Saving money is crucial to our financial freedom. Not only do we feel more confident and safe with a healthy savings account behind us, but it also deters us from borrowing, or even spending that cash we have worked so hard to save. Most of the time, the difficult part about saving money is not knowing where to cut back and get that money from in the first place.
There are a few steps you can take to easily save $100 or more a month! Here’s a few ideas for you to consider:
1. Stop Your Cable Service or Pare it Down
Think about how much TV you actually watch. I find that my kids use their computer to stream everything they want to watch. My husband and I were the only ones watching “live” TV, and as time goes by I find myself doing that even less! Getting rid of cable and subscribing to Netflix or Hulu Plus can be a great money saving decision. Not only do they have all the great shows and movies you want to watch, but you can also connect the service to your TV, phones, and other portable devices. The monthly savings can be quite significant!
If you can’t bring yourself to cut out cable service completely, scale back on your existing package. Or switch providers! You can usually find great deals with competing cable services but these great deals only apply to new customers. So if your contract is up, you can change companies with no penalty charges. Or you might try calling your existing provider and telling them that you want to switch. They will usually offer you a better deal just in order to keep your business. This might be a good option if you don’t want to hassle with installation appointments, new boxes, etc.
2. Don’t Eat Out As Often
Packing your own lunch to take with you to work is always a great idea. I would often take leftovers to the office and heat them up in the office kitchen and my co-workers would ooh and aah at the smell of warm, homemade food! Much better than ordering something from your local deli or fast food restaurant.
You might also want to skip the morning stop at the specialty coffee store to get your caffeine “fix”. Instead, make your own homemade coffee creamer to add to your coffee and use a nice reusable travel mug and take that to work with you. Spending close to $5 on a daily basis for fancy coffee adds up to over a $100 a month!
Lastly, if there are certain items that your family loves (Red Lobster’s Cheddar biscuits is one that comes to mind), why don’t you look it up on Pinterest. Chances are that you will find a version that you can make at home for a lot less than it would cost at the restaurant!
3. Batch Errands or Carpool
The price of gas seems to be going up on a weekly basis, especially during the upcoming summer months. Make it a point of grouping your errands and plan a route so that you have the least driving back and forth. If you are taking your child to school or camp, try to hit the store that’s close by at once! If you have a doctor’s appointment coming up and you can wait to drop off the clothes at the dry cleaners that’s nearby, don’t make two trips.
4. Shopping Online
There are so many great websites that you can take advantage of and save money when you shop online. Many of them even offer free shipping! You can do comparison shopping easily by using the “shopping” option on Google. I personally use Amazon as a price comparison because they really do offer such competitive prices. There are also sites like Ebates.com that actually give you cash back when shop. Often they will have double cash back events, so be sure to be on the lookout for those deals!
5. Re-evaluate Your Cell Phone Service Provider
Many of us have cell phones and services that we have not updated in many years. Call your provider and discuss whether your current plan is optimized for your current needs! I know that most families who no longer have teenagers on their plan discover that they no longer need unlimited texting or expensive data plans. Discuss with your provider ways to make your bill cheaper and also check out other service providers. You could easily go from a $180/month plan to an all inclusive $60/plan without ever noticing a change.
These are just some thoughts on how you can start saving some more money. For more ways to save money check out our awesome Personal Finance section!