning, not so much:)
Buy a house from a tax foreclosure auction
Houses are so much cheaper. Let me explain the basics. A tax auction is when the owner of the home hasn’t paid taxes in quite a while. You can buy the home for what they owe on taxes. It does get a bit complicated, but if you don’t want to rent and you are looking to buy a house as cheap as possible, this is a great option. Just do your homework in your area on tax foreclosure first to make sure you understand all the pros and cons first.
What are your most expensive bills? If you are serious about saving money, don’t be afraid to get down right creative to save money. Sell plasma. Hustle your butt off, baby.
There are so many ways to save money on monthly bills and expenses. Sometimes it does require being a little creative or frugal, but if you want to really want to pay down debt and get rid of some monthly payments, focus on saving money in every avenue possible.
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