Saving money is the fastest way to have more money in your pocket.
Finding second jobs or starting side businesses all take time. Figuring out which of your expenses can be trimmed can seriously add up to a second income.
Here are 10 ways I immediately saved more of my money each month.
1. Cut grocery expenses
We were able to trim our weekly grocery expenses from $250/week to $125/week almost immediately. Give yourself a grocery budget and stick to it by only taking cash to the store and keeping track while you shop. If you go over your budget, figure out what you don’t need this week and put it back. Simple.
2. Cut cable
Cutting cable saved us over $100/month. We kept our cable and signed up for Netflix so that we still had some form of entertainment in the evenings. With so many online options available, many families are cutting cable for cheaper alternatives.
3. Renegotiate cell phones
Cell phone bills have become a necessity in today’s families and that’s ok. The problem is our family plans are costing as much as a car loan each month. Go back to your provider and see where you can save money. If they don’t provide a solution, their competitor will. Most competitors will pay for your costs to switch to them and offer better rates. Maybe even free newer phones.
4. Stop going out to eat
This means no more restaurants, fast food or Starbucks. Stop spending the money you’ve worked so hard to earn on overpriced food and coffee. IT’S CRAZY! The average family spends over $3,000 per year on eating out. That’s $3,000 that could be sitting in your savings account right now. It’s ok if you have special occasions, but there’s plenty of money to be saved here. If you absolutely must go out to eat then check out Groupon or Restaurants.com and buy a discounted gift card.
5. Drop the gym
Before you get all grumpy, hear me out. I am not telling you to stop exercising and being healthy. I am saying you don’t need the gym to do that. People spend anywhere from $30 to over $100 per month for their gym memberships. That’s a lot of money when you can just as easily run for free and perform body weight exercises at the local playground.
6. Shop at Thrift Stores
From clothes to furniture, thrift stores have what you need at a deep discount. I find name brand clothing with tags still on them for $2-$3. Depending on how much clothing you buy per month, this could be a huge savings.
7. Use Apps when shopping
There are apps that will give you money back depending on what items you buy. My favorite app is Ibotta. So far I have made almost $600 in rebates from buying groceries. This money is deposited directly into my Paypal account. Walmart also has an app called Savings Catcher. After you’re done shopping, you scan your receipt and Walmart scans all of the prices from your local stores and if another store has a better price, Walmart gives you the difference. You can cash out this difference at any time as a Walmart gift card.
Feel free to sign up for Ibotta using my link.
8. Fix it yourself
There’s a good chance you can fix what has just broken for a quarter of the price of hiring a professional or going to the store and buying a new one. Someone has probably already experienced the necessary repair and posted a video on how to fix your item. The Internet is a powerful resource if you know how to use it.
9. Get a cheaper car
Car payments are killing almost every American’s budget. For some reason, everyone thinks it’s ok to have a 25% of their income on a car payment. Stop living a lie! You can’t afford it and neither can your friends and neighbors. Get rid of your brand new car and find a used car that’s more affordable. Use your used car as a stepping stone towards buying the dream car. Pay off your used car and then use that to trade in towards a nicer used car until you find yourself with enough cash to buy your dream car. A used one of course!
10. Pay off Debt!
Those monthly credit card bills can put a serious dent into your income. Not only is it a recurring monthly payment, but a large chunk is interest payments that isn’t helping your financial status at all. If the average interest is $75/month, we’re looking at $900 in lost income each year. Multiply that by 2 or 3 or 4 credit cards and we have a nightmare savings scenario. Focus on paying off your debt and you will find yourself breathing a huge sigh of relief when it’s gone. Suck it up, you can do it. We did!
There are a ton of other options to save money but these are the main 10 that are pretty universal to every family. Your family will have additional expenses to trim so it’s up to you to sit down with a budget and figure it out.
This is much easier than you think but only if you start it and stick to it!