It’s easy to look at the financial mavens in your life as they stache away hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month and think that you’re a hopeless cause. After all, how could you ever find that much extra money each month?
Fortunately, setting aside a significant sum of money on a regular basis is quite achievable, especially if you begin to work your way there in incremental steps. Start by sorting out your income and expenses by making a budget. Then begin to focus on taking small steps to increase your savings from one month to the next. Here are ten easy tips and tricks to help you figure out how to save money each month.
Table of Contents
1. Cut Streaming Services
Figuring out how to save money monthly can feel overwhelming until you start to break down the details. Take, for instance, streaming services. Once hailed as the solution for the exorbitant cable bill, streaming services have since become a massive expense in and of themselves.
If you’re one of the many who has amassed a serious number of streaming services, half of which you probably forgot you even had, it’s time to do a little housekeeping. Go through and pick out one or two of the options that interest you the most. Then cancel the rest. Don’t worry, you can always cycle them back in in the future. However, your new goal should be to never have more than two (and ideally just one) streaming services at a time.
After you cancel all of the services, it can also be wise to check your bank statement for a few weeks to make sure that everything canceled properly. The worst thing of all is paying for a service that you don’t even realize you still have.
2. Cut Your Gym Membership
Research has indicated that the majority of gym members don’t use their membership, and even if they do, many memberships are largely underutilized. If you still have that membership that you signed up for on New Year’s Day a year or two back, it may be time to cut the cord and find an alternative.
This will free up the money you were fruitlessly spending, and it doesn’t even have to end your exercising endeavors, as there are plenty of ways to work out without using the gym.
3. Downsize on Housing
It may be a bit of a life change, but it never hurts to evaluate what you’re spending on housing. Housing costs are typically one of the largest expenses in a budget. If you can find more affordable living arrangements that still suit your needs, it can be a great way to free up some of your monthly income in order to bolster your savings.
4. Use Utilities Sparingly
It’s easy to ignore the things we don’t see. However, if you’re looking to save money, one thing you may want to keep in mind is your utility bills. Things like water heaters and excessive use of electricity can slowly add up over time. Turn off unused lights, don’t run water recklessly, and try to use the cold tap whenever possible.
5. Make a Meal Plan
While necessary, food can certainly be an expensive part of the average person’s budget. It can be wise to take stock of your culinary expenses and take the time to plan out meals with an eye towards maintaining a healthy, affordable budget that is stripped of unnecessary fast food or impulse purchases.
6. Drive Less
Depending on where you live, driving may be a necessity. Even if you need the car for certain things, though, it’s worth evaluating your transportation usage in order to see if you can cut down on your overall driving time. Consider using alternatives when possible, including:
- Using rideshare apps.
- Utilizing public transportation.
All of these options will enable you to use less gas, require fewer repairs, and ultimately save more money.
7. Pay Yourself First
If you find that, after all of your efforts, you’re still having trouble finding money at the end of the day, perhaps you should try the pay yourself first method. In essence, all this means is that you put money into your savings before you address all of your other budgeted expenses. It may feel counterintuitive, but it can help ensure that you’re properly setting money aside each month.
8. Get a Side Hustle
If, after everything else, you’re still struggling to find enough money in your budget, you may want to consider looking for ways to bring in more overall money in the first place. Picking up a side hustle can be a great way to do this. Things like writing, photography, and even babysitting can all pay well if you find the right work. On top of that, the amount of work you take on can be tailored to your specific needs and capabilities and the experience you gain will only serve to bolster your resume and portfolio.
9. Get a Roommate
If you’re living alone, or even if you simply have extra space in your home, you may want to consider getting a roommate to help reduce your monthly expenses. Even if a roommate isn’t in the cards, you may want to look into turning an unused area of your home into an Airbnb in order to bring in a little extra cash from time to time.
10. Go Out Less
Finally, take some time to go over your daily and weekly habits. Do you spend time going out a lot? Trips to restaurants, going to the movies, and most other social activities can come with fairly hefty price tags.
We’re not saying you have to cut out all of the fun. Still, consider cutting back on how often you go out in order to free up some extra funds to put towards your long-term savings. As an alternative, look for more affordable ways to have fun at home. If you want to go to the movies, rent a movie at your nearest Redbox. If you want to eat out, look for a challenging meal to cook at home. Whatever the activity, look for ways to keep your social expenses as low as reasonably possible.
Growing Your Savings Over the Long Haul
While each one of these tips may not be the most effective on their own, taken together, they can add up to dozens and even hundreds of dollars per month. All it takes is a little focus and before you know it, you’ll be turning your finances around and seriously saving for the future.
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