Whether you’re raising a family, a single parent with young children, or living on your own without kids, you might be wondering how you can pocket some extra cash at the end of every month. Think of all of the places you can go or things you can buy and treat yourself with even $100 more in your wallet each month.
With old debt lingering around and new bills piling up, how is it possible for you increase the amount of money that you save without making any drastic changes like switching jobs?
Here are 6 simple tips for saving more cash at the end of every month:
1. Only buy what’s on your grocery list when you go food shopping.
How often do you go to the grocery store and wind up buying way more things than you originally intended to get? You might have walked in just to buy ingredients for tonight’s dinner but then you walked out with milk, ice cream, chips, avocados, and some cookies that looked good. Or maybe you bought far too many fruits and vegetables, thinking you or the kids or your roommates were going to eat them within the next couple of days, but then most of them went to waste.
Create a set grocery list before heading to the store to prevent yourself from spending any more money than you want or need to. You can do this by either creating a handwritten list, using the Notes app on your smartphone, or downloading an organization/list maker app like Evernote. Only add the things you absolutely need for the next day or two so you do not go overboard and buy too much stuff that no one will wind up drinking or eating.
Also remember to NEVER go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
2. Eliminate any unnecessary monthly payments.
Do you currently subscribe to Netflix? How often do you actually have the time to sit down on the couch and watch a show or movie after work or on the weekends? If you consistently pay that $10 bill every month but haven’t had the chance to relax and watch your favorite show series in four months, then it may be time to consider canceling your subscription until further notice.
All of those unnecessary little monthly bills add up, and if you haven’t utilized a certain service in a few months, then it’s definitely time for you to stop throwing your money away and finally pull the plug. You can always re-subscribe later on if you find the need to start using it again.
3. Lower your current monthly bills.
If you have all of your bill preferences set to auto-pay, then you might have forgotten just how much you’re actually spending every month on your bills. If that’s the case, then it’s time to review your regular payments. Analyze each of your bills and give customer service a call to see if you can receive a discount for being a longstanding member, a good customer, or an employee/affiliate of a company.
Is your car insurance bill too expensive? Compare car insurance companies to find a different one that charges anywhere from $20 to $80 less per month. Do you have a 6GB data plan but have 3GB of unused data left on your phone bill every month? Cut down to a lower data plan and gain back $10 or $20 in your pocket.
Every little bit of money saved counts. Since you’re already automatically paying your bills each month, you might as well try to save money while you’re at it.
4. Buy gas from a cheaper station.
Driving a few streets over in order to save 10 cents per gallon on gas doesn’t sound like a worthwhile investment when you live five minutes closer to a gas station with a slightly higher price. However, depending on how big the gas tank is in your car or truck and how many gallons it requires to fill up, going that extra mile down the road each time you need gas could save you a few extra bucks each week.
If you have a spare minute or two, do the research before you leave the house by installing an app to your phone like GasBuddy that will show you the nearest gas stations with the cheapest prices.
5. Stop going out to eat and hitting the bars as often.
We all have rough days at work when we want to go grab a beer after the shift ends. We also feel that need to go out on a Friday or Saturday night after a long week. Try to cut back on going out as often to keep spending habits a little lower. Instead of hitting a food truck or buying lunch at work every day, bring a homemade lunch instead. Rather than going out with the guys to watch the football game, drink beers, and eat wings on Sunday, invite them over to your place.
6. Find an easy weekly/monthly side gig.
Do you have a skill that could be used to bring in some extra cash? Maybe you enjoy woodworking, fixing computers, or restoring old cars. If you have a hobby that you take part in in your spare time, consider how you can turn it into an opportunity to make some money.
There are many ways to pocket more cash at the end of every month. Sticking to a grocery list, canceling all unnecessary service subscriptions, lowering monthly payments, buying cheaper gas, going out less often, and taking up a side job are all great ways to accomplish this. Ultimately, if you are willing to compromise some time and effort in exchange for a little bit of financial freedom, then you will have anywhere from a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars back in your bank account every month to save or spend however you would like.
Thanks for reading. Did I leave out any easy ways to save some extra cash at the end of the month? Let me know in the comments below!