Are you looking for a few easy ways to save money each month? We’ve got you covered.
Contrary to what you’ve probably heard, saving money doesn’t have to be a difficult task.
Sure, things like moving to a cheaper part of town or selling your car can help you save a bunch of money fast. However, those kinds of strategies aren’t necessarily the most practical place to start.
Fortunately, in this post, I’m going to cover 15 of the easiest ways to save money each month. In fact, you can implement most of these strategies in less than an hour.
So, if you’re looking for a few little hacks to increase your savings without a ton of effort, this post is for you.
1. Create And Follow A Budget
Having a plan for your money is critical to financial success.
After all, if you don’t know where your money is going each month, it’s nearly impossible to identify the opportunities for you to save money.
Fortunately, creating a budget is simple.
Start by adding up your total monthly income. Then, subtract the amount of money you want to give and save.
After that, list out every expense you plan to pay in the upcoming month and subtract it from your remaining income. I’m talking about mortgage or rent to groceries, insurance, recreation, and anything you can think of.
If after subtracting all your expenses, you can add the surplus to your savings number. Or, if you end up with a deficit, you just have to start eliminating expenses that don’t fit within your means.
When putting together your budget, you are looking for immediate opportunities to save money.
In many cases, you may not be aware of how much you spend in certain categories.
For example, if you want to budget for dining out, you probably need to review your bank statement to add up all your meals out in the last month. You might find that you spent $800 in the last month eating out. Ouch! If you commit to budget only $300, you immediately free up $500 for savings.
2. Drop The Gym Membership
There’s no doubt about it, the cost of a gym membership adds up over the course of a year–especially if you’re paying for multiple memberships within your household.
Instead of working out in a gym, you could switch to other free activities to keep you in shape, such as riding a bike, jogging at the park, participating in a team sport, hiking, or swimming laps in the community pool.
To be clear, if you go to the gym every day, this probably isn’t a great choice for you, as exercise is essential for your health.
However, if you’re paying for a gym membership that you only use once a month, it’s better to let it go, exercise at home, and put that money toward savings.
3. Cut Your Cable Or Streaming Services
If you are like most people, you probably enjoy spending your evenings watching your favorite shows or movies.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up watching television to save money.
Instead, you can take advantage of more budget-friendly streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus.
Just make sure you’re only paying for one or two. After all, there’s no point in switching from cable if you’re just going to spend the same amount of money on streaming services.
Remember, you can always switch services if you run out of shows to watch.
On the other hand, if you feel like television is draining your time, energy, and your wallet, you could cut it out altogether and fill your time with more productive habits.
For instance, rather than spending 2 to 3 hours watching Netflix every night, you could dedicate that time to starting a side business and increasing your income. Who knows, what starts as a side hustle could eventually turn into your full-time income!
4. Cook More Meals At Home
You might not realize how much money you spend on food and beverages outside of your home.
Between runs to Starbucks before work, meals during your lunch break, snacks from the vending machine, and dinner out with family and friends, you are likely spending thousands each year.
An easy way to curb this expense is to simply cook more meals at home.
Seriously, when my wife and I started cooking our meals at home, we increased our monthly savings by nearly $500! And the best part is, you can eat leftovers for lunch, which only adds to your savings.
5. Pack Lunches For Work And School
Packing your lunches for work and school is a great way to quickly free up money in your budget.
Not only is this cheaper, but it’s likely healthier than the food in the school cafeteria or local fast-food restaurants.
You can pack these meals in advance so you can save time as well by simply grabbing what you need from the refrigerator.
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6. Switch Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are constantly trying to capture new customers.
You can use this to your advantage when trying to reduce your monthly premiums.
In fact, I recommend shopping insurance rates at least once a year to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
I mean, since just about every insurance has a free online quote tool (like this one from Liberty Mutual) on their website, it shouldn’t take you more than about 30 minutes to compare your current rate to the competition.
In many cases, you can find another company who will give you a better rate.
A word of caution, however, whenever you shop for new insurance, make sure that you are getting an apples-to-apples quote to your existing coverage.
In some cases, insurance companies will offer you a reduced premium, but your policy will come with a significantly higher deductible. While this might be a viable option, just make sure you have the cash on hand and feel comfortable paying this amount in the event of a claim.
7. Pay Off Debt
Having debt hanging over your head makes it difficult to get ahead.
Between student loans, car payments, and credit cards bills, debt payments can easily take a huge portion of your income each month.
And the worst part is, debt comes with interest. So, the longer you wait to pay it off, the more it costs you!
For that reason, if you want to make saving money easier, I recommend getting out of debt as soon as you possibly can.
This will not only give you more money in your pocket each month but will save you a ton in interest payments over the life of the loan.
