Whether you are saving for an IVF cycle, a new car, or a down payment on the house of your dreams the same principles apply. Often the best way to boost your monthly saving efforts is to make a series of small changes. A few dollars here and a few dollars there can quickly add up to something significant. So without further ado; here are 16 ways you can save money each month.
- Enroll in your company’s 401k: Although, this is more a long term strategy to save, it is still a great way to maximize your income. Taking advantage of a employers matching contributions can boost your gross income and is a great long-term saving strategy
- Bundle your services: Switching to a family cell phone plan, or combining like services under one provider can save you $10-$100/month.
- Shop around for your services: on a like note, you can also save money by breaking up combined plans and policies and finding better rates for the individual parts. Caution: be aware of companies offering intro rates – you can save tons with intro rates, just make sure to either renegotiate, or switch your services when your regular rates resume
- Pay off your credit cards: Credit cards have high interests rates. It is always a good idea to always pay down any credit card debt when you have any additional funds available
- Flexible spending accounts: FSA are a great way to save a few bucks on eligible purchases. FSA are a way to get some of your pay without the payroll taxes. If your employer offers an FSA plan it could be a great idea to look into it to save you 10-20% of the money you would be spending anyways.
- Kick your habit:Quitting or cutting down on you smoking or alcohol habit can save you tons, and make you healthier to boot.
- Brown bag it: bringing your lunch to work can save you $5-10 a day, and ties in nicely with the next tip
- Learn to cook: Dinner is even more expensive than lunch, and eating in can save you hundreds of dollars a month. As a bonus – you can take your left-overs into work the next day for a cheap lunch :)
- Manage your pantry: Cooking at home is great, but one downside of cooking at home is wasted food. Throwing out spoiled food is effectively throwing out money. By keeping tabs on what is in your pantry and fridge and adjust your meals to use up all your food before it spoils you can trim your grocery budget
- Negotiate a lower rate: If you are carrying a balance on your credit cards and paying a high monthly interest rate on it you might be able to get a lower rate. If you have good credit history your credit card might be willing to lower your interest rate on your balance. Call the customer service on the back of your credit card to ask
- Use the library: Lirbaries are a great place to get books, movies, and tv shows. You would be surprised by the wide assortment of media that is available to be checked out. Your local library is a great place to go to save on rental costs
- Reshop for your insurance: You may be over-paying for your auto, car, home, or health insurance(self-insured) and by shopping around you can save $100 of dollars a month
- Change your calling plan: There are many ways you can save on your monthly cell phone plan. From ditching unused options, to changing to prepaid options. There are fully functional plans that cost around $50 for unlimited data, text and voice. Sometimes these plans will throttle your data above certain thresholds, and coverage might be different from your old plan, so plan accordingly.
- Deal sites: this thread is about saving money and the best way to do that is often to simply pay less for the items you were going to buy anyways. Sites like slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com are great resources to shop for deals. They have huge community forums where shoppers share, compare, and rate deals.
- Ditch the Gym: I am a big believer in staying active, and keeping healthy. A gym can be a great place to help you stay fit, especially in the winter time, however if you are not using the gym regularly it is a waste of money. I know I am guilty of under-utilizing my gym membership and I am not the only one. By ditching your membership you can save $30-50 a month. Don’t take this as an excuse to stop exercising though!
- Cut unused or unnecessary services: This is a wide ranging one. Take a look at your monthly expenses. Are their any recurring bills on there for services that you don’t regularly use? or maybe don’t even use at all? If so, ditch them. It is easy to forget about a monthly subscription to this or a cheap membership to that, but every little bit adds up.
So there you have it, I hope some of the suggestions above can be helpful. If you have any questions on any of the items above feel free to ask in the comments. Happy savings!