It’s incredible how simple changes to your finances can lead to significant savings. Changing your money habits and cutting expenses wherever possible makes it much easier to save money every month.
You may think those little purchases aren’t adding up, but in reality it’s crazy how much money you end up spending in the long run on things such as your daily latte or ordering out.
Learning how to save money monthly results in you being more money savvy and increasing your savings in your bank account. It will also prevent you from overspending and racking up additional debt because you will save and work toward your financial goals. Be sure to create a monthly budget and use these tips to save every month.
1. Set a monthly budget: It’s essential to set a budget for the month. Write down your income and expenses. Once you have it written down, you can see your biggest expenses — housing, car or transportation, food, and savings. Yes, saving should be a line item in your budget.
Making “savings” a line item in your budget is critical; you have to budget for it to save.
“It has nothing to do with the money and everything to do with giving yourself flexibility and choice in your life,” a certified public accountant Eric Roberge, founder of a financial planning firm that specializes in giving financial advice to people in their 30s, told Discover.com.
“When you have money available in the bank, you can do what you want without stress,” he says.
The budget amount for your savings depends on your financial goal, but making sure to save is a major step.
2. Review your bank statements: Do you feel like you don’t know where your money goes each month? It is important to review your bank statement closely every month, and your statement will give you the details of how you spend your money and if changes need to be made.
3. Cancel subscriptions: How many paid digital subscriptions do you have? Let’s say you have three that cost around $9.99 each (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+). That’s about $30 a month, which adds up to about $360 in a year. It’s the small expenses that may seem like no big deal, but that’s extra money that can help build your emergency fund or can be used towards a vacation.
“If you find that you’re no longer using a certain subscription service, you can cancel it immediately as opposed to wasting money,” Fo Alexander, certified personal finance educator and founder of Mama & Money, told Go Banking Rates. “Pull your three most recent bank statements and go through each line to see where you can cut expenses. You’d be surprised by how much money is wasted on services that you don’t use.”
4. Beware of convenience shopping: Uber Eats, DoorDash, Instacart, etc., make it super easy to get what you want when you want it. But that convenience comes at a cost. All of the shopping/delivery apps come with delivery fees, and because they are so accessible, you may be shopping when you really don’t need to. Using these apps regularly can add up to big spending in a month.
5. Find free activities: It seems like everything is getting more and more expensive, even with simple things such as entertainment. Hitting the movies can cost about $25 for two people, and that’s just the price for tickets. Finding fun, free or budget-friendly activities can save you quite a bit of cash. Think parks, museums, free plays, and other fun things you can do. If you need some ideas, just Google free things to do in your city and you should get a lot of ideas.
6. Pay off debt: You can’t ignore debt, and it’s hard to save money when you have debt lingering around. Debt is costly, especially high-interest credit card debt, and the interest can rack up hundreds to thousands of dollars a year. Now is the time to sit down and pull out all of those bills and come up with a plan of attack to pay it off. If you have to start by paying down one account at a time, do it. You can also call your credit card companies and negotiate a lower interest rate.
7. Do the side hustle: A side hustle can be a great way to bring in more money, pay down debt and save. You can choose to start a business, or you can use a skill you already have to start making extra income. Start a T-shirt business, develop a product or proofread manuscripts after work; it’s up to you.