8. Buy In Bulk
If your family uses some household items and food frequently, you might benefit from buying those items in bulk.
Warehouse discount stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club offer a wide range of products.
Since these stores charge their customers a membership fee, you should evaluate if the savings will be enough to cover this additional expense.
When choosing which items to buy in bulk, consider where you plan to store them (you might not have room in a studio apartment for 50 rolls of toilet paper).
Also, think about how long the product will last.
After all, you don’t want to buy food items in bulk that will expire or spoil before you have the chance to use them.
That defeats the entire purpose!
9. Reduce Fuel Costs
You might find immediate savings by changing the way you commute or get around town.
Fuel pricing is always a difficult item to budget for since gas prices fluctuate up and down throughout the year.
Fortunately, you can reduce or eliminate fuel cost variations by carpooling with a coworker, riding your bike, or using public transportation.
If you drive a large, gas-guzzling vehicle, you could trade it in for a more fuel-efficient model, electric, or hybrid vehicle.
If you currently have a car payment, you could kill two birds with one stone by trading in for a lower-cost vehicle to eliminate your payment and reduce your fuel costs.
10. Reduce Your Electric Bill
Being smart about your home energy usage can help reduce your electric bill.
And this is something that your entire family can support.
Take a few minutes to walk through your home to find appliances that you don’t use often but are plugged into the wall.
Many people don’t realize that appliances and electronics still use power even when they aren’t turned on.
You can also encourage your family to be more mindful of leaving lights on or running the air conditioner versus opening windows.
11. Buy Used Items
You can find significant savings by being selective about what products you choose to purchase new.
Buying used or pre-owned items can be a great solution in many situations.
In some cases, you might even be able to get a better-quality item at a discounted price.
For example, an older sturdy piece of furniture from Goodwill is likely better quality than a cheap model that you would find at Ikea.
Goods such as clothing, furniture, electronics, fitness equipment, appliances, and tools are great secondhand items.
You have plenty of options including thrift stores, secondhand stores, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
You don’t always have to purchase items either.
If there are items that you don’t plan to use frequently, a better option would be to borrow them from someone else.
For example, if you need a circular saw for a single home improvement project, you can borrow one from your neighbor instead of buying one new and then letting it sit on the shelf collecting dust.
12. Brew Your Own Coffee
The average American spends hundreds of dollars each year at cafes and coffee shops.
When setting up your budget, if you find that you are spending too much at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop), you might consider making coffee yourself at home instead.
In many cases, these popular brands have their own line of beans or coffee grounds that you can buy at your local grocery store.
That way, you get the flavor you love without the premium cost.
13. Unsubscribe From Apps With Recurring Charges
Another source of savings is finding services and apps that you pay for but no longer use.
In my experience, mobile applications are the biggest culprit.
These apps are specifically designed to have a low monthly cost to get people to sign up and then auto-renew when the original subscription expires.
Perhaps you were learning Swedish with a premium Duolingo subscription but haven’t touched the app in months.
I mean, it’s easy to sign up for a low $5 charge each month.
It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up when you forget about it for three years.
And most people have multiple subscriptions which amplifies the problem even more.
Look for small, unfamiliar charges on your bank statement and unsubscribe from any app subscriptions that you no longer need or use.
This simple action can lead to a significant increase in annual savings.
14. Look For Coupon Codes
Back in the day, you had to wait for the weekly newspaper to find deals and coupons for the products you buy.
These days, the internet makes finding these discounts much easier.
When making a purchase, especially for large items, take a few minutes to quickly look for a coupon or discount code online. In many cases, you can secure discounted prices, free shipping, or a nicer model for the exact same price.
If you really want to take your online coupon game to the next level, I recommend using a cashback app like Rakuten or a coupon app like Honey to take the work out of finding deals online.
I personally use both apps whenever I make a purchase online, and they have saved me all sorts of money over the years.
15. Ask Your Doctor For Generic Prescriptions
Generic prescriptions are a great way to save money while getting the medical treatment you need.
Sometimes, doctors automatically prescribe the brand-name version of medication. However, if you’re looking for a way to save money on your medical expenses, make sure to talk to your doctor about alternatives or generic versions of your prescriptions.
You might be able to pay a fraction of the price of your usual brand-name prescription.
Additionally, if you find you’re paying an exorbitant amount of money for your prescriptions, I highly recommend looking for prescription coupons on GoodRX.
Easy Ways To Save Money: Bottom Line
When it comes to building and improving your financial future, your goal is to take advantage of as many savings opportunities as possible.
Whether you decide to shop for new insurance, ditch your debt, or take advantage of online couponing sites, I hope this post has equipped you with a few easy ways to save money each month.
Do you have any other easy money-saving strategies? If so, be sure to drop your tips in the comments below!