10 Ways To Save Money Every Month Regardless Of How Much You Make
Posted By Noah Staum on November 6th, 2018
Saving money can be difficult. Like most things, taking small steps to save will set you up for success. Here are 10 smart ways to start saving money every month, regardless of your income.
1. Start a Separate Savings Account
Let’s start with the basics. The money you commit to saving needs to be in a separate place from your regular spending account. This is a fact of life. Many have tried and failed with the notion that they’ll have enough self-control to not spend it.
It’s the same principle as accidentally putting a 20 dollar bill in a drawer, forgetting about it, and then finding it months later. Simply stashing your cash in a separate account makes it mentally off limits. Plus, savings accounts usually earn higher interest rates.
2. Automatically Round Up Your Purchases
You’ve seen this strategy at work at many major chain stores: “Would you like to round-up your purchase to contribute to _________?” It’s time to put it to work for yourself.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to round-up the change in your head and transfer it manually. There are tools for that! The two most notable are Qapital and Chime. Both of these checking accounts offer the ability to round-up your purchases and commit the surplus to savings. You may be stashing pennies away each time, but it all adds up quickly and before you know it you’ll have some bonafide savings.
3. Subtract One Small Thing From The Budget
This can be a frustrating tip for those of us already on a tight budget, but it’s worth taking a deeper look. No matter how much you make, there are often little things that you habitually spend money on without even realizing they aren’t necessities. The obvious example is coffee or other beverages. Little purchases like this add up real quick.
They’ll add up even more if you cut that spending from your budget and allot it to... you guessed it, a savings account.
Related Story: 8 Apps That Will Help You Save Money Every Day
4. Sell Stuff
We all have stuff we don’t need. If you can commit to selling one thing per month, you’ll keep your life clutter-free and save a bit of cash in the process. Sell anything from clothing, exercise gear you never use and stuff that never sees the light of day from your drawers and closets. Platforms like Letgo and Facebook’s Marketplace can help you connect with buyers in your community. Place whatever you make from the sale into your savings.
5. Buy Generic
Attractive packaging and convincing marketing can make it hard to resist, but for the most part, there’s no good reason to buy name brand goods over generic store brands. That’s especially true when you look at how much you can save by switching to generic brands. Here’s a challenge, switch to generic brands for a month and see how you feel. Commit the difference to savings and see how much you save! While it may not be a huge amount after one month, extrapolate to a year, two years, even three years. It adds up.
6. Eat Less Meat
There are a lot of compelling reasons to eat less meat, one of them being that you can save money doing so. One studied showed that you can save up to $750 a year by substituting meat out of your diet. Of course, it depends on your personal diet and eating tendencies. Take a log of your average weekly meat intake and expenses and see if you can switch out one or two of those meals to start. Substitutes like vegetables and tofu are cheaper, satisfying and cost less.
7. Cook More
Along the culinary lines, here’s a steadfast rule for saving, the more you cook, the more you save. Eating out and getting takeout is expensive. Find a few go-to recipes that are easy to make yet satisfying and ride their coattails into your savings account.
8. Go To Serve-Yourself Places When You Eat Out
If you do go out to eat, which you will, try to find places where you can grab your food yourself. Not only do they tend to be cheaper than restaurants with service, but you also can save by not having to tip for service. Similarly, if you get to take out, pick it up from the restaurant yourself to avoid paying delivery charges and a tip.
9. Plan a Game Night
Socializing is a necessity, but it can get expensive if you’re going out to eat, to bars, or to other pay-to-play experiences with your friends. Setup a game night at your house or one of your friends’ to create a fun social experience with no pressure to spend money. It doesn’t have to be games, other great ideas include a movie night, a dance party, a potluck dinner, or a watch party for a sporting event. The possibilities are endless, and it’ll help you save a bit of cash.
10. Reconsider Your Commute
There may be opportunities to save money by reconsidering your everyday commute. Many assume that getting to work has to be a certain way when it doesn’t. Consider the distance you live from your office. Is it bikeable? If so, you can save a bundle over driving and even public transport. Taking the bus or subway may cost less than driving. You should take a look at all aspects of your commute. If you need to drive, consider carpooling with co-workers nearby. At the very least, preplan your gas fill-ups so you can go to the cheapest gas stations and save some moola.